Togetherness Recap: Bad Bromance

Mark Duplass as Brett, Steve Zissis as Alex. Photo: HBO


Changetown Season 2 Episode 4
Editor's Rating 4 stars

Hey there, Togetherness heads. Although “Changetown” isn’t quite as amazing as last week’s “Advanced Pretend,” there’s a lot of goodness happening thanks to Tina. She is, in my opinion, the MVP of the show. Her character is unlike any other on TV right now. Sure, it’s fine for twentysomething women to find themselves — Girls, for example — but it’s pretty rare for the multi-layered character development to happen with a woman who is in her 40s. It certainly helps that Amanda Peet is such a phenomenal actress; this is the character she has always deserved.

Of course, Tina isn’t the only one going through changes. Everyone is trying to get a handle on their topsy turvy lives in this episode, so let’s get right to it.

We open with Brett and Alex in full bromance mode: They are knee-deep in their Dune passion project, they’re staying at Alex’s place, and they’re sleeping in the same bed, much to the chagrin of Christy, who is being pushed to the side. Alex isn’t even inviting her to hang out at night, and he’s pecking her on the cheek like she’s some child. Sigh. As much as I love Brett and Alex, the fact that they can become so co-dependent is frustrating. I mean, last episode, Alex was complaining to Brett about how he let his life revolve around his friend and now he’s doing it yet again. Habits are hard to break, but Alex needs to try harder and tell Brett to kick rocks. Or at the very least, ask him to sleep on the damn couch. Otherwise, Christy is going to be out the door and out of his life.

Also, this Dune play is going to be terrible, right? It has to be.

Anyway, Michelle and Tina seem to have their routine down: Tina watches Sophie and Frank while Michelle works on charter-school stuff. Although they are actually having a good time together, Sophie is starting to act out. She’s hiding Michelle’s car keys so she won’t go to work, and she’s picking up on the fact that Brett isn’t staying over anymore. Oof. So, Michelle and Brett meet up to discuss things and it’s very awkward. She wants to figure out their relationship status — calm down, Michelle, you messed up here, so you need to give him time — and Brett is like, “Sorry, I’m busy with my play and being an Uber driver.” LOL. Okay, that takes up 64 minutes of your day, so maybe try to figure things out before Sophie asks more questions. Brett doesn’t see it that way; he wants to take his time. Fair. Kind of unfair: He hasn’t been wearing his wedding ring, which clearly hurts Michelle because they’ve only been separated for two weeks. Damn.

Meanwhile, things are going slightly better at charter school. They’re struggling to raise money so a new board member, Anna, volunteers to help Michelle out. After the meeting, they hit it off pretty well. Looks like Michelle will have a new friend. Across town, Tina is trying to handle taking care of Frankie and Sophie and it’s making me never want to be a mom … or at least, I won’t wear stiletto heels like Tina does while running around with kids. If you’re going to babysit, you should probably wear sensible shoes. But Tina doesn’t hear me. While the three of them are at the house, Sophie spills a bottle of orange juice, then Tina slips and knocks Sophie on the ground. Everyone is crying and Tina screams. It’s silent for a moment, then she and Sophie start dancing. Whoa! I think Tina might be getting the hang of this mom stuff, which is very exciting because I think this is the happiest we’ve ever seen her been.

She wants to share this joy with Larry, who is … not onboard. She tells him that she wants to be the auntie/nanny for the kids. He’s surprised that she’s into children, and the conversation goes to crap. Tina explains that she wants to eventually have kids, then he says, “Everything you said would lead me to believe you would not be a good mom.” Ouch! That is pretty much the meanest thing you can say to someone. While part of me believes he feels that way, part of me wonders if he’s saying it because he doesn’t want to have kids. Maybe he thinks being a jerk about this will make Tina stop talking about kids? That’s not how life works, though. She found something she enjoys doing, Lar, so freaking get onboard and be supportive.

So, Alex’s job is not all that he expects it to be. Big C, an executive who wears a leather blazer unironically, has changed Alex’s character from a vampire to a pimp. Oh no. Welcome to TV, Alex. It kind of sucks sometimes. That night, he hangs out with Brett all night. Brett is talking about how screwed up everything is, then they go back to Alex’s place. They’re wasted. Christy is there and she is done with all of their nonsense. She is like, “I wanna fuck” and Alex hesitates. Yo, this bromance is out of control! He is about to throw away his relationship because he wants hang out with his friend. I don’t get it. Maybe he just doesn’t like Christy that much? It seemed that he really did.

Thankfully, Brett crashes at home — sleeping on the couch — when Tina arrives to sleep on the other couch. She tells him about what happened with Larry. Brett reassures her that if she really put her mind to it, if being a mother is what she wanted, then she would be great at it.

You know, this Brett 2.0 is pretty great. Normally, he’d find a way to bring the conversation back to him, but he’s actually learning how to be a friend. He’s learning that selflessness is an important part of friendship. Listening to other people’s problems and seeing the good in them is something I wasn’t sure he was capable of doing. And no matter the outcome of his and Michelle’s marriage, it’s clear that their struggles are the reason why he is a much better person. Same with Tina. She ‘s going through her own set of growing pains right now, but she has found her purpose. She is Tina 2.0 and if Larry isn’t onboard, she’ll eventually tell him to get lost. Compare that to season one Tina, who would have just let things stay the same because fear of the unknown was too much for her to handle.

Now that Tina and Brett are learning how to be givers, I think they are ready to be in relationships again. The only question is, will those respective relationships be with Larry and Michelle, or with others?

Alrighty, what did you think of tonight’s episode? Anyone else annoyed that Christy is getting kicked to curb? Also, who else is sad for Sophie? Let me know in the comment section below.