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How Bob Hearts Abishola Kicked Off Its Final Season… Minus a Few Cast Members (Plus, Grade the Premiere)

Bob Hearts Abishola’s final season premiere pit mother against son and forced Abishola to see the error of her ways.

In the first of 13 new episodes, Dele revealed to Abishola that he never submitted his application to Harvard. Instead, he applied to Juilliard and intends to pursue a dance career in New York. This resulted in a blow-up that saw Dele pack his bag, and Abishola tell her teenage son that he was no longer welcomed in her home.

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He ultimately sought refuge at Olu and Tunde’s apartment. They might be “soft-boiled eggs” now — Ebunoluwa’s words, not mine! — but they were not about to throw their great nephew out on the street. Auntie and Uncle eventually made their way over to confront Abishola, and explained to her that she was not dealing with a traditional Nigerian teenager; she was dealing with a Nigerian-American teenager, and pursuing a career in the arts was his choice to make. But it wasn’t until Bob spoke to his wife’s Catholicism that she realized that she needed to have a little faith in her son — even if she didn’t fully support (or even understand) his decision to forego the Ivy League education she always wanted for him.

<cite>Photo by Michael Yarish/CBS</cite>
Photo by Michael Yarish/CBS

The episode neither mentioned nor alluded to last May’s cliffhanger, involving Abishola’s med school acceptance and a potential move to Baltimore. As executive producer Matt Ross recently told TVLine, “The idea is that it will come to a head. All these big things get thrown at [Bob and Abishola this year] — and because they’re such pragmatic, practical people, they deal with those things and put their own, deeper desires on the back burner. What that turns into is something that they will have to deal with [later in Season 5].”

Monday’s season opener also saw the series’ previously reported cast reduction go into effect. Series leads Billy Gardell and Folake Olowofoyeku were joined by just four of 11 former series regulars: Shola Adewusi (Olu), Barry Shabaka Henley (Tunde), Travis Wolfe Jr. (as Dele) and Saidah Arrika Ekulona (Ebun).

Missing from the episode were series co-creator Gina Yashere (Kemi), Christine Ebersole (Dottie), Matt Jones (as Douglas), Maribeth Monroe (Christina), Vernee Watson (Gloria), Anthony Okungbowa (Kofo) and Bayo Akinfemi (Goodwin) — all of whom will appear sporadically throughout the season.

“Before, when we had to get everybody in every episode, we would put characters in an episode and they would have two lines,” Yashere previously explained to TVLine. “But now, because we have this concentrated number of episodes, when we include a character, we build a story around them. It’s a silver lining, as far as the writing is concerned.”

Watch Bob Hearts Abishola Season 5 Episode 1 Online - Release Date on CBS, Paramount Plus
Watch Bob Hearts Abishola Season 5 Episode 1 Online - Release Date on CBS, Paramount Plus

Bob Hearts Abishola: What’s Ahead in Season 5

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What did you think of Bob Hearts Abishola’s final season premiere? Grade it via the following poll, then click through the attached list for scoop on what’s to come.

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