Episodes’ Season Finale

Jaimie Lapidus

It’s been an intense season of Episodes full of issues that manifested themselves in painful yet hilarious ways. On Sunday’s season finale, all those issues came to a head. The issues are starting to repair themselves in a way that’s very ungraceful, yet very funny. It worked quite well. The episode opened with another one of Beverly and Carole’s  exercise running sessions. This time, it wasn’t quite as repetitive, but the dynamic still isn’t very interesting.  Nonetheless, it did move the story forward. As Carole is venting about her job offer from Elliot Salad, she starts to realize she could never betray Merc, which doesn’t seem to make much sense considering he does very little to contribute to their relationship and has been a terrible boss.

Over the course of the entire season, Merc wanted to get away with immoral behavior. Carole watched it happen because she loved him. Carole especially laments the fact that he is still married to Jamie, who Carole considers to be a “saint.”  Beverly seems hesitant to concur that Jamie is a saint, but then admits that she knows about Jamie’s affair with Matt. The exercise session is a little more interesting than usual at this point. Instead of going over the same issues with Sean and Beverly as they do on every run, the focus shifts to gossip about Jamie and Matt. Now, the viewers have a reason to pay attention. Carole insists that she has to tell Merc about the affair, but Beverly begs her not to for fear of losing her job and Sean. Carole finally agrees to keep quiet after Beverly threatens to tell Merc about Carole’s meeting with Elliot. There was probably a better way to reveal the details of Matt’s affair to Carole. The scene was sloppily written with too much dialogue.

The episode continued with a phone conversation between Matt and his custody lawyer. After last week’s episode when Matt’s ex-wife, Diane called his house and Labia answered the phone, Diane was understandably outraged and now wants to take Matt’s visitation rights away. It’s easy to tell from the conversation that Matt loves his children unconditionally. As he admitted in the series’ second episode, he was a terrible husband, but is a great dad. It’s especially admirable to see Matt’s sensitivity and vulnerabilities exposed. He makes a point of acting amorally for the sake of comedy, but some of his best moments come from a very serious place. The phone conversation was very well done and does a great job exemplifying Matt’s humanity. His lawyer senses that in his strong performance, saying, as a friend, that Matt needs a better lawyer to get him out of this situation.

At the gathering for Merc’s acceptance as “Man of the Year,” tensions are high. Carole is very frustrated that she cannot be with Merc publicly. Merc assures her that he loves her, but cannot leave Jamie. His guilt over Jamie being blind can get annoying to the viewer and obviously has to Carole. At this point, Carole tells Merc about Jamie’s affairs with Matt.  He now fully embraces Carole as “his” and plans to leave Jamie. He is angry at Matt, which is very ironic considering Merc’s behavior. He does not love Jamie, so it seems strange that he would care that someone else is sleeping with her. Then again, sometimes plot points do not have to make sense as long as they are funny. Merc’s hypocrisy is funny.

Parts of the episode moved very slowly, including most of the award ceremony in which the Sean kept having to remind himself that Beverly showed up with Rob as a date. The Lincolns have been spending way too much time reflecting about their relationship. Matt notices this and urges Sean to simply acknowledge that he loves Beverly.

The tension between Merc and Matt escalates into a brawl, which is the highlight of the episode. It is especially amusing when Jamie keeps asking, “What’s happening?!” Nobody seems to understand that she literally has no way of knowing. Beverly, trying to keep peace, begs them to stop. Merc hits her because of it. Sean has an instinct to protect her and punches Merc. After the fight, Merc is enraged and tells Carole that Pucks! is cancelled. At this point, she has no choice but to tell him that he is out of a job. In the drive home, Merc wonders why Carole did not accept Elliot’s offer. Of course, it is out of loyalty to Merc, although she probably starts to regret it when Merc says that he can’t leave Jamie and forfeit half his money. In her one fit of bravery for the entire season, Carole kicks Merc out of her car in the pouring rain.

On the bright side, Sean and Beverly have a heart to heart after the fight and seem to resolve their issues while acknowledging that they are still in love. Rob and Morning simply look on awkwardly and then decide to leave.

Overall, Episodes did a great job establishing character development and letting everyone grow this season. That is, everyone except for Merc. The story lines were memorable enough to keep the viewers coming back every week and were hilarious enough to keep them laughing. With Merc fired and the Lincolns’ relationship on the road to recovery, it should be very interesting to see what develops next season.

Posted on August 28, 2012, in BBC, Cable, Comedy, Showtime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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