M-Chuck meets a pregnant preteen girl whose limited options ignites a heated debate between the Calloway women.
Credit: Tina Rowden/Starz

When you’ve got a good thing going on, the last thing you want to do is mess with a winning formula. But change can also be necessary for personal, financial, and career growth, which is why Reggie’s new management company — despite the transparent warning signs there will be some stumbling blocks ahead — has the potential for greatness.

One thing Survivor’s Remorse maybe should’ve messed with though was the nearly identical episode format of the Cam-Reggie story line and the parallel M-Chuck/Missy subplot for the second week in a row. I feel the women’s narrative, which dealt with the “serious theme of the week” was unfairly rushed and ultimately sacrificed for the sake of drawing out the turning point in Cam and Reggie’s relationship.

In this week’s episode, “One Love,” we learn that it’s tough becoming a “grown-ass man” — or woman, for that matter. Cam may still need guidance from Reggie in certain situations, but compared to someone like Jupiter Blackmon, a clueless, rising NFL star with a hot mess of a manager, Cam’s priorities are pretty solid. When Jupiter and his idiot of a rep, DeShauwn May, invite Cam to a shady after-hours joint following a boys’ night out at a strip club, all it takes is a few words of wisdom from Reggie about the next day’s practice for Cam to make the smart decision and decline. And it’s because of that fact that Reggie has the confidence to let Cam stand on his own two feet while he starts up his management company — with Jupiter, desperate to get away from the still-drug-dealing DeShauwn, whose idea of fiscal conservatism is avoiding the use of lawyers while flicking stacks of dollar bills into a woman’s ass, as his first new client. But the downside to Reggie embarking on an exciting new business venture means there are going to be a lot more nights where Cam has to walk that lonely arena hallway after a game all by himself — and he runs the risk of being replaced as his cousin’s top client. On the flip side, as DeShauwn sneered to Reggie shortly after being replaced, who’s to say that somewhere down the line Cam won’t fire his cousin-manager and seek greener pastures? It has been known to happen in this industry.

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While Reggie is busy getting poor Jupiter away from DeShauwn, M-Chuck has ditched the plantation re-enactment for yet another controversial environment this week. Her next round of community service involves acting as a big sibling to a young girl in a group home. A group home that is so neglectful in its supervision that it allowed 12-year-old Brittany to not only get pregnant, but be allowed to enter her ninth month with zero knowledge of her options — or even any real sex education. The Christian woman who runs the Fawlty Towers-esque establishment (seriously, even the sign is falling apart) told Brittany her baby was the result of an immaculate conception. The reality of the situation is the father of Brittany’s child could be one of three boys who live at the group home with her.

NEXT: Canoe or Sparkle

Brittany’s predicament hits a nerve with M-Chuck because Cassie had her when she was 15, which Cassie makes sure to point out is a huge jump from 12: “That’s ghetto mid-20s.” So from where M-Chuck stands, she’s 100 percent supportive of Brittany’s uninformed choice to keep the baby. But the lack of options being presented to Brittany is hitting an even bigger nerve with Missy, who tries to impart on M-Chuck that perhaps supporting a 12-year-old’s decision to have a child while she’s still living in a group home may not be the best way to fulfill her “big sibling” duties.

As with many subjects on Survivor’s Remorse, it’s a touchy issue, and even though Missy makes several valid points about the huge gaps in Brittany’s sexual and pre-natal education, we also have sympathy for M-Chuck’s raw, unrelenting support of a 12-year-old child raising her own child. Because the way she sees it, if her future had been left up to Missy’s way of thinking, “I’d be in pieces in a medical-waste bin somewhere or adopted by white people who think Jesus loves all.” And that’s why she decides to throw Brittany a baby shower, which leads to the best exchange of the entire episode:

Missy: “Where? Chuck E. Cheese?”

M-Chuck: “I’ve already checked them out. They’re booked solid for the next several weekends.”

The shower winds up being held on the grounds of the Calloway estate, but M-Chuck remains oblivious to the fact that it resembles a pre-teen girl’s fantasy of what a live-action Arendelle might look like as opposed to an actual baby shower. There’s a bouncy castle, pony rides, cotton candy, balloons, pastel-tint cupcakes — and Brittany would rather play with her Barbie than prepare for impending motherhood. So it’s no wonder that a girl who’s been led to believe that having a baby is no different than getting a new doll to play with, announces to Missy that she intends to name the kid “Canoe” if it’s a boy, and “Sparkle” if it’s a girl. Missy responds by asking Brittany if she knows about “the work that’s involved” in being a mother, but M-Chuck immediately puts the kibosh on this conversation, laying into Missy — whom, she points out, doesn’t have children — for being judgmental.

Their debate doesn’t get too far before they both notice pregnant Brittany jumping up and down in the bouncy castle, Barbie in hand. This dangerously ignorant move causes M-Chuck to change her tune toward her little sibling very quickly, especially when Brittany points out, “I don’t see a sign that says pregnant kids can’t jump in here.” M-Chuck’s realization about how dire Brittany’s situation is deepens even further when Brittany casually mentions her water broke earlier that morning and didn’t say anything because she didn’t want the party to get canceled.

NEXT: “Things We Think You Should Think Too”

So what’s next for Brittany and little Canoe or Sparkle? There’s no guarantee we’ll ever see them again, but at least we know for sure who the baby daddy is. After Brittany gives birth, M-Chuck visits the three potential preteen fathers in the waiting room. She sends the two African-American boys out to play, and wishes the third one, Ling-Su, a hearty congratulations. Ooof, tough break, kid.

Ling-Su may not be ready for life as a grown-ass man, but perhaps M-Chuck can arrange for Cam to log in some hours as the boy’s big sibling. Sounds like they’re both about to get some crash courses in responsible living, so why not team up on the lessons?

Stray observations:

  • There has been an Uncle Julius dearth over the past two episodes, and this needs to change posthaste. The character was MIA for all of last week’s episode, and he gets a measly, inconsequential single scene this week? Booooo.
  • Let’s just hope it’s because he and Cassie have been knee-deep in preparations for their podcast, “Things We Think You Should Think Too,” which I would totally listen to if it was a real thing.

Episode Recaps

Survivor's Remorse
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