Ah, there it is: The first hint that something is seriously awry with the Xavier/Evie relationship. There was an offhand remark a few episodes back about him not having an Internet presence, and it finally came roaring back to life here.
It’s unfortunate, but probably realistic, that Evie is willing to forgive a lot of really bad behavior from Xavier, before finally being pushed over the edge by this. We tend to be willing to look past an awful lot when we’re infatuated, and their entire relationship is premised on her looking past his judgment day theories. But given that she believes in radical honesty (and honesty scones, sexual or otherwise), the one thing Xavier could never do is lie to her. And then he does.
Also, it’s hard to think of something more unnerving than realizing someone you’ve been dating has lied about something as basic as his own name. Even if he has some valid reason for not wanting to live his life as Hamish anymore, it’s pretty unforgivable for him not to tell Evie. Frankly, if this show turns into the story of how Evie and Timothy turn into people who are perfect for each other, it would not be the worst direction for it to go. The positives about Xavier are charming—who wouldn’t want someone who knows the choreography to Singin’ in the Rain and spends an afternoon imploring a group of strangers to live their best lives? But there’s a pretty heavy stack of negatives at this point, and the worst thing that can be said of Timothy is that he’s a little timid, and Evie wants someone more outgoing.
Speaking of Mr. Finger, the ask Evie makes of him is pretty selfish, and at least so far, the show is letting her off the hook for it. She broke Timothy’s heart, and ignored his request to be left alone in order to ask him for a favor for her new boyfriend? That’s brutal. Clearly, she has a big Xavier blind spot, but if she ever cared for Timothy, she should have had the sense not to bring this up with him. And it’s not like this was the only way she could help Xavier make up for the time she lost him. As it turns out, it’s not what he wants anyway. So in essence she drags Timothy back into her life and ruins his new relationship in the process, even if it’s one we know is doomed to failure due to Fern’s lies. The main thing we’ve seen Timothy and Evie have in common so far is their commitment to honesty as a vital part of who they are.
The B plot, in the meantime, gives us our first look into who Deirdre really is. I still don’t think she was wrong to be upset with Hank after he joined the strike so quickly—he may be a former union rep, but his willingness to jump into the strike didn’t involve too much critical thinking about whether the strike was a good idea—but it’s now clear there was more to her rejection than just that. It was the first test of their relationship, and Hank failed it, at least in her eyes. He goes above and beyond here in trying to prove to her that he’s a good bet, and serious about their connection, but it’s just not quite enough for someone who’s afraid of getting burned.
In addition to showing us a little more about Deirdre’s personal life, Hank’s dance efforts do some work to redeem Kareema’s plan to procrastinate on telling her brother the truth about his ex fiancée. It’s clear she’s just avoiding confrontation and the consequences of having behaved badly, but when it’s combined with how far she’s willing to go to help her friends, it gives her a lot more nuance. She talks a big game about not caring about anything, but her arc so far on the show has been all about doing everything she possibly can for the people she cares about.
We’re into a break for a week or two now, but in the meantime, we’ve got some big conflicts to resolve, from Kareema’s messy family, to Hank and Deirdre’s crushed romance, to whether or not Xavier will fix his hair. And also admit who he really is.
- Look, it was hardly a competition before, given how nice Jesse Rath’s hair is, but with that goofy haircut on Xavier, Timothy clearly wins on hair grounds alone.
- We learned a lot about the defecation habits of alpacas in this episode.
- “I’m not falling for that…again.” Evie is apparently fooled by fake voicemail.
- “I’ve never seen that movie.” “Dirty Dancing? Are you dead?” The only acceptable response to someone saying that.
- I can’t remotely transcribe Timothy’s rant about not being the person Evie thought he was (he and Hank share an incoherence during anger), but I liked that he summed it up with, “Nothing. I’m mad.” I wish this was an acceptable thing to do in actual arguments, because I also have trouble expressing myself when upset.
- Wait, why did cousin Jesse call him Xavier? Even people Xavier has known his whole life call him by his assumed name?
- Someone introduced me to the wonder that is “Bee and PuppyCat” over the weekend, which is how I have just learned that Fern is played by the same actress (Allyn Rachel) as Bee.