One of the best things about Black Cake is the seamless sensitivity of the storytelling. In many ways, it already feels like Mabel, Byron, and Benny are familiar to us. It is interesting to see how the lies and limitations they were told to follow were essential for their survival, but they also ended up stopping them from reaching their full potential. Meanwhile, this is the recap of Black Cake Episode 6.
Why does Eleanor feel guilty about Benny?
Eleanor acknowledges that the life she led and the weight of the secrets she carried throughout had a significant effect on the way she raised her children. After Benny left the family, Eleanor remembered her childhood friend, Bunny, and how Eleanor may have been unintentionally homophobic towards her. Bunny had confessed her feelings for Eleanor, and the latter had not just rejected her but asked her to hide her real self. Eleanor’s intention had always been to protect her friend, since her reality would have been life-threatening, but by doing that, she had told her friend that she could not chart her own path. Eleanor told her friend that she had to live by the rules and change herself completely if she ever wanted to be accepted. Years later, when Bert showed that he was unaccepting of Benny’s girlfriend, which caused the estrangement, Eleanor was reminded of how she had treated her best friend. She regretted not having learned from her mistakes sooner, and her revealing her entire truth was an attempt to make up for it.
Does Byron get out of jail?
The optics of the situation look very bad for Byron. He is a Black man who is seen beating up a White man without immediate provocation. Luckily, some of the law enforcement agencies that Benny and Byron have to deal with are also colored, and they are able to offer objective help without any prejudice. Steve agrees to drop the charges against Byron, probably hoping that this will make Benny want to get back together. While that doesn’t happen, Benny tells Byron that their mother was trying to rectify the mistakes of her upbringing by letting them know that their anger need not be bottled up but could be felt and was justified. Honestly, even in the recordings, Eleanor apologized to Byron for telling him to ignore his feelings for so long.
At the diversity panel, Byron remembers this, and he finally reveals that he is being used as a token by the institute. This is very similar to a crack that develops in the wall, after which the entire thing crumbles. Punching Steve was probably the first time that Byron had allowed himself to give in to his anger. After that, he was more in control of it because he wasn’t ignoring it but addressing it in the way it needed to be. His speech about representation is set to go viral, and he probably won’t get that promotion, but at least another institute would not be able to pretend to be inclusive.
Is Benny done with Steve?
As expected, Steve shows up at Benny’s house to ask her to get back with him. The violence before Benny’s father’s funeral was not the only time such a thing had happened, which means that Benny had spent years with Steve telling her that she wasn’t good enough. She may have broken out of that, but Steve hasn’t stopped using those tactics on her. Benny has filed a restraining order, so Steve may not come near her, but that doesn’t mean he will stop trying. He tells Benny that she hasn’t made any art in the past year, and that is because she wasn’t with him. He keeps saying that she needs him and is a failure otherwise, and Benny might be affected, but she is still able to shut herself off from him. He also tells her that he has to pay back the advance for the sculpture she destroyed, and Benny is able to convey that it is his problem and not hers, signifying that she won’t get it back no matter what he says or does.
What does Mabel hear on the tapes?
Mabel comes to meet Benny and Byron, and they are all a little awkward with each other. But they are able to bond over their love for food, and eventually, due to Benny’s unfiltered nature. They are all about to listen to Eleanor’s tape when Mabel asks for a brief recap of everything. The lawyer tells her that there is a tape recorded separately for her, but Mabel wants to know now. That is when she is told about her father in Scotland and how he sexually assaulted Eleanor. Mabel is dumbstruck, and for a while, she doesn’t know how to deal with her new identity. She doesn’t want to hear the tapes anymore and leaves.
Byron decides to respect her choice and wants to play the recordings, but Benny asks him to wait and give Mabel some time. She goes to meet her with some food, and the two women talk about these new changes in their lives. Mabel is right when she says that she doesn’t have the same obligation as Byron and Benny to listen to and know everything about Eleanor. She also mentions how she is withholding some secrets of her own from her son. Benny remembers how her father had never spoken to her in the last two years before his death, even though he had regularly come to the cafe across from her house. Benny understands that things must be said, and consequences must be faced because one can never escape the regrets of not doing that. Therefore, at last, she is able to convince Mabel to come back at the end of Black Cake Episode 6.
When Mabel comes to hear the recordings, she finds that the name given to her by her mother was Mabel Mathilda. But the more shocking truth is that Benny wanted to keep her and raise her as her own. But the child was taken from her. It may be that this happened while she was still in Scotland, which means that it was probably the work of her employer and his wife. Or if it happened in London, then maybe the home she was in forced her to give it up, probably owing to the race.
This was a twist we couldn’t have foreseen. Mabel has a lot to think about, and perhaps there may be some delayed justice for Eleanor if she is able to punish her abuser. This story is about the search for the identity of all the people involved through their family, race, and place of birth, so another layer will be added to it next week.