If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Greg gets detoured in the wilderness on the way to an ethics convention. Audrey finds herself in the media crosshairs after a hate crime at school. Following a mountain-bike race with best friend Malcolm and their pals, Duc reveals the secret to staying in control, a credo that’s tested by Carmen, a fellow life coach. Haunted by a painful memory, Shokrani looks for unconventional help to get him through a wedding. With help from Ashley, Kristen’s crush on a predator comes to an end. Audrey ends an otherwise bad day with a rare good night with Greg. (HBO)
Writer: Mohamad El Masri
Director: Uta Briesewitz
Running Time: 58mins
With so many characters, the risk of becoming convoluted heightens. This appeared to be the case during last week’s episode but this episode featured a more focused narrative. While it didn’t make much headway towards the season’s supposed finish line, it was still compelling to watch. Despite this, one can’t help but to wonder where everything is going and if it will all be worth it.
The last episode ended with Greg intentionally taking a wrong turn on the way to an ethics conference and the episode picked up from there. A very fake looking deer took him out of his car where he spent an evening in the woods before finally arriving at the conference dirty, disheveled, and late. After arriving, he got into an argument with a fellow presenter about to deal with the world today.
Meanwhile, the adult siblings were getting ready for a dinner. Ramon heard a strange noise from the bathroom sink but shrugged it off. He and Henry took their relationship to the next level with Ramon giving Henry a key to his apartment. Ashley and Malcolm settled their differences before he and Duke went on a mountain biking trip. It was there that Duke revealed that his secret was his celibacy.
At the high school, a racist effigy was erected, presumably for the students upset about their club request was rejected. A group of white students tried to mend fences but were rejected. After speaking to the press, they played with Audrey’s words and was later fired because of budget cuts. Feeling down, she pleaded Greg to come back so they can be intimate. They had a deep conversation about where they were with their lives and getting older.
Kristen confronted the model that gave her an STD. Now that he saw her face, he was not as receptive about getting her name right or spending time with her. Ashley got some revenge of her own by getting the model to admit to statutory rape on camera to use against him if he ever came into contact with Kristen again.
In another session with Shokrani, Ramon kept the strange noise a secret. They had an argument about his marijuana use. It helped him. We also learned a lot more about Shokrani in this episode. First, his back was riddled with scars from supposed religious torture. While going to a wedding with his family, he couldn’t deal with a painful memory from his past so he sought refuge in marijuana. Because of it, he became more upbeat.
For the dinner, Ashley and Malcolm invited another life coach named Carmen (Fernanda Andrade) in hopes of setting her up with Duc. He was not thrilled about it or her at first but as the dinner went on, he became more receptive of her and her different opinions and they exchanged business cards. Henry handled himself while being drilled by the other siblings. He also let slip good news about Ramon being chosen to represent his university at a video game conference. Ramon asked Carmen for help and she offered to schedule an appointment to see him.
Finally, everybody was doing it and Greg ended his relationship with the prostitute he had been seeing. The pictures of different leaves above their bed made up another “11:11”.
Overall, this was a good episode that featured a more focused thus more compelling story. Episodes where characters are together have been better so far with the siblings dinner, Audrey and Greg connecting while spending time with one another, and Shokrani’s backstory. All these subplots are fine and it’s early in the season but so far, the direction that it’s going has not been overly clear so hopefully it becomes a little clearer over the next few episodes.