Hi guys! Welcome back to week 2 of Divorce, I admit it, I was skeptical that ANYONE could pull off a comedy about "a long drawn-out divorce" but was shocked to find that my beloved Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Hayden Church totally did . Let's see if they can continue to sustain that lightness in face of all that sturm and drang.
We ended FAR outside the realm of light and fluffy last time, with Robert (Thomas Hayden Church) throwing down the gauntlet to Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) when he found out about her extramarital affair
Proving the age-old adage that you can do almost anything in a relationship but fcuk around: then everything goes nuclear and children become pawns on both sides. This is especially true of men who think they own the vaginas of those they have married; from what I hear. ANYWAY
I kind of love that I don't like Frances all that much; she's selfish and naive and obtuse and however she feels about her estranged husband: she's absolutely treating him like shite. Do you think she became angry and snappy with him and THEN found a lover due to dissatisfaction, or does her hottie Kiwi make everything Robert does seem extry annoying?
Relationships are HARD
Frances thinks she'll find a back door or window open to get Robert's attention, instead her daughter Lila (Sterling Jerins) comes to the back door and she gains entry. Victory!
It's short-lived, she tries to get Robert to talk to her and he tricks her back out onto the porch, this time locked out without a jacket. He is incapable of hearing anything that comes after the news of her lover Julian (Jermain Clement) and she's trying to sell togetherness as a family...
But she was really unhappy. As above, I don't know if that was exacerbated by her lover, but while I am no expert, I don't think people take up side pieces because they are super happy at home, do they? I'm sure some do, like Tiger Woods, who seemed to hoard girlfriends like golfing trophies as some kind of a reassurance.
At any rate, he isn't buying and then the kids come up and this made me laugh out loud
That's some on the fly thinking!
Robert told the kids that their mom slept over at a friend's place because she was too drunk to drive home and two things: the Frances Offensive has begun, with Robert starting to paint her with an unflattering, bad-mother brush and two: Frances treats this as some kind of bizzaro improv play where she has to roll with whatever Robert says but emphasize the lesser points, that she didn't drive home drunk. Which she explains at great length to the entire group of kids on the school bus.
He didn't tell the kids what really happened, though, props for hopefully waiting until they can tell them together. He didn't SEEM all that rational, however.
Frances talks her way into a neighbour's house to use the phone to call Robert. I hate to say this because I certainly didn't feel this way on Last Tango in Halifax, but she has rights. Half of that house is hers and she absolutely should have access to at least get her things. Do you think my sympathy with cuckolders runs along the lines of decisions I personally identify with? NO OF COURSE NOT, I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW YOU COULD THINK THAT!!
The phone call goes poorly.
As does Frances screaming "f*cking a**hole" in front of the whole neighbour family including small children.
Frances retrieves her purse from the garbage to answer a call from her realtor Carla (Maddie Corman!!!!! From Some Kind of Wonderful!!!! And Swingers!! And GIRLS!!), if Frances doesn't hustle, she's not gonna get this perfect space!
I seriously had to stop and have a little fan girl moment because I am simple like that. Not simple meaning uncomplicated (NEVAH!) but rather easily emotional and excited. But you already knew that.
Frances is planning her own gallery; no point in calling it the Frances Dufresne Gallery just yet, hey? Let's let things settle a bit first. And Frances has been leading Carla on for quite a few years now, "pussy-ing out" at the last minute each time.
I gotta say: an art gallery might not be the most stable income for an about to be single mom, perhaps something slightly more... predictable might be best and then I realised that I'm weirdly invested on Frances's post-divorce life.
Frances is legit going through a rough time, but migrating-lapband Carla doesn't want to hear it. If Frances is serious about looking for a space, pull the trigger! If she's not, let her know so she can stop wasting her time. And by "wasting your time," she means the opposite.
Made me laugh out loud for reals.
Dallas (Talia Balsam) and Frances are in to see how Nick (Tracy Letts) is after his heart attack; Diane (Molly Shannon) is SUPER attentive, but I guess that makes sense since her THREATENING HIM WITH A GUN caused the heart stoppage in the first place. Let's not say that out loud, though, chides Dian's lawyer (Joseph Castillo-Midyett), we're going to call it an accident. He's there because the police won't allow her to be alone with Nick.
There's a beautiful moment when Diane asks how Frances is and Frances answers honestly: not great. Diane makes a show of a wide sweeping glance at her husband (whom she HATED, let's make that clear) in a medically-induced coma; all the passive aggressive energy in that one move was gorgeous. You know, since its not happening to ME. How could anyone else be having any troubles, when Diane has clearly won the I Am Having Troubles stakes?
Oh look, Robert's come to drop off flowers too! Yay! So! Much! Anger! and hilarious resentment (yes, that totally is a thing)
And really, he needs to cool off before he and Frances can talk reasonably. She's not listening to me, though, asking him again for a conversation. He blows up. He's humiliated that her friends know about the granola-making Julian and he didn't. I get that he's hurt but he doesn't need to attack Dallas.
Divorce equals all the collateral damage.
Frances gets a second to talk with Robert in the hallway. He's going home to take the kids out of school early and tell them she's divorcing him. He's leaving out the affair and thank jeebus for small mercies. They will still blame her for the end of what they perceive as a happy family, but at least they won't have to try to picture their mother throwing down.
Dallas thinks what I think: let him go, let him gooooo, let him goooooooo! She was on his side, but then he called her *a f*cking harpy* whose husband had to pretend to be gay to leave her, so yeah. Move on, sister! And you'll have to take the dog back, Frances, allergies.
Frances gets to the kids just as Robert does, now we have a literal tug-of-war with Frances trying to talk the kids into her car and Robert trying to lead everyone to his truck. The dog seals the deal for Frances, they're so excited!!
Finally a talk! A real talk! He's exhausted and needs some time to think about it, but at least makes some mouth-noises about how he doesn't want to use the children as pawns.
She emphasizes; Julian meant / means NOTHING to her, good, not him too. He does show signs of reason in all of that; he acknowledges that if things were great with them, it probably wouldn't have happened, but then: it did happen. He leaves and she at least gets to sleep in her bed tonight.
Lila crawls in with her, where's Daddy? Sleeping in her bed, everything is going to be fine; and that's not really a given, but sure! Platitudes are definitely required in times of upheaval. Kids know as soon as you start sleeping apart, they're not stupid.
Robert sits on Lila's tiny bed and drags out the computer. He doesn't care about Julian, but he's sure AF gonna find out everything he can about his rival. And we're out.
So. It's a complicated show, but there are moments of hilarity, like Diana crying about not knowing about Frances's affair when Dallas did - narcissistic solipsism is a laff riot! One small note about Robert; he's brought up his work two times this episode (Corinthian granite!) and neither time did Frances even seem to have heard it. So. I don't know if that's a plot point at all, but it stuck out to me. I'm slightly concerned that they've tagged this as a "long drawn-out" divorce, but if we're going day by day, I don't know how many years they've been renewed for.
Thomas Hayden Church does such a good job at the absurd yet deeply wounded and Sarah Jessica Parker as a woman racing through 400 emotions in a very small amount of time is spot on. Until next time!