Autumn’s past finally catches up with her in “Last Call for Alcohol”, the penultimate episode of Starz’s excellent P-Valley.
This recap of P-Valley season 1, episode 7, “Last Call for Alcohol”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
All throughout the first season of P-Valley, Autumn Night – or Hailey, it turns out – has been running away from her past. Finally in P-Valley episode 7, “Last Call for Alcohol”, it catches up to her in the form of Montavius, who she’s reminiscing about when the hour opens.
The transition from hazy past to dilapidated present is harsh, but it’s the future of Chucalissa that’s of foremost concern to Uncle Clifford, who has teamed up with Patrice to ruffle up some religious feathers. It’s working – protests and signs declaring Mayor Ruffin the devil count as working, right? – but that doesn’t exactly endear Patrice to Clifford. She makes it clear that the dishonest preacher is just a means to an end until The Pynk is saved, and then she can fend for herself.
This is, I think, the first time we’ve seen momentum begin to move away from Mayor Ruffin and Andre. Uncle Clifford is whipping up public support for a vote. And the leasing agreement isn’t exactly what they had in mind. Ruffin blames Andre’s arrogance; Andre blames the way Ruffin treats Chucalissa like his own personal backyard and puts profit above all else. Ruffin tries to justify his exploits as big business providing growth, income, and opportunity to the inner-city, which is always the line to justify gentrification, isn’t it?
Thanks to Patrice’s protests, though, Ruffin’s plans are in jeopardy – Eloise tells him the ribbon-cutting ceremony has been postponed – and he isn’t the only one who’s annoyed about that. Mercedes is naturally fuming about Uncle Clifford having bailed her mother out, even if she knows that Clifford is using her. She confronts him about this a bit later in “Last Call for Alcohol”, which eventually leads to Clifford begging for a final go-home performance on The Pynk’s closing night.
P-Valley episode 7 also spares plenty of time for Keyshawn, who’s still capitalizing on a partnership with Lil Murda, even if he has stage fright, and his relationship with Clifford is beginning to threaten his success. They enjoy a well-shot waterfront date in Clifford’s car, but their escapades are spotting by Murda’s friend, who rather unsubtly suggests that Murda being gay might threaten their ability to make money.
If The Pynk’s going to have to go, then everyone’s determined it goes with a real bang. Mercedes will be headlining, and even if Sheriff Bailey has insisted that any exposed breasts will result in an immediate shutdown, the girls are going big. Clifford delivers a trademark inspirational speech to the entire crew, including all the girls we’ve only seen glimpses of so far. Autumn and Mercedes sneak off for their final illicit money exchange, but Mercedes won’t accept a bonus – she instead suggests Autumn, who’s planning to leave, invites Andre for a proper goodbye. Everyone’s on the same page, finally, with the girls coming together to hide Keyshawn’s latest bruises with concealer. Her flirty relationship with Diamond comes the closest it ever has to a smooch, but Gidget predictably interrupts.
Of course, Keyshawn’s awful boyfriend, Derrick, shows up for the final night, and even though Diamond makes him wait at the back of the line, we don’t get the long-awaited proper confrontation between them in “Last Call for Alcohol”. Gidget does confront him, though it hardly goes as planned; he’s so smug that the idea of Keyshawn leaving him is amusingly farfetched to him. I guess he hasn’t had a proper look at Diamond.
Anyway, it’s about now that things start going wrong for Autumn. Sheriff Bailey recognizes her from the posters and Montavius shows up at The Pynk. She and Andre enjoy a heated goodbye that’s interrupted by a phone call from his wife, Britney; when he sees her later he tries to assuage her suspicions about his whereabouts with some intense sex, but the fact she thinks he just missed her is pure comedy – he’s obviously thinking about Autumn.
Autumn, though, is thinking about Montavius, since Mercedes, not knowing who he is, asks her to take him to the Paradise Room for a private dance. And she does. P-Valley episode 7, like all of the chapters before it, is in large part about the repetitive cycle of abuse perpetrated by men against women; we see it with Derrick and Keyshawn and here again with Autumn and Montavius. Having come so close to escaping her abuser, when the time comes, Autumn dutifully follows him. Apparently, shooting him wasn’t enough.
When they finally get a moment of privacy, he asks her where his money is.
Thanks for reading our recap of P-Valley season 1, episode 7, “Last Call for Alcohol”. For more recaps, reviews and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.