With the stakes set, the second installment of this season of Episodes started off with a punch right to the Lincolns’ marriage — Sean and Morning hooked up after all. Sean is obviously confused as to what it meant, but Morning makes it clear (as she tries to sneak out post-coitus) that she’s just in it for the fun. This concept seems to blow Sean’s mind as he tries to reconcile the fact that his fantasy came true and that it meant absolutely nothing, but he’s actually okay with that.
Meanwhile, Matt is still trying to get Sean back on his good side by giving him a sweet car. When Sean resists the effort, Matt mimics an angelic choir to drive home his apologetic gesture. “I’m not saying forget what happened… I’m just saying… look at this!” The car is very cool, and Sean seems tempted to accept it, but stops himself.
Not one to give up, Matt decides to bring the car to the set the next day so Sean can see it in the daylight. Then, Beverly pulls up in the car Matt gifted her. Sean is shocked, reminding Bev that Matt destroyed their marriage. Bev explains her decision a great delivery of, “Yes, but at least we’re getting cars out of it!” Seriously, Tamsin Greig is flawless when it comes to even the simplest of dialogue. She makes this show. Apparently, Bev has sacrificed her principles, but she’s okay with that because the car is so cute.
The Lincolns’ argument over the car ends when the ratings for the second week of Pucks! come in. Apparently, America loves the hell out of the “talking dog show”. It killed Pucks! in the ratings. Carol calls the Lincolns to tell them not to worry, that all shows have a “sophomore slump”, but in truth both she and Merc are extremely upset. Their banter continues to be a major highlight of the show. Carol is endlessly patient and obviously more competent than Merc, and Merc is just… so useless.
Added to the bad ratings is the news Merc’s recently fired casting guy, Andy Button, has decided to sue for wrongful termination, believing that Merc fired him because of his sexual orientation. As usual, Carol’s on the case. She has lunch with Andy and tries to reason with him to drop the suit, offering to try and get his job back for him.
Maybe I’m just biased against Merc, but I really just want all the bad things to happen to him, so I’m not opposed to him having to deal with a lawsuit. I’m a little more torn about the fact that Merc’s wife Jamie stopped by the Pucks! set to visit Matt, where they proceeded to get it on in his dressing room. Sure, it could potentially upset Merc, but it is more likely to bring problems for Sean and Bev as their show is on rocky ground already with Matt LeBlanc making things worse for them. Again. Oh, and apparently Jamie is fully aware about Merc and Carol being more than just colleagues. Her character is becoming more fascinating. There’s some real potential there. She and Carol deserve so much better.
When Sean finds out about the dressing-room-sex, he’s angry with Matt once again, spouting the same reasons as before: Matt shouldn’t have sex with married women, and he shouldn’t have sex with people who could potentially jeopardize the show. This gives Matt his first good point to argue — he knows Sean slept with Morning, and getting intimate with the leading lady of your own show is just as risky as Matt and Jamie’s interludes. Instead of being angry, Matt’s happy that Sean finally “scored” and once again tries to make him take the car.
Sean tells Matt for the last time that he doesn’t want it because he won’t let Matt “win”. Finally, Matt seems to have a genuine honest moment of regret about the whole ordeal, telling Sean he hates how he screwed up their friendship and doing things like giving Sean a car is all he knows to try and fix it. Sean doesn’t forgive Matt, but does allow the actor to hug him. All and all, it’s a warm moment.
Meta joke of the episode: Myra’s long pause after questioning whether or not the actors should pause during their line delivery. Her facial expressions were painfully funny. I’m going to need more Myra.
Also, anyone have any guesses as to what Merc was thinking in that final moment of the episode?