Xander’s reign as the resident bad boy looks to be over on STAR. The crime boss exited stage left with a bullet after Cassie dropped a truth bomb that the FBI planned to take him down any day now. We can finally celebrate that Xander is out of our lives! STAR has had its fair share of villains, like Eva and Lil Dini, but Xander took the cake with his web of destruction and abusive attitude. Cassie, Carlotta, and all of Atlanta can breathe a sigh of relief now that he’s gone.
Instead of walking away, Xander made the grave mistake of going after Cassie again. His pride became his undoing because he wouldn’t rest until he got his revenge against someone who disrespected him – in this case, it was Cassie. The illegal money-laundering with Mateo, kidnapping Cotton’s son, and his involvement at Karma were to keep Cassie and Carlotta in their place. But, when he came after Cassie again with the plastic bag and the assault, I feared that he had killed her as retaliation. The large amount of blood made it seem like he finished the job to scare Carlotta. Luckily, she survived – we can’t lose Brandy/Cassie like this!
I’m on the fence of whether Xander truly killed himself. All of the anger and fire from Cassie’s revelation spurred him on and this would be a fitting end for his character. He wouldn’t give Cassie the satisfaction of being arrested and Chad Michael Murray is recurring on Riverdale at the moment. But, STAR didn’t show the dead body. If I’ve learned anything from supernatural shows and horror movies, show the dead body or it didn’t happen.
Xander’s influence will still be felt on STAR. His criminal involvement with Mateo might be what shuts down Gravity Records after all. I’m so happy that Carlotta came back. She’ll be able to fix Mateo’s mess and put the record label back on track to help the artists win their ASAs. For the remainder of STAR season three, Mateo should stay out of Carlotta’s way and focus on his new romance – he can’t cause more investors to leave.
Alex’s pursuit of the ASAs positively helped her character development in three keys areas. Firstly, her finding the balance between her music career and love life with Derek helped her to figure out what she truly wanted in life. She wants to be a successful performer, but she wants love in her life as well. I loved that she proposed to Derek and made the move we all knew was going to happen eventually. It’s 2019 and gender role expectations can change! Alex and Derek had such a tender proposal and the screen projections of their couple moments provided a nice touch for the romance.
Secondly, Alex making amends with Gigi quelled any career fires that could’ve threatened her in the future. The worse thing Alex could want in her life was Gigi being around every step to one-up her and try to destroy her. Both of them working on their friendship will help to bring them back to their old selves again. Still, I’ll miss her fiery feud. The clapbacks were strong with this frenemy situation!
And lastly, because of her reconciliation with Gigi, Alex is ready to work on her relationship with her mother. Naomi Banks is sorely missed on STAR. The superstar had many iconic lines and you can’t deny her presence. Hopefully, this plot leads to more screen time for a possible return.
After nearly setting his house on fire, Noah can’t deny anymore that he’s relapsed. He nearly killed Davis and that’s something he has to work through with a trained professional. The drugs are a crutch that he can’t quit. When he’s finally ready to work on himself, maybe Megan will talk to him again or Simone will give him back custody of Davis. Simone did the right thing by taking the baby away; Davis’ health and safety came first. Noah was in no state to look after anyone.
Speaking of health, let’s hope that Star survives her brutal attack. She barely had any time with her child and it would be heartbreaking for the character to die without being in the kid’s life. Plus, I miss Jude Demorest’s cutting one-liners and sass! The character adds a lot of fire and energy to STAR, which has sorely been needed.
“The Reckoning” wasn’t the most exciting episode that STAR has had this season. While a few plots ended, like Gigi’s feud and Xander’s crimes, the progression mostly focused on setting up plots for later on. Stories like Carlotta’s supposedly dead son, Cotton helping the prostitutes, and Star’s life in being limbo seem like they’ll be the main focus for the time being. Overall, “The Reckoning” is a filler week.