EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'black-ish' fan recap: Rhonda's big news

Season 1 | Episode 22 | “Please Don’t Ask, Please Don’t Tell” | Aired May 7, 2015

Raven-Symoné guest starred on this week’s black-ish as Dre’s sister Rhonda, the black sheep of the family. Unfortunately, she’s not the black sheep because she’s a rebel or something like that; she’s purposefully sequestered herself because she knows her mom, Ruby, isn’t going to be down with the truth. Rhonda’s a lesbian and has been living with her girlfriend for four years, but Ruby still thinks, through sheer denial or perhaps actual naïveté, that Rhonda’s just living with her mechanic roommate, waiting on the Lord to send her the right man.

Andre hasn’t been that great of a big brother when it comes to actually connecting with his sister, proof to me that everyone in their family knew about Rhonda growing up, but didn’t bother to ask about her emotional and spiritual well-being. I’m sure if black-ish was a one-hour drama, much would have been said about Ruby’s Bible-thumping (Yes, I wrote it!) negatively affecting Rhonda and her view of herself in the eyes of God. In Dre’s world, as long as the boat isn’t rocked and no one speaks about the elephant in the room, then everyone’s fine. In truth, this happens in a lot of families, regardless of race, but I can say for certain that black America as a whole has a problem with leaving “issues” undiscussed, especially if it’s LGBT-related. Of course, let me reiterate that #NotAllBlackFamilies are the same, just like #NotAllChristians believe gay people are going to Hell. But I’m getting on a soapbox here. Let me step down and get back to this recap.

It’s established that Andre isn’t the best when it comes to actually dealing with touchy family issues. It’s especially true when Rainbow watches him try to have a meaningful conversation with Rhonda, which consists of nothing but tired ’70s-esque black sayings (Yes, I wrote it!) about getting paid and making it through life with Da Man on your back. They might as well have quoted the entirety of the Good Times theme song, what with their “keeping your head above water” conversation. All of this underscores something Rainbow’s always known about Andre and his family—that as much as they like to act like they’re not dysfunctional, they’re the supreme height of dysfunction. But it also makes Rhonda’s situation even more dire for Rainbow, because Rainbow is the only one (at the time) who knows Rhonda’s getting married. Rainbow points out how emotionally stunted Andre is and that his own sister is afraid of inviting him and Ruby to the wedding. After feeling the sting of ostracism, Andre actually has a real talk with Rhonda over basketball (which may or may not have been a stereotypical joke, but I digress).

Rhonda does invite Andre and Rainbow to the wedding, but Ruby’s still in the dark about everything … until Andre decides it’s a great idea to out Rhonda over the Mother’s Day–lunch table. Needless to say, a scene was created, with veteran scene-chewer Jenifer Lewis giving her most scenery-chewing moment yet. The only way it could have gotten better is if she had dragged the tablecloth and dinnerware behind her.

Rhonda’s obviously mad, and when Andre confronts Ruby, he thinks he’s made matters worse. Stepping into the big-brother role, Andre tells his beloved mother that if she can’t look past the Book of Leviticus (which some scholars assert is about the ancient Israelites setting themselves apart from Pagan worship practices, among other interpretations) and realize that she’s shunning her own flesh and blood, then he can’t accept her. Ruby is stunned, and at that point, she states she’s leaving forever. But, as it turns out, Ruby and Rhonda finally do have a heart-to-heart. It’s annoying that we couldn’t hear everything they said, but we did hear that Ruby is invited to the wedding after all, and that Ruby, in a roundabout way, says she’ll attend.

Long story short, the message of the episode is for everyone to realize that gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender people are born just like straight people, and should be accepted, not shunned. Thankfully, everything can come to a nice conclusion in a 30-minute TV show, but it would be even better if people did this in real life. Unfortunately, #NotAllFamilies do this, and it’s a real shame.

To end this recap on a lighter note, what did we think of Andre not being allowed to eat a banana growing up? That was actually quite hilarious, as was Andre Jr. having serious gaydar troubles. But another nice thing was seeing how the kids weren’t phased by Rhonda’s sexuality—another lesson: Kids are quite resilient and can understand a lot more than adults give them credit for.

Sound off about this episode (and my light theologian routine) below!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like