Married: “The Getaway”

(Episode 1.03)

TV Reviews
Married: “The Getaway”

I can see why FX decided to swap out what was originally going to be Married’s third episode, “Uncool” (now airing next week) for “The Getaway.” The latter is funnier and more insightful, and at last introduces Jess’s much-talked-about, much older husband Shep (Paul Reiser). With such a young show, it makes sense to bury the weaker “Uncool” closer to the middle of the season. Both episodes nudge Married further into dramedy territory, which could be a very good thing, especially since there’s plenty of dramedy in the film world, but not much to speak of on TV.

“The Getaway” also makes sense as the third installment because the first two (along with “Uncool”) keep Russ and Lina largely isolated from each other. It’s been easy for viewers to see why their domestic life is so rocky, though not as easy to see why they fell in love and started a family together. Whisking them away from their kids and friends gives us a healthier dose of their chemistry and a welcome glimpse at what their lives were like B.C. (Before Children). From the sound of it: naïve, passionate, stupid—you know, twenties stuff.

At the end of “Shower,” Lina was pining for a vacation. She gets her wish in “The Getaway,” which has a scalpel for a hook—it opens with a scene in a doctor’s office where Russ and Lina are discussing the details of his upcoming vasectomy (!). This is the most biting scene of the series, and one of the funniest. When the doctor asks what form of birth control they’ve been using, Russ says, “Abstinence.” When he asks why they’ve opted for surgery, Lina says, “I don’t want him running off and starting a new family. He can barely afford the one he has.” Russ throws in the towel, telling the doc, “You know what, while you’re down there, just take the whole thing off. I don’t need it.” Annnd scene.

The vasectomy serves as the impetus for the trip; ostensibly they want to have one last rubbered tryst while Russ’s boys still have their pool pass. The sex is naturally clumsy at first; these two don’t get a lot of practice, and the whole thing feels forced, kicked off by Lina’s perfunctory, “Wanna do it?” Their failure to launch is underscored by the young bucks in the next room, going at it like there’s no one else left in the world, let alone the hotel (twenties stuff). “Can they hear us not having sex?” Lina asks, a line that’d be right at home in a Judd Apatow flick.

Russ winds up talking the young guy next door into dropping eight grand on a muscle car, and the guy’s girlfriend loses her shit because that money was supposed to be for chef school. These two were/are going to start a restaurant, the way Russ and Lina started a surf shop—a swift, unadulterated flop. “Most restaurants fail in the first year,” they tell the young couple. “Yeah, we probably did you guys a favor.” The girlfriend’s not hearing it: “I don’t need your sad, boring, old people advice.” She storms off, and Russ and Lina are left reminiscing about when they were that dumb, and then end up having sex the way young dumb people do—hard and loud and unencumbered, with no time for foreplay or even stripping down.

This is precisely the kind of sex Jess and Shep aren’t having, forcing a bored Jess to sext her neighbor, whose wife finds out about it. (You’ll recall Jess also has a work crush for whom she, uh, pleasured herself in her cubicle.) When the neighbor disappears and stops responding to his wife, she asks Jess to sext him so they can track him down, leading to a great kitchen scene wherein Jess and Shep collaborate on the right tone and specifics of her sexts to another man.

Jenny Slate and Paul Reiser have wonderful chemistry, as one might expect, but what’s surprising is how solid Jess and Shep seem. “I knew who I was marrying,” Shep tells her, unfazed by the phone affair. “You really are trouble.” I don’t know if these two going to last—Jess still seems unfaithful and self-destructive—but I hope we see more of them together, however it ends.

Evan Allgood is deputy editor of Trop. He lives in Brooklyn. Follow and maybe later unfollow him on Twitter.

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