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‘The Quad’ recap: Revenge, a confession and some nasty family history

With only one episode left on BET’s HBCU drama, lots of plotlines are up in the air

Season one, episode eight: The Quad — “Their Eyes Were Watching God”

The first season of The Quad has seen many twists and turns, and this episode left viewers with more questions ahead of the season finale.

After band director Cecil Diamond’s scary fall last week during the Marching Mountain Cats’ highly anticipated battle of the bands, Diamond is alive, but in critical condition. As doctors work to stabilize the immobile Diamond, he sees and hears his father criticizing him — giving viewers an early glance of their tumultuous relationship.

On the campus of Georgia A&M University (GAMU), though, life and classes are moving along. The sexual assault conversations seem to have died down, but Sydney Fletcher has yet to return to the university. Students are sitting in the class of professor Ella Grace Caldwell but BoJohn Folsom, Junior and Madison Kelly are goofing around on their phones. As a punishment, and in an attempt to curb future distractions, Caldwell creates a pop-up assignment that asks students to introduce a new piece of information into the culture of GAMU. The students will work in groups that contain both men and women to highlight gender differences on campus.

Folsom and Junior come up with the not-so-bright idea of asking Tiesha Tyson to work with them on their project. Asking Tyson to join the project doesn’t seem like a bad idea, until she learns that Folsom and Junior want her to pretend that they’re all in a sexual relationship with each other. The point, Folsom tries to explain, is to reveal the difference between how people treat women who freely explore their sexuality and how they treat men. Tyson reluctantly agrees in exchange for interviews with every starter on GAMU’s football team.

It’s been a long time since Dominique Briggs made an appearance, but the cocky and outspoken alumnus makes an appointment to see Eva Fletcher to discuss a donor group he’s coordinating to help combat GAMU’s financial problems. Every business meeting Fletcher has turns into a flirt fest, which generally works in the man’s favor. This time, Briggs talks Fletcher into having dinner with him as a “thank you” for his contributions to GAMU.

In an unexpected twist, Chantel’s brother, Dre, visits Cedric Hobbs and roommate Bryce Richardson (Larry Rhem) in their dorm room. Already feeling uneasy about the visit, Richardson excuses himself from the room before Dre reveals to Hobbs that he knows who killed Chantel. The alleged suspect goes by the name of Bones, a street-smart bodyguard who works security details for a Chicago rapper. In between small talk, Dre tells Hobbs about his plans to attack Bones while he and the rapper are in town for a show. Strapped and ready to avenge his sister’s death, Dre asks Hobbs to join him on his quest for revenge and hands him a gun.

Later in the episode, while Richardson is searching for the television remote that Hobbs generally leaves on his bed, he finds the gun and confronts Hobbs about it. When Dre comes back to visit, Richardson confronts him, too, advising Dre to give Hobbs a chance for a better future by leaving him out of a plan that could cost Hobbs his life. It doesn’t change Hobbs’ mind, though, and he continues with his plan to meet Dre and carry out the hit.

In the hospital, Diamond, now stabilized, is visited by his sister Cynthia (Jaqueline Fleming). Diamond demands to know why Cynthia would bring their father to one of his most important events. Their conversation uncovers the years of pain and trauma both Diamond and Cynthia faced while living with their abusive father. When Diamond began receiving music scholarships, essentially a ticket out of hell, he left his mother and sister to fend for themselves, and didn’t reach out to them until his mother’s funeral. Later, Cynthia learns that Diamond is battling lung cancer and seems more open to repair their relationship before it’s too late.

On campus, Folsom, Tyson and Junior begin the first day of their experiment. In the cafeteria, the three begin to openly and loudly discuss their imaginary sexcapades, which kicks off rumors and gossip across social media platforms just as they had intended. Later on in the episode, Tyson checks the social media reactions and is pleased to learn that their social experiment is working, until the comments become degrading. Junior and Folsom blame Tyson for taking her explicit comments too far in the cafeteria, and the project comes unhinged after a spat between the three. After presenting only a small portion of their findings to the class, Caldwell instructs Folsom and Junior to start their project over again — this time urging them to stay on topic.

In Fletcher’s office, two members from I Didn’t Consent, the sexual assault support group that has been working to get Terrence Berry removed from campus, ask to speak to the president. During their meeting, one of the members comes forward and reveals that she, too, had been raped by Berry. Fletcher flies back to Connecticut to surprise Sydney, and discloses the new information she learned. Sydney, who’s still battling post-traumatic stress disorder from the incident, is ready to call the police and have Berry arrested. Fletcher attempts to reassure her daughter that the situation is under control, mainly in efforts to preserve the school’s image, but Sydney grows impatient and is ready to take matters into her own hands.

On the other side of the battle, coach Eugene Hardwick has requested that Berry come to his office. When Berry arrives, Hardwick greets him and introduces him to a defense attorney who’s ready to take his case pro bono. Berry, who maintains his innocence, doesn’t understand why he’d need a lawyer. In a sudden panic, Berry questions if Hardwick doubts his innocence. After explaining to Berry why it’s best to have a lawyer, Hardwick and the attorney ask Berry to once again tell his side of the story.

Hobbs prepares himself for the night of the hit, and goes to the spot where he and Dre are supposed to meet. Except Dre never shows up and leaves Hobbs alone in an area where police are circling the block. After Hobbs finds out that Dre went solo on the job, he’s upset, even after Dre explains that Richardson was right and if Chantel were alive, she wouldn’t want Hobbs getting caught up with the wrong crowd and throwing away a bright future.

With only one episode left in the season, there are many questions regarding GAMU’s future and its students. Will there be a miracle cure for Diamond’s cancer? Was Chantel’s murderer really Bones? Will Hobbs be framed? Is Berry’s collegiate career coming to an end? We have no doubt this show’s season finale will be a shocker.

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.