WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for the first three episodes of Bel-Air, now streaming on Peacock.
Will has been having a hard time acclimatizing to Los Angeles in Bel-Air, just like he did in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The character was shipped off from West Philadelphia to Bel-Air in the blink of an eye after getting into a fight with gang members, as depicted in the Peacock reboot’s trailer, and struggled to fit into a new lifestyle.
During the first three episodes, Will’s Uncle Phil convinced him not to rebel against the different culture — but to instead enjoy the posh luxuries which could help him build a better life, both in school and on the basketball court. However, while that mindset inspired Will to achieve his hope of finally fitting in, the inadvertent fame that came with his rapid success may have also set him up for a hard fall at the hands of an old nemesis.
Will knew the key to winning over the masses at his new prep school was his basketball talent, but felt that he’d lost his mojo due to the fracas on the court back home — where he pulled a gun after Rashad’s gang started beating his friend Tray, the gang members feeling like they’d been disrespected after a clear misunderstanding. Finding out that Tray had subsequently been shot in the shoulder after Will left for California traumatized him further. He felt that he’d abandoned his friend, and he couldn’t tell Tray where he was either because of the legal strings Phil had pulled to get him to Bel-Air in the first place.
Every time Will took the court, whether it was practice or to shoot friendly hoops with Jazz, it triggered flashbacks. But luckily, Jazz helped him compose himself and Phil gave him an effective speech on rising above his inner demons. Will then shone in training, earning his spot on the Bel-Air High team and proving he wasn’t a troublemaker who got into fights with Carlton Banks and the elite kids. He further cemented his star status in a game against Malibu, leading a comeback and netting the game-winner. This finally gave Will a sense of identity — a topic the original series explored in several ways — while he made his school and family proud.
However, while Bel-Air gave Will hope by letting him win over his new school, it’s also set up his worst nightmare. The most recent episode revealed that Rashad was released prison after the Philly melee, and that he’d seen what Will was up to courtesy of a viral video that drew the attention of one of his fellow gang members. Will’s success infuriated Rashad, who became determined to hunt him down in his new city and get revenge.
Rashad can’t stand seeing Will in the spotlight, enjoying fame and friends when he’s had things taken away from him because of the same incident. That only compounds the disrespect he originally felt. Making matters worse, Rashad and his friends will have the element of surprise on their side, since Will has no idea that Rashad has seen the video (or even that one exists) and thus won’t expect that Rashad is on his way for another showdown. Bel-Air has shown it’s not afraid to put very dark spins on Fresh Prince stories, including the show’s popular theme song, so it’s very possible Will could lose everything he’s just earned.
The first three episodes of Bel-Air are available to stream now on Peacock, with new episodes dropping weekly.
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