(The Root) — On last night's episode of Single Ladies, "Eat, Play, Love," Keisha and Raquel were stumbling into fine men around every corner, while April was still having a hard time living it up in the single life.
The Boule beaux made reappearances early in this episode. Reggie, Raquel's friend who showed an interest in April at the Boule, opened his club a few months back and she hosted a party there, with a guest appearance by Chilli. But things are "strictly friendly" between April and Reggie. He still lives with his ex-girlfriend (eek) — and he has eyes for every beautiful woman who passes him by, which rubs April the wrong way. Charles, who was also at the Boule, is at the club, too, and finally sets up a date with Raquel.
An overly aggressive man stalks Keisha across the club, until a fine, chocolate man in uniform steps in to save her. He rattles on about wanting to see the sights in Atlanta, the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Centennial Park and the botanical garden. As she swoons over his British accent; his high-powered job — he's a general; and, of course, his uniform, she agrees to show him the sights.
"Mistress No. 9, still nothing to say, huh?" says Jennifer (played by Pilar Sanders, Deion Sanders' ex-wife), the mayor's ex-wife, when she sees April at the club. (Remember, in the first season, April had an affair with the mayor.) Luckily for April — or unluckily, as we'll find out later — Jennifer has moved on and found the love of her life.
Later, Raquel takes her car to be serviced at a local car-repair shop and meets another fine, chocolatey man (minus his lace-front, Shemar Moore-in a-Tyler Perry-film cornrows). They chitchat over the woes of being a single black woman in America (ugh) and then he tells her that he and his boys are going to be at Compound, an Atlanta club, and that she should stop through. Raquel walks off confused. Was this his way of asking her out on a date? More on that later.
At the boutique, Omar runs into a design-school friend just days before their reunion. But Omar's not too excited about attending because he doesn't have Momo, his dream clothing line, up and running like he planned while in school.
April works out with Reggie, who has his eyes peeled for the sexy women drenched in sweat and clothed in spandex at the gym. He has definitely put April in the dreaded friend zone, and from the look on her face, she's a bit jealous that he's not trying to make a love connection with her. Lately, it has seemed as if she just can't catch a break with men, and it's beginning to wear her down.
As for Keisha and Raquel? They're on a roll with the new guys in their lives. Raquel and Charles go on the perfect date, complete with wine, cheese and a quick guitar lesson under a rose moon. Keisha and her officer boo enjoy the botanical garden. They giggle and frolic through the plants, and he invites her to part deux of their date.
Back at the boutique, Keisha says the soldier is just a fling, "a custom-made fairy tale." As Raquel rehashes her date with Charles, Nate, the sexy mechanic, shows up wondering why she didn't come out to the club. (She left her card in one of those "win a free tune-up" raffle bowls.) After she teaches him how to properly ask her out on a date, they agree to dinner.
April runs into her ex-husband, Darrell, at the gym. And lo and behold, Jennifer cozies up to his side, just as Darrell says he found a light at the end of the tunnel after their divorce. "It's funny how things turn out. Guess everything happens for a reason." Welp.
April frantically calls her girls to gain some clarity, but after they don't answer, she calls Reggie, who has his hands full with one of his boos. Later Reggie shows up to check on April after hearing her frantic phone call. She lets out her feelings about seeing Darrell and Jennifer together and realizes that she's ready to be in love and in a relationship.
They share a nice moment — he tells her she's amazing — but then he puts the nail in the coffin, cementing her position in the friend zone, when he says there's the perfect guy out there waiting for her. But with that longing look in April's eyes, it's clear she wishing that he'd swoop in and be the man of her dreams.
On Keisha's dinner date, she finds out that her new boo will be shipped off to Afghanistan the next day, but since she's had such a good time, she finishes the night off with a nightcap in his hotel room. Now, if something seemed fishy about the man in uniform — his talks about fallen comrades and living every day as though it's his last — then maybe you wouldn't have fallen for his game.
As Keisha leaves his hotel room the next morning, they run into his boss/co-worker in housekeeping, who says they've been paging him for 15 minutes to clean up a mess on the 27th floor of the hotel. Keisha fell for the okey-doke. He wasn't a general — he's a janitor, using his charm and access to a military officer's uniform to talk her out of her panties. Accent? Fake! His name? LaDamian.
After Raquel and Nate have the "best vegan burger" of her life, Nate takes her to his job and teaches her how to change a tire. They go for a spin in his 1963 Ford Thunderbird, and they cap off the night with a steamy kiss at her front door, sealing the deal on their second date.
Back at the boutique, Raquel begins to spill the tea on her date with Nate when Charles shows up to the boutique to surprise her with a few guitar lessons. After they share a passionate kiss, the look on her face says, "Nate, who?" She tells the girls, and Omar, that she wants to keep dating both men, and since both of them are devastatingly sexy, I, for one, am definitely not complaining. Here's to more eye candy next week.
Erin E. Evans is a writer in New York. Follow her on Twitter.