Peacock's revival of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" reunites us with some of our favorite characters. Newcomer Jabari Banks steps into Will Smith's shoes as Will, while Adrian Holmes plays Banks family patriarch Philip Banks. Vivian, Carlton, Hilary, and Ashley Banks's roles have also been reprised, while April Parker Jones plays Will's mother. And during the show's season one finale, we were reunited with Will's father, Lou (Marlon Wayans).
For those who don't remember, Lou (originally played by Ben Vareen) abandoned his family when Will was just 5 years old, leaving Vy to raise Will on her own. Per Hilary, he was "a deadbeat who left him and his mom flat." Lou went on to become a trucker and was absent for most of Will's life until season four, episode 24 ("Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse"), when he unexpectedly shows up in Bel Air after 14 years. He and Will begin to form a relationship, and Lou even invites Will to join him for the summer on a cross-country road trip.
Will is happy to have his dad in his life again, but his joy is cut short after Lou reverts back to his selfish ways and leaves again. He tells Will that some "business" came up that he needs to handle, and that they need to put their trip on hold. Will initially attempts to brush off the whole thing, but he eventually breaks down during an emotional conversation with Uncle Phil.
"I ain't need him then, and I don't need him now," Will tells Uncle Phil. "I'm gonna get through college without him. I'm gonna get a great job without him. I'm gonna marry me a beautiful honey, and I'm having a whole bunch of kids. I'll be a better father than he ever was, and I sure as hell don't need him for that, 'cause ain't a damn thing he could ever teach me about how to love my kids." In tears, Will then asks Uncle Phil, "How come he don't want me, man?"
We initially assumed that Lou wouldn't be making an appearance on "Bel-Air," but that turned out to not be the case. When Vy comes to visit Will in "Bel-Air"'s eighth episode, she tells Viv and Phil that she plans on telling Will the truth about his father (neither Viv nor Phil think it's a good idea). Lou shows up in the final episode of season one, and it's revealed that he didn't actually abandon his family — he was serving time in prison and didn't want Will to see him behind bars.
In a recent interview with POPSUGAR, showrunner Rasheed Newson said that season two will further explore the fallout in order to bring the Banks family back together. "That's probably our first mission, and it's not going to be easy," he noted. "One of the things we talked about is, with a sitcom, at the end of those 30 minutes, whatever problem we have is resolved. [But] they lied to this boy for years. He feels like he really came here, opened up his heart to them, trusted them, and now he feels betrayed. It's going to be very hard for them to rebuild that." Guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens next when the show returns for season two.