Black Cake Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Nine Night

Spoilers

And with its final installment, we have our answer about who killed Little Man.

The intricate story of Covey comes to its conclusion on Black Cake Season 1 Episode 8. But the finale does a decent job of leaving the series open-ended so that this presumed mini-series could expand into another season.

And with the critical acclaim, it wouldn’t be surprising if Black Cake got a renewal.

There’s undoubtedly more to this bold series to explore. While there’s indeed some form of closure on Coventina/ Eleanor Bennett’s story, there are so many threads and different directions this series can go in if it so chooses.

Covey’s children have their entire lives ahead of them, and at least two of them have the makings for compelling stories to explore.

Covey Peeks Outside - Tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 8

And, of course, the series could easily maintain its time-jumping, non-linear storytelling if it opts to pursue different angles and perspectives from other important characters in Covey’s life.

We never learned what happened to Lin Lyncook after he realized that his daughter “died.”

Pearl had given up on him at a certain point, and his fate is one of interest and something that’s at least addressed in the novel, so it would be worth exploring.

The introduction of adult Bunny unlocked another angle of this story that could continue into another season.

Mathilda and Baby Covey - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 8

How did the young island girl who went to such lengths to save her best friend and the object of her desire become this historic athlete who found her way to the States?

And what type of relationship would she maintain with Covey’s adult children now that she’s come to grips with her friend’s life story and come to know that there are living pieces of her that remain with Benny, Byron, and Mabel’s existence?

Mathilda: My sweet Coventina.
Pearl: Coventina?
Mathilda: Goddess of Water. Pearl, you are the only one I trust to look over her.
Pearl: And I will, always.
Mathilda: As her godmother?
Pearl: I’d be honorod.

There’s still the mystery behind what happened to Covey’s mother, Mathilda, and why she never made it back to reclaim the daughter she never wanted to leave behind.

The series could even delve deeper into Mathilda’s friendship with Pearl, whose fate also remains a mystery, and continue to draw intriguing parallels between that unshakeable sisterhood and that of Covey and Bunny’s.

Adult Bunny - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 8

And while, admittedly, wondering whether or not Benny Bennett gets her shit together and becomes the best version of herself isn’t a hook that will have most fans clamoring to tune in, Byron and Mabel had significant cliffhangers that one would love to see resolved.

Byron has come into his own throughout this experience, both combatting the justifiable anger, frustration, and mixed emotions surrounding his mother and father’s secrets and shedding the respectability workplace politics in favor of honesty.

And he also faces a conundrum regarding the state of his and Lynette’s relationship and future.

It was shocking to learn that Lynette is pregnant and withheld this information for a bit because Byron was dealing with his mother’s death, funeral, Benny’s return, and this new sister.

Lynette -Tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 5

But it was even more surprising to learn that Lynette doesn’t even know if she wants this child.

We don’t know much about Lynette, which is one of the reasons this particular development doesn’t have the emotional impact it should.

Byron: What are you saying? That you don’t want kids, or that you don’t want kids with me?
Lynette: I’m saying that I don’t know.
Byron: So, what have we been doing all of these years? Playing house?

However, within a series that works to explore the complexities of womanhood and motherhood, one can believe that they wouldn’t hold back on this storyline if given a second season, andn it would be quite the emotional ride.

From the little Lynette said, it doesn’t sound as if she’s confident in where she and Byron are in their relationship, and she may have some personal hangups or baggage of her own that she’s facing with the news of this unplanned pregnancy.

Intimate Conversations - Tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 5

She can’t decipher if she doesn’t want this child because she’s not ready for motherhood or doesn’t want it, or if she can’t envision having a child with Byron specifically.

Lynette has a lot on her mind that she’s trying to sort through. And sadly, she’s shut Byron out in the process, landing another sucker punch to this man who can’t ever seem to find his footing or catch a break.

Learning that his ex is pregnant and doesn’t know if she wants their child at his mother’s funeral sucks. Things rarely seem to look up for Byron Bennett.

It’s hard to know what to make of Simon rewatching the footage of Byron attacking him and whether or not that could bode negatively for Byron’s future.

Where She Stood - tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 8

However, we did see that while Byron’s personal life is all mixed up, and he still isn’t close enough to his sister despite everything they’ve endured in the staggering nine days since their mother died to confide in her fully, he appears to have directed his attention to his professional life.

How do you grieve for someone you never really knew?

Byron

It seems he’ll be filing a discrimination suit against his job. It’s a different step for him to take in his life, but it’s something worthwhile to explore and will have some interesting ramifications.

Surprisingly, her scenes with Byron were the most intriguing of all the interactions between Covey’s children and an adult Bunny.

At least in those moments, it felt like someone was getting Byron to share more about how he’s handling all of this information dumped on him.

Devoted Son- Tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 1

You can’t help but sympathize with him because he was the one who was there by his mother’s side as she slowly wasted away and then had to roll right into unpacking her harrowing story and web of secrets and lies immediately after that.

He was the one who was by her side for most of the time she was making that final black cake.

It hasn’t felt as if Byron had much space to be upset about his parents and their long history of secrets, so with Bunny there, it felt like he had someone to confide in and sit with those thoughts.

Initially, Bunny wasn’t far off from him in needing time to process all this new information and being upset with Covey.

Loyal Friend - tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 8

She thought her best friend and the object of her desires was dead for five decades. It hurt her to her core that Covey Lyncook never reached out to her in all those years and deprived her of a reunion.

It had to be a lot for Bunny to not only find out that her best friend had died recently but that she had reunited and lived a long, happy life with Gibbs and that Covey had three children.

For 50 years, I thought my best friend was dead. What I want to know is how she could just carry on without ever letting me know that she survived.

Bunny

Somewhere along the way, Bunny made peace with everything Covey shared in that recording, and it helped her to honor her friend’s wishes and guide the kids through Nine Night.

It was great that we got to revisit Bunny. She was such an essential figure in Covey’s life, and the reveal that she was the one who took charge and saved her friend wasn’t that surprising.

Bunny and Pearl - tall - Black Cake

But it made you genuinely appreciate the sisterhood. For much of the series, it felt as if Covey and Gibbs’ love story was prioritized as the most important, but Covey and Bunny were among the strongest love stories.

The ways that it mirrored Mathilda and Pearl were incredible, right down to Bunny using the same fruit that Mathilda educated Pearl about moments after Pearl helped deliver Covey.

That opening scene was a powerful, full-circle one. Mathilda naming her daughter after a water goddess couldn’t be more apt.

The finale did a great job of centering womanhood and sisterhood again.

Covey and Bunny Forever - Tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 8

Covey spoke about how men ruled their lives at the time and controlled everything they did. She and Bunny spoke about living in a world where Bunny wasn’t accepted because of her love of women.

Covey acknowledging her friend’s feelings and then explaining the distinction between Bunny’s sexuality being dangerous for her rather than “bad” was such a poignant and great moment.

Related: Black Cake Review: Birth Mother

And Bunny making that association and realizing that she was essentially telling her friend to hide away every bit as much as she had been doing was equally as powerful.

The murder mystery wasn’t much of a mystery and didn’t evoke much curiosity. Once we got wrapped up in Covey’s story and legacy, I can’t say I cared who killed Little Man or felt it necessary to get the answer.

Depressed Bride - Tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 1

But as Bunny’s powerful act of love — not the men in Covey’s life they were begging to “save” her, but rather the women who made it happen, it had a satisfying conclusion.

The series is strong when it reminds us of the endurance, resilience, and strength of women.

I can’t snap my fingers and make the world a better place for you, but I will do everything I can to make it a safe space. It’s the least I can do because you’ve always been mine.

Covey

It’s promising that Bunny can be in the kids’ lives and further connect them to their mother, heritage, and more.

I almost wish the finale had ended with the trio in Jamaica, standing on the same land their mother was quite literally born on and feeling more connected to her and themselves in the process.

Begruding Bride - tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 8

The farewell to Eleanor was nice enough. The funeral wasn’t that appealing, especially when Eleanor opened her recordings, suggesting that she would tell them her story partly because she wanted her children to tell the world who she was.

In the end, that didn’t happen at the funeral.

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But they got their own special goodbye later on. Mabel getting to see her mother for the first time was a bit emotional.

Benny got to say goodbye, which was fine. But she returned to her place as a frustrating character when they somehow spent most of the Nine Night coddling her.

Digging into the Past - tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 6

Benny’s ability to make everything about herself is so grating that it makes you gnash your teeth. After all the shit they sat through, that she’d fix her lips to imply still that she would be alone was foolishness.

Benny is emotionally exhausting and needs far too much reassurance, and what good is that when she never believes anyone they do it?

B and B, there is a small black cake in the freezer for you. Don’t throw it out, sit down and share it together when the time is right. You’ll know when.

Eleanor

Again, Mabel remains the more compelling angle for things.

They left us hanging on the real story behind why her late husband’s parents didn’t like her and kept her from the funeral. Giovanni never met his father because he died when she was still pregnant.

Mabel Continues to Process -tall - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 7

Mabel is terrified of how her son will react to the truth about his father. They keep teasing all these things and not delivering on them or even leaving enough hints to be anything short of frustrating.

But Mabel is definitely like her biological mother and parents if she still insists on keeping her son in the dark and not preparing herself for the consequences when he inevitably learns the truth.

Related: Found’s Kelli Williams Talks Margaret’s Healling Journey

I would like to think that Mabel has had so much to face in the past couple of days that she’d want to orchestrate how she intends to be honest with her son about his father and whatever else.

But she may continue to push him away in some effort to protect him and the fear of him seeing her as a flawed human or perceiving her differently.

Gio - Black Cake Season 1 Episode 5

Instead, she’ll get wrapped up in finding out about her birth father and blowing his world up and that of his family.

One of the first things Mabel did when she got back home was listen to that recording again as Eleanor started to talk about the monster who assaulted her mother.

Covey: We were fools, thinking we could leave this island. We’re girls. They tell us how to walk, how to talk, where to swim. Who to love. Why did we ever think things would be different for us?
Bunny: Because we were different.

It’s interesting, as Mabel has seemed hesitant to bring her new life and everything she’s learned into her old one.

She seemed genuinely uncomfortable about the prospect of acknowledging her multiracial identity or using it to shut down those still attacking her for being some culture vulture culinary Karen.

Self Discovery - Tall Season 1 Episode 6

It didn’t seem like she was ready to tell her son about her origins or his aunt and uncle.

But in that final shot of her listening to that recording, we saw a spark of something in her.

If Mabel is ready to burn it all down by tracking down her mother’s rapist, then so be it. It’s a promising cliffhanger.

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Over to you, Black Cake Fanatics.

Were you surprised by who killed Little Man? How did you feel about Adult Bunny? Will Mabel track down her mother’s rapist? Should Black Cake get a second season? Hit the comments.

You can stream all episodes of Black Cake on Hulu.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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