Clipped – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

Doc – 1992

Episode 4 of Clipped starts with Doc in 1992, right off the cusp of the Los Angeles Riots. As a reult of this, Doc is treated differently as a Black man. He’s also angry about what’s happening in the city, but tells his wife, Kris, he’d be out with his brothers and sisters, if he wasn’t right in the cusp of getting to the playoffs.

Doc is starting to question his own morals, and with a curfew in place at practice and Doc focusing on his basketball, his coach Elgin is disappointed he’s not getting more into the Riots. This sheds a new light on Doc’s feelings about playing for Donald Sterling. He’s angry, and caught in between the two sides.

V – 2004

We then jump to 2004 and see what’s been happening with V. She’s working in a food truck called “Catering to the stars” and trying to get famous on the latest reality shows. She’s eking out a living, but isn’t savvy enough (just yet) to use her body and looks to get men wrapped round her finger.

It’s here she meets Deja, who encourages her to show up at a party that night, given there are a bunch of reality TV producers attending. V knows who Deja is, having read her book and seemingly idolized her rise to fame. After putting on a good impression, she’s invited along to this party. It’s a mask party, so V’s identity is obscured, but she struggles to fit in.

After a rather horrible incident with an optometrist, Deja catches up with V at the party. She points out she’s on probation for shoplifting. Deja scoffs at this, deciding that V needs to “bargain with the devil if you wanna get ahead.” She knows how to play the game and points out V should flaunt her body and get a sugar daddy in order to make it big.

This Sanctuary party is hosted by a sports agent. V isn’t like the other women here, and they speak plainly in the kitchen together. It actually helps this agent open up to her, after some light flirting.

The pair get along well, explaining their world view and insecurities. V feels like she’s on the wrong level and wants to chase happiness by making it into the bigtime. She thinks the money and gifts are going to change her perception on the world. V senses an opportunity and suggests he take her under his wing… and it works.

Shelly and Donald – 2006

So what of Shelly during this time? Well, we cut to 2006 and see her with Donald, right on the cusp of Justine’s husband walking out. Don and Shelly claim that things are good, but in reality, their marriage is a mess.

Shelly is suing a woman called Alexandra, off the back of Donald’s suggestion, for apparently being “conned” by a con artist that convinced him to buy her a house. In reality, despite Don claiming she’s a prostitute, this was a full-on affair, with an audio recording even claiming that Donald was trying to get her pregnant but he wasn’t able to. Shelly just shrugs it off.

There’s also another lawsuit too, coming from a group of tenants in Koreatown at an apartment. Shelly believes this is just non-profits taking advantage of their hospitality, when in reality things are far worse.

This discrimination suit includes a claim that Donald is responsible for the death of a tenant. Among the testimonies is a supervisor, who retorts that Donald told him to evict the woman simply because she’s Black “and smells”. He wouldn’t listen to her concerns about repairs in her apartment, and she died from a stroke, due to distress.

Ebony’s testimony is sickening, especially finding out how bad this apartment got, with floodwater and a toilet that wouldn’t work. Ebony wanted her mum to leave, but she decided to stay and fight for what she deemed to be right.

Justine wants Shelly to speak to Ebony and hear her testimony first-hand. She also encourages her to ditch the bad guy and be free. Shelly though is afraid to be on her own and decides to stand by Donald’s side no matter what. Of course, through it all Donald doesn’t take any of this seriously.

2008 – Elgin

We then jump to 2008 for our final perspective. Coach Elgin. He’s let go right on the cusp of Christmas. He’s been the Clippers GM for 22 years and underpaid by a longshot. It’s apparently due to his track record, and Andy tries to play the system… but Elgin is having none of it.

Elgin points out that he’s swallowed all of this BS for years. Nobody bothers to ask about the trades he couldn’t get Donald to approve, nor has he ever spilled the details abut the bare-bones operation they have going on here. He’s done all of this because of his love of the game. It kills him to have to stomach all these losses, but if he had the right resources, he’s convinced he could have taken the team higher.

Elgin has decided he’s going to hit a lawsuit against the NBA for racial discrimination. He knows about the housing discrimination lawsuit, which was completely paid off, and he brings up the racial inequality in the league. He knows he won’t win, and this could ruin him, but he’s convinced that the world needs to know the truth.

Predictably, the lawsuit is thrown out, but Elgin has a history of standing up and doing what’s right. He puts his activism and beliefs before the team, something that Doc knows about all too well, given his past. Will Doc do the same thing?

The Episode Review

This flashback episode does a good job of fleshing out all the different characters and their journey to this point right now. They say a leopard never changes its spots and that much is especially true when it comes to Donald. He’s always had a history of acting this way, and never taking responsibility for his actions.

The fact that Shelly just stands by his side and swallows all of this, is indicative of how much of a strange-hold he has over her. Hearing the full extent of the affair is hard to stomach too, and you can’t help but feel bad for Shelly.

Meanwhile, Doc’s rage and anger over the whole situation involving the racial inequality and riots in LA is a good way of showing the disdain and anger he feels but has managed to bury. The juxtaposition between him and Elgin is fascinating to see and it’ll be interesting to see exactly what Doc chooses to do in the present.

The episode is good, for the most part, and the flashbacks work well to flesh out more of the past and set the foundations for more drama to follow. Roll on the next episode.

Previous Episode

Next Episode

Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!

  • Episode Rating

Leave a comment