‘Love Is___’ When Things Heat Up
“You know what? You just make me so mad, but I love you,” a boyfriend once told me in the middle of a fight about trust.
“Excuse me? What did you just say to me?” I questioned with an attitude. It was the first time he’d said it and how dare he say it like that! “You don’t get to just say that and move on.”
“When I tell you I got it, I got it,” he argued. I was mad, and he was mad, but in the heated moment, I knew that everything we were saying to each other was true. I knew that there were some honest feelings in those arguments.
On episode 5 of OWN’s new show Love Is___, Nuri and Yasir’s conversations — and actions — are all heat. Nuri went on the ski trip. She’s sure about her feelings for Yasir, but not so sure if she can trust what he’s saying, especially since he just left her in the hands of Keith after questioning her character. (Mara Brock Akil, the real Nuri, says she didn’t go on the ski trip in real life, but wondered what would have happened if she did.)
And Yasir? Well, he’s pissed. He told Nuri to just trust him, he’d explain everything, and before he did, she went and made plans to go with Keith. He loves her and thought she was different. But, if she doesn’t trust him, he’s not so sure if he should keep going after her.
They’re learning to trust each other and their decisions, but when Nuri and Yasir’s heated argument turns into a spicy “break up to make up” situation, we know the two will be OK — at least for now.
Here’s what else went down in episode 5, “Acceptance”:
Skiing with ‘The Blue Crew’
The 2020 Nuri retells a version of the fight (the one at the end of episode 4) with her saying sorry to Keith and running after Yasir. But she didn’t really do that, and here she is in 1997 stuck with a guy who’s she’s really not into but trying to make it work.
When they get to the cabin, all of Keith’s friends, who refer to themselves as “The Blue Crew,” keep calling Nuri Keith’s girl. They even have a sweater made for her marking the nickname. They keep encouraging her to do stuff like sit on Keith’s lap, and Nuri’s just not interested in getting close to him like that. She looks extremely uncomfortable but is trying really hard to pretend like she’s not. Awkwaaaaaaard.
Things get a little wild when most of “The Blue Crew” — sans Nuri and one friend who’s a doctor — do shrooms. A super-high Keith takes all his clothes off in the living room, putting his ear up to doors to hear the other couples having sex in their respective rooms and trying to get Nuri to do the same. But, she won’t even kiss Keith who eventually admits that he actually likes his friend Todd and starts crying. Damn.
The next week, when Nuri and Keith are both back at work, he pretends he was just saying all of that because he realized Nuri was uncomfortable. That’s a lie, but it shows Keith’s willingness to try to fit in some box that the people around him expect him to be in.
I wasn’t an adult in the late ‘90s, but I remember the stigma surrounding same-sex relationships in the black community — some of which we still see today. Keith, a successful black Ivy League graduate would be expected to live a certain life, marry a certain type of woman, and start a family like the rest of his friends. Nuri, he admits several times, fits the mold of who he’s “supposed” to be with.
Twenty years later, there are still ideas of how successful black people should live. But we see people working to not just break out of that box, but crush it every day.
An unforgiving Yasir
When Nuri gets back home, there are no messages from Yasir. He doesn’t call, and she persuades Angela to help track him down when her boss, Norman, pulls her into his office to work on some episode rewrites. Angela spots him at the coffee shop and pages Nuri to let her know.
Nuri sneaks out of Norman’s office to find Yasir, who’s sitting at the shop reading. He gives her a dry-as-hell “hey” and says none of this would’ve happened if she had’ve just trusted him. She adds: or if he hadn’t questioned her character.
He says she should have never gone on the ski trip, that it doesn’t matter if she didn’t have sex with Keith, and gets mad that Nuri didn’t believe him when he said he was dedicated to their relationship. Nuri counters that she’s risked a lot to be with him and that the fact she’s left work twice to do so should let him know how much she cares. He doesn’t care about her job, he says, and they keep arguing until he just gets up and walks away.
‘Break Up to Make Up’
An upset Nuri goes home and cries. She’s pacing back and forth, an indication of what’s going on in her mind, but when she checks the mail, she finds the note Yasir left for her days before, asking her to please not go on the ski trip.
She hadn’t seen it before, and now, she’s gotta find him. She checks to see if Yasir is at the coffee shop and then drives over to Ruby’s apartment but stops before knocking on the door, likely remembering that her presence could hurt Ruby who’s told her before (before Ruby and Yasir made their mutual roommate arrangement) not to call there. As Nuri is walking away, Ruby comes to the door and asks who she’s looking for. Nuri says she’s lost and that she’s sorry — she’s at the wrong place, she says.
And she’s sort of right because when she pulls back into her own driveway, there’s Yasir waiting for her on her front porch. They come face-to-face and immediately start kissing. Yasir reminds her of her rule that the only man she wants to have sex with under her roof is her husband — so, the spiciness goes down outside on the back patio.
Sadly, the debut season of Love Is___ is over. Are you feeling the show as much as I am? Let me know!
Header image: Love Is__ on Facebook