It’s always nice when Nick Offerman decides to grace a TV show with his full manic presence. This week’s episode of The Resort certainly benefits from his grizzled visage, which we first see drunk and disheveled on a table somewhere in Rio Lagartos. He pops awake to find a phone full of messages from Emma, who has called to confess what she knows about the case as well as — it turns out — tell him how to get to pasaje.
We don’t know that right away, of course. First we have to see a panicked Noah sprinting around the resort looking for his missing wife, only to find a conveniently left iPad with an open set of Google Map directions. Then we see Baltasar’s quest for Emma, which comes after he wakes up from a drunken night in a sand trap. He’s convinced he needs the book to find pasaje, which he tells Luna is the only place he can go where the “stupid yellow snake” isn’t ruining his life.
Emma is on her own solo quest for pasaje, stumbling up muddy inclines and struggling with stolen machetes. She’s jacked up on bootleg Five Hour Energy drinks and apparently feeling free enough to unload all the details of her iffy marriage on her voice-mails to Offerman’s Murray Thompson. She says she fell in love with the idea of finding Sam and Violet in part because she fell in love with the ideal of their relationship — or rather with the memory of what all-new relationships feel like in that time, when everything is fun and light. In that time of possibility, she says, “the highs are so fucking high.” It’s why we all love rom-coms, she opines, suggesting that they are a way of making us longtime marrieds forget that, after a while, the lows can get pretty low too. She’s been chasing a high with this case, she says, but she’s coming to realize that, in her life, the highs may just never be as high as they once were, before she lost her baby.
Speaking of young Sam and Violet, we find them camping out on a tarp in the high grass. They struggle to grope each other for a bit, and it’s pretty clear they’re in over their heads both wilderness-wise and relationship-wise. It’s admirable that Sam has gone all in on this girl he just met, but also it’s pretty fucking nuts that he’s just, like, maybe facing down death in a jungle with no food and no water and no way out. I understand that I was pretty dumb when I was 21 or whatever, too, but hopefully I was never that dumb. Hopefully?
While Emma struggles to find pasaje and Noah struggles to find Emma, a helicopter arrives and everyone ends up in the clearing. Murray, Baltasar, and Luna have hitched a ride on the chopper, which the Teds hired in an attempt to do something new. It’s sweet to get a little bit more of them in the story, and a good reminder that there are characters in this show who aren’t 100 percent nuts.
While everyone from the helicopter makes themselves comfortable in the clearing, Noah and Emma go off to have it out, though they don’t really go far enough that everyone can’t hear exactly what they’re saying. We’re reminded that Luna thinks they’re in the puberty of marriage, when everything is awkward and uncomfortable and sad, and their argument certainly drives that point home. Noah is mad because Emma seems to have just forgotten about him, or forgotten about what marriage means. Emma is mad because Noah’s interpretation of marriage isn’t hers, and she’s just wishing she had something that was only hers. That’s not all she’s upset about, of course, but that goes unsaid — at least to Noah. Later, she’ll tell Murray about the loss of their child, but she sort of dances around it with Noah, telling him that she wishes he would stop trying to rescue her.
Here’s the thing about their argument: It sucks. Not writing-wise or acting-wise, because both are great, but because, as a married person, there’s part of me that very much knows that argument. No one tells you when you get married how much life will change and the phases you’ll go through, and so much of everything is about whether you can get through it together — or whether you even want to. Both Emma and Noah have very valid arguments. They’re both hurt. They’re both strong, and they’re both wrong and right. That’s why their argument sucks so much, because it’s just so real. When Noah tells Emma, “I don’t know if you even like me anymore,” you can feel that desperation, and it hurts. These poor kids. I’d say I just want them to be happy together, but I don’t even know if they want that. There’s part of me that thinks it could be what Emma needs, because I don’t think just being alone and angry is going to solve anything for her, but I also don’t know if Noah can change enough to be who she needs either. Time will tell, I suppose — or the next episode.
The Teds and their pilot depart, with white-haired Ted telling Noah he’s still 50-50 on whether he and other Ted will make it another seven years. Murray tells the group he’s brought three tents and they’ll set up camp in the trees. Never go into the tall grass at night, he says, though Sam and Violet certainly didn’t seem to mind those rules all those years ago.
Later, we see Baltasar questioning what “a room outside of time” even means, before asking the group where they’d go if they could relive a moment or have a glimpse into the future. Noah says he wants to fast-forward to a year from now so he can check on the status of his marriage, while Baltasar wants to go to his 35th birthday, where he was surprised by Alex and Luna with booze, weed, and fireworks. That night, he says, he experienced pure, unexpected joy, and it seems lovely. Murray, meanwhile, says nothing but sits down and plays some iffy harmonica that ends up driving most people to bed.
Murray and Emma stay up and chat, and Murray tells Emma he wishes he’d paid more attention to the garbage book that his wife and daughter seemed to love. He tells Emma what happened to his wife and that his own dad died at 45, so any time he has after that he has viewed as gravy in his own life. He regrets that he can’t remember the last thing he said to Violet, and he’s worried he’s forgetting her face, which is absolutely heartbreaking. He loves her so much and his heart really does seem to be in the right place.
While Murray is balanced and realistic, Emma is maybe a bit selfish and hasty. She tells him about the loss of her child and says, “Everyone treats you like you’re broken when they hear about it, but I refuse to be defined by it. We’re so much more than what happens to us, right?” Murray disagrees bluntly, telling her, “No, sorry. We’re not.” What happens to us, after all, makes us who we are, whether you’re talking about the loss of a child or a childhood author pen pal. Emma says she hopes that if they find pasaje, she’ll be able to see the face of her child, which she’d chosen not to do after it passed, suggesting perhaps Murray will see Violet again as well. He takes that poorly, telling her “that’s bullshit” and “you don’t get to say that.” He seems convinced that Violet is gone, perhaps because it’s how he’s been able to get through all these years or perhaps because there’s been no other explanation for him otherwise.
When Noah wakes in the morning, he tries to tell Emma that he’s sorry about their fight and that he misses having quiet morning time with her, but quickly realizes that she’s in severe tooth pain. Murray whips out some pliers, and Noah pulls Emma’s broken, infected tooth, only to pass out himself. It’s a very weird and gross scene, with Cristin Milioti spitting burbling blood out of her mouth, but it’s quickly topped, gross-wise, by Murray’s gross, fart-y poop sounds as he takes a dump in the high grass. While he’s pushing one out — again, ugh — he spots the pink fungus Ibarra describes in his book, and in a matter of moments he has gone to get the group. He’s found the warm, vaginal-looking hole described in the book, and now it’s only a matter of who goes in first. We’ll do that next week, I suppose, and, really, I can’t wait to see what lies beneath.
• Why did Sam and Violet get basically naked to sleep in the jungle? Here’s hoping they got their malaria shots, because they would be eaten alive.
• I think that Ted should know if other Ted has been snorkeling before. They’ve been together long enough, right? It seems like it would have come up. If Ted forgot, then I would be mad too, if I were other Ted.
• Do we think Alex is in pasaje? Part of me does, or maybe that’s how he started leaking memory in the first place. I welcome all theories about what’s to come in the comments, below, so hit me with those big ideas!