The Long D
Claudia O’Doherty as Bertie.
Here’s one of the best things my therapist ever told me, given here to you, for free: Imagine there’s a circle inside all of us. Over the course of our lives, any hurt we experience puts a unique dent into that circle, until it’s warped. We are drawn to people who fit into that warp, which continues the cycle. By doing a lot of work on ourselves to bend the circle back into shape, we can break the cycle, but until then, on some level, we’ll always be going into relationships, hurt to hurt. No one else can save us. We have to break the cycle for ourselves.
My therapist probably said it better.
Mickey and Dustin walk out of the vet’s office in a daze. Mickey tells Dustin she’ll go to his house so he doesn’t have to be alone. The house is nice — much nicer than when they were together. Mickey tries to tell him that it will never be this hard again, but Dustin says when his dad died, it actually got harder over time.
After talking about the sex they used to have, Dustin kisses Mickey. NOOOO, NOOOO, NOOOO!
Gus arrives at Victor’s trailer and interrupts Victor and Tommy to give them a framed map of Antarctica and a bottle of soju. Although they have work to do, Gus doesn’t immediately leave. He tells them he’s able to go to New York now, but Tommy tells him that the ship has sailed, and anyway, they have other work to do.
Steven finds Gus sitting alone and finally asks if he wants to hang out. They decide to drink at Gus’s hotel room that night, and Steven says he might bring a friend.
Mickey wakes up in Dustin’s apartment. On her way out the door, Dustin asks if she and Gus are serious. Mickey responds that she thought it was going to get serious, but things have been weird. Dustin proceeds to make fun of Gus, and says that as a couple they looked like a “Christian folk duo.”
Gus eats alone at a diner, where a family takes pity on his clear patheticness and invites him to eat with them. Being around a family, Gus starts to cry. “I’ve never seen such a sad grown-up,” one of the kids says. Gus gets a phone call from Mickey, drops his credit card on the table, and walks away. Mickey tells Gus she misses him, and they apologize to each other. Mickey jokingly asks if he’s been having sex with other women on set, and Gus responds, “Of course not, I’m with you.” Gus asks Mickey what’s going on because she sounds manic. Mickey gets defensive and says that she shouldn’t have called him.
Meanwhile, Bertie tries to be nice to a Greenpeace volunteer, lets go of her shopping cart, and it rolls right in front of a car. Poor Bertie.
Steven arrives at Gus’s hotel room, and tells him that he invited a female extra from the set. It seems he only really wanted to hang out with Gus so he could have a bedroom he doesn’t share with Arya. Gus tells Steven about what’s going on with Mickey, and Steven suggests Gus “ice” her.
Natasha, the extra, comes over. She asks if Gus is the one with the coke. This night is going much differently than Gus had planned.
Mickey arrives home to find Bertie sitting by herself, drinking wine and listening to Les Misérables. Bertie tells Mickey that she almost died in the parking lot, and it made her think about how much she’s settled in life. She decides to break up with Randy. She’s going to do it in person.
Natasha and Steven convince Gus to do coke, and he ends up being a hyped-up cockblock. They give him another drink and leave as he pukes by himself.
Back in Los Angeles, Mickey leaves a SLAA meeting to go with Dustin to scatter Buster’s ashes. On their hike, they pass two of Gus’s friends.
When Bertie arrives at Randy’s place to break up with him, she attempts to make it seem like an exciting new opportunity. What Bertie didn’t know is that Randy’s brother Devon is also in town. Devon tells Bertie that she should give Randy another chance: “This means so much to our family,” he says. Devon even offers to pay Bertie back for the money Randy borrowed. Randy and Devon argue as Bertie runs out.
On set, Gus learns that Victor and Tommy have purchased the rights to the Antarctica article he brought to their attention. Tommy accuses Gus of not being business savvy, then engages Tommy in an argument that causes Victor to ask him to “go, forever.” Gus walks off set and wanders into an empty church. While high on coke, he wonders why he no longer “talks to Jesus” — now, apparently, he’s trying to rediscover what made that feel good in the first place. On the church bulletin board is a flyer for an AA meeting. Gus decides to attend. He learns that a big “don’t” in the program is to not be overprotective, and he realizes that he has to let go of his need to continuously check up on Mickey. He even shares a bit about his relationship, and says that he thinks he finally gets it. He hopes if he steps back from her, they can “have something real.”
Mickey, meanwhile, is having sex with Dustin.
Bertie tells Mickey about how badly her breakup went, but she’s already bounced back with Tinder. Dustin shows up unexpectedly and invites himself in to make artichokes, disparaging the kitchen as he does. Bertie goes to her room to pack up Randy’s stuff, and Mickey can tell that Bertie is judging her. Mickey confronts her about it, and Bertie tells Mickey that she’s just looking out for Gus. Mickey leaves with Dustin.
Gus leaves the set, but not before sharing an uncomfortable good-bye with Steven and Arya.
Bertie ends up sleeping with Randy again. She immediately looks horrified at herself.
At Dustin’s place, Mickey says that she’s been feeling more pressure at her job. She’s questioning whether she can succeed, and that makes her nervous. She doesn’t want to deal with career responsibilities. She just wants to get married and have kids and live a simple life. She just wants to give her kids the childhood she never had. Dustin and Mickey talk about the futures they envision for themselves, and they seem to line up quite well. He suggests they give it another try. Mickey tries to leave, but Dustin keeps her there.
Gus arrives home, and Mickey texts him, “u back?” Gus looks terrified.
From the very beginning of the season, Mickey has said that she needs to be alone. But now, presented with exactly that opportunity, Mickey’s addiction reels her back in. “The Long D” shows what happens when people who try to make better choices are confronted by others — and by addictions — that want them to stick with their bad patterns. Mickey and Bertie both attempt to make better choices for themselves, and they are both pulled back by people with something to gain from their damage. Their circles are still dented.