Tuesday, May 28, 2019

What I’m Watching: Better Things (Season Finale)

Better Things: Season 3, Episode 12 “Shake the Cocktail” (B+)

Sam spends so much of her time dealing with ungrateful children and misbehaving adults, and it makes sense that even her birthday wouldn’t be all about her. Frankie refusing to come home was the height of her rebellious behavior, far angrier than anything Max has ever done and far more mean-spirited than even the newly foul-mouthed Duke could concoct. Being told that Frankie’s “having a moment” and that she’d eventually be back so that Sam could wish that she was gone again was a nice bit of perspective, one coming from the daughter who Sam couldn’t get rid of even if she tried. During her absence, Sam got to enjoy the sight of Max, her friends, and Duke all singing along and rocking out to the “Phineas and Ferb” theme song in her kitchen, far from the craziest moment that has occurred around her. Not that Dr. Miller should have much credit anymore now that most of his sessions with Sam are spent with them engaging in a romantic relationship, but he did have a good point when he recommended that she focus on the children who do accept her parenting. That resulted in a powerful scene at Frankie’s recital which found Sam reconciling with Pats while his much younger boyfriend got to be sweet with Duke. Frankie coming home only to ask to use Sam’s bathtub and not actually return was hardly mature, but at least it and her birthday card gave Sam a bit of comfort as she got to celebrate with the two kids she has left. This has been a solid season, and I’m looking forward to what comes next.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Pamela Adlon as Sam

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