Oliver’s blaming-himself-for-his-parents’-fighting story line gets more interesting when he confesses he’d rather be put up for adoption. Paul tries to show Bess that she’s smothering Oliver without always taking care of him. She blames Oliver for her half-assed grad-school attempt. Now she’s leaving on a solo vacation, relieved that Oliver is sleeping and not overeating. But that’s because the kid is exploring starvation as a route away from getting bullied for being fat. Saddened, Paul skirts another boundary and invites the boy to play blackjack after the session. He gets Oliver to eat a sandwich; all-or-nothing Oliver asks for another.
Maybe it’s New Depression schadenfreude, but we like Walter better down on his luck. He’s taking the blame for that kid-killing recalled product, uncertain whether there’s anything more he could have done. He devoted his life to his best friend’s family’s company after he died, and now they’ve fired him; it’s bringing up the guilt he wrongly feels over his brother’s death. (How is this not igniting family issues for Paul?) Walter takes refuge in Klonopin. He accuses a fellow exec who’s turned to photography of leading a fake life, something artists more often level at businessmen.
Paul gives his deposition in Alex’s case, things with Tammy speedily sour, and he visits his father on his deathbed. In between, he tells Gina about Tammy and finds a dozen other ways to paint Gina as a forbidding mother; she ably focuses on his fractured familial relationships. That he thinks Mia is about perfect slips out, but Paul shoves that back in, leaving us to wonder whether anything ever almost happened between Gina and him. We’re worried about Paul: This episode hints that he’s drinking, and it occurs to us that his flexible schedule means he doesn’t have enough clients in Brooklyn.