culture

'Bel-Air' S1E5 "PA to LA" Recap

By Shayna Calandro

This episode reveals a true test of friendship, loyalty and growth for Will and his family, as Will's best friend from Philly comes into town, Uncle Phil runs into campaign issues, and Carlton faces some hard truths. 

The show begins with Will picking up Tray from the airport in a luxury Lexus and the two reminisced over the good times in Philly and how dope California was. Once they got to the house, Tray was shocked at how Will was living and mentioned how hard it will be for Will to give all of it up when he moves back home since Rashaad, who was looking to kill both of them, is dead. Will looked confused but agreed in the moment. 

Meanwhile, Hillary is preparing to move into an influencer house and Uncle Phil is helping her pack. But before she officially leaves, she’s throwing a dinner party with the family and invited her new housemates too. 

Later in the day, Uncle Phil finds out he’s up in the polls after the voter event and is excited about how the campaign is going. Will walks in and introduces him to Tray and to both of their surprise, Uncle Phil says he got them VIP tickets to D Smoke’s concert and they’re ecstatic! 

Aunt Viv facetimes Will’s mom, Vy, in the other room and asks get to let Will stay in California, but Vy isn’t into the idea at all. She feels like her sister is trying to take her place and tells her she knows how to raise her own son. 

Before the influencer dinner, Will asked Hillary her opinion about him staying in LA opposed to going back to Philly. She told him to stay but to also do whatever he wants, and not do anything for anyone else. 

Hillary’s new influencer roommates arrived and Aunt Viv was surprised at how successful each one of them was. In the meantime, while everyone was eating and enjoying their own conversations, Tray seemingly had too much wine on the low and started to run his mouth to Carlton about why Will was really in Bel Air. He detailed the altercation with Rashaad and how he “had murder in his eyes,” but was killed so now they had nothing to worry about. 

On the other side of the table, Ashley asked one of the new housemates, that identifies as they/them, about sexual fluidity, after she showed signs of having a crush on her friend, Lucia, at the rollerskating rink in episode 4. 

As the dinner party is coming to an end, the housemates pulled a prank on Hillary and her family and things got a little weird, as they scared them with a twerking teddy bear and one of the guys ran through the house naked…

Carlton later approached Uncle Phil in his office about “pulling strings” for Will and Uncle Phil explained that Will made a mistake so he saved him from going to prison for a long time because it benefited his future, but also them as a family. Carlton was livid that his dad broke the law, but gave him his word that he would keep the secret, before storming out and making his way to Will’s room. Carlton told Will he knew everything that happened in Philly and Will asked him not to snitch. Carlton made a deal with him that as long as Will stays out of his way and away from Lisa, he’ll keep everything confidential. 

The next morning, Uncle Phil, Will and Tray made breakfast together. Carlton came down and said he wouldn’t be going with them to the concert later that night, throwing jabs at Will by saying he was meeting up with Lisa instead. 

Tray introduced himself to Lisa later that day and Will tried not to bother them, considering his hope for Carlton to keep his mouth shut about his situation. So much so that Lisa felt the awkwardness. 

Will and Tray finally head to the concert with Uncle Phil and are hype that they have all access passes. D Smoke made a guest appearance, dapping the guys up and Tray immediately got star struck. They were seemingly having the best time of their lives, but then the energy changed. 

Uncle Phil stepped away from the boys for a moment, as a Congressman and the Chief of Police were waiting to speak with him. They told Uncle Phil he needs to tone down the rhetoric of his campaign or there will be consequences for him, but he brushed them off and stood firm on his beliefs. 

Back at the private suite, Will told Tray if he stays in LA, Tray can visit anytime he wants and he didn’t get the reaction he was hoping for. Tray was very upset with his statement and urged him to tell him the truth about whether or not he was going back to Philly with him like they had been talking about. After some intense back and forth, Tray called Will a liar and accused him of turning his back on the hood. The concert was about to start, and all their energy was shifted. 

While all that was happening, Aunt Viv explored her old passion of painting at an old friend’s art gallery with an old friend. He complimented all of her old work that he remembered from back in the day and told her he reserved a spot at the gallery for her new work once she has some. She was hesitant but ended up being inspired. 

Back at the house, Ashley revealed to Hillary that she had a crush on Lucia and Hillary was surprised she has feelings for someone, but was supportive of what she had just shared. Ashley added that she hadn’t figured out if she has ruled out boys yet or not and Hillary let her know no matter what, she’ll always be there for her and they shared a very special sister moment.

Carlton and Lisa were still planning her mom’s memorial and he told her whatever she wanted to do, he’ll take care of it for her and she enthusiastically thanked him. But then he went in for a kiss, but she dodged it saying her feelings for him haven't changed and it got awkward. 

After the concert, Tray was giving Will the cold shoulder, but Will expressed that he thought Tray should be happy for him that something good was happening, but Tray asked how he was supposed to be happy when Will got rich from the same situation that got him shot. The two got into a physical altercation and Will restrained himself from punching Tray then kicked him out of his room. 

Aunt Viv was finally painting, and as she admired her new work, Will walked in on her and tells her what happened between him and Tray. He emotionally revealed that he felt like they weren't going to be homeboys anymore and she explained they’re both going through a traumatic situation and maybe processing it differently. Tray asked to go home early. 

Uncle Phil then found out that his campaign took a hit when a shady commercial comes out about him being “far left.” Him and his campaign manager got into an argument about how they should move forward, and Phil made it clear he was going to do what he wanted. 

As Tray’s uber pulls up, Will told him he didn’t have to leave, and they both got teary-eyed as he got into the car and headed to the airport. 

Will went to his room to FaceTime his mom and told her he’s strongly considering staying in LA. She tried to talk him into going back to Philly but he told her he had to take her previous advice of being courageous enough to “wear his crown.” She wasn’t happy about his decision but said she supported his choice before getting off the phone.  

The episode came to close with Will pondering on everything that had just transpired, and episode 6 is set up to be a good one! I’ll catch up with y’all next week!