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Episodes Review: “Episode 3” (Episode 3.03)

January 27, 2014  |  11:18am
<i>Episodes</i> Review: &#8220;Episode 3&#8221; (Episode 3.03)

“Episode 3” has the main characters pining for greener grass, both personally and professionally. Sean and Beverly make progress in trying to rekindle their physical intimacy, but Sean’s mental distractions are keeping him from being, er, up to the job. Sitting frustrated in bed, he and Bev fall back on their creative chemistry. “If this were a movie, my dick would be the villain,” Sean laments, prompting Bev to encourage him with an improvised riff about an army of “equestrian dicks” charging up a hillside. This still isn’t quite the reconciliation they’d envisioned, but at least they’re one step closer to getting over that hill.

Matt gets a visit from Stoke, the young star of Pucks, who’s seeking advice on, essentially, how not to end up like Matt. Now that Stoke’s getting tons of movie offers, including a Michael Bay blockbuster, he wants to make the right choices so he’s not “50 and still doing sitcoms.” Already outraged that Stoke thinks he’s 50, Matt is even more infuriated when he learns the Pucks shooting schedule has been rearranged to accommodate that “douche nozzle’s” movie days.

So Matt’s in the mood for flattery when he’s approached by Sean and Beverly’s even douchier former-assistant-turned-screenwriter, who drops him the script for his new dramatic pilot at NBC. Matt decides it’s exactly the career step he needs and asks Sean and Beverly to kill off his character on Pucks, never anticipating they would see it as a massive betrayal for him to ditch their show in favor of one written by their scarf-wearing arch-nemesis.

Over at the network, Castor Sotto gets a look at the ratings and asks Carol to pull the team together for an emergency 6 a.m. meeting. A meeting he misses … because he’s at home interrogating a carton of eggs. Now, I get what Episodes is going for here, that Castor is so cuckoo crazy we never know what he’s going to do or say. But here’s the problem: We never know what he’s going to do or say. His mental issues are being played so broadly that they have major deus ex machina potential. The writers can get themselves out of any jam by having Crazy Castor do something that makes absolutely no sense, just because isn’t it hilarious how crazy he is? But so far it isn’t hilarious or even mildly funny, and I can already tell the Castor scenes are going to be my least favorite of the season.

As we all could have guessed, Castor wants to cancel Pucks, but Carol convinces him to try it on another night. She arrives on set ready to be celebrated as a hero for saving the show, only to find out that Matt and Beverly would have been happier to see it canceled. Matt would be free to do the NBC pilot, and Bev believes she and Sean would have a stronger marriage back home in England.

Everyone has visions of how their lives could be better, and more and more, that picture doesn’t include Pucks. If misery loves company, then comedy loves misery, and right now for these characters, there’s plenty of both to go around.

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