EPISODES “Episode 4” Advance Review

EPISODES (Showtime) "Episode 4

EPISODES “Episode 104” Season 1 Episode 4 – A new week means a new EPISODES, and since I’ve seen it early, I’ll tell you that the focus shifts away from ‘Pucks’ a bit to give a glimpse into Matt’s personal life while Beverly’s insecurities continue to grow.

Here we are at the midway point of Episodes, and while it seems like we still have a long way to go before we get to the car accident shown at the beginning of the pilot, the pieces continue to fall into place as the tone edges darker.

The focus is squarely on Matt, Sean, and Beverly and their ever-shifting interactions. After a brief scene on the set of ‘Pucks,’ all the action moves and the show within a show is barely mentioned. Merc and Carol are both absent, leaving different parts of the Hollywood life ripe for the skewering.

Needless to say, Beverly is still not loving Los Angeles. After last week, where Sean became smitten with Matt in Vegas, Morning’s looks gave her an inferiority complex, and Matt demolished her by catching her staring at his “sea creature,” she is a writhing mass of insecurities. That means most of her least attractive qualities are present for much of the episode with Tamsin Grieg doing an excellent job of bringing Beverly almost to the brink of unlikeability without crossing over and it makes some other moments even more poignant.

As much as I loved Friends (and I so did, for most of its run), I’m thrilled Matt LeBlanc has finally found a way to break free of Joey after the not-so-great spin-off. For LeBlanc to now be able to not just show more of his range but to be able to skewer both himself and–in the small snatches we get of ‘Pucks’– Joey is awesome. As a bonus, Matt is so wonderfully devious and two-faced that it’s hard to know when or if he’s being sincere.

A few choice lines (the best ones this week are too spoilery to list):

“From everything we’ve heard, she was acting in that play when Lincoln was shot.”

“Tell that to my house in Malibu.”

“You look at her the way Cruella de Vil looked at those puppies.”

“Oh, yeah, I’m f–in’ full of whimsy.”

“I think this will really make the difference between the two of you.”

“Have you seen my dog?”

The humor in Episodes is getting blacker and sharper-edged as the undercurrent of impending disaster grows. I like the juxtaposition of how the human drama plays out against the broad Hollywood satire, and while I’m sorry there are now only three episodes left, I like the leanness of the storytelling.

After you’ve watched Episodes tonight on Showtime at 9:30pm eastern/8:30pm central, I hope you’ll come back and tell me what you thought. What should Beverly do about her situation?

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