With The Pynk on its last legs, “Legacy” sees new alliances, deals, and ideas cropping up in order to keep the place — and its workers — going.
This recap of P-Valley season 1, episode 6, “Legacy”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
A lot of what makes P-Valley great is bundled up in the opening scene of “Legacy”; style, attitude, sex appeal, edge, and even a cheeky fourth-wall-breaking wink to camera. Mercedes and Autumn spend the whole sequence strutting in and out of banks, depositing hefty sums of cash — a newer, sexier Thelma and Louise (a comparison that doesn’t go unremarked upon in the show itself.)
But there’s a lot more going on in P-Valley episode 6 than this suave opening suggests. The next time we see Mercedes, she’s visiting Terricka through the chain-link walls of a tennis court. She has amends to make, and her daughter isn’t interested — neither is Shelle, her baby father’s widow, who explains that Mercedes has to prove both to her and a judge that she’s ready to start being a mother.
Keyshawn, meanwhile, is already a mother but is ready to become something more, and one assumes that no longer includes being a victim of her dorky-looking abusive partner. She meets with Lil Murda to show him a video of her dancing to his song that has made it to the hallowed pages of WorldStarHipHop, and it’s getting a lot of attention. She thinks they should capitalize on that attention by forming a business partnership. They take photos together. “Black girls don’t bruise,” she tells him as he spots a tell-tale blemish on her arm. “Yeah,” he says, “they do.”
“Legacy” also lets us in on Uncle Clifford’s home life, which he shares with his blind pot-smoking grandmother, whose history is intimately bound up in the Pynk. A lot of the club’s debt is hers as well as Clifford’s, who is resigned to losing the place, though the matriarch insists that can’t happen.
It seems like those most intimately associated with the place think it already has happened, though, which is why Big L is out offering to stash drugs for Gidget’s man, and why Clifford ambushes Eloise at a nail salon and tries to leverage their history — she was the first “ho he graduated” — into information on the Mayor’s plans, since she works under him at City Hall.
Meanwhile, Mercedes and Autumn dine out, and the latter gives the former advice on hiding money and not risking it all on investments like dance studios. Andre, in a way that’s either coincidental or contrived, depending on where you’re standing, shows up at random and pays for their meal, despite Autumn continuing to ghost him. But he has his own problems in “Legacy”, including finalizing a deal with a wealthy white landowning family that turns sour, and the decision he makes to go against his father’s wishes in leasing rather than selling the land, much to the chagrin of his wife (if only she knew!).
At least someone’s relationship is going well. Uncle Clifford takes Lil Murda to meet her grandmother, where they look at old photos chronicling the Pynk’s history and smoke. While he’s there, Lil Murda ducks a summons to the studio to work on his next hit, which comes back to spite him a little later when DJ Neva Scared pulls him up on it. Keyshawn to the rescue, though — she pretends they were together, hence him missing studio time, since the idea of them being together helps to further her plans as a headline act. She even pitches a night to Uncle Clifford showcasing her dancing and Lil Murda’s music — provided he gets chance to make any more.
The most telling scene of P-Valley season 1, episode 6 is when Autumn, still with Mercedes, stumbles on Terricka’s pristine, time-locked bedroom, and both women tearfully discuss living without their children. It leads to something of an epiphany for Autumn, who later in “Legacy” calls Andre, telling him goodbye, and that he’s right where he needs to be (though he rightly questions whether his wife would feel the same way.)
This has a note of finality to it, but there’s plenty left to play for, especially once Eloise visits Uncle Clifford at the Pynk to spill some tea on the Mayor’s dealings, in large part for being treated like wallpaper while she’s working. As it turns out, the only thing that can stop the casino is a petition for a city-wide vote on it. The next we see of Clifford, she’s putting the Pynk up against Patrice’s bail, who asks what Uncle Clifford wants with her. Clifford asks how much she’s willing to pay for her church — a scheme is afoot.
As “Legacy” closes, it ends with a close-up of a wanted poster featuring Autumn, aka Hailey. Now, what has she been up to?
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.