‘The Quad’ recap: Dr. Eva Fletcher gets more than what she bargained for
GAMU’s financial woes, jailed students and corrupt faculty nearly get the best of the school’s new president
Season one, episode two — The Quad: “Elevators”
This was the hashtag viewers used to become personal detectives, discussing clues and sharing hints via social media after The Quad’s drama-filled, 90-minute series debut. While those watching hoped the drama would pick up exactly where it left off, the second episode began with a typical day in Georgia A&M University’s yard.
Students hang out between classes as Fetty Wap’s “679” serves as the scene’s background music. The miniparty continues until the doors leading to one of the university’s dorms flies open. The music stops. The laughter and conversations turn to whispers as some students pull out their phones to record the scene.
Flanked by the two police officers who made the arrest, a disheveled Cedric Hobbs (Alex Smith) is led through the yard, forced past curious peers who immediately begin to speculate, adding to the rumors that he was the one who strangled his girlfriend, Chantel Brussard (Candace B. Harris), to death and left her body in a vacant field.
Dr. Eva Fletcher (Anika Noni Rose) spends most of her first days at the university putting out fires, and this incident would be no different from the others. Fletcher pulls up to the scene in time to see Hobbs being assisted into the back of the police car. His eyes briefly catch her stare before the car — and her latest problem in her ever-growing list of emergencies — pulls off. Fletcher takes a few questions from the media about the incident before returning to her office for a breather.
At least that’s what she thinks.
Fletcher is met by the university’s dean of students Carlton Pettiway (E. Roger Mitchell), who has some damning evidence of her daughter Sydney’s wild behavior, including topless photos from the party that left Sydney (Jazz Raycole) recovering from alcohol poisoning, that would be sure to make Fletcher cave to his demands. Except Pettiway thought wrong. Fletcher, unbothered, challenges Pettiway to come with something a little heavier if he’s going to try to stop her. Before the meeting wraps up, Fletcher reminds Pettiway that she was hired to assume a role that he wasn’t equipped to fulfill. Boom.
After achieving a small victory, Fletcher is met with an even bigger problem. The university’s $150,000 unpaid utility bill leaves students without water. In efforts to quickly resolve that problem, Fletcher ends up borrowing the money from her and her husband’s joint bank account.
Meanwhile, Hobbs desperately tries to hold on to hope while maintaining his innocence. His mind wanders to a birthday when he was a child. Right before blowing out the lone candle on a cake his mother baked for his special day, shots rang out. Hobbs and his mother dropped to the floor, prompting his mother to tell her young son how smart he was and vowing to make sure he would never se the inside of a jail cell in his life.
When his mother does come to visit him, her time with her son is short. She’s displeased with Hobbs’ court-appointed lawyer, who attempts to persuade the teen to take a plea deal for a crime he says he didn’t commit. So she returns to Chicago to work and pay for a decent lawyer and Hobbs is left alone with his thoughts. Feeling defeated and mourning the death of his girlfriend, his hope begins to fade.
For Better or Worse
Facing mounting debt, Fletcher consults the university’s athletic director Eugene Hardwick (Sean Blakemore), who claims to know a wealthy GAMU alumnus who may be able to alleviate the financial bind. The two travel to an upscale gentlemen’s club owned by Dominique Briggs (Coby Bell) — aka Jason Pitts from BET’s hit series The Game. Briggs, similar to Pitts, maintains the same arrogant yet flirtatious attitude and rich lifestyle as the owner of several establishments, including the club Fletcher and Hardwick are standing in. While Fletcher subtly begs for Briggs’ money, an inappropriate joke leads her to walk away from the proposition.
Meanwhile, Hobbs, still jailed, is visited by Fletcher who immediately notices his indifferent demeanor and black eye. After promising to find the student a good lawyer, Hobbs, hardened by his time in jail already, lets Fletcher know he’s already given up on himself. “You haven’t heard? I’m living my future,” Hobbs says coldly. “Can’t nobody help me.”
As Fletcher makes her way home for the least bit of normalcy, she’s met by her husband, who initially came to check on Sydney but ended up confronting his wife about the missing $150,000. An argument ensues, and Fletcher admits to using the money to pay the school’s water bill. Fletcher becomes vulnerable, breaking down in front of her husband and explaining the troubles she’s experienced in her new role. Emotions turn to passion, which leads to a steamy scene between the two and pillow talk with the couple reminiscing about the happier times in their marriage. Fletcher, hopeful that their problems are now water under the bridge, is quickly reminded by her husband that their marriage still needs work before he leaves her alone in the middle of the night.
In one of the final scenes of the episode, Fletcher heads back to the gentlemen’s club to meet Briggs alone. She apologizes for her behavior during their last meeting, which led to a brief conversation about the financial problems the school is having. Briggs explains what GAMU means to him while telling Fletcher the story of how attending the university changed his life. He offers her $250,000, which she gladly accepts.
So, there we have it. Although the drama was kept to a minimum in this episode — at least compared with the last episode — there were enough unanswered questions and cliffhangers to leave the audience wondering what could possibly happen next.
Man, episode three seems so far away.