Thirteen weeks have passed since Khalil’s death. The Carters have moved into their new house, and Starr notes that in her new, safer neighborhood she can just tell her parents she is going for a walk “and leave.” The house still doesn’t feel like home, however, and Starr misses seeing the familiar faces of Garden Heights.
Things that many people take for granted, like walking around outside one’s home, are novel for Starr. The new neighborhood, however, lacks the vibrant community of Garden Heights.
Needing to feel “normal,” Starr texts Chris, who quickly picks her up in his Benz. They drive to Chris’s house, which is a mansion full of statues, oil paintings, and chandeliers. There is even a separate unit for a butler. Chris’s room is enormous, with a flat screen TV and leather couch.
Chris comes from an entirely different world than the Carters, who are grateful to simply have a home away from violence. Chris’s home seems all the more extravagant when directly contrasted with Starr’s.
Looking at all the finery, Starr feels more than ever that they should not be together; their backgrounds are simply too different. She says Chris should be with someone like Hailey. Chris tries to comfort Starr, but she feels he just doesn’t understand and drops it. The two begin to make out, and Starr insinuates that she is ready to have sex. Chris says he does not want to take advantage of her in this moment, and instead holds her and lets her cry.
Starr is overwhelmed by her differences from Chris. In suggesting he should be with Hailey, she devalues her own worth and suggests she is incompatible with a world of such immense privilege—and also flattens Chris into a more one-dimensional figure who is assumed to only be attracted to those as wealthy and white as he is.
Seven calls, demanding to know where Starr is. He then says DeVante is missing. Starr’s stomach drops, and she and Chris agree to help find him. Seven pulls up to Chris’s house while on the phone with Kenya, who is clearly distraught. The three get into Seven’s car and speed to Iesha’s house.
The group knows King has it out for DeVante, and as such that he could be in serious danger. The tension builds as they rush to find him.
Starr realizes this is Chris’s first time seeing Garden Heights, and worries about what he thinks of it. He does not say anything, however. They arrive at Iesha’s house, which is dilapidated from the outside but “five-star-hotel nice” on the inside. Shoes dangle from a utility line out front, signaling that drugs are sold there. A big group of King Lords sits drinking, smoking, and dancing with women in the backyard.
The interior versus exterior of Iesha’s house symbolize the fact that King has focused on immediate gratification rather than building a solid foundation for his life and family. The presence of King Lords in the backyard add to the suspense as the group searches for DeVante.
Kenya leads the group to Iesha’s bedroom, where DeVante is huddled on the floor in pain. Blood is all over the carpet and drips from his mouth. He says King beat him up, and when Kenya tried to stop the fight, King pushed her. Seven immediately tries to go to the backyard to confront King, but the others hold him back. Kenya says they need to get DeVante out of the house or King will kill him. Chris and Seven try to lift DeVante, when suddenly Iesha appears in the doorway.
No one is safe from King; he not only brutally beat a teenage boy, but also hurt his own daughter. DeVante is clearly in need of medical help, but the ever-protective Seven makes to attack King. Fighting is not the answer; instead, they must escape the house—and, by proxy, Garden Heights.
Iesha smirks when Seven asks her for help, and scoffs at his calling her “momma.” Starr knows that if she calls for King, they are in deep trouble. Her eyes flick to the door, and she angrily tells Seven to grab his sisters and get everyone out of the house, so she can “party.” Kenya grabs Lyric, and Iesha tells them to hurry up because she is “tired of looking at” them.
Iesha’s actions betray that she wants her son and daughters safely out of the house. Whether too proud to admit what she is doing or feeling unworthy of Seven’s gratefulness, Iesha refuses to acknowledge the sacrifice she is making.
As the group rushes out, Starr notices Iesha dancing in King’s face and pushing him down seductively when he tries to stand. The whole time she is also looking towards them to make sure they have left, and Starr realizes she is distracting King to help them. Seven is deeply hurt until he realizes this too. Kenya points out that with everyone else gone, Iesha knows King will take his anger out on her instead. Seven swerves to turn the car around, saying he is supposed to protect Iesha, but Kenya reminds him that she has lasted this long, and to let her do this for them.
Iesha allows the group to escape, refuting Seven’s earlier claim that she never puts her children first and specifically always chooses King over her son. This is her way of being a mother, and while it is not perfect, it evidences the deep love she has for her children.
As the group drives away, a Tupac song comes on the radio. He raps about making changes, and Starr thinks that Khalil was right about his continued relevance. When the song ends, an announcement comes on the radio stating the grand jury has decided not to indict One-Fifteen.
Tupac’s reappearance right before the indictment verdict foreshadows the riots that are about to erupt — as the “hate” given Khalil will sow chaos and destruction throughout the neighborhood.