Every season of The Chi feels like the show has reinvented itself, keeping the same drift but with different strokes.
The Chi Season 6 Episode 1 caught us up with where everyone was emotionally, economically, and of course, romantically.
The cold open felt like a flashback as we met Keisha and Emmett in a familiar position where they still liked some morning glory action (okay, it was more Emmett than Keisha), but instead of Jada interrupting them, their choices did.
The focus of the hour was Emmett, Douda, and their new partnership, which everyone who learned about it knew it was a bad idea.
A city grows and changes in two ways.
One is when or if there’s a boom in immigration, it gets pumped with new ideas and money.
The other way is when the children grow up. And the children we met on The Chi Season 1 were grown up.
“New Chi City” did not hold back in setting the scene for the rest of the season, introducing every character and their current interest.
First, we had Emmett, whose life was intertwined with Keisha and Tiff’s.
Emmett has always been a hustler with a drive rarely seen in men his age. Emmett would be dead or in a gang if he decided to be what everyone wanted him to be.
And for a long time, man, we ain’t know how that boy was gonna turn out.
But, no. He scraped, hustled, bled, sweat, and cried until he got to where he was. That is some drive that needs to be respected.
However, that kind of ambition can blind someone. Like most people, he wants more. He might even need more. And that was what Douda promised.
Douda was on a mission to embed himself into the next Chicago generation. The old guard was slowly exiting, and new blood quickly occupied that space.
Emmett had his restaurant, and Douda found a way into it. Who’s willing to bet he’s not interested in the menu but the cover a legit business will give him?
Next, Rob’s weed business was booming.
Weed ain’t really goin’ out of style.
He also wanted a piece of that, but my man Rob didn’t disappoint. He saw Douda for who he was and treated him just as he deserved.
Even for guys like Bakari, Douda had found some use for, and after cleaning him up well, he could pass for security.
Back to Emmett, seeing that ambition had not blinded him was encouraging. There were moments in his interactions with Douda where his conscience would warn him that what was happening was not normal.
Who shoots a man for chewing too loudly and carries on like they just hugged him?
This season, Emmett’s true test will not be whether he orgasms as much as he’d want to or keep his baby mamas happy. It will be getting himself from under Douda.
Douda knew just where to dig his fangs into. He preyed on Emmett’s weakness for flashy stuff (more expensive than sneakers) and keeping women happy.
Romantically, Emmett was with Keisha, but he will always be connected to Tiff and the rest of his kids’ mothers.
They will always be the mothers to his kids, but Emmett had never defined the limits of that relationship — especially with Tiff.
She said she wanted a car, so he bought her a car. The question is, why?
He was not her support system anymore. She was a grown woman with her business and had Rob.
If Emmett was to cross the undrawn lines to buy her something, it should be if that thing would benefit his kid directly. His kid couldn’t drive the car.
Of course, Tiff having a car affects the kid’s life, but that was not how he should have approached that.
If he’d talked to Keisha, she would have told him to agree to pay half the price and choose a car at Tiff’s level.
He bought her a car, only for Tiff to turn it into a sex dungeon with Rob. That has got to hurt!
Keisha was moving up in the world after getting her first job as a teacher.
The city’s education system needed people like Keisha — new blood with new ideas.
Kevin moved out of his parents’ house.
Every young man dreams of moving out of their parents’ house to gain independence and freedom. Some get it when they move to college, and others bolt out as soon as they are legally allowed. Kevin was the latter.
But as someone finds out, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be.
Reality dawns about the responsibilities involved in running a house. Kids don’t notice these things because they take them for granted, as mom or dad always has it covered.
Kevin experienced the first thing as soon as he got into the place. Quite.
The quiet is nice for a while before loneliness creeps in.
Simple things like stocking the fridge become a chore to add to their itinerary, or risk starving.
He had not even gotten to the when the money problem became a real problem.
I’ve heard gaming and streaming pay well, so I hope he does not have to deal with money issues.
Left with an empty house, Dre and Nina could host their get-together with the ladies with some quiet, and things came up.
I always thought it was irresponsible of Jada to marry Darnell, knowing him that well, and it began to show.
He was already seeking the next adventure a few months into the marriage. Marriage is not one big adventure. Like life, it’s a series of small adventures; for them to mean anything, one must stick out the boring parts.
I see a divorce coming, and I’m sure it’ll devastate Jada, but it was coming.
Tracy’s loss of her son will never completely heal, but she was getting there. She was thinking of love. She craved it.
The problem was she loved a really bad man.
She felt like she needed more, and he couldn’t give it.
A relationship is a relationship that has to be earned! Not to compromise for.
Dre and Nina had been through some rough times, but they were happy currently.
That get-together was full of wisdom, and it was very entertaining. Now, that is what Papa’s Pulpit should have been.
Our past is always in our present.
Speaking of Papa, he had his eyes on someone.
But his friendship with Bakari was the most interesting. Did he know Bakari was a mobster?
If he does, what will he do? Knowing Papa, he will try some pacified approach.
The kids were not so kid-like anymore.
Real-life problems had knocked. Kevin was adulting for the first time; Jemma and Jake were running their hustle, and Papa was managing the restaurant.
We didn’t learn much about what the season holds for them, but I guess it would be some relationship drama amid the natural drift between childhood friends as they grow up.
Victor was elected to the City Council.
After his admission, it was surprising that people would elect him. Dating a transwoman was never going to do him any favors. But maybe most people have outgrown transphobia, and I hope that’s the case.
But people have not and might never outgrow staged moments for social media, and a thirst trap will always be a thirst trap.
Shaad had officially moved in with Deja, but it was not as fun as he’d have thought.
Relationships, no matter if they’re between opposite-sex or same-sex couples, are built on balance.
Society has been shaping that balance for opposite-sex couples by using tools like gender roles and double standards, which hurt people in the long run.
Shaad had been in prison for a long time, and when men his age were reading the memo that gender roles are stupid, he didn’t. It was only natural he’d feel emasculated by his current situation.
But instead of counting how he was unlucky, he should have counted his luck.
Well, you’ve been locked away most of your life. I mean, you can’t compare your journey to anyone else.
He was faring better in society than he was a year ago. He had a great gorgeous woman who went against her family for him.
So, what if she calls her house her house? She’d been doing that before he moved in; it would take time to change that habit.
But watching Devil Wears Prada? Maybe I’d draw a line there.
Some people fall upward, and Tierra is one such person. From Vic to Jemma’s dad’s bed? Her dedication to sleeping her way to the top was admirable. I’m not judging her; she does what she must. She never hurts anyone; if anything, she gets hurt.
Tierra: Okay, well, I’m not going anywhere, so I suggest that you get used to me being around.
Jemma: Okay, well, love interests come and go, but daughters are forever.
Tierra: You have to move out at some point.
Kevin and Maisha kissed. Will they stay together? Also, I’m happy that the other girl dumped him. She was boring, really.
One would wonder where law enforcement is for Douda to get away with so much. They must have him on a list somewhere, right? The new crew member who Douda took a liking to has cop written all over him. Would it be nice for someone to get this dude, amirite?
The Chi covers a lot, and few shows can pull off such a wide narrative in an hour without feeling like they’re rushing somewhere.
“New Chi City” pulled off that major feat effortlessly.
What did you think? What are some of your future predictions?
Let us know in the comments section.
Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on Twitter.