Togetherness “Hotels” Review (Season 2 Episode 1)

Togetherness was a pleasant surprise last season, a potent dramedy that managed to take a look at four fairly broken people attempting to hold their lives together even as they were slowly drifting apart from one another. Last year’s finale ended with the two main relationships – Brett and Michelle’s marriage and Tina and Alex’s friendship – in rough states, so the question going into tonight’s premiere was where we would even find our characters some unknown amount of time later.

At first, “Hotels” seemed set to pick up right where season one left off, with Michelle sleeping with David and Brett on the road to catch her in flagrante. Instead, we were treated to a seeming high point in the life of Alex, finally living his dream as a movie star. Of course, as is frequently the case with Togetherness, this success isn’t as fulfilling as it seems, with Alex ultimately still pining over Tina.

Alex being so successful makes a weird amount of sense in terms of how the world works, because he’s easily the character least deserving of it. On one level, I understand that rejection is hard to deal with, but on another, it’s hard not to see his treatment of Tina as unnecessarily petty. His life truly is in a good place, but for him to seemingly put up with Tina because he feels he owes her is unfair to her. And yes, Tina is a messed-up person, but that’s exactly why she needs a stable, reliable friend in her life. That’s what she thought she had in Alex, and it’s why she’s so desperate to reunite with him in a real way.

Meanwhile, Michelle’s guilt over cheating on Brett is tearing her apart, and this is where the show does a better job of making both characters relatable in how flawed they are. A big part of what made last season so successful is that it traced the failure of Brett and Michelle’s marriage in such a way that it made perfect sense why Michelle would be so drawn to David. Weird as it is to say, it earned the affair, painting Michelle as someone desperate to feel appreciated and wanted as opposed to a bad person.

Instead, we find Michelle in a pit of self-loathing, not helped by Brett’s very real commitment to making their marriage work again. It makes for a tense half hour, with the show delaying what seems like an inevitable blow-up between the two. Brett’s second proposal is a scene drowning in misery, but again, the show holds off from letting us see the direct fallout. The affair continues to exist as a bomb under the table, and we’re left wondering when this season it will go off.

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