The critically acclaimed Netflix series Dear White People returns for its third season on August 2. The brainchild of creator Justin Simien, Dear White People chronicles the lives of Black students as they navigate the legacy of whiteness and race relations at the fictitious Winchester University, an elite Ivy League school. Samantha White (Logan Browning), Troy Fairbanks (Brandon P. Bell), Lionel Higgins (DeRon Horton), Colandrea “Coco” Conners (Antoinette Robertson), Gabe Mitchell (John Patrick Amerdori), Reggie Green (Marque Richardson), Joelle Brooks (Ashely Blaine Featherson) and the rest of the crew are all back as they matriculate through all the twists and turns of life at Winchester.
Season two was unpredictable and full of surprises. Peaceful protests, secret societies, long-awaited hook-ups, explorations of sexuality, twitter trolls, family drama and so much more filled each episode. With authenticity, satire and nuance, DWP brilliantly explores the varied experiences of Black millennials at PWI’s (Private White Institutions) who are trying to find themselves and protect their Blackness.
At the conclusion of season two, we were left with many questions as we anticipate the premiere of season three. Here’s a list of 10 Questions We Need Answered In Season Three Of Dear White People.
- Will Sam be able to juggle everything?
Without question, Sam was dealing with a lot last season. As season two concluded, Sam was almost on the brink of a breakdown. As the main protagonist, the entire series is viewed through the lens of Sam’s experiences. After facing backlash from campus protests, struggling with class assignments, and the death of her dad, Sam was riding an emotional roller coaster. Throughout season two, she was viciously trolled by @ AltIvyW, calling her racist because of her DWP radio show. Sam is juggling so much as a high-profile person on campus dealing with racism, sexism, her schoolwork, and her own flaws. Can she keep it together throughout season 3?
2. Can Reggie deal with his post-traumatic stress?
When the campus police pulled a gun on Reggie at a party, he almost became another statistic, another unarmed Black man who was killed by the police. Because of the incident, Reggie has to see a therapist, unlike the white officer who almost killed him. Now Reggie is known as “the Black Guy on campus who was almost killed by a cop.” Although he tries to shrug it off and is tired of everybody asking if he’s OK, Reggie is dealing with some major trauma. Reggie, the son of a Black Panther, is struggling with the aftermath of what happened to him. He can’t sleep and is experiencing panic attacks. Dean Fairbanks gives Reggie some advice saying, “You cannot let those few seconds become your whole life. You gotta find a way to let this out.” Reggie then participates in Gabe’s documentary on race and begins to recall his encounters with racism. He tells Gabe, “I’m done seeing myself through other people’s eyes.” Will Reggie pull himself back together in season 3?
3. Will Lionel find the kind of love he’s looking for?
While Lionel may be socially awkward, his pen game is brilliant. In season one, Lionel was uncertain about his sexuality. In season two, he’s more assertive about who he is than ever before. He makes a connection with Silvio while working at The Independent, but things don’t work out after he discovers that he is the mastermind behind the mega troll @AltIvyW, who has been viciously attacking Sam. After that disappointment, he collaborated with Brooke to launch a newspaper and to expose Silvio. This leads him to begin hooking up with Wesley. As his new love interest, Lionel discovers that Wesley is not interested in monogamy like he is. Bummer. Will Lionel find his true love in season 3?
4. Will Joelle and Reggie become a couple?
Although she often gets lost in the shadow of Sam, Joelle is a force to be reckoned with. She’s extremely driven to succeed and obsessed with being number one in her class, and she’s a good singer. But behind the scenes, Joelle and Reggie have feelings for each other. You can cut the sexual tension between Joelle and Reggie with a knife. After Joelle discovered that her new love interest, Trevor, graduated with a Phd from Hotep University, she was stunned with how he saw the world through hyper-Black masculine eyes. When Trevor goes into a hateful rant, Reggie comes out of nowhere to sock him right in the face. This was just another sign that Joelle and Reggie belonged together. After flirting and walking up close to the line, will Joelle and Reggie officially be an item in season 3?
5.What will become of Troy’s comedy career?
It must be a lot of pressure to try to live up to your father’s expectations while attending his alma mater, especially when he happens to be the Dean. Troy often seems lost and doesn’t really know who he is or who he wants to be. He set off a riot in season one by shattering a window in the Hancock house. In season two, Troy was in constant search of trying to find himself. As a legacy kid who was supposed to be a born leader, Troy makes a left turn and pursues comedy. In his comedy routine, he explores his own flaws and seems to finally be on his own path instead of someone else’s. Can Troy make it last in the high-pressure environment of Winchester as a comedian?
6. Can Gabe and Sam’s relationship last?
In season two, Gabe and Sam finally resolve their complex relationship issues over an entire episode. Gabe’s documentary, Am I A Racist, seems to be antithetical to the whole premise of Dear White People. They have been through a lot of ish as a couple and as a Black woman and a white man at Winchester. Remember, it was Gabe’s call to the police that led to Reggie’s trauma. Then Sam came close as hell to cheating on Gabe with Reggie, and Gabe broke up with Sam on the night of the rally. Although they kissed and made up, what are the chances of Gabe and Sam’s relationship lasting in season three?
7. What the hell is going on with the secret society?
Hov once said, “It’s a secret society all we ask is trust.” That seems to be what it takes to be aligned with invisible but powerful movers and shakers at Winchester. The alleged secret society known as “The Order of the X’ was a major theme throughout the second season. The nameless, omnipresent narrator finally reveals himself in the person of Giancarlo Esposito and is supposedly the master of the Order of X, the secret society that is rumored to be at the heart of Winchester. Esposito placed “Xs” above the doors to Lionel and Sam’s rooms and invited them to the bell tower basement, which we learned was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. Will Sam and Lionel be the new reps for the Order of the X? Is the Order of the X for real?
8. Will Coco become the leader of all things Black in Winchester?
From the outside, it seems like no one has it together more than Coco. She always comes to slay, and she’s extremely intelligent to boot. She’s also become the de facto adviser to white people who can’t understand their problematic blind spots when around Black people. She asked, “When did I become the white whisperer?” But all of this pales in comparison to Coco becoming pregnant. For a moment, she dreams of what it would be like to have a child. For the first time in the series, we got to see Coco as a human being, not just a high-strung, cold-blooded opportunist. Then, accompanied by Kelsey, she makes the extremely hard decision to have an abortion. Soon after, Coco even accompanies Sam when she goes to funeralise her father. Despite all of these experiences that humanize Coco, will she still try to become the ruthless leader of everything Black at Winchester?
9.Did the integration of the Armstrong-Packer House take away the voices of the Black students?
In a predominantly white institution of higher learning like Winchester, Black people need their own safe spaces, and the residential housing dormitory of the Armstrong-Parker house was such a space. Originally intended for housing for Irish and Italian students, Armstrong-Parker eventually became a haven for African-American students. Tensions on campus went through the roof when Douglas Hancock wrote an article in the Independent over the new living situations. Armstrong-Parker would be the only house to face a pending decision to be integrated, a decision influenced by Hancock. The Black Student Union attempted to stop the forced integration, but the fire that burned the Davis House made Armstrong-Parker the new digs for white students, causing all kinds of drama. Will the integration of Armstrong-Parker take away the voices of the Black students?
10. Will Kelsey ever get Sorbet back?
Poor Sorbet. A running theme throughout the second season is the whereabouts of Sorbet, Kelsey’s support dog. Sorbet went missing and the perpetrators of the crime were thought to be some member of an alt-right group. However, Brooke and Lionel discover that Al (Jemar Michael) has Sorbet. He took Sorbet as a prank and then kept her just for kicks. Amazingly, Sorbet showed up with Sam and Lionel in the last episode. Will they return Sorbet to her mama?
All of these questions will be answered when season 3 of Dear White People premieres on Netflix on August 3.
Image credit: Netflix