Saturday, July 2, 2022

What I’m Watching: Breeders

Breeders: Season 3, Episode 8 “No Way Back” (A-)

This show has always been able to subtly incorporate drama into its lighter storylines, but this episode managed to showcase two supporting players in a way that it hasn’t done so compellingly since the sudden death of Ally’s father back in season one. Jackie and Jim have largely been comedic relief, particularly when they talked recently about what checking your privilege means, and this was the first real opportunity to see their marriage examined in a way that didn’t involve Paul, even though he was present for it. Jackie seemed particularly attached to the idea of doing their ritual trip that brought back good memories, and it was clear that she was waiting for the right moment to tell him what she had witnessed with Jim and Chrissy. He didn’t waste any time before blurting it out to his father, who reacted in an unexpected way and appeared to be more upset with Paul for bringing it up now than anything else. Jim also expressed resentment to Paul for demanding an explanation for disappointing his expectations of what being a man meant, and how they always had to tiptoe around Paul so that he wouldn’t blow up. Jackie was insistent on not just letting things go as usual, and the revelation that Jim hadn’t actually slept with Chrissy but instead was going out to dinner for Italian food with her every week stung more, particularly because she had always worried about him being lonely when he was traveling. Paul telling his parents that what they had built together was worth preserving but him in the very unusual position of being the child, a remarkable pivot given everything he’s endured recently as a parent himself.

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