Bel-Air: What happened to Will’s father?
A revival of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is on its way to Peacock in February, reuniting us with some of our favorite characters. Newcomer Jabari Banks steps into Will Smith’s shoes as Will, while Adrian Holmes serves as patriarch of the Banks family, Philip Banks. The roles of Vivian, Carlton, Hilary and Ashley Bank have also been repeated, as has Will’s mother, played by April Parker Jones. But one person we probably will not see at the restart is Will’s father, Lou (Ben Vereen).
For those who cannot remember, Lou left his family when Will was only 5 years old, leaving Vy to raise Will alone. In Hilary’s words, he was “a dead man who left him and his mother flat.” Lou continued to be a trucker and was absent for most of Will’s life until episode 24 of season four, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse,” where he unexpectedly shows up in Bel Air after being away for 14 years. That’s where the two begin to form a relationship, and Lou even invites Will along this summer on a nationwide road trip.
Will is happy to have his father in his life again, but his joy is short-lived as Lou returns to his old, selfish ways and walks again. He tells Will that a “business” has emerged that he has to deal with and that they have to put their trip on hold. At first, Will tries to dry it all out and behaves as if it does not affect him, but he eventually breaks down during an emotional conversation with Uncle Phil.
“I do not need him then, and I do not need him now,” Will tells Uncle Phil. “I’m going through college without him. I’m getting a good job without him. I want to marry a beautiful darling and I’ll have a whole lot of kids. I want to be a better father than he’s ever been and I’m definitely do not need him for that, for it is not a damn thing he could ever teach me about how to love my children. ” While in tears, Will asks Uncle Phil, “Why does he not want me, man?”
Since Will has gone all his life without his father, we doubt Lou will appear in “Bel-Air.” But again, maybe enough time has passed and Lou has matured since then. We just have to wait and see what happens when “Bel-Air” premieres at Peacock on February 13th.
Image source: Peacock