Malika Williams is living her best life.

If you've been tuning into Good Trouble, then you've seen that this beloved character has had quite the journey with balancing activism, working through her trauma, and falling in love.

This season, Malika explores her sexuality and love styles in her first polyamorous relationship with Dyonte (and his girlfriend, Tanya).

Of course, it isn't coming without its fair share of challenges and obstacles for Malika, as we saw on Good Trouble Season 3 Episode 16.

It's good vibes only with the radiant Zuri Adele, whom we caught up with to get the 411 on all things Malika.

Was the polyamory storyline always in the cards for Malika? How did that come to be? It's interesting to explore because you don't see that too often.

Yeah, which is why I'm so glad that we're exploring it. I haven't seen it often on television, especially from a millennial perspective -- from a Black perspective.

From my understanding, the polyamory storyline, I don't think it was in the plans from the beginning. I think that maybe it was considered sort of at the beginning of filming Good Trouble Season 3.

And I remember being approached by our showrunner about it probably in the middle of season three, and she said she wanted to explore that. Maybe it was, yeah, probably at the beginning of season three, which was scheduled to film before the pandemic in March 2020. And then we shut down for a while.

So, yeah, there was some time to process it because of that. But yeah, we jumped into that this most recent season. And it's been amazing.

It's amazingly refreshing because we focus so much on Malika's activism and also her trauma and her experiences as a former foster kid, as you know, processing the death of her mother and her trauma and her traumatic relationship with her mother through that.

And so it's been really nice to switch a little bit to Malika's romantic life in a way that feels really unconventional.

It's amazing that Malika is tapping into this unconventional life and that we're seeing her explore. We're seeing her have fun. And that's bringing out a lot of new energy, both for me as an actor, new challenges that are really fun, and then, yeah, new energy and joy and romance for Malika.

Right. But of course, that's not without its challenges. Malika is having a hard time adjusting to the lifestyle and the idea of sharing with this other person. Do you think it would have made a difference if she started as the primary girlfriend and then went into that or?

Oh, absolutely. I think there would be challenges with that as well, especially if it was her first polyamorous experience anyway.

But yeah, if it was Malika and Isaac, which she sort of was trying to gauge if that would be an option, keeping Isaac as a primary partner and then exploring a relationship with Dyonte or perhaps if Isaac wanted another person... I don't know how that would have happened.


That would have been more conflict for Malika. But with Malika practicing being behind the wheel in the driver's seat, I think that there would have been more comfort for her.


And, I mean, that's a great thing about TV -- that's the thing about great TV is that we're going to step outside of the comfort zone and do the things that have even more challenges. So, yeah, right now, Malika is her own primary partner, and I think that's really great for her.

I mean, this is a season where she's getting to practice that in a really healthy way, and yet it's been really challenging for Malika to step into a relationship that's been established already between two primary people.

And it's interesting to me, and I appreciated the fact that even though she's struggling with Malika and Tanya, there's no cattiness. They communicate well. It's really sort of a refreshing thing to see them talk through things. Sometimes they communicate better than Malika and Dyonte, honestly.

Oh, absolutely. Their self-awareness and communication, yeah -- it's really admirable. So often on TV, we see women, particularly Black women --


Fighting over a man romantically competing with each other, whether in their professional life or romantic lives. And so, this is really amazing to see -- that there's an aspect of sisterhood between them, you know?

There's mutual respect, creative collaboration, professional collaboration. There's so much self-awareness. They clearly admire one another. I love that we are normalizing that, particularly in relationships between Black women on television.

I completely agree.

Speaking of which, I always used to say that one of my favorite things about Good Trouble was that the most stable relationship in the entire Coterie was with Malika and Isaac--

Girl! I know! [laughs]

And I think they were just this perfect embodiment of Black love and stability. They had the perfect throwback Black love thing going on, you know, Martin and Gina type of goodness. But just, memorable and iconic.


But Malika and Isaac are experiencing a rough patch, obviously. Will Isaac return this season, or will the two actually get to talk again? Malika's feelings are hurt. She feels so betrayed by him right now that I don't know what their chances are of reuniting or even being friends again. Can you elaborate?

Yeah, I sure hope so, because that story -- there's still a lot of unfinished business there, and there's still a lot of closure that's needed. And Malika is clearly still making decisions sometimes from a wounded space, which is why I say it is good for her to be her own primary partner right now.

I definitely do feel that Malika and Isaac have a lot to unpack with each another -- they have a lot to communicate with one another. So we will see if they do that in this season.

What more can we expect from Malika's journey of just self-discovery, not just obviously with her sexuality, but just in general?

Oh, Malika, yes, particularly with her sexuality and romantic life -- she is just shedding all labels and all conventionality in her life.

In terms of labels, I would say she's also exploring all the different labels that come with being an activist and doing the work of fostering Black liberation and collective liberation. She'll start exploring all of the different avenues [of activism] because for so long, she was very focused on being on the front lines.

Yes. Very true.

And she is now seeing that there are so many ways to, or at least she probably knew this, but now, she's really working on uprooting the systems, like really from the root, you know?

Beating the oppression. And so I love how she is exploring that; she is really exploring her purpose career-wise and in a way that's really authentic for her. And in a way, I don't know that she had considered before.

Yeah, I remember -- I believe Isaac, at one time, told her that there are just so many different forms of being an activist.

That's right.

You don't have to be -- it doesn't have to be so linear, which I think aligns well with how she's living her life right now. And it's a non-linear sort of way. What more can you tease, though, about the upcoming episodes and Malika's journey?

Malika is exploring and living, and she's receiving a lot of love and affection she deserves and needs. Yeah, you can count on seeing Malika live her most liberated life yet and continue to grow in that.

It's getting very juicy and steamy, and it's fun. I think we can also expect a nice, good switch from Malika. While she is still deeply focused on activism, we saw a lot of that, and now we're going to see more of her romantic life.

And personal life.

Yeah. And her work life. And because we did see her personal life in terms of her family and a lot of trauma. It's also refreshing to see Malika's personal life in terms of her romance and her chosen family with the Coterie.

The more she's exploring herself, the more she's at ease with her, you know, she seems to be trusting her friends at the Coterie. I think about her and Davia and the journey they've been on.

Yes, I love that friendship!


And they've both done a lot of personal work, which has brought them to more trust with each other. I can tell, you know, just a little less tension all around.

And that's coming from Malika just having fun and exploring. And yeah, she's doing a lot of that, and I'm here for it.

Good Trouble airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Freeform.

If you need to catch up or want to relive the season, you can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic. 

Hit the comments below with your thoughts and love, and check out our Good Trouble Reviews.



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