black-ish Recap: Hot Mess Express

There goes the Dre-borhood.

The power goes out on one of the hottest days of the year in Tuesday’s black-ish, which also serves as the ABC series’ winter premiere. And — this won’t surprise any loyal viewers of the show — Dre loses his damn mind within five seconds of the blackout’s onset.

After everything that’s happened in the last year or so, “There is no such thing as an overreaction anymore,” he tells Bow, defending his decision to stock up on food and toilet paper in case of an extreme emergency. “We have not been able to park in the garage since the spring,” she retorts, adding that the whole point of living in a neighborhood is being able to rely on their neighbors if they run out of anything. “It’s not my job to look out for the community. It’s up to me to look out for me and mine,” Dre tells her.

Bow gets an opportunity to put her viewpoint into practice when their neighbor, Janine, stops by to ask for a roll of toilet paper; after all, the stores are out. Bow wrests one from her uncooperative husband’s stash and in return gets an invitation to come bask in Janine’s air conditioning, courtesy of a generator. (Dre, however, isn’t welcome.)

As the power outage stretches on, Dre goes slightly insane at the supermarket, buying multiple loaves of bread, several steaks — you get the idea. (“Bread is the duct tape of food,” he lectures the twins, pointing out several ways carbs can get you through a day.) Meanwhile, Bow is just getting comfortable in her neighbor’s AC when Janine launches into a sales pitch: She wants Bow to join her in a  multi-level marketing venture (read: pyramid scheme) about essential oils or some nonsense. Bow flips out, hilariously, and takes off.

Meanwhile, Dre is about to head to the store to get more propane for the BBQ (without refrigeration, gotta grill those steaks!) when his neighbor, Wayne, kindly offers to give him one of his spare tanks. Later, when both Dr. and Mr. Johnson are home, each admits that the other wasn’t completely wrong. Then they get to the real crux of the episode.

“It was so easy to believe in community when all of my neighbors were Black,” Dre says. And Bow says she, too, feels isolated as the only Black family on the street. But before they can get into it too deeply, the power comes back on, and they head inside to soak up as much AC as possible.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

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