The Other Two
There’s so much packed into the second episode of The Other Two that it’s easy to get whiplash just trying to keep up. The show opened last week with a montage of news clips introducing us to the world of Chase Dreams, but this week we get no such buffer, diving headfirst into a terrifyingly accurate vision of a child star recording an Instagram live segment from the red carpet, thanking God and Sony Pictures in the same breath (emphasis on Sony Pictures). Although almost the entire episode takes place at the movie premiere for the movie-I-thought-was-real-but-Googled-just-to-check, When in Gnome, it offers insight into the depths of Cary and Brooke’s desperate search for validation, and somewhere deep underneath that, fulfillment.
The cold open alone gets so much exposition out of the way it’s a miracle how many jokes it manages to cram in as well. Cary anxiously waits to hear back from his agent regarding the fart commercial. Brooke sets another lofty goal alongside her quest for 50 dicks — a picture on the red carpet with the Getty Images watermark to send to her friends back home in Ohio. Okay, so we’ve got their missions for the episode right up front, and lots of fun back-and-forth about letting a strange cab driver lick your foot for $200 as a bonus.
At the premiere Chase is doing the rounds on the red carpet, already acting like a seasoned pro. As he poses for the cameras, Streeter sneaks a phone under his nose to “squeeze in a little math homework.” Although this is played as a quick joke, it underlines the sort of things this show isn’t willing to wave away simply because it’s inconvenient to the funniest possible storyline — The Other Two recognizes the sunk cost of childhood fame, namely receiving any kind of real education.
Brooke arrives at the red carpet with Cary in tow, looking like they’re about to head down the aisle in a hotel ballroom in Central Jersey. After getting turned away for attempting to sneak onto the red carpet using their General Admission tickets, Brooke devises a better strategy. Crawling through the street-facing door of a limo, pulling up to the red carpet, and sneaking out behind the invited guests is a resourceful move and seems to work until they hit the roadblock of the list. Another failure forces them quite literally behind the scenes, stumbling through the bushes behind the backdrop of the red carpet. We get a great split screen of Brooke and Cary tripping over branches in black tie while YouTubers and Instagram models pose in jeans on the other side of the red carpet. Finally, they reunite with Chase and a melting Streeter at the end of the red carpet and head into the movie together. During this we also learn that Brooke was officially fired, and on top of that, she still hasn’t found a place to sleep and therefore intends to find a person to go home with at the party.
Once inside, Cary and Brooke execute their plans. Brooke sneaks outside to take selfies on the red carpet, enlisting the help of an enthusiastic young event staffer in a really fun montage. Cary finally hears from his agent-by-day, gig-economy-hustler-by-night (Richard Kind as a pitch-perfect putz) about the “comersh.” He needs to re-tape his audition to sound “straighter;” another example of the show offering commentary on yet another unsavory aspect of the entertainment industry.
Brooke and Cary continue to address their issues at the afterparty. Cary re-tapes in a bathroom, while Brooke flirts with strangers in the hope of finding someone to take her home. When they meet Britlynn, a Kardashian-adjacent clone with the voice of Megan Mullally, she’s complaining to Cary about not getting a picture with Chase Dreams. When Cary reaches out to find his brother, Streeter answers the phone instead, having rendered Chase speechless by binding his throat to prevent his Adam’s apple from protruding. Through their conversation we learn that Britlynn is actually an 11-year-old Instagram-famous makeup artist. While Cary takes another call — informing him that he got the part — Britlynn happens upon Brooke, whose childish persona bonds instantly with hers. Britlynn invites her for a sleepover, conveniently solving Brooke’s problem while saddling her with a new one.
Despite the fact that Britlynn leaves a pretty glaring trail of breadcrumbs to the truth of her age, Brooke doesn’t pick up on any of the signals that she might be bonding with a child. But her emotional immaturity actually provides us with the first real reflection of Brooke’s state of mind: Britlynn’s visceral reaction to the news that Brooke’s father’s died only six months ago provides a peek into the character beneath the mess that is Brooke, and reveals the remarkably short time in which the Dreams family has experienced a lot of change in their lives. Then the sudden tonal switch abruptly ends when Brooke thinks Britlynn is coming onto her. I’m not sure how well this turn works, but thankfully it’s short-lived: Cary gets ahold of Brooke — after walking around the party making fake calls hoping someone will celebrate his big casting with him — and informs her of Britlynn’s real age.
The episode ends on another slightly more intimate note, with an event staffer dressed as a gnome who had made a throwaway joke earlier in the episode congratulating Cary. Finally receiving the validation he was looking for, Cary basks in it for a second, only to undermine himself when the staffer brings up the self-tape. When the staffer tries to commiserate with Cary about the latent homophobia of casting departments, Cary dismisses him, denying that it had anything to do with “sounding gay.” He recoiled similarly earlier in the episode when Streeter blithely addressed him as “gay brother.”
The emotional subplots littered throughout the episode help it overcome some of the rockier comedic moments. In addition to Brooke seemingly not having come to terms with the recent death of their father, we see manifestations of Cary’s internalized homophobia that probably inform his relationship with his straight-ish roommate, and Chase sacrificing true adolescence through extreme maneuvers and decreased emphasis on school. These notes tell us more about who these people are, where they come from, and why we should care about them, even on the rare occasions when they’re not making us laugh.
The Other Two Cents
• So many great jokes this episode, but the best are the red carpet interviews: “Boxers or briefs? Red or yellow? Israel or Palestine” “I think they’re both dope but to just keep being true to themselves!”
• When in Gnome’s red carpet is sponsored by Ring Pop.
• We get some more insight into Chase’s worth, which currently sits at $30k per Instagram post.
• Brooke’s best idea for finessing their way onto the red carpet is to masquerade as their celebrity doppelgängers: Real Housewife Tinsley Mortimer for her and Ellen DeGeneres for Cary.
• The Linda Manuel throwaway was truly an Italian-chef’s-kiss of a non sequitur. Ken Marino, king.
• “We’re hot, we’re cool, We’re killing it. Oh, hey, remind me, I have to find a guy to go home with tonight because I don’t have a house.”