First things first, “Kevin”’s not grungy, it’s bitchin’, and I’m a dirty bird for worrying otherwise. Secondly, it really feels like they had these first two episodes of the season and picked the wrong place to cut between them. This episode addresses and resolves most of the problems with the first episode. It also gives guest star Jamie Denbo a full arc. One of the show’s first completed arcs; well, arcs not achieved with a fatality.
But this episode’s got the season one follow-up to Annie Murphy and lover Brian Howe. It’s got more with Candice Coke and Mary Hollis Inboden’s relationship. It lets Alex Bonifer be a person separate from Eric Petersen’s sitcom existence. All the things. Including Murphy and Denbo having a subplot involving a shady private investigator played by Tommy Buck. It’s the episode setting up season two.
Murphy’s got a plan—faking her own death to escape now famous Petersen—but can’t tell anyone but Inboden about it. Meanwhile, Bonifer wants to tell Petersen about Murphy trying to kill him, but he’s having flashbacks to his breakthrough to reality, and we have no idea how he’s experiencing those memories, which is one of the show’s nicest flexes this season so far.
Petersen’s plot this episode involves a TV interview about his new “Wild Dude” persona. He needs his cool Red Sox cap so he makes Bonifer his assistant and sends him off to the storage unit.
Murphy’s just found out about the same storage unit, where Petersen’s hidden their valuables after surviving last season’s break-in (and, you know, attempted murder).
The Petersen plot comes into the episode late—which also makes it seem like they just split the first two episodes in the wrong place—and is fairly self-contained, though it does give Murphy some character development away from her regular costars.
There’s some particularly strong acting this episode from Inboden, but also Coke, with their new relationship already navigating some rough patches. It doesn’t help Bonifer’s loitering around the house, plotting against Murphy, but only when he’s not wandering around incoherently.
And, Murphy, of course, is fantastic.
Lots of stressors on everyone. Lots of complicated drama and performances. A fair amount of sitcom observations in how Petersen abuses “best friend” Bonifer, who’s now able to start recognizing it. So good.
I think I just forgot I didn’t have to worry about this show.