'Bel-Air' S1E9 "Can't Knock the Hustle" Recap
By Shayna Calandro
The “happy family” appearance that Phil was previously told he needed to get an endorsement from Assemblyman Hernandez was seemingly forming as the entire family got ready to go to church.
As they arrived, Phil didn’t waste any time before talking about the election. He approached the Reverend outside asking him if they’ll be shuttling people to voting centers in support of him and he enthusiastically said he’ll see what he can do. Meanwhile, Will talked to Carlton about whether it was smart for him to look into who his dad is, but Carlton didn’t say much as he had to get ready for his big solo in the choir. Everyone took a seat and Phil thanked Hillary for getting out of her contract with Kylo and making sure the thirsty chef video was wiped from all of the apps. She assured him that she would be on her best behavior until the election was over.
Church began, and Carlton took the stage for his solo. It started out smooth and he sounded great, but it went downhill when his voice started to crack. He choked onstage and ran off.
When they got back home, everyone was worried about Carlton, especially Will, who confided in Hillary about Carlton’s drug use. Hillary was shocked at the news saying she had no idea he was doing drugs and asked him to go to Carlton about it. He went upstairs and Carlton explained to Will that he suffers from anxiety and only takes the drugs to cope, but didn’t take them before church. He continued to tell him, the singing mishap was only due to him not eating breakfast and the church being too hot, and while Will seemed to believe him, he was still unclear that he had really gotten through to him.
Hillary started to fix some of her own problems in the meantime. She called Jazz to help her get some of her things back from the influencer house since everything was still there until she paid her “kill fee” for breaching her contract. When they got there, Hillary checked to make sure Kylo wasn’t there, and luckily no one was there. Her and Jazz gathered some of their stuff, and before leaving he asked her if he could essentially take her on a date, by going to his house and letting him cook for her. She liked the idea of the date, but instead of going to his house, she suggested they go to the bungalow she was renting and order room service.
Back at the Banks residence, Geoffrey approached Will in his room with some information he found out about his dad, Lou. He told him that his dad is alive but if he decides to pursue finding his dad it won’t only impact him but it’ll change everyone in the family's lives as well.
Later on, Phil, Geoffrey and Phil’s campaign manager were discussing his strategy for the upcoming debate and things got a little awkward when Geoffrey called out Phil’s character. They were both still evidently upset about their difference of opinion surrounding Will’s father.
Viv was dealing with her own career, and met with the Neeman Artistic Fellowship leaders, (who, in a bit of meta casting, are played by Daphne Maxwell-Reid and Vernee Watson, aka "Aunt Viv" and "Vy" from the original Fresh Prince of Bel Air.) They asked her a few questions to which she gave very authentic answers, and they offered her the fellowship. She was ecstatic but they told her to take 24 hours to really think about the demands of the opportunity before accepting.
Will met with Uncle Phil in his office to tell him about what Geoffrey found on his dad, but he never looked at the paperwork.
After they hugged it out, Will decompressed by playing the piano, and Carlton walked in. He thanked Will for talking to him earlier, admitting that the conversation made him avoid doing drugs when he was thinking about doing it. Will was so happy and told him he was proud of him.
But the harmony took a turn when Geoffrey walked into Phil’s office and he had the paperwork that he had given Will about his father. Phil explained that Will gave it to him because he decided he didn’t want to know about Lou, and Geoffrey called Phil out mentioning that he should’ve taken that opportunity to look at the paperwork with Will so he could face his issues. They both went back and forth for a minute, but things escalated quickly once Geoffrey told Phil he does whatever it takes to win, even if it's at the expense of the people who love him. Phil ultimately told him he couldn’t trust him anymore and fired him on the spot. Before leaving, Geoffrey pleaded with Phil to prove him wrong about his statements, warning him that if he didn’t, his family would split under the pressure.
The rest of the family was informed that Geoffrey had a “family emergency” he had to attend to and would be gone for sometime. When Viv got the news, she panicked, even considering not to take the fellowship because no one would be around to watch the kids, but Phil surprisingly reassured her that they would be fine and she should still take the gig.
Not too long after that though, Viv called Janice, one of the fellowship leaders, and spiraled about why she didn’t think she should take the fellowship. But before she could decline, Janice told her they have a strict policy to not accept a yes or no from any candidates before 24 hours and she’ll talk to her tomorrow.
Lisa didn’t believe anything her dad was saying so he suggested she go find out for herself. She went over to the Banks’ house and showed Will a mugshot of himself asking if it was real. He told her it was and had to tell her the entire truth. She thanked him for finally coming clean but expressed that her dad was still going to use the information against his uncle and seemingly didn’t want to talk to him anymore.
Will and Carlton ran down to the debate venue where Phil was preparing, to tell him the news that Lisa just shared with Will, and while he was furious to find out that Judge Robertson exposed him and told Wilkes about Will's arrest and the favor he asked to get him out of trouble, he told the boys that he wouldn’t change a thing he did because he saved Will’s life in the process.
As he took the stage, with everyone anticipating how the debate would go now, Phil gave his opening statement, which shockingly ended up being his official withdrawal from the race. He stated that he needed to be with his family more than he needed to be the District Attorney and put his full support in Wilkes as the next DA. He shook Wilkes’ hand, walked off stage and hugged his family. Before the episode came to a close, he told Viv to promise him that she’d take the fellowship and she confirmed she would!