There’s spoilers in this recap of episode seven of Woke, “Prayers for Kubby“ so you know, you’ve been warned.
This episode’s TL;DR: “Ah nah nur nur nur nur”
We start with our three guys in the living room. Keef (Lamorne Morris) has made the horrifying discovery that since he doesn’t own the rights to Toast -N- Butter, his old syndicator has someone else drawing it now. Clovis and Gunther (Blake Anderson) aren’t so interested in his problems. Until Keef tells them he’s going to the Noe Valley neighborhood to visit a lawyer. What ridiculous thing could have possible piqued their interest, you ask? Breast milk ice cream. Apparently it’s sweet and delicious, like nectar.
Next, our trio is on the bus, watching a guy strip-breakdance. And the way Gunther’s watching him, I guess he did discover a little bi inside last episode… Clovis is having none of it, but he does give us a point-by-point introduction of the typical Muni commuters: hipster skaters, mormon missionaries, a COVID patient—when did they film this show?—, a Perv (David Ury) and a Mentally Ill Homeless Guy (Phil Trasolini). I miss San Francisco. Meanwhile, Keef is over in his seat, concerned about himself. So, Clovis and Gunther ignore him in favor of talking about breast milk and political correctness.
During their conversation, we’ve been seeing alerts pop up on passengers’ phones. So it’s not completely shocking when the Perv pops in to tell them all the traffic and hubbub around them is because of Kubby. And no, Kubby is not his penis. He’s a koala that’s escaped from the zoo. A koala that can paint and knows ASL. Keef is POd that everyone cares about this bear—excuse me, marsupial—because he has things to do. He gets downright mean, telling a Sweet Old Lady (Jasmin Dring) that he heard Kubby can code and even turned down a job offer from Bill Gates… all because she cares about the koala. Even the normally cynical Clovis cares about Kubby. It’s Keef against this bus.
Later, Keef’s assuring his lawyer he’ll still make his appointment. Clovis is listing all the bears he doesn’t like (Chicago Bears, Bear Grylls, bare naked). Gunther thinks the koalas are about to go all Planet of the Apes. The rest of the bus is unified, sharing Kubby sitings, praying, etc. But when the Mentally Ill Homeless Guy goes around asking for money, no one gives him any, not even Keef, mind you. Jut then, someone announces that Kubby has been found.
Next, a police officer (Krista Magnusson) gets on the bus and tells them they’re on lockdown because Kubby was spotted in the area. Keef screams at her to let him out because of his appointment, but she’s not letting him off that bus.
Two hours later, Keef is still worried he’s going to miss his appointment. How early did they leave? Do Clovis and Gunther not have jobs? Keef is determined to escape the bus before Kubby joins ISIS (yes). Keef’s panic doesn’t get any better when he learns that Kubby has a GoFundMe that’s reached $12K. Even the Mentally Ill Homeless Guy wants the link. That’s in poor taste, show.
Of course, while Keef is busy arguing with passengers about Kubby’s STEM abilities, a Bible (Keith David) starts talking to him. The Bible tells him that maybe it’s time to go see a therapist. Everyone turns around to see Keef talking to himself. Gunther comes to the realization that Keef’s the “Crazy Guy On The Bus.” Clovis and Gunther try to calm Keef down and tell him to look at how Kubby has brought everyone together. But Keef lists off better reasons to come together: CUH-limate change, poverty, the Mentally Ill Homeless Guy. But nobody cares because: Oh my God, they killed Kubby.
When Gunther shoves the video of Kubby’s shooting in Keef’s face, Clovis warns him that Keef doesn’t want to see it. Gunther says he has to, that it’s “our Harambe,” which clearly. Of course, the video triggers Keef’s PTS about his own attack something fierce. Lamorne Morris and the camera editing work really well together here to portray the panic and denial Keef’s going through. Keef’s spiraling and having a meltdown. He’s trying to break out of the bus. His friends, rando passengers, tell him maybe it’s time to go to therapy. When Keef tries to use a skateboard to bust open the door, the Sweet Old Lady points to the escape hatch at the top of the bus. Keef is free.
Later, it’s night somehow, and Keef is headed home, Clovis hot on his tail. Gunther joins them, wearing a “Justice For Kubby” shirt. Keef calls him Judas. Everyone can take everything from Keef— his work, his life— and nobody’s crying for him. He’s furious that no one cares about people getting beaten up for existing, kids locked up in cages, but are in a rage over Kubby.
So, Keef interrupts a Kubby rally (funeral?)— where, incidentally we learn that the offending officer was fired, nice touch. Keef defaces a Justice For Kubby banner with a giant F bomb. Oh, Keef. The crowd boos him, tells him they don’t care about his opinion. Keef says he knows that no one cares about him, about Black people getting shot. He does allow that they should care about Kubby as long as they also care about people. But Keef loses it again when he sees a sign with the names “Oscar, Sandra, Eric, Trayvon, Kubby.” He grabs the sign and destroys Kubby’s coffin. Meanwhile, Clovis and Gunther debate whether to intervene. It ends with a furry in a koala suit punching Keef in the face. And an “OK. I think I need to see somebody.”
There were things I loved this episode and things I didn’t. I can easily see how this Kubby thing would spark off Keef’s PTS and make him feel like no one cares about Black people. But it seemed clear to me that none of these people really care about koalas either. If they did, they’d have been marching before Kubby died. And that’s the point, people would put Keef’s name on a sign— if he died. That’s the problem, not that some people cared about an animal for one day. I’m not sure the show did a good enough job making it clear we weren’t supposed to side with Keef. That being said, the acting was top notch, as always. Did the episode work for you guys? Do you think Keef will actually go to therapy? What are your city buses like?
Join me next time as I recap Woke here on Geek Girl Authority!
Season One of Woke is streaming on Hulu now.