In the second episode of Starz’s drama series ‘P-Valley’ season 2, Hailey and Mercedes conduct an audition to recruit new dancers to replace Keyshawn and Gidget in The Pynk. Whisper, Roulette, and Big Bone, the new arrivals, astound the customers of the strip club with their pole dancing skills right away, only for Mercedes to feel inferior. To prove her mastery, she attempts certain risky moves while doing the pole dancing but falls from the pole. Uncle Clifford seeks the help of Diamond to treat Mercedes, only for him to cure her without the assistance of modern medicine. So, what exactly does Diamond do to Mercedes. Let’s find out! SPOILERS AHEAD.
What Did Diamond Do to Mercedes to Heal Her?
Diamond does rootwork on Mercedes to heal her shoulder. Rootwork is a traditional medicinal practice of Black Americans, based in the Southern states. As per reports, the practice originated during the Antebellum period, when the slave culture was prominent. A healer who practices rootwork depends mainly on the magical causation of illness by performing sorcery or using cures like herbs and medicines. When Mercedes falls, Diamond uses a particular stone to locate and extract seven pounds of pressure, the cause of Mercedes’ ailment, from her shoulder region. He also uses finger snaps to locate and free the pressure from her body.
When Mercedes lets Diamond knows that she has been feeling some sort of weight around her shoulder region, he realizes that her illness isn’t ordinary. He uses his healing powers to make sure that the ailment is supernatural. Diamond confirms the same after extracting the invisible pressure from her body. He finds out that it weighs seven pounds, the same amount of pressure required to pull the trigger of a gun. After weighing the pressure, Diamond opens his window for the same to vanish mysteriously.
Diamond’s revelation that the pressure from Mercedes’ body weighs the exact amount of pressure needed to pull a trigger reveals that it is Mercedes who shot Montavius. Diamond’s rootwork skills not only help Mercedes to realize that she has been carrying the aftereffect of her action but also to get freed from her ailment to continue her work at The Pynk while competing with the new arrivals. Clifford’s decision to reach out to Diamond, despite Hailey’s doubts, also proves to be right.
Katori Hall, the creator of the show, has always attempted to dive into the cultural and historical elements of the American South through ‘P-Valley.’ Diamond’s rootwork can be seen as such an element. Rootwork and voodoo practices are part of the American South’s heterogeneous culture. Even though modern medicine has considerably replaced traditional medical practices, the latter is still seemingly a part of the contemporary culture of the region.
Katori Hall also succeeds in integrating the cultural element of rootwork into the narrative of the episode impeccably rather than forcing it as an independent detail. Through the scene that features Diamond’s rootwork, Hall answers one of the significant unanswered questions of the show, the identity of the one who really shot Montavius. Diamond, following his beliefs, keeps Montavius’ ring with him as protection after informing Hailey that he had taken care of the dead body of her ex-boyfriend.