Good Trouble Season 5 Episode 14 Review: Party of One


Mariana may finally be onto Silas.

Yes, the Silas saga was featured again during Good Trouble Season 5 Episode 14, as the hour provided us with some updates on the case and placed Mariana and Joaquin back in one another’s orbit.

And hey, we’re not mad at that because it’s always a delight to see Bryan Craig, and it’s only fair that they revisit Joaquin and Mariana’s connection after all that “Eviana” goodness.

But the hour also saw things heat up for Gael and Jay, much to our delight, while things sort of cooled off with Davia and Dennis.

But most notably, this installment marked Cierra Ramirez‘s directorial debut, and she did a tremendous job.

It’s always lovely when an actor gets behind the camera because they bring forth their skills and knowledge of the characters.

Some of the strongest scenes that wonderfully highlighted this were directly at the Coterie. Homage was paid to the place every time the setting was there, reminding us that this apartment space is its very own character.

It’s refreshing when it’s treated as such.

But Ramirez had the task of navigating her cast through an occasionally emotional hour with its fair share of drama.

The opener was bemusing in how it nodded at viewers and their varying reactions to the ongoing plots.

Good Trouble is at its best when it doesn’t take itself too seriously and recognizes the impression it gives viewers.

Related: Good Trouble Review: Hanging By a Moment

The review calling out everyone was hilarious. It also touched upon what the characters would face during the installment.

Luca’s love triangle, for example, is bothersome mainly because of how alarmingly aloof he is about Mabel and her feelings for him.

How he hasn’t noticed that the girl he often flirted with has interest in him is beyond me.

The ultimate scene-stealer award goes to the chef, who couldn’t help but share his insight and observations about this love triangle and give Mable some advice.

You have to love this man for having the time and energy to run the entire kitchen essentially, put Dennis Cooper in check frequently, and keep up with the kitchen scuttlebug and love lives of a bunch of folks roughly 15 years his junior.

He’s inadvertently the most interesting part about this stupid love triangle.

Luca Ryusaki has so much potential as a character that it continues to be underwhelming that he got saddled with a bland love triangle.

He’s getting closer to Riley and still doesn’t realize that not only does Mabel harbor feelings for him, but she’s tired of being the person who runs to when he’s seeking advice about women and dating or needs to talk things through about Riley.

Mabel is prime for telling Luca the truth about how she feels, and then, he’ll be confronted with making a choice, assuming he hasn’t gone all in with Riley yet.

Not only is he unwittingly bogged down with his own love life, but he stumbles into Denvia’s as well.

It was long overdue for Dennis Cooper to learn the truth about Davia and Brayden.

However, it’s unfortunate that he had to learn through the drama that unfolded when Luca overheard Davia’s castmates spreading a rumor about her cheating on Dennis.

It’s something Dennis and Davia Moss should’ve discussed before.

Ideally, we’re supposed to glean that they’re a happy, loving, average couple who goes through typical lover quarrels and spats, and we’re not supposed to read anything further into that.

But these days, it feels like Denvia is bickering more often than not, and every issue between them seems to build. They rotate between communicating reasonably and not at all.

We got jealous, petty, judgmental, and mean girl Davia Moss again when Ryan showed up at Haven. Every time you think she’s evolved from how she used to be in the earlier seasons, this version of her rears its ugly head.

There was no reason for Davia to give Ryan the energy that she was or not so subtly letting her know that she and Dennis were together.

Related: Good Trouble Review: I Am Doll Parts

Ryan was only interested in helping Dennis because she knew this was his dream, and she was happy for him.

And Ryan wasn’t wrong about Davia and her friends being too loud during the critic’s stay in the restaurant. Her loud laughing during those moments felt exaggerated and annoying.

By the night’s end, Denvia had to deal with the potential review the food critic would leave based on his experience at Haven and the rumor about her cheating on Dennis with Brayden.

Dennis was right to call Davia out on how she deflected from the kiss by focusing on Ryan. But he was dead wrong for bringing up her affair with a married guy.

You know, you’re always bringing up how I took off after we had sex, but I never bring up how you cheated with a married man.


They don’t argue fair. It was funny when Dennis doubled back to sleep on the other side of the bed because he knew she’d bring up the time he abandoned her if he left.

They know each other too well because they can pull these cards out to use against each other whenever it’s convenient.

The rumor will likely lead to more drama surrounding this play, not the intended kind.

We got our first glimpse of Lyric since the series returned, and Gael Martinez‘s custody arrangement with his sister and brother-in-law appears to be working out.

They have completely dropped this story.

His father-daughter sweet moments are the type of thing that could tug at Jay’s heart, and we may be taking steps forward in this dance between the two.

Gael Martinez trying to suss out if Jay is queer or not was odd. The moment they zoomed in on the pride flag on his backpack, it was obvious where they were heading with that.

But a Pride pin in no way indicates if a person is queer or not. And Gael’s crush is endearing, but he’d have done better asking Jay flat out if she’s into guys and, more specifically, into him.

Jay: What made you want to be an artist?
Gael: I never really decided that I wanted to be an artist. I just felt like I was. By the time I could hold a pencil, I was drawing and creating. I don’t know; I guess it felt like it chose me.

The two spent hours taking care of Lyric together and followed that up with a night of drinking wine and talking to each other about all sorts of things.

There’s a spark there. By now, we don’t have time to waste on Gael dancing around his chemistry with Jay, jumping to conclusions about matters, and not going after what he so clearly desires. It’s time to dive right into things.

It’s good to see him happy and having this excellent connection with someone new. Jay is a good person, and it’s promising that he spent some time with Lyric, so Gael introduced this man to more than one crucial aspect of his life.

Gael even shared the street art with him, and Jay was impressed by it. They both seem like passionate people, and we haven’t seen that light in Gael’s eyes in such a long time that the quicker they press forward with this possible romance, the better.

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I’m rooting for them.

I’m also rooting for this cult arc to be over, but it persists like a fly at a barbecue.

It didn’t even register that Mariana and Joaquin Perez hadn’t caught up much about the case, so she had no idea about Andrea’s death.

Mariana was too preoccupied with other things. But Joaquin also didn’t want to stress her further out when he noticed how this had taken a toll on her.

I genuinely appreciate the relationship that these two have. Whether it blossoms into a full-fledged romance, it’s still a special bond, and they are essential to each other.

Their connection is something we haven’t seen for Mariana in some time, and it’s not a bond that I expect will vanish regardless of how things play out between the two.

They’ve bonded through trying times, and I don’t foresee them not being in each other’s lives moving forward.

Mariana Adams Foster and Joaquin have a fantastic way of holding each other accountable, calling one another to the carpet, and being honest. That’s refreshing in a series where the characters often hold things back.

Mariana: Maybe this is becoming an obsession that we’re both using to avoid dealing with the fact that Evan was shot, and it could have been any one of us.
Joaquin: This obsession saved my sister from Silas, so if I didn’t go after this obsession —
Mariana: You know what? She moved on. Maybe that’s part of why Jenna left. She couldn’t heal with us constantly retraumatizing her with our Silas vendetta. We have to move on. I’m done with this, and I think that you should too.

They’ve both obsessed so much over this Silas situation, which has been detrimental to their mental well-being.

Mariana was right to remind Joaquin that he was fighting to avenge his sister when she probably couldn’t handle being consumed in the Silas stuff all over again.

Joaquin has had tunnel vision about this since he arrived at the Coterie, and he’s only gotten more immersed in this since.

And Joaquin knows that this is weighing heavily on Mariana, and she’s still wracked with guilt over Evan’s shooting.

I can appreciate those honest moments the two have with one another.

Mariana: Former lovers Mariana and Joaquin are suppressing their PTSD by playing amateur detectives.
Joaquin: All while denying their obvious sexual chemistry. Just bump uglies already and get one with it.

Joaquin tapped into his resources to test the theory when she opened up about how she thought Silas was in her room.

The C.S.I. scene with The Who playing in the background was a fun scene.

Sadly, it didn’t produce the fingerprints Joaquin anticipated. However, he’s still adamant about Silas popping up in Mariana’s room, and now her initial suspicions are reaffirmed because of the missing Callie doll.

The turmoil this entire thing puts Mariana and Joaquin through is heartbreaking, but there’s relief in knowing that they have one another, understand what each other is going through, and can lean on the Coterie.

They don’t have to face all of this alone, but Silas has this way of getting under a person’s skin, past their defenses and leaving them unsettled.

And for all of Joaquin Perez‘s troubles, Jenna is right back in Silas’ clutches.

The question is if this is a strategic move she made to assist her brother in taking Silas down or if she fell susceptible to Silas again.

She was struggling with the idea of returning to the Farm before; it could go either way.

Over to you, Good Trouble Fanatics. Do you think Jenna is part of a larger plan? Let’s discuss it!

Good Trouble airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on Freeform. You can stream it on Hulu the next day.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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