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‘The Quad’ recap: What’s done in the dark comes to light

This episode, members of GAMU learn the hard way

Season one, episode three — The Quad: “Invisible Man”

What’s done in the dark will always come to light, and this episode proved that adage to be true in every sense.

Although there’s a strong focus on extracurricular activities, especially the band and football team while preparing for Georgia A&M University’s (GAMU) season opener, the episode also takes the viewers through some of the decisions from the past that have followed GAMU students and staff members into their current lives.

The scene opens with band member Noni Williams struggling during practice. Her missteps leave her at risk for losing her spot at first chair, a position — much like her position in the band — came fairly easy. While attempting to take on the daunting task of playing the saxophone and perfecting a complex routine, drum major Danny Brown is enjoying his time to flex his muscles, which we’re all a bit tired of anyway.

On the football field, the GAMU Fighting Mountain Cats are trying to break the curse of a 0-3 home-opener record, and coach Eugene Hardwick battles to figure out if he should stick with his trusty starting quarterback, or allow BoJohn Folsom (Jake Allyn) — the former five-star recruit from Texas whom GAMU is giving a second chance — to prove that Hardwick made the right decision in signing him.

While Hardwick ponders what to do, Dr. Eva Fletcher is wondering what to make of her own life, as well as the lives of her students. In a meeting between Fletcher and the district attorney, Fletcher learns that Cedric Cobbs has been released from jail. At the same time, Fletcher is being texted seductive pictures by her former fling and favorite side piece, Six Pack, who seems to temporarily steal Fletcher’s attention from what matters the most.

Trouble on the field

As the football game approaches, Folsom tries not to focus on the attention that will be on him if he starts — that is, until his father arrives and exposes the real reason he bothered to show his face. While most parents would be there to support their child in a loving manner, Folsom’s father was there to make demands. He reveals that his son’s career is riding on his football future at GAMU in order to become a recruit worthy of being scouted by larger colleges. His career, he believes, is supposed to be more than playing at “Colored U.” Hard-nosed and racist. Perfect.

While Folsom absorbs the mounting pressure, Williams is summoned by band director Cecil Diamond, who expresses his displeasure with Williams’ performance on the field. Diamond’s cold and unsympathetic criticism of her dancing struggles leads her to practice her steps all night, only to fail once again in performing the steps as intended. That one move forced Williams back to where she once began at fourth chair. Right after Diamond makes this announcement, he steps away, coughing and short of breath, showing signs of distress that no one seems to notice, but may affect him in episodes to come.

On the other side of town, Cobbs is released to his waiting mother — someone he’s initially not too pleased about seeing after being abandoned by her and left to sit in jail. He attempts to put the past behind him and tries to talk his mother into letting him go back to Chicago at least for his slain girlfriend Chantal’s funeral until he receives the heartbreaking news that she had been buried the day before. Cobbs visits the site where Chantal’s body was discovered and leaves a bouquet of long-stemmed roses and a teddy bear, finally able to grieve over her death for the first time.

The scene cuts to Fletcher, who is still creating problems for herself while visiting Six Pack, whom she refers to as Jason in a serious tone. (Hey, at least he now has a real name.) She weakly attempts to let Jason know what they once had was over, and that she would rather focus on salvaging what’s left of her 18-year marriage that she has tainted with this affair. Jason is unfazed, and confident that she’ll be back — he’s heard this same song and dance plenty times before.

The day after Fletcher “ends” her affair for the umpteenth time, her finally fed up husband serves her with divorce papers right before she leaves for work. That causes Fletcher to go back to Jason, whom she quit less than 24 hours before — this time, without the guilt. Or, at least, this is the way it’s probably rationalized.

Back on the yard, students are tailgating and getting hyped for the highly anticipated season-opening football game. After a strong pep talk in the locker room, coach Hardwick sticks with his starting quarterback, but warns Folsom to be ready for any and everything.

With the opposing team leading 17-14, Hardwick makes a risky decision to put Folsom in with 13 seconds left in the game.

His dad, as proud as a peacock, cheers his son on until Folsom’s first touch, which results in a sack and fumble. Only by the grace of a last-minute GAMU fumble recovery and touchdown run and a solid block by Folsom did the school win the game. While the team celebrated, Folsom ended up being hemmed up in the stadium tunnel by his father for a poor performance.

There were more faults and fumbles than reasons to celebrate this episode, but next week may be able to turn it all around.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.