Season 2 of Peacock’s Bel-Air is getting deeper and deeper as the weeks pass. In episode five, which was entitled ‘Excellence Is Everywhere,’ we start to see the difficulties that can come with relationships, whether business or personal. The episode begins with Will (Jabari Banks) training with his new AAU team, Zenith Hype. After the workout, Will is a bit discouraged because it didn’t go as well as he planned. His teammates called him soft and said he wasn’t ready. Before he could get too down, Jackie (Jazlyn Martin) lets him know that he has to find his edge if he wants to make it. Back at school for the first time since this suspension, Will is surprised when he’s announced as one of the finalists for the Founder’s Award, along with Carlton (Olly Sholotan). After she congratulates him for being nominated, Will is able to convince Lisa (Simone Joy Jones) to give him swim lessons since Doc (Brooklyn McLinn) is making the team do 50 laps the following week. Lisa does a great job of teaching Will how to swim. Ironically enough, it seems like all the swim lessons did was make the feelings the two have for each other come back. After Will checked in on Carlton, Phil came to check in with Will. The two discuss the fact that Will is s role model for Carlton. Will tells Phil that he doesn’t care about the Founders Award and he will gladly take his name out of the running. He makes sure that Phil know that he wants the best for Carlton. Will catches up with Doc at the exhibit and the two discuss how academics are just as important as the sports aspect. This prompts Will to inform him that he’s up for a leadership at school although it’s more of his cousins thing. Doc tells Will that he has leadership qualities also and he shouldn’t be so quick to count himself out. After her and her dance team absolutely kill it, Jackie thanks Lisa for her words of encouragement earlier. Will interrupts their conversation by planting a kiss on Jackie’s lips…right in front of Lisa. As one might expect, Lisa is shocked that the two know each other. Jackie notices the tension and asks Will about it. Will explains that he and Lisa had a thing but now they’re just cool. Jackie says that Will might be but Lisa definitely isn’t. After the exhibit is over, Will tries to apologize to Lisa for his actions earlier with Jackie. He tells her that he thought she genuinely moved on. Lisa expresses how she’s not mad but instead feels stupid for being ‘that girl.’ After Will tells her that she’s the best friend he’s made since moving, she breaks it to him that that isn’t enough. She tells Will that they no longer can be friends. The episode ends with Will seemingly remembering what Doc said about academics and not counting himself out. Will goes online to research more about the Founders Award that he’s up for. Is Will going to go all out to try and win the award? How will him and Jackie’s relationship blossom now that Lisa isn’t in the way anymore? Does Will actually know what he wants?
After it’s revealed that the Black Student Union nominated will for the Founder’s Award, Carlton approaches Yazmin (Riele Downs) to get to the bottom of it. Carlton feels like she only did it because she’s still mad at him about the protest. She explains that Will brings a perspective they haven’t seen before. She adds that two Black students being nominated is a good thing. Later on in the school day, Connor (Tyler Barnhardt) congratulates Carlton on being nominated but notes that they’re both going to lose to Will. He asks Carlton if he needs an escape to which Carlton refuses and says he’s good. Connor ignores him and still gives him some coke. Carlton rushes to the bathroom where he begins to have flashbacks of some of the previous times he’s done it. Without showing us what he actually does inside the stall, we hear the toilet flush and Carlton exits the bathroom. Back at the house, Will comes to check on Carlton. He notes that he peeped Connor in his ear earlier at school. Carlton declares that he doesn’t want to deal with Connor and any of his BS. After his conversation with Will, his mother was next. She congratulates him on the Founders Awards nomination but notes that she heard about his panic attack at the protest. Carlton convinces Vivian that everything will be fine and they all need to have faith in the decision they made. While Will is trying to learn more about the Founders Award, we find out that Carlton actually didn’t flush the coke that Conner gave him. He hides the drugs in one of his drawers. Are we seeing the beginning of Carlton spiraling again? How will Will’s newfound care for the Founders Award impact him?
Back at the influencer house, pressure is mounting for Hilary (Coco Jones) to make things happen. The other house members are becoming impatient with waiting for her to close the Simply Spiked deal. Hilary decides to go get some advice from her mother. After Hilary expresses that she feels like giving up, Vivian tells her to trust her gut. She explains that if Phanta and Monica see that Hilary can get the house sponsored on her own without Ivy (Karrueche Tran), they’ll see that she’s a boss. Vivian agrees to let Hilary and her housemates use the event as an opportunity for the house to gain some publicity. At the exhibit, Phantom and Monica pull Hilary to the side and let her know that it isn’t exactly the kind of influencer splash they were looking for. Hilary lets them know that she understands but promises that she has a big surprise coming. It just so happens that the surprise was none other than Hilary’s ex boyfriend, LaMarcus Alton, a wide receiver in the NFL who had just got traded to the Los Angeles Rams. Jazz (Jordan L. Jones) comes over to introduce himself but is completely caught off guard when he’s told the extent of Hilary and LaMarcus’ past. Hilary and Jazz discuss why they broke up (LaMarcus got drafted and Hilary didn’t want to do the long distance thing anymore). She explains that she only invited LaMarcus because she knew it would be good for the influencer house. After watching Hilary’s family fraternizing with LaMarcus, Jazz sadly leaves the exhibit. Ironically enough, LaMarcus pulling up to the event pushed them over the age and got them the Simply Spiked deal. Although that was good news, Hilary couldn’t celebrate it with Jazz, who is now not returning her texts or calls. How will Hilary make things right with Jazz? After Hilary closed a deal without her, will Ivy come back to make her presence felt? If so, how?
With her art exhibit right around the corner, Aunt Viv (Cassandra Freeman) is struggling with Janice (Daphne Reid) and her not being comfortable with Vivian pushing the envelope. She shares her concerns with Geoffrey (Jimmy Akingbola), who reassures her that she’s an asset and they need her more than she needs them. After he helps cheer her up a bit, Vivian tries to get more insight on what’s the latest between him and Phil (Adrian Holmes). Geoffrey says that they’re on the right path. Janice visits the Banks’ household, where Vivian explains the concept and setup for her exhibit. Although she says it all sounds good, Janice still offers her two cents with what she thinks will make it better. Vivian is clearly frustrated but doesn’t know how to handle the situation. After giving her daughter some words of encouragement, Hilary returns the favor. Hilary emphasizes that everyone else shouldn’t get their vision if it means Vivian loses sight of her own. After she’s done teaching Will how to swim, Lisa goes to have a chat with Vivian. In the midst of their conversation, we find out that the new theme of the art show is “Excellence Is Everywhere.” It was inspired by Ashley (Akira Akbar) and Ms. Hughes’ letter that she sent her. Lisa accidentally tells Vivian that Carlton and Will both got nominated for the Founders Award. That wasn’t all that. She goes on to disclose what happened to Carlton at the protest, which cause Vivian and Phil to talk to the boys one on one. At the exhibit, Geoffrey swoops in at the perfect time to save Vivian from being bombarded with Janice and her remarks about the changes Vivian has made. After Ashley comes across a book by Phillis Wheatley (the first published Black female poet) and wonders why she was never taught about her in school, Vivian expresses how important it is that Black people educate themselves. After a successful show, will Aunt Viv continue to do things the way she sees fit? When will she host another exhibit? Will Ashley take her mothers words and begin to educate herself more?
Due to his firm losing the Garrison Construction account (their biggest client), Phil discovers that his company’s billable are down 30%. Geoffrey recommends that Phil has a sit down with Robert Garrison to let him know that he’s back on the throne. Hopefully the conversation will calm a lot of investors nerves and possibly press pause on the acquisition. Instead of Garrison pulling up to the meeting, a woman named Erika (Diandra Lyle) arrives. It’s evident that the two have some sort of history. She updates Phil that Garrison won’t be coming and that it was her firm that poached him away from Phil’s. The two catch up over drinks before Phil alerts her that he will get his client back. Erika responds by letting him know that Robert is a huge piece of business and she won’t let him go easily. She mentions that she’s reasonable and there’s one way Phil can get him back. While talking at the exhibit, Phil tells Geoffrey that Erika told him that the only way the firm could get Garrison back was if he came to work at her firm as a senior partner or at least considered taking a meeting. Geoffrey asks him has he spoken to Vivian about it yet and Phil says he won’t until there’s actually something to tell her. Back at home, Phil tells Vivian the same thing everyone else had been telling her throughout the episode. He told her that while giving voices to other people, she can’t forget her own. He then comes out and tells her that they have a problem with Geoffrey. He tells her that he got a security camera placed in his office once Geoffrey came back because he suspected something was going on. It just so happens that he was right. He showed Vivian a video of Geoffrey going through his stuff looking for documents and/or information about where he could find his son Frederick. Will Phil tell Vivian about the meeting with Erika? What’s their actual history? How will Phil respond to what he found out about Geoffrey? Let us know what you thought about the fifth episode of season two and what your predictions for next week’s episode are in the comments!