As we’ve learned more and more about the backgrounds of each member of StarCrossed, one key question has remained: how do their families feels about this? Perhaps more pertinently, do they even know? In the sixth episode, we find out that the answer to that question is no, as Gina plans a “coming out day,” in which each member has to reveal to one relative or significant other that they are an Experiencer. Sensing a disaster in the making, Ozzie decides to sit this one out, telling Gina he had food poisoning (“probably ate some bad chicken!”). As we watch the night play out, it becomes clear that he made the right call, as the event goes every bit as horribly as he predicts. However, the episode ultimately presents us a lot of growth and development, as each member of StarCrossed has to deal with not being believed, and in some cases, being outright rejected by one of the people closest to them.
As each member is telling their experience to a loved one, we see an amusing juxtaposition; Ozzie is having a great night, getting drunk and dancing to Cameo’s “Word Up” with Father Doug (who is Just Doug tonight) while every other member of the group is going with intense personal turmoil. But as the alcohol keeps flowing, Ozzie and Doug’s conversation keeps getting more and more serious until they find themselves revealing their deepest secrets. As many have suspected, Father Doug does have feelings for Chelsea, but he feels extremely conflicted about it, as he takes his role as a priest quite seriously. This was easily a breakout episode for his character; up until now, he had existed primarily as the group’s host, with his potential infatuation with Chelsea being the only significant aspect of his character. After his revealing conversation with Ozzie (in which he also talks about his time playing a Latin-jazz funk band), he now seems like one of the deepest characters on the show. It’ll be interesting to see if he plays a greater role in future episodes.
The scenes of the group coming out are painful to watch, mostly because you know no one is going to believe them, and it still feels brutal to watch it play out. The show readily acknowledges how similar the situation is to someone coming out to their family as gay, and the show reflects that by casually revealing that Ennis actually is. After already learning that, and now finding out about his abduction, Ennis’s son now begins to wonder if he’s just making all of this up. Likewise, Richard’s brother thinks the whole thing is just a ploy for attention because he’s jealous about not getting to go on Star Search. Meanwhile, Yvonne’s sister (played by Sasheer Zamata) just seems bemused by the entire thing, and Kelly’s mother seems uninterested by it, and cares more about getting her to go back to school.
The most depressing reveal, however, is likely Chelsea. For the first time in the series, her husband, John, actually pays attention to her. Unfortunately, he likely has the most hostile reaction of all, not seeming to care where she’s coming from. For comparison’s sake, at least when Richard dealt with his own situation with his estranged wife, we at least knew that deep down, she thought he might be telling the truth, and merely wanted to avoid exploring it further. John’s dismissal of Chelsea is rough to watch, particularly when juxtaposed with Doug admitting his feelings for her to Ozzie.
Most episodes of this show have focused on telling the backstories of individual characters, but this time around, everyone (except Ozzie) is in the same place, and as they share the experience of being disbelieved by their families, we can appreciate them more as a group than at any point in the series. As we watch them hang out in the bar and bond together after a rough time, the point is driven home that while these characters have wildly different histories, there is one thing that bonds them, and that ultimately unites them as a family. As we see tonight, that bond may be stronger than the one they have with their actual families.
The level of pain and catharsis on display was more than enough to make this the show’s strongest episode yet. When we see Doug talk a very drunk Ozzie (not that Doug isn’t pretty wasted himself) out of telling his mother about his experience, it can’t help but resonate, especially with the implication that his relationship with his own mother may have soured when he revealed that he had become a priest. Between the group bonding over their horrible night, and Ozzie’s newfound connection with Doug, this episode did a brilliant job of exploring both the pain of rejection, and the power of friendship.
-With these two plots going on, we don’t see too much of the aliens, save for poor Don being appalled to watch a child at the coffee shop play a video game where the goal is to kill aliens. However, the episode ends with the revelation that the impending invasion is just four weeks away.
-”I masturbated 22 times in the last 24 hours.” “Oh come on, you know that’s too much!”
-The funniest scene of the night had to be Margaret telling her lover that she wanted him to come her to group, and then telling the other guy in bed with her that it’s “just a me and Earl thing.”
-Father Doug’s attempts to turn his local bar into a soccer bar are endearing, if ultimately unsuccessful.