The arrival of Andre's BFF Gigi (Tyra Banks) raises the question: Do spouses have to be best friends?
Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC
S2 E11
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When Harry Met Sally may have gotten it wrong, folks. Men and women can absolutely be best friends. But spouses? Not so much. Black-ish returned to its stellar second season with this concept from “Plus Two Isn’t a Thing”: Sure men and women can be each other’s best friends, but spouses don’t have to be best friends at all. In fact, we learn that Dre and Bow’s relationship works pretty damn well without the BFF addition.

Dre & Bow

After a montage of spouses confessing their best friendship with each other, we immediately discern the difference between those relationships and the one Dre and Bow share. While those couples might finish each other’s sentences or know what the other wants to eat for dinner every night, Bow couldn’t care less to guess Dre’s appetite. But that’s why he has Gigi (enter Tyra Banks). Gigi has been Dre’s best friend since the age of 2. They grew up together, went to the same schools, grew up on the same streets and Gigi has been front and center for every one of Dre’s big life moments. And Dre has watched as Gigi became a hugely successful pop star.

Thankfully Black-ish doesn’t diminish Bow’s concerns about Dre and Gigi’s relationship to one of jealousy over Gigi’s attractiveness or just the simple fact that she is a woman. In fact, Bow’s worry actually makes sense: Dre and Gigi’s friendship is the one she wishes she could have with Dre…at least at first. Dre and Gigi attend parties together without her (“There’s no such thing as a plus two. That’d be stupid”), they trash each other’s “baes,” except Bow even though her name is Rainbow, they start fights with Iggy Azalea — who apparently can beat the crap out of Dre — and they even smell each other’s armpits. Yup, that last one is a bit much.

Bow laments to Pam that she feels like a third wheel in her own marriage, but Pam assures Bow that if the BFFs aren’t sleeping together, there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, Pam says, couples who are best friends just come off as creepy. But it’s not just Bow who’s discussing Dre and Gigi’s relationship. Dre asks his own co-workers about Bow’s concerns. Daphne takes Bow’s side at first, without realizing that Dre is not actually having an affair with a “beautiful famous” — they really are just friends. Dre explains his need to have Gigi in his life: She provides him the support of a male best friend but with the added bonus of a woman’s intuition that helps in most situations.

But while the co-workers are pretty easy to sway, Gigi’s new boyfriend is not so understanding. Gigi tells Dre that Napoleon feels their relationship is “weird” and that he’ll be her plus one to an upcoming party. My, how the tables have turned.

Dre sulks over losing Gigi, but Bow has a new plan: She’s ready to sub in and step up as Dre’s new BFF. The two attempt to go shopping together and have mani/pedis (where we find out that not only does Dre get Brazilians, he also knows how to speak Vietnamese), but Bow soon realizes that being Dre’s BFF is a full-time job, one that is sure to wear down her patience.

Bow gets Dre to confront Gigi at their favorite mani/pedi locale, where she’s treating herself with Napoleon, and the two begin arguing in Vietnamese. Napoleon finally reveals, while held hostage in his paraffin mittens, that there’s no way he can handle Gigi as a BFF. He and Bow realize that Dre and Gigi need each other in their lives in order for them to have a better balance in their romantic relationships at home. Both are a handful that only the other can handle.

NEXT: The kids have a plan to get famous

The Kids

The kids also face relationship questions as they decide to work together to become as famous as their Aunt Gigi. While scrolling through her phone and dreaming of the rich and famous, Zoey has an idea: They can have just as great a life if they make a video that goes viral. The foursome settle on making a music video with Junior as the producer, Jack as the hype man, Zoey as the lead singer, and Diane relegated to triangle…until Zoey proves her voice isn’t quite up to snuff, and Diane proves she’s basically good at everything, including singing.

During their very first recording session, Diane snaps at her siblings for their lack of work ethic and overall talent for making music. She declares she is going solo and comes to Gigi for advice. Gigi reveals that while private jets, five-star hotels, and endangered species dinners (Gigi ate the last dodo, guys!) might be fun, they’re much better when you have someone you care about to share the experiences with. Diane suddenly realizes what she needs to do… Quit the group and go solo of course.

Eventually, after seeing how much fun the kids are having without her, Diane returns to her senses and gives them another try. Jack and Junior could not be happier, and share what the kids have recorded so far without her. After hearing less than a verse, Diane immediately returns to her solo life. What that solo career leads to is a remix of Alicia Keys’ “Fallin'” that I will be listening to for weeks to come.

Best Lines of the night:

“Ever hung around those best-friend couples? Creepy. Always feels like they’re greasing you up for a threesome.” —Pam, speaking the (sometimes) truth.

“Yeah! Sports!” —Bow, yelling the battle cry of sports unenthusiasts all over the world.

“You can scroll but not call. Unless you block my number; then I don’t care what you do.” —Gigi, essentially giving Dre’s kids permission to prank call celebrities.

“I wanna eat the last something!” — Diane, being Diane.

“She Dutch-ovened me in my Tesla, and now the battery’s not working!” —Napoleon, lamenting Gigi’s disgusting BFF pranks.

“You look like a farmer who’s attending his daughter’s wedding in Albert.” —Bow, bashing Dre’s denim-on-denim-on-denim monstrosity.

“I’ll take your weird ‘Little Man Tate’ body any day.” —Gigi, loving and trashing Dre at the same time, as BFF’s do.

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