Togetherness Recap: Hall Pass

Amanda Peet as Tina. Photo: HBO
Episode Title
Just the Range
Editor’s Rating

Howdy, friends! What's been great about this season of Togetherness — among many, many other things — is the handling of Brett and Michelle's strained marriage. I know some of you think that she is bad news and he should ditch her, but I don't think things can be or should be resolved that simply.

Perhaps I'm saying this because I'm a romantic (and because I've never been married), but I don't think I'm completely offbase. Michelle's indiscretion, although wrong, was not proof that she wants to be with someone else. She cheated because she felt like Brett checked out on their relationship — and he really had. Their communication skills were trash, so she went elsewhere and found David, who was effusive in his feelings for her. Nevertheless, she knows he's not a guy she wants to be with. Remember how he said he didn't care about breaking up her family if it meant they could be together? Yeah, no. Michelle wants a guy who does care. Brett is finally that guy, but it might be too late. She has caused so much damage — maybe too much damage — as we see in this week's episode, "Just the Range."

We open with Brett and Alex rehearsing Dune in Alex's crib. His landlord is like, "Ya'll are too loud and stop charging Brett's electric car via the apartment." Agreed. Sidenote: Why is Alex still living in this dumpy apartment? He is getting steady TV and movie work. Treat yourself, homie! Anyway, with the Dune rehearsal done for the night, Brett asks where Christy is. Alex is like, "She's still working nights," but she's also not around during the day either. That's when Alex realizes that she moved her stuff out and left a note for him. He doesn't seem too torn up about it, which rings kind of false to me. Yes, he loves Tina, but it seems like Christy was the first girlfriend to ever love him and care for him the way he deserves, so for him to just react like, "Oh," and then carry on with his life is … weird? That's something a sociopath would do. I think it would have been nice to see him process this loss a little bit more.

Meanwhile, Brett and Michelle are still doing their awkward tango. He's being really cold to her. She wants to assure him that David is out of the picture. Brett doesn't want to hear it, but she keeps going and he cusses her out. OOF! But also, I get it. He can't handle hearing David's name, so she just needs to cool it. On the flip side, Brett yelling is scary. He's so reserved, so I hope he doesn't do that again. Anyway, Michelle is sad-eating in the school parking lot. Tina arrives and Michelle vents about how her problems, which includes the contractor they are waiting for, who sucks. Anna is mad sympathetic and suggests they eat pot lollipops to get through this meeting. Michelle is down. It's great how awesome Anna is being. I like her!

They meet with the contractor, who is talking a bunch of bull and says the school is not going to be ready in time. Come. On. Dude. Anna immediately calls him out, says he's lying about a bunch of stuff, and tells him he's bad at his job. Then she goes, "You're fired." Hold up! He sucks, but shouldn't Michelle be making this call? Hmm. Anyway, Anna is like, "Michelle, you say it, too," and she does. After the contractor leaves, Anna says that she knows someone who can do the work, so it will all be fine. Um, will it? Who is this contractor? I don't like how she's basically calling shots while acting all like, "Hey girlfriend!" There has to be something else going on here. This is shady.

We catch up with Tina, who is having a lovely day at the mall with Frankie until he drops a massive deuce in his diaper. The snooty women in the mall act repulsed and it's like, that's what babies do. They take dumps at the most inopportune times. So Tina leaves, and when she's putting Frankie in the car, he poops all over her arm. Aaahhhh! I once had a pigeon poop all over my arm, so I guess I shouldn't be that grossed out. Anyway, Tina once again takes care of things like a trouper. After she cleans up Frankie, they share a tender moment, which is interrupted when Larry comes home. Tina tries to hide the baby (lol), but to no avail. Larry finds the two of them in bed and Frankie starts crying, so Larry leaves. Damn! Okay, Tina needs to dump him now; he can't even — oh. He comes back with a box of Cheerios and starts singing to Frankie. Ahh! This is so cute. You can see Tina falling more in love with him as he gets Frankie to stop crying. He's even up for spending time with her and Frankie during the day.

Meanwhile, Alex is on set with a new director and everyone is being weird and whispering. It's because the director, Dudley (Joshua Leonard), is the super-duper emo guy who made Into the Canyon, the crappy project Brett worked on last season. So Alex hates him immediately. He nevertheless carries on and does his scene, but no one yells cut because Dudley left the set to look for drugs in all the actors' trailers. Alex finds him in his trailer, and then Dudley has a mini-meltdown. He's completely unsure in his skills as a director, and he asks Alex to help him on set. Oh, lord. If I were Alex, I'd say hell to the no, but he's a better person than me. So they tag-team direct the rest of the day's shoot and things go really well. Alex even takes him to his AA meetings. The kicker? The both of them happen to be reading Dune right now. Okay, friendship formed!

After another day playing nanny, Tina comes home and wants to make love with Larry. Things get hot and heavy and he goes to put on a condom. She's like, "Why would you do that? I'm on the pill." He doesn't say anything. Uh-oh. A fight ensues: She is furious that he seemingly doesn't trust her to take her birth control, and he says that she is obsessed with Frankie. He asks her if she wants children. She scoffs. He's like, "It's okay to want kids." She says she doesn't, then adds that maybe she just doesn't want to close that door for the future. He says it's not closed … for her. He likes kids, but he doesn't want to be a father, no matter how much she says she will do all the child rearing. He wants her to be with someone who wants a family. She says she wants a family with him and starts crying. UGH!

That scene is so sad, but it is real grown-up shit and quite frankly, I commend Larry for not stringing her along. I think he knows she would be a great mom, and he doesn't want to get in the way of that experience. It's probably the greatest expression of love that Larry has ever shown to her. Tina's happiness truly does matter to him, and in the long run, he knows she won't be happy if she stays with him. I. Am. Officially. Crying. Tina leaves and drives to Alex's apartment. She doesn't get out of the car. She calls him; he answers. She hangs up and drives away. And I'm super fine with that. Even though I want them to end up together, it should not happen this way. Not as a rebound. Tina and Alex should be together because they choose each other, not out of some gut reaction to something shitty.

So what's up with Brett? Turns out Uber driving is not so idyllic. Two of his female passengers get into a fistfight and when he pulls over the car to break them up, he gets punched in the forehead. Later that night, he faces a less stressful situation. As he drops off a new passenger, Natalie (Emily Althaus), they seem be hitting it off and flirting. Mmhmm. His car dies, so she invites him inside to hang while it recharges. They joke about his love of Bruce Hornsby and the Range, eat dinner together, and slow dance. And you know, I'm not mad at this? I think it is okay for Brett to see what else is out there. Yes, he loves Michelle, but if he can't forgive her, then there is no point in staying married. So, Brett: Go ahead and take the night off from thinking about your marriage. Have a nice evening with this chill lady. When Natalie asks him to spend the night rather than leave, that's exactly what he does. Whoa! Sex with someone else isn't exactly what I thought he would do, but … okay. Wow.

Alrighty, what did you think of tonight's episode? Are you heartbroken that Tina and Larry ended things? Do you think that that Michelle and Brett should get back to together? Let me know in the comments below.