STAR 3×16 Review: “Square One”

Why is Gravity Records always in trouble? What should be the focal point on STAR has morphed into a location that has seen better days. The prospects of bankruptcy forced many of the characters to look toward their futures and realign their present in case things don’t turn out too well. The characters should be thinking about their futures as STAR’s season 3 finale nears; they’ve got a lot of projects on the go. But, could this mean better integration with quasi-parent show Empire? (I hope so!)

Empire and STAR are two similar shows that live in the same universe, but they mostly stayed separate beyond a few cameo appearances. If Mateo sells his company to Empire, this could mean more appearances from the main show, and a boost in the careers for Take 3, Noah, and Gigi (if she ever returns). Sure, Carlotta will be out of the job and feel betrayed due to Mateo’s deception; however, this change could mean so much to STAR as a whole. The artists need to jump to the next level – they’ve got the talent that shouldn’t be disregarded. Plus, STAR needs a bit of a creative boost after sticking with the local music business drama for the last two years.

STAR seemed to have started those discussions before reverting back to the original group dynamic. Out of the three members of Take 3, Alex didn’t need to return to the group nor should she have given up her momentum for a solo career. Her songs like “Shotgun” became an instant bop! She could manage being a solo act as well as a group member; she shouldn’t give up everything just for the love of her sisters. Though, I also love that Take 3 isn’t breaking up anymore. There’s so much story left to tell to bring this group to the top; together, they have all the elements to become superstars.

Wilford Harewood/FOX

Star, on the other hand, fell under the fear of her uncertain future. With a fractured singing voice and chaos in her personal life, it’s no wonder she pushed hard to get her life in order. The old Star would’ve done everything to get her solo career on track, but with the uncertainty, she knew that Take 3 was her best option to stay in the music business. The problem with this narrative was that it came from a decision made out of fear. Who’s to say when she gets her voice back she won’t want to cut a solo album? She wanted to do it when “There For You” burned the charts.

The toughest decision Star ever made had to be her choice to put Davis up for adoption. If Jax had been the father of Davis, the outcome might’ve been a different story. But with everyone fighting and both parents an utter mess, the near future looked bleak and miserable. Chances are Star and Noah would’ve been able to turn things around, so Star’s urgency didn’t have complete solid ground. However, the fact that she put Davis’ needs above her own showed that Star made the right decision. After that entire fight during the TV interview, the tension was only the calm before the storm – Davis deserved better.

Simone tries to pretend that she’s not as ambitious as Star or Alex, but her aspirations are set high. You could see the light in her eyes when Maurice told her about their plans to turn her into a political figure. Ever since she joined the fight against deportation, Simone became more vocal and determined to push the cause through. Don’t get me wrong, she’s doing a lot of great work, but she needs to admit her real intentions for wanting to be in the public eye so much.

Do you think Angel is dead after that car explosion? The scene was set up with all the familiar beats: a “I’m walking away” fight, the looming shot of the car in the distance, and the camera placed on Simone for her reaction. STAR could be writing off the character to make way for Simone’s determination. However, the editing of this scene came across as sloppy.

From the looks of the camera angle, the car was a bit of a difference and Angel had just signaled the beeper/walked away from Simone as the car exploded. Plus, Simone was in mid-sentence as the car exploded. How did Angel walk that distance to the car and get inside within two seconds? This entire structure didn’t work.


Wilford Harewood/FOX

Speaking of what else didn’t work, why was Carlotta so hung up about not letting her family member record in the studio? He made major talent and the presence that you’d hope for in a potential recording artist. Maurice saw the talent, same with Noah and Cassie. Carlotta was acting new levels of stubbornness and cruelty here; she should want to foster his talent and help him get a foot in the door.

Cotton murdering Leon will no doubt come back to haunt her. Not only did she publicly get into a conflict with him at Karma, but Dior watched it all as Cotton killed the pimp. I have a feeling this could be STAR’s way of writing Cotton off the show. Her character has been mostly reactionary in plots, especially in the case of her son getting kidnapped. Cotton hasn’t had her own major conflict since when she stole money from her ex-boyfriend for her gender reassignment surgery. This might be time to say goodbye to her.  

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