Togetherness “Not So Together” Review (Season 1 Episode 8)


Well, I’m just wrecked after that finale. Togetherness has delivered some devastating moments throughout its stellar first season, but “Not So Together” ended the year with a tense, almost unbearable scene that brought this chapter of the story to a close. And, like much of the season, it was every bit as emotionally confusing as you would expect.

Because this show has done an incredible job of fleshing out its core characters, to the point that none of them are portrayed as entirely in the wrong. Yes, Brett has been adrift and emotionally distant this season, but both his and Michelle’s state of mind stem from a similar sense of directionless. Michelle has been the one making the most effort, something she all but gave up on after Brett’s dismissive behavior in “Kick the Can.” All of that, though, doesn’t invalidate the tough time Brett’s been going through, but it makes the affair somewhat understandable.

And the scene itself, with the music, the mounting tension, the escalation of subtext to text in the note between David and Michelle, was absolutely gut-wrenching. The sense of growing passion between the two was palpable, and the tension came from whether or not Michelle would actually go through with it. Because there was always the possibility that the charter school would really be enough to fulfill the hole in her life, or that Brett would arrive in time with his new outlook on life. Of course, that would be an easy out far above this show’s standard operating procedure.

Moving to Brett, it was good to see him finally come alive himself, reconnecting with his kids and seeing the world through their happy little eyes. The problem is that he’s yet to have a chance to show Michelle, and it very well could be too little too late. However, it’s good to see him fulfilled on his own, however briefly, and able to enjoy a day at the beach.

Lastly, there’s Alex and Tina, who are as much a mess as ever. Tina chooses to stay with Larry not because she loves him, but because it’s an easier escape. She can have a nice life and give up on her own ambitions, avoiding any chance of failure again in the future. Getting with Alex would be messy, however much she actually wants to, and it could lead to the end of their friendship. She doesn’t want to lose Alex, and ironically, that leads to her pushing him away hard. At least the guy found success in his career, receiving top billing in Larry’s film.

So ended the first season of Togetherness, a beautiful disaster of a show that has been an absolute pleasure watching and talking about each week. It wasn’t always pretty, but it did its best to show the brutality of a troubled marriage and aimless middle-age. And while the cliffhanger was infuriating, I’m looking forward to returning to the show in 2016.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!