P-Valley season 2, episode 5 recap – “White Knights”

July 3, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
Premium Channels, Starz, TV, Weekly TV
4

Summary

“White Knights” is a painful, powerful episode, delving into Keyshawn’s past as her present fortunes take a sharp downturn.

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4

Summary

“White Knights” is a painful, powerful episode, delving into Keyshawn’s past as her present fortunes take a sharp downturn.

This recap of P-Valley season 2, episode 5, “White Knights”, contains spoilers.


“White Knights” takes the form, in some ways, of a fairytale. Uncle Clifford narrates it, like the fairy godmother of a strip club Cinderella. There are pretty dresses and shoes, swanky balls, and love at first sight. But there isn’t a happy ending. The love turns to hate; the dresses become bloodstained. This deep dive into the life of Keyshawn, aka Miss Mississippi, is the rawest and most painful episode of P-Valley in two seasons.

P-Valley season 2, episode 5 recap – “White Knights”

As well as Uncle Clifford’s narration, the episode plays with time, jumping back into Keyshawn’s high school days and then catching back up to the Dirty Dozen tour, which continues to be in complete disarray.

The fairytale vibes continue in Keyshawn’s past, from the wicked stepmother to the beautiful stepsisters who want for nothing. A young Derrick, a male cheerleader who already has a violent streak, briefly appears as a kind of prince charming, taking on the football players who mock Keyshawn for her class. She’s the odd one out, the ugly duckling, at least in her own mind; Derrick’s attention, perhaps ill-advised given his well-to-do parents and abusive father, helps her to recognize her own worth.

Derrick doesn’t hurt Keyshawn until she’s pregnant. By that point, he has been excommunicated from the family home, as has she, and the lack of support both are receiving is no doubt what contributes to Derrick’s bedraggled present-day appearance. A man who had everything served to him on a silver platter doesn’t develop the skills to make ends meet for himself. And unlike Keyshawn, he never developed an alter ego as she did with Miss Mississippi. He’s trapped in his own worthless, abusive self, with no means of escape.

Derrick’s a classic abuser; hot one minute, cold the next. He beats Keyshawn and promises never to lay a finger on her again, and, as “White Knights” later reveals, he beats their children when Keyshawn isn’t there. The brutality of the scenes Keyshawn spends with Derrick in the present day are worth every content warning Starz has provided for the show thus far. With the tour temporarily postponed, and Keyshawn’s part in it in question, she might be consigned to this personal hell for the near future, unless someone – perhaps a white knight of the title – can save her from it.

Here’s the issue with the tour. Along with Big Teak being increasingly unstable because of the Black men being killed on the news and his confusing relationship with Lil Murda, especially after discovering the postcard he was planning to send to Uncle Clifford, Rome is clearly out for himself. He has video evidence of Murda and Teak’s relationship that he doubtlessly intends to use to ruin Murda’s reputation, and he has been using his generous approach to Keyshawn to coerce her into sex. When he finally decides to make his move, Keyshawn rejects him, and he tries to force himself on her.

When she’s briefly able to escape, Keyshawn goes to Woddy. And Woddy does what he believes is right, which is to lace Rome’s cocaine with fentanyl and trick him into a fatal overdose. With Rome dead, that opens a window for Keyshawn to get back on the tour. But it’ll also raise some awkward questions, especially since Rome never got to the bottom of where the video of Murda and Teak was. And if he’s willing to do that to Rome, what might he be willing to do to Derrick if he gets a sense of just how bad things are for Keyshawn at home?

Lots of difficult, interesting questions, then, and one supposes that none of the answers will come easily. But this was a brutally painful episode of P-Valley that’ll leave a lasting impression.

You can stream P-Valley season 2, episode 5, “White Knights”, exclusively on Starz.

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