On this week’s episode of ‘P-Valley,’ we got a history lesson that explains one of the show’s main characters back stories and gives us insight on why her life is the way it is currently.
Episode five of this season entitled ‘White Knights’ was all about Keyshawn (Shannon Thornton), also known by her adoring fans as Miss Mississippi, and the father of her children, Derrick (Jordan Cox). With an Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan) narrated Cinderella theme, the episode follows the couple from their first interaction all the way up until the starting point of the abusive relationship we currently see them involved in. We’re strategically transitioned between flashbacks and current day, where Keyshawn is still on the Dirty Dozen Tour and seemingly becoming a household name.
The episode begins right there. Rome (Blue Kimble) informs Keyshawn that the tour would be extended an extra week. He convinces her that staying on tour longer would help her get enough money to be able to leave Derrick. After being introduced by the Puerto Rican Princess (Joseline Hernandez) herself, Keyshawn performs and then we get our first flashback.
We’re taken back to Keyshawn in high school as she is trying out for the cheerleading squad. This is where she first meets Derrick, who’s already on the team (along with Gidget). Derrick gets into a fight with some Black guys who play on the football team in an attempt to protect Keyshawn’s honor after she turns down one of the player’s advances and he makes a joke about her skin tone. Derrick made her feel beautiful and loved. It was completely different from how she was made to feel at home. The next scene shows how her stepmother Chanisse viewed her, the shade of her skin and the correlation between colorism and beauty. While doing her stepsister LaRonica’s hair, Keyshawn accidentally burns off a section with the flat iron. She not only berates Keyshawn, but she also states that LaRonica’s hair is the only thing that makes her beautiful. While she learned that colorism was a real thing at home, she also became hip to how big of a thing race was at her school too. While having a discussion with LaRonica, Alisha and Gidget, Keyshawn is told how there is always one Christmas dance held at their school for the Black kids and another separated dance held on a plantation for the white kids to attend.
Keyshawn and Derrick begin to date and the feeling of being unloved is quickly one she doesn’t feel anymore. He makes her feel as if she’s worthy and deserves to be treated like a princess. This is especially the case when Derrick appears at her house at the perfect time with a beautiful dress and heels for her to wear. The two go to the white Christmas dance and have the time of their lives. Keyshawn feels as if she’s been saved from her reality. The racial differences between the two seemed to be the least of her concerns. After a great night at the dance, Keyshawn and Derrick lose their virginities to each other in Derrick’s Prius. The night of passion leads to Keyshawn becoming pregnant with their first child. Both of the teens parents kick them out upon finding out the news. After Keyshawn’s father pays for them to have a place, the two move in together. During Keyshawn’s pregnancy, Derrick takes a page out of his father’s book (Derrick’s father abused him) and chokes Keyshawn. After the traumatic experience, Keyshawn fleas back to her home. Her stepmother answers the door but is unwilling to let her in. Her father agrees with the decision to not let her back in which causes Keyshawn to go back to her house where Derrick has a room full of flowers waiting. He apologizes and promises that he won’t do it again.
In real time, Keyshawn kills her performance. She not only impresses the crowd and the strippers being honored for the night, she also impresses Joseline, who invites Keyshawn to her suite. Keyshawn, Lil Murda (J. Alphonse Nicholson), Big Teak (John Clarence Stewart) and Woddy (Bertram Williams Jr) count their money and discuss how Keyshawn crushed it before Rome enters the room to give the guys their keys to their room. He informs them that only he and Keyshawn would be going to Joseline’s suite. Before heading there, Keyshawn meets Rome in his room. Still wearing a robe, he informs her that the wig deal she had been anticipating fell through. His alternative, which Keyshawn doesn’t seem to be too interested in, is a collaboration for a stripper heel. As Keyshawn tries on the heel with her floss to get a feel for the whole look, Rome enters the bathroom with a flashlight shining on her. He exposes his penis to her before trying to convince her to have sex with him. The two began to argue as Rome explains how he feels like Keyshawn owes him and that what she does isn’t anything special. She responds by letting him know that she’s in control of her body and everything she does with it even though people commonly misperceive that before she walks to another room.
Rome follows her to the next room and becomes even more aggressive. He discloses that he knows Lil Murda’s true sexuality by showing her a video that we have to assume is of Lil Murda and Big Teak having sex. Keyshawn escapes Rome’s attempt to assault her (after he ripped a part of her top off) and makes it to Woddy’s room where she explains everything that just transpired. She lets him know that she wants to go home and she can’t finish the tour. When she arrives back home to her family in Chucalissa, she immediately notices something is wrong with her son Jaden. She takes him to the doctor where they inform her he has Nursemaid’s Elbow. After the diagnosis, the doctors and Keyshawn notice severe bruising on Jaden’s back, showing signs of abuse. Keyshawn confronts Derrick about it and he admits to hitting him. He says Jaden has been driving him insane for the past two weeks. The argument escalates when Keyshawn brings up Derrick’s father and his upbringing. Derrick punches her and gets extremely close to burning her face with an iron before eventually leaving to go to his interview.
Although Keyshawn didn’t get justice in the form of Derrick getting what he deserves, someone else surely did. The episode ends with Woddy visiting Rome’s room. Woddy seemingly is there to discuss what’s going to happen with the tour now that Keyshawn won’t be on it. He offers Rome some coke (that he doesn’t know is laced with Fentanyl) as they talk. Woddy menacingly talks Rome through his death as the laced coke starts to hit Rome. The last thing Rome sees is Woddy winking at him which was an ode to the game the group had been playing throughout the whole tour.
What an episode! This one will surely change the trajectory of the whole show. With the Dirty Dozen Tour seemingly over, what’s next for all this who were on it? Will Woddy get away with killing Rome? Will Lil Murda and Uncle Clifford finally be reunited? Will Big Teak find some peace? Was Jaden being abused the absolute last straw for Keyshawn? If so, what’s her next step? We cannot wait until next week to hopefully get some of these answers!
Hop in the comments and let us know what you thought about this episode and what you expect to happen next week!