Star – Alibi
By: Gladys Luna
“Lord, she´s out there somewhere, hurt, upset and confused. She needs to realize she´s her own worst enemy. I got to talk some sense into this girl.” – Carlotta
Star (Jude Demorest) is at Hunter´s (Chad James Buchanan) house laying by the pool when Arlene (Nealla Gordon) approaches suspiciously treating her kindly. Obviously, Star doesn’t buy any of that behavior. She faces the woman telling her that she knows the only reason she treats her right is because of what Hunter did to her and because she is scared that she may tell about it. Hunter joins the pair just when his mother is about to put up an argument with Star, but he stops her from doing it. Arlene uses her typical lines to get him to do whatever she wants making him change the mood instantly. After Arlene leaves he apologizes to Star, but she is not willing to put up with his behavior anymore. Star informs him about her situation with the group and how Jahil (Benjamin Bratt) wanted Eva (Sharlene Taulé) to be part of it. She tells him that is the only reason she is at his place. When he tries to touch her as a way to comfort her, she stops him in his tracks threating to destroy his career if he ever dares to hit her again.
At Carlotta´s salon, the girls are facing some troubles with some clients who are requesting to be attended by Cotton (Amiyah Scott) but she is nowhere to be seen and neither is Star. The girls are worried about her not contacting them at all so Simone (Brittany O´Grady) comes up with a plan and tells Carlotta (Queen Latifah) that Alexandra (Ryan Destiny) will be driving her to school. Carlotta appreciates it since they are swamped with work at the salon. but instead the girls go in search of Star at Hunter´s house.
In the meantime, Eva is working her way into the group as she decides to give “private” show to Jahil who doesn’t seem to complain about it. He lets Eva know he wrote the song she was dancing to while ago, but he didn’t find anyone he could give it to until now. He sees this as an opportunity to reconnect with his latino roots and also reach for bigger markets.
Alex and Simone show up at Hunter’s house and he welcomes them. As soon as they step inside, they begin to yell Star´s name making the blonde come downstairs only to be faced with her sister´s complaints about not answering her phone calls. Star confesses she wasn’t ready to talk to her. Also, she takes the chance to remind them that they chose Eva over her when they did nothing to stop Jahil from adding her to the group. She makes pretty clear that if the woman is in then she is out.
Cotton shows up at Maggie´s (Helena Kallianiotes) club looking for a chance to work with her, but Maggie tells her she is already packed and tells her suggestively that there´s another way she could get some money as she places her hand on Cotton´s knee and softly caresses it. Jahil walks in and sees everything asking Maggie to keep her hand off of the girl. Instead, he receives a harsh reply from her due to his past behavior towards her. Jahil takes Cotton with him telling her he has her back just in the same way she had his. Cotton tells him what happened with Carlotta and how she is not intending on going back there. He offers his help and takes her to Chantal´s (D. Woods) house, asking the girl to let Cotton crash in her place for a few days. The girl begrudgingly agrees while making it clear that the only reasons she is allowing her into her house is because of Jahil.
Hunter tells Star she can stay at his place as long as she wants and she tells him that first she needs to go and grab some things from the salon. She says she will stay a few days with him. Meanwhile at the salon, a group of cops along with detective Batista (Phillip DeVona) arrive looking for Simone. Juanita (Andrene Ward-Hammond) from Child Protective Services enters the place telling Simone she needs to go with her. Alex, Carlotta and Miss Bruce (Miss Lawrence) try to stop them from taking Simone away from them, but she is dragged by the cops outside. The whole scene unravels amid screams and memories of Simone when she was taken away the first time just the same way
Cotton and Elliot (Jack Yang) are walking hand by hand on the street looking happy with each other. He lets her know he supports her on her decision on leaving Carlotta´s house. Then he tells her he wants her all for himself and she promises him that she will stop being a prostitute and change.
At the salon, Detective Batista and his team are revolving everything on their way looking for a clue that may lead to a name in Otis’ (Darius McCrary) murder. The detective tells Carlotta she has become a person of interest in the murder of Otis since she kept from the police and child services that Simone and Star had been with her all along. He gives her some space and promises to return later to talk in detail about what happened.
Hunter and Star arrive at the salon in the middle of the fuss that has been created around it with the police search. She attempts to enter the house but is stopped by one of the detectives outside the house. Detective Batista recognizes her and lets her in. She immediately goes to Carlotta asking her about Simone and she confesses that Juanita took her and there was nothing she could do to stop them. Simone complains to Juanita about how unfair it is that they keep her away without letting her see her sister. The woman tells her they believe there´s someone in Carlotta’s house that may have killed Otis and begin questioning her about the last time she saw him until finally getting a confession from Simone. She tells her she took Miss Carlotta’s gun and murdered him and she´d do it again without hesitation.
The detective interrogates Alex and Star about how they found Carlotta. The blonde explains him that she was a friend of her mother and the reason why they went to Atlanta was because of their music. The man is interrupted by one of the officers and asked to follow him in order to see something they found. One of the officers, show him the gun that might be the one with which Otis was killed.
While Simone is still held at the social services building she keeps thinking she doesn’t want to go to jail. Suddenly, she begins to imagine a whole musical taking place in jail starring Jahil, Hunter and Derek dressed in cop uniforms and Simone, Alexandra, Carlotta and Star as inmates.
The police arrest Carlotta and take her to the station in the middle of a curious crowd while Star and Alex watch her being taken away. The detective interrogates Carlotta about Otis. She lies and tells him she doesn’t know who he is, but she is caught lying when he tells her there´s footage of her talking to Otis that coincidentally was the last time he was seen alive. He also informs her they know she used to send letters to social services begging for custody of the girls, telling them she would do anything for them implying murdering Otis could be counted as one of the things she wouldn´t mind doing. She asks if she would need a lawyer and the detective tells her that she will in case it is determined that the weapon they found at her house turns out to be the one who killed Otis.
Alex and Star are at the station and she pleads with Alex that she needs to take Simone out of there. Her sister is all she has left, but Alex lets her know that now she has her as well. The social worker approaches them and Star lashes out at her about why she let this happen to them again. She blames them for their current situation as she keeps making them fall apart, but the woman shuts her up by telling her that Simone just confessed that she killed Otis. Alex goes immediately in search for a lawyer followed by the woman as Star is left in the room crying out of fear.
Cotton meets her mother at the interrogation room. Carlotta begins to apologize to her, but she assures she is not there to fix anything between them. Cotton reminds her how she abandoned her when she was a child always choosing everything else over her. Cotton asks her to stop thinking about the girls and start thinking about herself first or even what could happen to her if Carlotta goes to jail. When she doesn’t get any response from her mother, she gets up and leaves the room angry.
Star talks to Detective Batista and tries to convince him that Simone´s confession isn´t true and blames herself instead. She tells him she was the one who killed Simone´s foster father, but he doesn’t believe her as he knows neither of them killed him since the gun they found at Carlotta´s is not the one that killed Otis. Star is allowed to see Simone and the blonde assures her sister is all over as they know she wasn´t responsible for the death of her foster father. Carlotta is also released and informed about what they found out. The social worker tells her she would do as much as possible to help her with the custody of the girls as she is the best choice for them.
Cotton is dropped at Chantal´s house by a stranger and is surprised to find Elliot waiting outside for her. He asks her about the man who left her there and she lies, but he isn´t fooled easily. He tells her that she promised she would quit her job, but she assures him that the surgery won’t be paid just by the money she makes at the salon. He seems really disappointed and leaves angry. Carlotta shows up at Cotton´s new place and is not so nicely welcomed by the crying woman telling her she was just dumped and she isn’t in the mood to fight with her. She also lets her know how she feels Carlotta is embarrassed of her, but her mother denies it all. Cotton comes clean to her at where she´s been working and Carlotta asks her to leave the house and go with her. Cotton says her mother has other daughters so Carlotta has no other choice but to walk away.
Alex finds Simone smoking some outside Carlotta´s house and scolds her about it. She also shows her the lyrics of a song she wrote when Derek was arrested and suggests her to sing it at the Atlanta´s Next Fest.
She walks away leaving Simone alone with her thoughts as she begins to sing the song that Alex just gave her. The final sequence comes as we see Carlotta wearing a sad look on her face as she is in her car outside Cotton´s place. She remembers herself some years ago when she was arrested for stealing money out of a convenience store.
She remembers when Mary (Caroline Vreeland) visited her when she was in jail and tells her the money she stole was to pay for an abortion. Then, we see a young Carlotta (Sasha Sloan) giving birth to Cotton as he is immediately taken away from her. Next we see Carlotta leaving prison as little Cotton waits for her next to Mary. Carlotta and Cotton fall apart on their own. Star shows up at Jahil´s and is unpleasantly received by Eva. They begin to fight, but are immediately stopped by the man as Star yells at him he has to choose. She is there to give him one more chance to make it right. “What’s it gonna be: Eva or Star?” is the question thrown at the man. He replies: “Eva….” and the latina begins to smiles devilishly at his confirmation before he continues and say “I got to go with Star.” And just like that, Star leaves the room wearing a triumphant smile.