Sunday, May 12, 2019

What I’m Watching: Better Things

Better Things: Season 3, Episode 9 “The Unknown” (B+)

One thing that this show does relatively subtly is to introduce actors who work with Sam that may or may not be big names. I recognized a few of them in this episode, most notably Mark Feuerstein from “Royal Pains.” There was also Keith Powell from “30 Rock,” Holland Taylor from “The Practice” and “Two and a Half Men,” and, though she barely had any lines, Gabrielle Ruiz from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” A lot of this episode was spent with Sam just being there and watching, but it was most powerful in its opening scene and the last one that included a lot of dialogue. Sam usually has to deal with her daughters or with her mother, but in this case it was all about the adults. Her father being made an honorary friar gave her the chance to talk to Durham, played by Griffin Dunne, who is now on “This Is Us,” and she learned some interesting details about what their parents might have had together. Sam’s father has been a recurring presence as of late, and it’s interesting to see his existence acknowledged by others in a way that doesn’t necessarily contradict what we’ve seen of him as Sam hallucinates him. What will likely be Sam’s last interaction with Mer went very poorly, starting with what seemed like more innocent flirtation but ending with Mer being truly offended by Sam’s utter lack of interest expressed only after indulging a lot of the attention she had given her up until that point.

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