Ben and Kate Season 1 Review “The Trip”

Another week, another fairly strong showing from Ben and Kate. “The Trip” isn’t extraordinary by any means, and it does slip up on some important character bits, which I’ll get to later, but on the whole, it provides all the necessary facets for an enjoyable episode of television.

First, the side-plots, which, as usual, center around BJ and Tommy, for the most part. BJ, motivated by the discovery that Will has money, is motivated to get Tommy off his Kate obsession, to make sure Will sticks around to take her on vacations to all her favorites islands (including Thousand Island). The best bit of this was her telling Maddie “You must learn how to speak to servents.” The Tommy stuff was good too, and took a step in the right direction, towards making him a more fleshed-out individual, but wasn’t laugh-out-loud hilarious.

Kate’s constant anxiety, however, was; the moment when she bumps into a lamp, then immediately yells “I DID THAT,” was the funniest of the night by far. And it tracks well throughout the whole episode, too, with her inability to successfully navigate having friends and family and having a boyfriend. On her end, it was all more emotionally affecting than I expected it to be. Ben and Kate has laid off the real sappy stuff for a while now, after really hammering it in towards the beginning of the season, but the end of “The Trip” brought it back full force. The worst moment was Kate lying to Ben, and telling him that yeah, it was the money thing that was the reason for the fight. It was shockingly emotionally subtle, for a show that tends towards wacky sitcom more often than not, and I really loved.

What I didn’t love, however, was Will suddenly deciding that Kate’s friends are too wacky and involved for his taste. Wasn’t he the one who, just two weeks ago, was insistent on a public sing-off as a reasonable solution to Kate’s grudge from high school? He’s been game for basically everything up to now, and so introducing this trait of his in the same week we find out he comes from money feels like too much new information all at once.

But of course, it was bound to happen. There was no way Kate was going to actually find a stable relationship in the first season of a show that’s titled Ben and Kate and not Ben and Kate and Kate’s Boyfriend. She had to break up with Will somehow; making her choose between him and Ben and her friends is the best possible device by which to do it. I’m not complaining about that fact. Sure, I’ll miss Geoff Stults’ disgustingly handsome face, but watching Kate fumble through more first dates is going to more than make up for it. I just wish “The Trip” had executed the beginnings of the goodbye to Will a little more gracefully, is all.