'Star' season 2, episode 8 recap: Brody steps up to help Star
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“Star” returned last night (Dec. 6) on FOX. In this week’s installment, the showcase acts struggle to impress Ayanna (Michael Michele) and Alex (Ryan Destiny) fights feelings for Noah and is conflicted about their duet and being in a fake relationship with him. Plus, Carlotta (Queen Latifah) is shocked when she discovers Ayanna got Simone (Brittany O’Grady) out of the juvenile center and she’s now living with her. And, Jahil (Benjamin Bratt) and Brody work together to keep Arlene from hurting Star.

Oh No You Didn’t

Carlotta is furious when she finds out Ayanna sprung Simone from the juvenile center and now, Simone is living with her. Carlotta feels like her family is threatened and tell Ayanna she had no business meddling in the situation. She and Ayanna have a heated discussion and Simone tells Carlotta she likes being with Ayanna. Carlotta suspects Simone is using drugs, so she forces her to take a drug test. She warns her not to follow in her mom’s footsteps and begs her to stop using. It’s sad to see Simone still be so lost at such a young age. Things are probably going to get worse for her before they get better – unless she gets some help.

Alex is Confused

Star tells Carlotta she’s not upset about Noah and Alex’s “fake” relationship and their duet. But, when the song gets dropped on live radio instead of Take 3’s and all the DJs want to do is talk to Noah and Alex, Star isn’t happy. She confronts Alex and basically calls her loyalty to the group into question. Alex feels bad and tells Noah and Ayanna she wants out of the arrangement, and the duet. Ayanna forbids it. But, Noah graciously agrees to keep their relationship “all business.”

The only problem is, Alex is clearly fighting feelings for Noah. Ayanna can see right through her, but Alex won’t let her know she’s right. What about Derek? She must be losing feelings for him and she needs to be honest. Nothing is geared for drama than a love triangle, though. Will Derek fight for her? Or, does he want to end things, too?

Arlene Gets Played to a Deadly End

Last week, Brody was disturbed by Star’s graphic photos of Hunter’s assault on her. This week, he tells Jahil about his deal with Arlene and admits he wants out of it. Thinking fast, Jahil knocks Brody out and takes his picture. Then he shows Arlene and says he’ll give her the photos for and phone to keep Hunter’s name clear for $500,000. Arlene agrees.

When they meet the next day, she gives him a bag full of money but then Brody jumps out and beats her to death. Jahil is stunned – he didn’t want Brody to kill her. They share the money, though and Brody delivers Star’s phone back to her, along with an envelope of cash. He tells her Arlene and Hunter can’t hurt her anymore. It’s a touching moment. Star still doesn’t totally trust him. Can we blame her? But, it looks like they’re gaining ground. Will Brody or Jahil pay for Arlene’s murder though? Jahil is constantly in hot water and this is just another bad situation.

Get Your Act Together

Elliot declares his love for Cotton and tells her he wants to marry her. He even shows her plans to a house he’s building for them. She’s addicted to Omari, though and doesn’t know what to do. When she and Elliot bump into Omari on the street, she tells Omari she can’t be with him. But, Elliot is upset to know she cheated on him and he leaves her, saying he can’t keep getting hurt by her.

Back at Midtown, the showcase artists have a couple of really bad rehearsals. Maurice lets them know the label’s fate is hanging on their performance. When they finally get their act together, it’s a great ensemble number on a romantic song called 'I Want You.' Ayanna loves it and gives the group the first compliment she’s ever given. It’s a nice, feel-good moment in a rather heavy episode. We know the road to fame is challenging. But, Star and her girls have had too many hard knocks. It’s about time they have something to celebrate.

The “Star” fall finale airs next Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on FOX.