'Star' season 2, episode 2 recap: Big Trouble struggles to make a big impression
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“Star” returned with even more shockers last night (Oct. 4) on Fox. In last week’s mind-bending season two premiere, we discovered Alex (Ryan Destiny) and Carlotta (Queen Latifah) are hiding some huge secrets. This week, however, Carlotta’s dark deed takes another shocking turn as we learn Jahil (Benjamin Bratt) isn’t really dead, they just worked together to make it look that way. Meanwhile, Big Trouble struggles to make a lasting impression on the tough new label head and Star (Jude Demorest) makes some bad choices in her quest to get her and the girls back in the spotlight.

A Bad Boy is On the Run

After reeling about last week’s reveal that Carlotta shot her own Baby Daddy, we were shocked to see Jahil turn up in Miami with a gun aimed at his brother. He was looking for his stolen fortune (Can we blame him) and the two get into a roll-around-on-the-ground brawl until Jahil’s nephew steps in to break it up. After some cool down time, we realize his nephew is also looking for a break into the music scene (a little too convenient, we think). Jahil bonds with him as they listen to the track and Jahil plots his return to “the scene of the crime.” Why, oh why, does he want to do that? We feel trouble already heading his way …

A New Image and a Bold Move

Big Trouble finds out the music business is truly a tough nut to crack when cold-as-ice label exec Ayanna (Michael Michele) tells them their songs aren’t good because the lyrics suck and they need to rebrand their image. None of them take the news well. But, Bruce helps the girls find a sleek new look with some sophisticated wigs and Star is determined to get noticed by making a cool new video that she persuades “Empire” crossover guest star Paris Jackson as the social media guru who shares the video on her sight.

Big Trouble could live up to their name because shooting and posting the video without the label consent is a contract breach. A scorned Ayanna tells them they are “parked” until further notice. This is basically creative death and an even more desperate Star suggests to the girls that maybe they did to find a different manager. Alex and Simone can’t believe she’d sell out Carlotta who is “family” and they call her ruthless. Pretty fitting description, isn’t it? Carlotta doesn’t take the news well and tells Star, “You’re not unique, you’re selfish.”

“You’re No Patrick Swayze”

Our favorite scene is when Jahil literally comes crashing back home to Carlotta, after a thug finds him and his face is filled with broken car window glass. She tries to patch him up and we see the “fake” shooting play out in a flashback as they prepare to say goodbye forever and seal it with a kiss as Jahil goes on the run. These two share a complicated past and a child – so, they are forever connected. It’s funny when Carlotta teases Jahil about being a ghost then says, “You’re no Patrick Swayze” as she helps him wrap up in a towel. (She’s right – but, Benjamin Bratt brings his own brand of shirtless hunk to the scene!)

He asks her about the girls and then gives her advice about how to handle Ayanna. Despite Star’s bad move, awkward tension and selfishness, Carlotta convinces Ayanna to post the video back up and put the girls in an upcoming artist showcase. Yes, she slung a few insults and maybe a little blackmail in there as well. But, it looks like she got the job done.

Simone Fights a Different Battle

The sequences with Simone at juvenile hall are so sad and intense. Last week, a bully stole her shows and this week, the same bully hung herself. Simone discovered her body and screamed for help, obviously terrified. Of all “Star’s” flawed characters Simone has suffered so much unimaginable trauma at such a young age and Brittany O’Grady portrays her torment and confusion in such a real, honest way. We hope Simone can cope and finds a way to heal from this latest tragedy. More than anything, we hope she gets released from the center soon.

Star Stumbles on an Amazing Song

Star forces a shocked Noah out of the studio. But, then he returns to record her as she sings an amazing song that prompts a “little bird” to fly free.  This could be the hit Big Trouble has been waiting for and we can’t wait to see how Carlotta, Ayanna and the girls react. Something good needs to happen after the past couple of dark episodes. Overall, we’re rooting for Big Trouble to stay out of trouble and keep pushing to make their dreams come true.

“Star” airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on Fox.