My favorite thing about Suburgatory is their ability to creatively lampoon various aspects of the high school existence. However, I never imagined the creative team being able to do such an effective job with the college recruiting experience. It’s hard to remember because we haven’t seen him in awhile, but the Ryan Shay college decision has been looming for some time. I just didn’t expect it to be done in a hilarious sequence that was the highlight of one of the show’s best episodes of the season.
Creatively speaking, the show had been down the past few weeks (making this article look increasingly worse). Finally, the show got back up on its feet thanks to some returns to its roots and finally getting the George-Dallas relationship (Gallas? Dorge?) on the right beats. It didn’t use the more problematic elements of Dallas’s character to get laughs and cause conflict. Instead, their story turned into a look at George’s continued attempt to put his past behind him. The show has done a good enough job of bringing back Alex issues throughout the series that George’s issues seemed genuine. When he finally shakes them free to move forward with Dallas, it was the first time I became emotionally attached to their relationship. It was a well done story that featured some fantastic work by Jeremy Sisto.
While George and Dallas were getting on a better track, Tessa pushed Ryan in a direction that he really wanted to go. Tessa’s selfless decision is ultimately undone by Dalia’s attack, the show played those beats between Ryan and Tessa masterfully. The show has been really successful all season at getting comedic and romantic mileage out of this relationship, but Jane Levy’s performance in the breakup scene is exactly why we’re going to know her name for quite some time. I find myself less invested in the Dalia-Tessa war, but it could prove to be a difficult place for Dallas. If done properly, it could be quite an interesting storyline. That being said, squabbles between teenage girls didn’t really fit with the overall tone of tonight’s episode. Plus, I can’t imagine we’ve seen the end of Ryan Shay either. Parker Young has had a great season, and he deserves to run a few more scenes with Jane Levy before he’s done.
Overall, the episode worked on so many levels that it has to be considered one of Suburgatory’s best episodes of the season. What did everyone else think?