REVIEW: ‘Love Life,’ Season 2 Episodes 4-6

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Love Life Season 2 Episodes 4-6 - But Why Tho

Love Life Season 2 Episodes 4-6 continues Marcus’s (William Jackson Harper) journey learning what love means to him in this HBO Max Original created by Sam Boyd. In this middle set of episodes, Marcus finds himself in a rut, a bit like how these episodes find themselves, until the end.

Love isn’t exclusively between two partners. Self love, love between family, love between friends—these are all important kinds of love too. And Love Life Season 2 Episodes 4-6′s most interesting moments come when this is what the focus is on, whether overtly or not. Marcus and his father (John Earl Jelks) get some much-needed time together. Marcus and Mia (Jessica Williams) get a chance to reconnect. And through it all, Marcus is really forced to reckon with his own relationship with himself and whether he’s okay with how he has been living.

I wish he’d just get a therapist though, if I’m honest, and he even makes a joke about it with his sister (Punkie Johnson) at one point. Because for all of the parsing of his feelings he is sort of doing, none of it feels particularly helpful to his longterm happiness. It all continues to feel in service to the version of himself he thinks he needs to put on for others, not truly himself.  What I can’t tell, is whether this is an intentional choice by the actor and directors, and that it’s all going to come full circle in the final episodes of the season, or if it’s my own expectations rubbing off onto him. Either way, it’s the middle chapter of Marcus’s saga, so I will patiently wait to find out and reserve judgment until I’ve seen the full picture.

I can’t help but read Marcus this way though. Jackson Harper is an impressive actor and I know the signs of somebody who is repressing themselves in service of the needs of others, or even just an unwillingness to acknowledge the repression and try to grow. Between my share of unhealthy relationships and a journey to understanding my queerness, I see a lot of the same hesitations, vocal inflections, and facial expressions I’ve seen on myself over many years. I will be shocked and perhaps a little disappointed if these subtleties don’t bear fruits in the season’s finale.

Something the season does very directly confront is Marcus’s Blackness and all of the ways that influences his love life and his views on love. A plot point that I thought at first was oddly repetitive from the first season turns totally on its head quickly when race becomes a predominant part of the scenario, not for the first time in the season. Reconciling with love and finding one’s self requires attending to your whole person, and I appreciate the way Love Life Season 2 Episodes 4-6 makes clear that race is one of the facets of Marcus’s life that he is especially sensitive about and less willing to make mistakes around than pretty much anything else. I doubt this is the last time that race becomes an important part of Marcus’s story and I’m looking forward to seeing how it interplays with his journey as a whole.

Love Life Season 2 Episodes 4-6 is not as memorable as the first set of episodes from this season until the end, where it takes Marcus’s quest for finding himself to new challenging heights, for him and for the viewer. It addresses issues not often depicted in this type of television and I’m fully ready to see how the story finishes unfolding.


Love Life Season 2 Episodes 4-6
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

Love Life Season 2 Episodes 4-6 is not as memorable as the first set of episodes from this season until the end, where it takes Marcus’s quest for finding himself to new challenging heights, for him and for the viewer. It addresses issues not often depicted in this type of television and I’m fully ready to see how the story finishes unfolding.