The Other Black Girl – Episode 9 “To Be Young, Gifted and Broke” Recap & Review

To Be Young, Gifted and Broke

Episode 9 of The Other Black Girl goes back to 2019 at Cooper’s Review, with Hazel interviewing for the post of assistant editor as Chantal Wilson. The editor-in-chief, Anna Voohries, is impressed by Chantal’s writing but discredits her for lack of a college degree.

Chantal is a full-time caretaker for her mother, who is paralysed, and she has no time for college between working and taking care of her mother. Anna suggests that she apply for their unpaid internship position. 

Later, Chantal/Hazel tells her mother about the interview at Cooper’s Review. Her mother thinks she already has a good job, but Hazel says the new position has insurance, and the pay would be enough to hire a caregiver.

Next, Diana celebrates the release of her book at Harvard, and Hazel is in the audience. Hazel asks a question, and the audience thinks it is basic, but Diana still answers her. She asks what Hazel studies, and she says English major when one of the students in the audience murmurs that she has never seen her. Hazel tells her to back off and then leaves. 

Diana finds her in the library, and she admits to not being a student. She tells Diana about her life and asks what would make her life easier. Hazel says she feels stuck as her mother’s caregiver, and Diana tells her about the sisterhood and invites her to dinner. She gives Hazel a copy of her signed novel and insists that she attends the meeting the next day. 

Hazel attends the sisterhood party and meets four women who dote on her and dish compliments before Diana appears. She welcomes Hazel into the sisterhood and then asks the ladies what they want and applies something to their temples. She asks what Chantal wants. She is initially reluctant but then says she has worked so hard and deserves freedom and acceptance. Diana applies the same grease-like product on her temples.

Fast forward to Boston 2021, and Hazel has an itchy scalp before Diana arrives to ask if she is ready for her first assignment. She says she is nervous, but Diana assures her that she will be okay since she finished her 9-month training. Hazel asks Diana if there are any side effects of the grease since she sometimes feels like her scalp is on fire and is starting to lose her memory.

Hazel asks why Diana is doing this, and she says she developed the grease for a friend she tried to help. Also, she says that she is doing it to help black people who are disadvantaged since there aren’t many reports or lawyers who look like them. Her new cover ID is Eva.

The next day, Chantel, now Eva, goes for an interview at the Cooper’s Review, and the editor-in-chief is impressed with her resume and asks her to start immediately. She meets Shani and befriends her. Later, while having a drink, Shani wonders how Eva survives since it seems like everything rolls off her back.

Eva shows her the grease, saying it is like CBD for the soul. Shani smells the grease, but she is reluctant to try it. Eva tries to persuade her, but Shani still refuses and leaves. Later, Eva calls Diana and is distressed about losing Shani. Diana asks if she initiated the involuntary protocol, and Eva says she freaked out. Shani said something that could get her in trouble at work, and Eva recorded it. Diana says she will handle it herself. 

Shani arrives at work to find security packing up her desk and is fired. Her bank account is emptied, and her landlord kicks her out. Someone tries to abduct her, but she escapes. Elsewhere, Eva/Chantal/Hazel disagrees with Diana. She does not like moving around and having to change her name constantly.

Hazel is unhappy that the other girls do not have to do the same things she does, and Diana says it is because they had a life and she did not have to make a big lie like she did for her. She does not like going around ruining people’s lives, and she leaves. Chantal returns home, and after a disagreement with her mother, she returns to Diana.

Diana makes a deal for one final job, after which she will get to keep her identity and be free. Once she completes recruiting Nella, she will no longer be a conditioner. 

Next, Hazel arrives at Wagner Books, and Sophie takes her to meet Richard. At the end of the episode, Hazel asks Richard to tell her all she needs to know about Nella Rogers. 

The Episode Review

The episode is like an origin story of Hazel from her humble background as Chantal to the transformations until she joins Wagner Books. It wraps up the mystery and the suspense, shaping the story into an entirely unbelievable plot. The surprise makes the series worthy of being classified as horror, and the plot twist is certainly going to startle unsuspecting viewers. 

The grease thing seems essential to the plot but is not compelling enough to make the whole mind-control theme thrilling. However, given that hair is a crucial element of the black culture, the use of grease would seem relevant.

There is a mystery about how Diana started using the grease and why. Did she use it on Kendra? The final episode will (hopefully) fill in the gaps. 

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