Can I just start this review by expressing the fact this episode was probably my favorite of the season? There. I said it. Phew. After last week's major cliffhanger, this week it's all resolved. Only to add more to the drama.
TJ is in a coma. It's this way throughout most of the episode, but it's good to see the family surrounding him in support. Bud stays with him most of the time, and it's clear that he hasn't related to his son for some time. With Doug, he always had politics in common even if they didn't always agree or get along. But with TJ all they had was music. And TJ hasn't really been playing for a long time at this point except for a few times at family dinners. Bud's confession to a comatose TJ about secretly listening to him play in the East wing of the White House when he was a child was heartbreaking. It's nice to see this side of Bud. The father side. When TJ wakes up though, the first person he sees is his mother. And his weak "mom" made him sound so young. If your eyes didn't well up, you have a cold, cold heart. I'm kidding. But seriously. Heart. Break.
Elaine of course has to leave as soon as his eyes close again because of the crisis from last week with the Chinese submarine. Only this week it's worse, because they are threatening to set off a dirty underwater bomb if the United States attempts to help. Garcetti takes Elaine's advice to heart and stands as the poster boy for American leadership when he addresses the nation with a speech she partially wrote telling the Chinese that they will help and will not be threatened for doing so. Of course this makes him a hero to the American public. Especially when the mission proves to be successful and the Chinese give their thanks.
Elaine recruits Anne and Margaret to clean house and get rid of all the drugs and alcohol that TJ may have hidden within the house. This guy was creative. That's for sure. When Margate comes across Marijuana, she decides on a better way for her and Anne to get rid of it: to smoke the entire stash. Watching these two characters get high was fun. Margaret is always fun, but Anne was actually funny. And that's a huge compliment because I never liked her from the Pilot.
They finally touched back on her bulimia and it turns out Margaret wasn't as naive about it as the rest of the family is. I really liked that she called Anne out on it. I'm glad somebody finally said something because this girl couldn't be more obvious. But what was interesting was when Margaret told Anne about her second husband, Elaine's step-father. She described him as a great man who was wonderful with her daughter and whom she loved. But he wasn't her great love. She cared about him sure, but she wasn't in love with him. Anne almost looked like she could relate.
The real interesting part was the fact that Doug spent the entire episode with Susan on their way to San Diego to cover the Chinese submarine rescue after Elaine bribes Susan to fabricate a fake story about TJ's hospitalization for the submarine story. I was starting to really enjoy Doug in the last couple of episodes and part of that reason is because of his dynamic with Susan. This episode showed more of that. In this episode we find out that Doug is a closet Backstreet Boys fan. He's clearly a man after my own heart and if he were real, he'd be my perfect husband. But enough of that.
After a very standoffish beginning, mostly from him rather than her, the two finally begin to open up. Susan, through flashbacks from her beginning as a journalist, tells him about her difficult start, her vendetta against his family and how she doesn't think it was worth it, and confesses that her deceased mother didn't support it. She even tells him that she campaigned for his father in college. Doug opens up about the possibility of not being in love with Anne and being with her only because it's comfortable and what he's used to. This all leads to the big shock of the night. The two hook up riding on Air Force One. And it's about time! The entire episode there's an invisible force pulling them toward each other. But this show is known for its drama. I can only imagine the shit will hit the fan when that piece of news comes out.
USA is promoting next week's episode as a "season finale". I'm not trying to get anyone's hopes up, but could this mean that it's not the end of this amazing series and that we will be getting more of it even if it is in a limited capacity? Personally, less is better than none. I don't need a 22-episode season or even a 12-episode season like most cable networks give their shows. I enjoyed that this was 6-episodes. It was refreshing. I'd like to see it return next summer. Again, I'm not saying it will, but one can hope, right? Either way, whether it's slated to return or not, you'll want to tune next week for the explosive finale that is sure to have you gathered around the water cooler at work Monday morning.
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