Episodes Review: "Episode Two" (Episode 2.02)
What makes sex funny? We’ve sort of seen it all on comedy shows, but somehow sex on TV still works. Especially so when it is excruciatingly uncomfortable and relatable. Last week’s Episodes episode concluded with Sean and Morning kissing. This led to the showrunner and starlet sleeping together.
The second episode of the new season kicks off with a basic enough plot revelation; it’s Sean’s conversational ineptitude that provides the perfect combination of dry British and upfront American humor. Morning does her best to sneak out unnoticed, but Sean offers a glass of water, a plate of cheese and then tries to play the hopeless romantic he thinks Morning wants him to be. It’s just pathetic enough, but not too much, to make it funny. But Sean isn’t completely sad and pathetic. His ensuing monologue to the teenage actors proves that his fantasy turned out to really be meaningless, but that’s what makes it all the more better.
While Sean’s awkwardness was a great way to kick off the episode, Matt’s sexual encounter with Merc’s blind wife, Jamie, was a perfect tipping point later on. Her lack of sight and the actor’s tendency to use facial expressions that she clearly can’t see put a great twist on the whole “employee sleeping with his boss’ wife” plot. If this bumbling sex scene wasn’t enough already, the close-up of the Friends character bobbleheads was an elegant touch that produced an uncontrollable fit of laughter.
To be honest, the best part of the episode was the product placement of the new Infinity car. LeBlanc tries to give it to Sean as a peace offering and in doing so he not-so-subtly drops all of the specs of the hot new ride. I’ve read a lot of articles over the years blasting product placement, but I think it’s a tradition that dates back to the days of black-and-white shows and deserves to stay around.
The show continues to reflect the actual state of television in an obvious, yet smart way; an aspect that weaves in and out of the dialogue so seamlessly. Merc and Carol can’t believe a show about a talking dog beat Pucks! in ratings. While the writers don’t go out and have the characters say, “There sure is a lot of shit on TV nowadays” it’s strongly implied, and I couldn’t agree more.
I know I’m not the only one who got all warm and fuzzy when the bridge Matt burned between himself and Sean started to mend. I knew it had to happen eventually; I’m just glad the writers decided to do it sooner rather than later.