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That LaDonna Life is the third episode of the first season of The CW science fiction mystery drama 4400.

Synopsis

TIDES BEGIN TO TURN - LaDonna signs up for fifteen more minutes of fame but quickly realizes she doesn't have the clout she once had, so she turns to an unlikely source to help further her agenda, meanwhile Jharrel picks an inopportune time to speak his truth, and it may cost him dearly. Andre is eager to get back to medicine while everyone is eager to feel a bit of normalcy again. Shanice takes a step towards repairing her relationship with her daughter and Hayden and Mildred enjoy an impromptu celebration.

Plot

LaDonna, Mildred, and Hayden discuss the trip to Belle Isle

LaDonna, Mildred, and Hayden recount their trip to Belle Isle. LaDonna compares them to superheroes and herself to the Kardashians in the sense that she brings a dash of reality TV fame, which neither Mildred nor Hayden is familiar with.

Shanice is a bit shocked that Mariah stands before her and asks how she got inside her room. Mariah reveals that Hayden let her in and that she came against her father's wishes, as she truly wanted to meet her. They embrace, and Shanice seemingly sees a memory of Mariah hugging Bridget and referring to her as "Mom." This startles Shanice, who tells Mariah that she never would've left her by choice. Mariah recalls her father mentioning a letter and asks her mother if it's true. Shanice initially lies and says no, but then admits that she did in fact write the letter. Mariah is upset that her mother has lied to her, so much so that she leaves.

A crowd has formed outside the hotel, demanding the release of the 4400. Shanice tells Andre and LaDonna about Mariah, who snuck inside. LaDonna surmises this is why Hayden didn't go to Belle Isle — to let Mariah in, as he can see the future. LaDonna believes that all this publicity is good for them and that Steve, one of the guards, says that they're planning some kind of press event.

LaDonna has little recollection of when she was taken. All she remembers is that she was drunk and shooting the premiere of her reality show That LaDonna Life. With the cameras rolling, LaDonna selects her wardrobe from the clothes rack, but her mother advises her against wearing an unflattering dress. And when LaDonna begins considering getting a degree in computer science, Loretta shuts her down and tells her to fix her face, as she has a zit coming in. LaDonna needs to start to think about her brand, not her brain, Loretta adds.

Ken warns Shanice, LaDonna, and Andre about loitering in the halls and warns them to get to breakfast.

Hayden and Cora play a game of chess but on a mate in three puzzle, as they don't have an actual set. Noah joins them after learning from Mildred that Hayden's birthday is tomorrow and that he's turning 91. Noah is much more excited than Hayden, who doesn't like his birthday, as there is never much to celebrate when you're locked up.

Jharrel adds another number to the clock on the wall in the hallway that he believes was started by his brother Manny. When Soraya arrives, he asks her if anyone passed through the hallway last night, but she checked the cameras and no one did. And after working through Keisha's body cam footage, she's still no closer to figuring out what put them to sleep at Belle Isle.

Jharrel, Keisha, and Soraya attend a meeting led by Jessica, during which she reveals they'll be hosting a press event tomorrow to get a hold of the situation and dispel any rumors. Carla Coleman from the Mayor's office will be running the event. Carla reveals that the public only knows that the 4400 showed up in Belle Isle. It's their job to remove any space for speculation. Jharrel and Keisha will be tasked with finding a press ambassador within the 4400 to speak with the press, but Jharrel is reluctant. Jessica adds that they want the world to see that they've provided a safe and welcoming environment for the 4400.

In the hall, Jharrel and Carla become reacquainted; they used to date. Carla asks if Manny is a 4400. Not officially, Jharrel replies, though he shows Carla Manny's signature clock tag. However, Carla is skeptical that Manny came back with the other 4400 only to leave Jharrel cryptic messages rather than just revealing he's back. She fears that Jharrel is becoming obsessed with his brother's disappearance again. He chased every lead and spent every night at Manny's place. Jharrel apologizes for being a bad boyfriend, but he refuses to give up on his brother, as he believes this may be his chance at finding him.

Jessica approaches Jharrel with his tailored statement for the press event tomorrow, but Jharrel hates the idea. While Keisha believes that he has a bleeding heart, Jessica simply thinks that he doesn't like to be a team player. Jharrel came to advocate for the 4400, not play puppet for the government, but Jessica is giving him no other choice, unless he wants off the assignment.

Keisha and Jharrel begin interviewing residents to determine which will be their press ambassador. Hayden, Mildred, and Shanice are all crossed off the list for various reasons, whereas Claudette is eager to turn it down, especially since she's being held against her will and the job is without pay.

Andre examines Noah's bruise on his face. He reminds Noah not to sing when he gets around the reporters, as it would be extremely dangerous if his powers made the front page, but Noah explains that he can't always help it. Noah then confides in Andre that he's transgender and that he needs special medication to be his true self, but being from the Harlem Renaissance era, Andre is unfamiliar with the term. So, Noah explains to him what transgender means, and Andre agrees to get his medicine.

Claudette feels insulted by Rev's assumption

LaDonna reveals her plan to leverage the government's need for an ambassador in exchange for her phone. Her media skills will help them in whichever way possible. Rev then approaches Claudette under the assumption that she has kids, given that she's a woman and the time she's from, and asks how to throw a party for Hayden. However, she takes great offense to his assumptions and leaves.

Shanice fears that they're going to use this press event to further screw over the 4400. Andre is distracted, however. They need to get out of the hotel as soon as possible, especially since Noah isn't getting the treatment he needs, and if they find out about everyone's enhancements, he fears what will come next. Shanice then reveals that she saw Mariah's memory when she hugged her, suggesting some kind of emerging ability of her own. Andre believes that with patience and study, they can identify and control their abilities. Even so, it would make Shanice no better at being a mom, recalling how she lied to Mariah. Andre advises Shanice to go easy on herself and simply be honest to Mariah.

Logan suspects that something is wrong with Mariah when she doesn't argue him down about his choice in movie. Mariah says that she wants to read her mother's letter, unintentionally revealing that she went to the hotel to see her. Logan is upset but also curious about how it went. Admittedly, it didn't go well. Mariah didn't even know what to call her, only knowing Bridget as her mom, leaving Mariah in a state of uncertainty, which is why she needs the letter, believing it can give her answers.

Andre sits down for his interview with Jharrel and asks for medical text and training. He also asks Jharrel for his help in acquiring Noah's medication, which Jharrel agrees to work on. Keisha joins them and asks Jharrel if he's had any luck in finding an ambassador, which he hasn't. After he leaves, LaDonna joins Keisha by the couch, willing and able to be their press ambassador, but only in exchange for her phone. As she describes her phone to Keisha, just for a moment, it seems to appear on the table behind Keisha, but disappears seconds later. Ultimately, Keisha and LaDonna agree to supervised time with LaDonna's phone twice a week.

Flashback to LaDonna filming her premiere. She approaches one of the crew members about the lighting stands and wires lying around that propose a hazard, but her mother Loretta interrupts and reminds LaDonna that it's not her job to be concerned with such matters and telling her daughter to step away from the window, as she "can't afford to get any darker."

While applying her makeup, LaDonna remarks that some accessories would be nice, and as if out of thin air, a gold necklace suddenly manifests around her neck, though it appears to be merely an illusion, as the necklace isn't actually there when she attempts to touch it.

Claudette is upset that LaDonna is willfully going along with being a press ambassador, but Andre believes that she has it under control. It is then that they, along with Shanice, notice Noah being carried away. The medical staff claim that he's being taken to receive his medication at Agent Tanner's request, but Andre is suspicious, and Claudette concludes that the government simply didn't want the press to see Noah's face. Andre blames himself, but Shanice assure him it's not his fault.

LaDonna leads the press event

The press event is underway, and Carla welcomes the press inside the hotel. Their goal is to keep the residents secure until it is deemed safe for them to return to society. She then introduces them to LaDonna, who shows them around the hotel and navigates the press' questions effortlessly. One of the attendees recognize her and reveals that her mother claims that she went into rehab when she disappeared six years ago. Jharrel steps up to take over and begins reading his statement, but he becomes overwhelmed with emotion, revealing that his brother is missing and going off course about how they haven't been allowed to notify family members about their missing loved ones that are being held against their will. LaDonna interjects and leads the press away.

Carla confronts Jharrel for going off script. She tells him that he's not the only one with something to lose. It is her head at stake should this blow back on the Mayor. Jharrel didn't mean to hurt Carla or her job and offers to right his wrong, but she doesn't believe he can.

LaDonna approaches Jessica about her cellphone after having fulfilled her end of the deal. However, Jessica has no intentions of giving LaDonna her phone, reneging on their deal.

LaDonna recalls the filming of her premiere. She was drunk and dancing when her auntie Cha Cha arrived. This led to an argument between her aunt and her mother.

Jharrel goes back to Manny's apartment, searching for a sign. Instead, he's joined by Keisha, who worries that he could lose his job. Jharrel asks how Keisha kept herself together after losing her sister. Keisha's job is what she focused on. It kept her mind busy and allowed her to focus on something other than herself. Keisha believes that Jharrel needs to do the same.

Ken forcefully takes Shanice to see Logan and Mariah, who wait for her in an empty room. Logan reveals that Mariah had something she wanted to say to Shanice. Just as he's about to leave, Mariah asks him to stay as she reads Shanice's letter word-for-word about how she wasn't meant to be a mother. Shanice begins to cry as she tries to explain that she never meant for Logan to read that letter. She simply had a moment of weakness and never intended to leave them. And now that she's back, she's willing to be there for them. Mariah accepts her apology and runs into her mother's arms.

Jharrel gifts Andre his brother's medical textbooks. Andre wonders if he is among the 4400. Jharrel had hoped. He even recalls seeing a green light the day of Manny's disappearance, but he doesn't think so anymore.

Soraya takes LaDonna into the security room and reveals that she has a rough cut of LaDonna's pilot. Soraya recognizes LaDonna and has been watching her since Season 5 of Real Ex-Wives of Miami. Soraya was excited about the spin-off, but then LaDonna disappeared, and her mother claimed that she was in rehab. However, Soraya always suspected that she changed her name and snuck off to MIT, as she recalls LaDonna mentioning computer engineering and her 4.6 GPA. LaDonna refers to Soraya as her very first "stan." Soraya leaves, allowing LaDonna to watch the pilot by herself. Seeing the premiere for the first time allows LaDonna to recall exactly what happened the day of her disappearance. Her mother and aunt have staged a fight, during which Loretta tells LaDonna that reality TV requires much needed drama, fabricated or otherwise. LaDonna begins crying and stumbles off onto the balcony, where she trips over the wires and falls off the side of the building before being taken by a green light. LaDonna then looks to the next computer over and sees the security footage throughout the hotel.

Hayden's surprise party

As planned, Rev throws Hayden a surprise birthday party, much to Claudette's surprise. She reveals that her husband was also a preacher, and many times, he did things purely for show. Rev remarks that sounds more like his father. Hayden joins them and they wish him a happy birthday, topped off with a lobster with a candle on it, but they have no means to light it. LaDonna volunteers to help with that and, without effort, creates the illusion of a burning candle. Hayden wishes Noah was with them and thanks everyone for making his birthday special.

Jessica tells Keisha that Jharrel gets to keep his job, as they don't want it to appear retaliatory, which Keisha is thankful for. While Jharrel has poor timing, Keisha admits that everything he said was true. Jessica can't believe that Keisha is defending him, but she explains that he's her partner. Jessica reminds Keisha that they're also partners, but Keisha is upset with Jessica for reneging on her deal with LaDonna. Jessica explains that she's under a lot of pressure and would appreciate it if Keisha was on her side, but Keisha doesn't see it that way and says that she's going to her place tonight.

Mildred gives Hayden a homemade chess set and then she kisses him, realizing that he must've saw that coming, given his ability. Hayden then jokes that he likes birthdays now.

LaDonna reveals to Andre that the day she was taken, she was drunk, falling off a roof while shooting her own reality show. Andre sees it as a blessing in disguise, as it saved LaDonna's life, and they would be severely loss without her intellect. While reviewing the medical journals gifted to him by Jharrel, Andre discovers a sheet of paper within one of the books. LaDonna isn't entirely sure what it means, but it seems to be an old computer language, like COBOL. With the books belonging to Jharrel's brother, who's also missing, but isn't a 4400, they suspect that Manny could somehow be involved in their plight.

Mariah gets a message from LaDonna, attached is a video compilation of the conditions that the 4400 are enduring at the hotel, including Noah's attack and Shanice accusing them of unlawful imprisonment. Mariah then posts the video online.

Cast

Starring

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

  • Zachary Keller as Ken King
  • Vinh Nguyen as Steve Miller
  • Sophia Echendu as Mariah Kaminski
  • Clare Cooney as Bridget Templeton
  • Angela Peel as Cha Cha
  • Loretta Rezos as Cora Thomas
  • Heather Chrisler as Sharon Gray
  • Sebastian Arboleda as Tom Ramirez
  • Patrick Byrnes as Medic
  • Rachel Shapiro as Reporter #1

Trivia

Gallery

Promotional Images

Videos

Episode Guide

References


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