Season One, Episode Eight
Is it strange that a show called “Togetherness” has its characters breaking apart at the end of the first season? Not really, because as our four main characters are all splitting up in their own ways, there will always be a part of them that is comforted by being together. So what does that exactly mean?
The marriage between Michelle and Brett has been the central and most important story-line of the first season, despite Tina and Alex being a lot more fun. There was obviously things wrong with their marriage before the show even began, but we pick up when they’re sexually frustrated and fed up by their lack of communication. Is this what is supposed to happen when you’re married? That mentally is what keeps them together because they assume they just have to weather the storm, but as they slowly drift further apart, the chances of them finding their spark becomes thin.
Brett has always been distant with Michelle, but you can’t accuse him of not trying. When Michelle wanted to go to the beach, Brett attended even though he didn’t want to. When Michelle wanted to try something new, sexually, Brett obliged. Brett even tried the whole spur of the moment, dinner-date thing with Michelle, but to disastrous results simply because he knows she’s not into it. It’s generous of Brett to be doing all of these things, but to Michelle she needs things to go further than just being nice and supportive. She needs that flame to be burning bright with Brett, but unfortunately that fire burnt out a long time ago.
Brett goes through something during “Not So Together” that he hasn’t gone through all season long. He legitimately enjoyed being with his family. It’s concerning that he enjoyed it so much without Michelle being there, but something that he dreaded at the beginning of the season (going to the beach) he absolutely loved. Has Linda and the mushrooms awaken a new version of Brett who loves life and wants to share his passion for it with his wife and family? Possibly, but it might already be too late.
Michelle attends an important meeting with David to try and get a charter school in their district. She winds up saving the day and all of this is just another scoop of ice cream in her David-crush bowl. With David, Michelle feels reinvented. She feels important, happy, enthusiastic, and most of all she shares an energy between them. You just know something is going to happen between them. As the audience and also as a human being, when there are feelings between two people and they go away together for a night, I would say with confidence that more times than not (even if it crosses boundaries), you’re going to hook up. Tina knew it before Michelle even leaves. We all did. But then again, how intense (is that even the right word to use here) was the hand-written letter exchange under the adjoining door? That scene right there worked incredibly well, and it’s all due to the sexual build-up from the lack thereof in Michelle marriage.
Meanwhile, Tina is moving in with Larry, something that does make sense for her. She doesn’t seem to have much self-esteem, she’s not successful, and with Larry she can be taken care of and live the glamorous life that she craves. The problem? Alex knows that she doesn’t love him and he’s offering his love to her on a freaking platter! This was a particularly gut-wrenching scene because Alex just exposes himself to her in such a vulnerable state, only to have her reject him. Sure, Tina is certainly out of Alex’ league when it comes to looks, but the two of them have something I don’t believe Tina has ever had before: actual friendship. But Tina is willing to give that up to be with Larry. Can you foresee that backfiring on her? I sure can.
It’s sort of cruel to see in one case, Alex rides a bike to express his feelings for Tina, only to have them crushed. But at least he was able to ask her. The timing was off because she already seemed to have made up her mind, but you can tell that even though Tina made that decision, she’s still searching for something better. And then there’s Brett and his newly discovered excitement for life. With Alex’ suggestion, Brett’s driving to Michelle to share his energy and passion with her. He’s coming at her with so much positive emotion I’m not sure how Michelle would receive it. But inevitably, Michelle and David break down the doors (not really, they just slowly open them but I think my way is a lot more dramatic) and hook up. We’re not exactly sure how far they go, but we do know that Brett is too late.
The first season was a roller-coaster ride, but what I loved most about it was how it portrays such flawed characters in an environment we can all relate to. We don’t have a cast of only beautiful people. They’re not thrown into stereotypes or cliques. The main cast are rich, deep, and troubled people who are trying to figure out themselves during a very critical time in their lives. Who can’t sympathize with that? Well done, and I can’t wait for the second season.