‘Tell Me You Love Me’: Guess What Hits the Fan

Just some hugging-and-kissing bullshit.Photo: Courtesy of HBO

Only one more week to go! And while we here at TMYLM Recap HQ have, in the past, been guilty of calling this show, er, slow (grim, torturous, plodding, etc.), we now humbly submit that if you’ve stuck it out this long, this week brought some real emotional wallops. Katie wigs out! Palek bolts! Carolyn is jobless, knocked up, and alone! Dave is facing down the loveless abyss of marriage! Jamie — okay, Jamie is just annoying.

This week, she has another long session with May to discuss her inability to tell her boyfriend, Grimwald Lugubrious, that she loves him. May, in turn, smiles beatifically and asks a bunch of questions, none of which are the obvious one: “Has it ever occurred to you that you’re a shallow, boring narcissist?”

Later, when Jamie tells Pouty Claus that she thinks they’re going too fast, he thankfully tells her to stuff it, and not an episode too soon. Well, actually, it’s more like eight episodes too late. But he’s gone, back to his redheaded lass. We’ll give the last (slurred) word on this relationship to Mason, who says of the Long-Locked One, “He kind of looked like a girl.” Too true, Mason, too true — like a big, greasy, squinty, long-suffering girl, with an occasionally visible ball sack.

Katie, meanwhile, has a meltdown — or at least her tepid version of one. She decides to apply for a job (!), buy a suit (!! — One lesson of this show: Spouses going suit-shopping is always a bad sign), and get a makeover (with eyeshadow!!!). In her defense, she’s been thrown off-kilter by the news that Sherry Stringfield is leaving her husband and returning to ER. Okay, not that last part. But clearly Katie is scared. And Dave, against all odds, has turned into a font of reason and the rock of the show. Tim DeKay has transformed Dave slowly and masterfully from a lovable, blinder-wearing doofus to a goodhearted man flailing to keep his balance as everything dissolves around him. Who would have guessed that DeKay would emerge as the Emmy favorite among this cast?

Speaking of surprising switcheroos, Palek continues his ugly slide from bemused henpecked sex-slave to coldhearted responsibility-dodging cad. Seriously, dude: Man up. Yes, your dad took off on you; yes, your mom’s a brittle horror (Palek cringes at the thought of her “hugging-and-kissing bullshit” — we’re guessing Thanksgiving at the Shelton’s is not a real festive event). Yes, your friends have terror-kids who run around screaming way past their bedtime. But you’ve gone from flirting with the suit salesgirl to panic attacks to bailing on your pregnant wife. Not cool!

And all this just when Carolyn needs him most, having dumped her job after one too many run-ins with the Evil Asian Boss. Whose name, by the way, mentioned in passing, is apparently Shoulter. Is this an Ann Coulter reference? Or something more complex? Let’s turn to our trusty anagram generator — any hidden clues for us? Is she a Hero Slut? Or jealous at Carolyn’s pregnancy thanks to her own Hole Rust? Maybe she’s simply fulfilling her villainous Role Thus. —Adam Sternbergh

‘Tell Me You Love Me’: Guess What Hits the Fan