Episodes Review: Does Sean Forgive Matt?

The second season of Episodes has been superb so far. Sunday’s show was only the second episode. Considering how good the series has been, it’s probably not slowing down. The main arc of this season is about repairing damages and it’s working very well. The main issue is simple in that it is very difficult for everyone to move past the turmoil of the first season. The biggest struggle is not for the civility of Sean and Beverly Lincoln, but for Matt LeBlanc to win Sean over. Everything came together extremely well.

The episode opens with Sean and Morning Randolph in bed together. Randolph is leaving and Sean seems confused. He feels that their sleeping together deserves more attention. He asked if they should talk about what happened and Randolph simply said “I had fun.”  Sean was confused again, and he asks, “That’s it?’ This really highlighted the emotional states of the characters well. Sean isn’t used to the dynamic of the one night stand. After all, he’s been married for several years. Sex that doesn’t mean much is new territory for him. That being said, the subtexts of the scene were executed very well. There were a few moments of silence between the two as if to communicate an uncertainty that they are both getting comfortable with.  In this sense, there is still a feeling of emptiness. He’s  separated from Beverly and he isn’t cheating.  Out of familiarity, he almost seems to crave for the situation to be more complicated than it actually is. Instead, Randolph has the right idea, simply telling Sean she would see him tomorrow.

The next day on set, Sean is in a very good mood. He delivers a long and awkward speech to the cast of Pucks! at the buffet table. He’s making it more complicated than it needs to be again. He talks about how a fantasy was realized that he never thought would actually happen and that it was almost exactly how he imagined it. He says it was somehow better that the experience meant nothing. When Beverly arrives and says “Morning!”, Sean nervously turns around asking “Where?” It was a smooth way to finish the scene.

The next scene continued the complicated dynamic of Sean and Matt. He calls him and tells him to come outside.  Sean is simply shocked and dismayed to discover that he is trying to make amends by bribing him with a luxury car. The conversations between these two continue to be funny and serious at the same time. They engage witty banter seemingly unintentionally and the execution is flawless. However, the relationship as a whole continues to be filled with a lot of  pain. It’s very interesting to consider what is going through Sean’s head. Matt betrayed him by sleeping with his wife and thinks he can make it right by giving him a car. On the surface, this is easy to reject. Sean does reject it emphatically, but there seems to be a internal struggle within him. It really is hard to hate Matt. Sean knows this, and he’s almost tempted to take the car.  Ultimately, Sean rejects the peace offering. He says forcibly, yet almost reluctantly that Matt does not get to be forgiven. Regardless, even after everything, it almost seems like Sean wishes he could forgive him. It’s going to be very interesting to watch this develop throughout the season. Beverly was also offered a car, which she took. She has a very matter-of-fact approach the whole situation. Matt destroyed their lives, but at least they could get cars out of it. It’s very amusing to watch the conflicting perspective between Sean and Beverly.

In a B-plot, the network is trying to avoid a lawsuit from a former employee who claims he was fired for being gay. In order to stop this, Carole Rance has lunch with him. He almost refuses to drop the suit, but agrees to come back to the network with approval from the president. Rance’s unassuming passive-aggressive attitude fits this scene perfectly and provided some laughs. It also lead to one of the funniest parts of the episode. Rance has one of the other employees, Myra, fill in because she is unable to come to the table read. The scene shows Myra sitting with Sean and Beverly going over script notes and the viewer gets to see just infuriating it can be working on Pucks!. Myra is completely incompetent and misunderstands a lot of the points in the script. The pauses she takes while trying to process the information can be hilarious and leaves the viewer plenty of time to laugh.

The episode brilliantly circles back to an intense conversation between Sean and Matt. Matt tells Sean that he had sex with the network president’s wife, proving to Sean that he has not learned his lesson. Matt attempts to justify this by explaining that he is no longer sleeping with Beverly. This also gives Matt the opportunity to congratulate Sean on getting together with Randolph and tosses him the keys to the car. He initially refuses, but Matt makes a convincing  argument. He may not be able to change what happened, but the car is the best he can do. The shot of Sean driving the car while Beverly looks on smiling was very satisfying to the viewer.

Episodes is progressing in a way that will please fans. It is a series full of characters that the viewer will both root for and be displeased with. The interaction between these people is something that is very enticing. The viewer should be waiting for the conflicts and struggles to be resolved and keep watching to find out how. As Sunday’s episode demonstrated, the show keeps getting better.

Posted on July 9, 2012, in Cable, Comedy, HBO, Primetime and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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