EPISODES “Episode 5” Advance Review

EPISODES “Episode 5” Season 1 Episode 5 – Matt invites Sean to a benefit while Beverly spends some quality time with Carol in the fifth installment of EPISODES. I’ve previewed it and it moves the plot forward while also moving Sean and Beverly farther apart.

Last week it briefly seemed there might be a détente between Beverly and Matt and that Sean and Beverly had found their way back to an even keel, but that was clearly not meant to be. Matt crosses a line while remaining completely in character and where last week Beverly’s likeability took a hit, this week the honor goes to Sean. I like that both Sean and Beverly are flawed and that while the move to LA (and Matt’s very existence) may be the impetus for their problems, we see that the responsibility for those problems lies squarely on them.

For the weekly dose of Hollywood satire, we have a rape prevention benefit, and I’ll admit I cringed more than once-especially at Merc. Let’s just say not every joke lands, but there are a couple of great moments, including one when Sean runs into someone he knew in England.

My favorite moments of this episode are the silliest. Beverly and Carol are hilarious together this episode and I would have happily watched an entire episode just of them. Tamsin Grieg and Kathleen Rose Perkins share a loose and easy chemistry and Carol telling her self-involved truths is even funnier than Carol lying through her teeth. Beverly unclenches her fists and reminds us how utterly charming she can be, and as a bonus she divulges information from her past that puts some of her current anxiety into perspective.

Some funny lines:

“They might go to the library more.” I love this wardrobe scene so very much.

“Technically those aren’t breasts; they’re bazooms. You can look it up in the big book of tits.”

“Wine tasting and rape?”/”And I heard there’s a singer.” See, this is wrong but funny in a twisted way (like the goodie bag contents). Unfortunately, Merc’s big line is just wrong.

“It’s Matt LeBlanc and his friend Chim Chim Cheree.”

“It’s like I was being punished.” I don’t know which is funnier: Carol saying this line or Beverly reacting to it.

“What kind of sick mind chains a refrigerator?”

“I don’t mean brilliant like you guys say it. I mean truly brilliant.” I like Morning. There, I said it.

While Episodes is still delivering plenty of–admittedly even darker–humor, the sober and dramatic thread is being more firmly woven in as the cracks in Beverly and Sean’s relationship widen. I care about these characters, so for as much as I laughed this episode, I was still left with the thought, “Oh. This isn’t funny anymore.” To me, that says Episodes is doing its job very well.

After you’ve had a chance to watch Episodes tonight on Showtime at 9:30pm eastern/8:30pm central, I hope you’ll come back and tell me what you thought. Is the drama taking over too much?

Follow me on Twitter @michstjame