The episode opens with some post-morning sex freaking out for Christina Applegate while Linda Cardellini is off to the big house. The show’s real cheap about the Cardellini thing, making me think I missed something in the previous episode, but she’s really there to see mom Katey Sagal, who’s not dead, but in prison. Again.
I mean, cool to have the “Married with Children” reunion but not with the actors actually having a reunion… Sagal’s great, even if she’s a stunt cast and even if its poorly written.
Back to Applegate, she’s breaking it off with new James Marsden, who’s so happy after the sex he wants to dance with her. But he’s got to go.
On his way out, he runs into Sam McCarthy, who’s sad and confused to see him go. It’s all a lead-up to Applegate getting a letter from the city saying her stop sign proposal has been rejected.
Now, most episodes of “Dead to Me” this season have started immediately following the previous one, meaning Applegate hadn’t even submitted the proposal in the previous one. But somehow city government answered her in a day—so she storms down to city hall where the zoning commission is always in session so she can yell at them.
It’s a fine enough scene, with a returning appearance from first season attempted rapist Rick Holmes, who’s still a great creep, but “Dead to Me”’s plotting is dismal.
At least the direction—from Silver Tree—isn’t terrible.
Cardellini goes to the cops, where she’s surprised to see Brandon Scott, and Diana Maria Riva threatens to arrest McCarthy for old Marsden’s disappearance and blah blah blah. There’s a cheap cliffhanger as to how Cardellini is going to react but then she’s back home to argue with Applegate about everything.
During the argument, Applegate lays into her, including making a remark about her mother… who Cardellini has been telling everyone is dead. So… not a great script, not great.
Applegate also confesses her first episode of the season secret to Cardellini, which leads to more drama and then a big cliffhanger with Applegate now ready to change all their lives.
Lots of big things happen this episode and none of them go very well, which isn’t a surprise… series creator Liz Feldman cowrote and she’s never written the better episodes of the show.