Art Often Imitates Life in ‘The Chi’ and the Final Episodes of Season 6 is No Different

From the mind of Chicago’s Lena Waithe, The Chi has become beloved for its relatable storytelling, which showcases the many routes to navigating life’s ups and downs. Each character determines whether they will seize or squander the opportunities presented to them and learns to reckon with the outcome. The series has captured the reality of many Chicagoans so well that it has been renewed for its seventh season.

Through her storytelling, Waithe has become well-known for putting people on and giving folks their chance to shine. She has done so through her media and production company, Hillman Grad, which led to significant partnerships such as the “Rising Voices” program. This initiative, in tandem with Indeed, brought about the opportunity for filmmakers Deondray Gossfield and Quincy LeNear Gossfield to connect closely with Waithe. While it was not their first rodeo creating impactful projects that reflected human experiences, Rising Voices allowed them to have increased visibility and access to make their dreams tangible. After their short-film Flames—which they created through the program— premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, they then were asked to work on episode four of season five of The Chi.

“Quincy and I put all our blood, sweat and tears into that episode,” expressed Deondray. “Showtime and Hillman Grad were so impressed with that episode that when season six came around, they invited us back to be Producing Directors for the entire season.”

Just like the characters in the show, the Gossfield held on to their opportunity and used it as a catalyst to create more of it. In the first half of the sixth season, they introduced The Chi‘s first principle gay characters, Deondray and Quincy.

Do you catch the connection?

Deondray Gossfield and Quincy LeNear Gossfield
The real life “Deondray and Quincy”—Deondray Gossfield and Quincy LeNear Gossfield. Image: courtesy of the Gossfields.

Media frequently stereotypes Black characters, especially on the basis of sexuality. They hope that as their namesake characters contribute to the canon of authenticity within The Chi, it is done devoid of sensationalism but with truth and vulnerability. The couple also believes that the inclusion of these characters not only brings light to broader conversations about the worthy existences of LGBTQ+ folks but also encourages the viewers to hold space for similar conversations to find positive common ground.

“I’m from the south side of Chicago, which the show this the show is based. When this show first started, it was too triggering for me to watch because a lot of what happened in season one, in that show, I experienced,” shared Quincy. “Part of that sent me on my journey away from Chicago to Los Angeles to follow my dreams; I was escaping my circumstances. After 26 years, the process of working on The Chi led me to heal. I’m a physical embodiment of what many of these characters are going through. This authenticity is like art imitating life; it’s been so wonderful.”

In the second half of season six, we’ll not only see how the two characters evolve through personal growth but also continue to absorb more of the storytelling that has captured audiences since 2028. The Gossfield tells EBONY more about what they can look forward to:

EBONY: How does this second part of The Chi build onto the foundations built in the earlier part of last season?

Deondray Gossfield: We’ll see Emmett and Kiesha try to hold their family together while they remain in Douda’s clutches. Papa will struggle to find his purpose after the death of his father. Victor toes the line between a politician and his gangster past. Bakari desperately tries to ditch his thug life for a life of peace after being visited by Coogie in a dream. Tiff and Rob’s cannabis line reaches new heights. We find out the real reason Bakari’s sister, Brittany, shows up out of thin air. Shaad and Deja’s relationship evolves. Douda and Bianca struggle to define their relationship. Nuck and Kiesha form an unlikely bond, and Alicia pines for Douda’s head on a platter. 

Quincy LeNear Gossfield: The second half of the season really picks up the pace and goes hard. In the Chi, life can change at the drop of a dime, and that’s just what happens. Many seeds that were sown in 6A begin to bloom in 6B. I think a storm cloud began to form around Douda, Emmett, Victor, and Poppa in the first half. In 6B, the storm clouds have rolled in, and something wicked this way comes. The setup really pays off. That’s all we can say.

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Jabari Redd in his role as Deondray. Image: Elizabeth Sisson/Showtime.

How do we see Deondray and Quincy evolve in this part of the season and impact those around them?

Deondray: We see Deondray and Quincy do their best not to let their opposing loyalties (Deondray’s to Douda and Quincy’s to Victor) spoil their happy home.

Quincy: We begin to learn a lot more about who Q & D are as a couple and as people, and their entanglements with Douda and the web he’s spun around everyone. Quincy is proving himself to be a reliable resource to Victor, his political aspirations, and the dangers that seek to undermine his desire to be greater than his past. Deondray’s blind trust in Douda reeks of danger and could be a stumbling block for Quincy and Victor. What this means for the three remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

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Jabari Redd in his role as Deondray. Image: Elizabeth Sisson/Showtime.

What should viewers look forward to for the season?

Deondray: All the stories set up in season 6A will collide and smash against each other, setting them ablaze, and new coalitions and enemies will be made in their ashes. Nothing will be as it seems. Characters will unveil unknown layers and demand new identities. The ride will be fast with the wind in your hair as these stories speed through time, retelling a furious summer and fall that changes the lives of everyone forever. You will notice a new, dramatic look to the show that reflects our cast’s current state and condition. The finale will be satisfying. You won’t want to miss this. 

Quincy: I would say that the viewers are going to have to keep their heads on a swivel because surprises are going to be thrown at them left and right, back to back. The tone definitely takes a darker twist, and we really lean into the duality of our characters: the light and the dark. Visually, we really wanted to represent this shift in our characters’ lives, and we couldn’t be more excited about how beautiful this makes the show. Definitely be ready for some jaw-dropping performances from our amazing cast.

The second half of The Chi‘s sixth season premieres on May 10, 2024. Here’s a peek at what’s to come:

Updated: May 10, 2024 — 9:01 pm