‘Star’ Season 1 Episode 3 Recap: ‘Next of Kin’

Star_S1E3_RecapStar returned with a new drama-filled episode last night that focused on one of the show’s most compelling characters, Simone, after she accidentally overdosed at the close of last week’s show.

The show opened with Simone still in the hospital and the audience finally got to meet she and Star’s mother, Mary, by way of a deathbed vision. Mary’s voice is a unique and beautiful as the show’s been teasing since its premiere and through her song we learn she’s ready for Simone to come join her in the afterlife. Star, however, soon appears singing in the vision, begging her sister not to leave her. Eventually, Simone regains consciousness (because killing off one of your main actresses during the first season is a little too Game of Thrones for Lee Daniels).

While Simone was fighting (or deciding?) to come back from the great beyond, Star and Alexandra hit up a club together. Neither has any idea what’s happened to Simone at this point, so they’re still focused on getting that demo completed- they’re so determined, in fact, that Alexandra used her dad’s connections to get them some facetime with Big Boi. The girls convince him to help them out (while he warns that they’d better actually have talent since he’s only helping them because of who Alex’s dad is). Star calls to share the good news with Simone, but instead Cotton (Carlotta’s daughter) answers her phone and breaks the news.

Star heads straight to the hospital and she’s (understandably) shaken up- between the two just recently being reunited and Simone almost dying the same way their mom did. As she’s trying to get information from the staff, she also manages to out Carlotta as not their mother (a lie Carlotta told the staff to keep Simone out of the system). Eventually, Star makes her way to her sister’s hospital room and begins singing her a song that, we see through flashbacks, their mother used to sing to them. As the song ends, Simone’s eyes open and Star wastes no time telling her sister how pissed she is at her. Simone is ready to get back to life, not only because she wasn’t trying to kill herself, but she’s also terrified that her abusive foster dad will be able to track her there if she stays too long.

Meanwhile, at Carlotta’s salon, Hunter Morgan, Jahil’s godson and Star’s possible love interest, turned up looking for her because she’d apparently been ignoring his calls. After freaking out that another celebrity has shown up at their shop (especially Miss Lawrence, who delivers gold every time she opens her mouth), they tell Hunter that Star is at the hospital.

Back at the hospital, more drama is going down after Carlotta and Star find out that they want to keep Simone on a 72-hour psychiatric hold. Star disagrees and wants her sister out of that hospital ASAP, which leads to another verbal match between she and Carlotta, whom she says should have been there for the two of them when they really needed her. Star walks off in a huff and Hunter comes strolling into the hospital with flowers for Simone in hand. He and Star have a brief exchange in which he tells her he’d like to take her out. After telling him that she’s “not tryna be some WAG”, she says she’ll think about the date.

Simone gets a hospital visitor from Pastor Bobby and she opens up to him about believing in angels. She also tells him that she really didn’t try to kill herself, and he believes her, but still encourages her to open up to someone about whatever she’s dealing with.

Alexandra decided to get a little quality time with her new boo Derek in and the two discuss their lives. He thinks that Star and Simone are going to get Alex into some real trouble and that she stands a better chance at success if she goes back to Julliard. He thinks Alex is sheltered but that in today’s world, that’s the better option for your kids.

The show also went more in-depth with Carlotta and her daughter, Cotton, who was born a male and now wants to finish her transition with bottom surgery. Cotton accuses Carlotta of wishing Simone was her real daughter, to which Carlotta replies “I named you Arnold after my father.” Cotton decides to reveal to her mother that she’s already saved half of the money for her surgery and declares that Arnold is dead. Carlotta questions how she’s saved so much in such a short period of time, and Cotton simply tells her “We all do what we gotta do, Mama.” There’s a lot more to come from this relationship which, like Simone, is one of the more compelling storylines that have begun to take shape so far.

Jahil is busy earning that money that he kissed Maggie for by completing the smuggling job she put him onto, but he soon discovers that this isn’t any run-of-the-mill drug smuggling operation- it’s a sex trafficking gig. When he finds out that the van he’s left with is filled with hispanic women, he tells them all that the police will be there to help soon and to tell the cops that they were all brought there against their will after having their passports stolen. Then he dips.

So how will Jahil get out of freeing all of someone’s sex trafficking inventory? By faking a carjacking of course! He heads to Hunter’s to ask him to punch him in the face because he’s in trouble. Hunter is more concerned about his insured hands and the possibility of ruining his career, however, so Jahil hands him an object to use instead.

While Jahil is busy doing all kinds of illegal foolery to get the money for the group’s recording time, Star and Alexandra devise a plan (aka busting Carlotta’s window at her house to get her to leave the hospital) to break Simone out of the hospital so that they can make it to the studio in time to record their demo with Big Boi.

The plan works and the girls are in the studio…until Carlotta storms in and the drama between she and the girls turns Big Boi off, who shuts the whole operation down. Carlotta eventually talks Simone into returning to the hospital by reminding her that since she’s missing the police could get involved, which would definitely get her put back into the system.

Back at the hospital, Simone finally opens up to Carlotta about what she went through in her foster home, telling her that not only did her foster dad rape her, and keep her out of school specifically for that purpose, but that her foster mother knew it and allowed it to happen because the more he messed with Simone, the less he messed with her. Alexandra, who finally made time to visit her friend, showed up in just enough time to hear her whole story, unbeknownst to Simone.

Star and Jahil meet and have a conversation that’s filled with this weird chemistry. The two discussed Jahil’s black eye, which Star doesn’t buy the story behind, and missing the demo deadline, or cutting it close with just 2 hours left. Star comes up with the idea to “take the mountain to Muhammad”, meaning setting up makeshift studio at the hospital so Simone can record, and that’s exactly what they do.

The girls record their demo with Carlotta and Jahil looking on proudly and the audience is treated to another fantasy performance sequence with the girls in thigh highs that perfectly match their hospital gowns. Jahil uploads the demo in the nick of time and all is well…that is, until we see that Simone’s foster dad has started his search to find her and bring her home.

More on that next week.

Catch the next episode of Star when it airs, Wednesday, Jan 18 at 9pm ET/PT on Fox.

Photo Credit: Carin Baer/FOX