Like any great, true ensemble comedy, Schitt’s Creek has a long list of character pairings that work well to deliver comedy. Whether that comedy is derived from the chemistry between the characters (like in a David and Alexis story line) or because the characters are so at odds (remember when Roland asked David to help him buy a gift for Jocelyn?) doesn’t matter. There’s a whole stable of characters you can pair together, send off on a journey, and wind up with great material. In “Moira Rosé,” Schitt’s Creek reminds us just how gifted it is in this area twice over: First, with a classic pairing, as it sends Moira and David off to sample Herb Ertlinger’s finest, and then again by offering up — in its final season, no less — a completely new, wonderful dynamic, by sticking Johnny and Patrick together. It’s a combo I never really thought to ask for, but now can’t live without. Schitt’s Creek is the gift that keeps on giving.
Speaking of gifts: Johnny Rose is too precious for this world, and we should all be ashamed of ourselves because we do not deserve him. This week, Patrick is staying over at the motel because naturally, David has convinced him to install a Japanese toilet in his apartment, and that includes taking down a wall. (Patrick really should’ve read that email.) After Moira steals David away in a clearly rehearsed bit (Patrick’s right: the “extraction was a bit strained”), Patrick is left alone to watch baseball and eat pizza, which gives Johnny the opportune moment to have a heart-to-heart with his future son-in-law. I never thought I’d ever be grateful to Roland Schitt for anything, yet there he is, pushing Johnny to have the premarriage talk with Patrick, and here we are, reveling in it.
As most could’ve guessed, Johnny is terrible at trying to segue into an emotional chat while Patrick watches the game on TV. Making small talk about the ingredients of pizza so that he can use the transition, “You know what else is a great combination? You and David,” is truly masterful, even if it fails spectacularly. Not like Eugene Levy isn’t always a comedic genius, but this scene is a master class. Please, someone put the “What is happening!” and “Fellas!” that he yells to pretend he’s actively watching the game with Patrick on a loop, and it will be my new favorite song for the rest of time. It is that good.
The twist here is lovely: Patrick knows that Johnny wants to talk about David but can’t get the words out, so he is the one to go over and sit next to his future father-in-law and say all the things Johnny wants to. He tells him that he feels so lucky to have met David, but also to be joining the Rose family. That he will always respect David and do everything he can to “protect him from all the things in life that can set him off.” In case you’re a little dead inside and Patrick’s heartfelt words alone don’t have you weeping into your wine glass yet, please also know that during this conversation, Johnny starts crying too. He is so moved by Patrick’s words and so happy for his son and his future, we are all crying. This is the story line dreams are made of, and I continue to grow increasingly concerned for how we will all fare when the four Roses begin to have these heart-to-hearts. Stay hydrated out there, you know?
We do get a little sneak peek at one such sincere conversation during Moira and David’s outing, although it is covered in the stench of ground fruit wine and banana rosé. But honestly, what meaningful mother-son moment isn’t? Moira has “successfully” pulled David away from Patrick’s pizza-and-baseball afternoon in order to have him tag along as she meets with “the great fruit vintner” Herb Ertlinger, who, even after Moira completely botched her commercial for his wines (and gave us one of the most memorable moments on the show), is such a fan of The Crows Have Eyes 3 that he wants to name a wine after her. Of course Moira is ecstatic to see her face plastered all over a bottle of wine (“Well, hello, who is she and how do we get a mouth full of her?”), but the joke remains that Herb’s wines are hella disgusting. They burn your throat, taste like amoxicillin, and are described as actual laundry detergent. I could legitimately watch 30 minutes of Dan Levy and Catherine O’Hara sampling these wines; even if it were on mute, it would be hilarious.
The more they keep sampling in the hopes of finding something drinkable to put Moira’s name on, the drunker they get. Eventually, Moira comments on how nice it is to have a day to just the two of them ahead of the wedding. She wants to impart some “marital sagacity” to her son, because she sees a lot of similarities between her marriage and David’s relationship. She and David are “two potent grapes,” and she astutely points out there’s a lot of David’s father in Patrick (“Don’t need that,” says David, my hero). But just because they are of the more “subtle” variety doesn’t mean they need any less attention. David may be a little grossed out by all of the wine innuendos, but ultimately you can see he’s touched by his mother’s words. It’s always moving when the Roses can be vulnerable and sincere with one another, in their own special way.
And lucky for these two, their partners are available to pick their drunk asses up from the vineyard once Herb grows frustrated with their inability to pick a wine and get the hell out. “Our designated grapes!,” Moira yells out with glee when Johnny and Patrick arrive to take them home. Herb Ertlinger will not be moving forward with his Moira Rosé, and honestly, like, his loss.
If that’s not enough Rose familial love for you, the entire episode ends with Johnny and Moira interrupting the sleepover happening in the kids’ room, mainly to make fun of Alexis for unknowingly taking all of her friends to a cult, but also because Moira just really loves sleepovers. Alexis may hate her mother snuggling in bed with her, but come on, guys — treasure these moments!
The Wig Wall
• Alexis’s story line in this episode may not have the emotional heft of the other two, but it is an instant classic nonetheless: She brings Stevie, Twyla, Jocelyn, and Ronnie to a “fitness class” for a company she’s repping — excuse me, she’s the “regional brand invigorator” — and you can tell almost immediately it’s actually a cult. Alexis is so upset with herself for being conned — it’s the consequence of her trying to bury herself and her feelings about her relationship in work. Alexis is so sad, guys!
• Alexis informing the ladies that their fitness class is not at all what she thought: “I think it’s a cult. And, like, not the good kind. Not like when you go to India to follow a long-haired sexy man around for a couple of months and then come home with a banging yoga bod.”
• You know who knew it was a cult the entire time and was still super into it? Our resident weirdo, Twyla: “My mom tried to take me to the Gateway for spring break one year. I just thought we were supporting your career.” Also, do I ship Twyla and Citrus the cult recruiter?
• Alexis does NOT appreciate David and Patrick (and Johnny!) making fun of her mishap with the cult. I am still laughing at her attempt to insult them back, when she describes sleeping in the same room as them “like I’m sharing a room with my twin brothers who kiss.”
• I have now watched David’s facial reaction to the word “bunt” seven times, and I am here to tell you that it gets better every time.
• Also perfect: David’s reaction to learning that Herb Ertlinger has never heard of Rose Apothecary. Just all of Dan Levy’s facial reactions forever and ever, amen.