This week, Episodes was very blunt and was filled with both serious and absurd conflicts. The show opens with Matt entering his house late at night to find his stalker, Labia topless in his kitchen. He is shocked that she even found a way into his house. Labia has a very calm response to Matt’s anger. She is very aware that Matt does not like her, but she does not care. She is just excited to tell him that she made cookies. Labia still thinks of Matt as a childhood crush who kept her spirits up when she had cancer. She uses her cancer as a way to get sympathy from Matt. Matt tries to calm her down somewhat nicely. He explains that she had cancer, but she survived and is now healthy. Under the circumstances, Matt has no problem screaming at her to get out of his house. She then says that she would die for Matt. He acknowledges, almost regrettably, that she did not die. Finally, Matt threatens to call the police. Labia promptly puts her clothes on and leaves. The beginning was not particularly relevant to the rest of the episode, but it did a great job setting up Matt’s bitter attitude that he would have for the rest of the episode.
Episodes premiered its third show of the season last night. The show continues to provide laughs, even in the most uncomfortable way. The father of network president Merc Lapidus has died and the episode dealt with the awkward ways the Pucks! staff would provide condolences. It was clear how completely inappropriate everyone’s behavior was, which is exaclty what makes it hilarious. There were parts of the show where viewers should not laugh, but they laugh anyway because Episodes runs on cringe comedy. It is a challenge to find humor in the fact that no one cares about someone’s death, yet the show makes it work.
When Lapidus’ father died, everyone’s main concern was appeasing the president of a network and not Lapidus as a person. Everyone in the show is acting selfish and morally questionable. Even so, it never fails to be funny. Their biggest concern is not to make sure Lapidus is happy, but what would be an appropriate thing to send as a condolence. An ongoing joke centers around Matt insisting that a muffin basket is not a big enough gift. He insists on a huge catered dinner, which Sean rejects. Still, there’s a stubbornness to appease Lapidus, or rather conform to “funeral” behavior.
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.