To start things off nice and morally questionable, Episodes began with Matt and Jamie pausing their latest sexual encounter just long enough for Jamie to receive the news that Merc’s comatose father passed. Yep, folks, it’s time for funeral.
Meanwhile, Bev and Sean share a moment as they try to make a penis joke without using any colorful language (because American television won’t allow it). It’s a great moment that really showcases how much we’re missing out on over here in the states. The PA shows up to tell the Lincoln’s about Merc’s father dying and allows for the setup of the episode: what should the Lincoln’s send to express their condolences? They decide to speak with Carol about what would be best, and of course she tells them not to feel obliged to send anything — and then proceeds to list all the amazing things that have arrived from all of Merc’s associates and friends.
Side note: the PA is turning into my favorite bit part. Her deadpan delivery and general attitude remind me why I rarely check my Facebook.
Matt LeBlanc to the rescue. Sorta. He suggests they cater a dinner for Merc and 70+ guests. While sounding a bit outrageous at first, he had solid reasoning for the grand gesture. With the Pucks! ratings so bad, they can’t just send a muffin basket. As it turns out, though, a few people have already come up with the catering idea. Matt tells the Lincolns that Jamie suggested they donate to a charity — and that’s when Bev find out about the affair between her lead actor and her boss’s wife. She is not pleased.
But a “heartfelt gesture” isn’t going to be enough, either. The Lincolns realize that everyone from all of Merc’s shows will attend the funeral, and that means they have to as well. As they get ready to attend, the PA brings Sean the gift Beverly left for him in his rental — apparently it had fallen under the seat and he never received it. Across the studio, Bev is in the dressing room with Morning getting ready for the funeral. I think you know where this is going. Yep, the birthday sex cat is out of the bag. Morning makes a comment about a chair in Sean’s bedroom, a bedroom that Beverly has never seen.
Awkward limo ride, commence! Matt, Morning, Bev and Sean ride to the funeral together. A discussion about death ensues, leading Morning to ask the *fabulous* question to Matt: does he think the other “Friends” would come to his funeral? The topic into a great story about the funeral of Orsen Welles, a fake celebrity, and crabs. Alas, another almost touching moment, ruined by crabs.
At the graveyard, it’s glorious Merc-is-an-ass moments, one right after another. My favorite was when he got pissed at a security guy for not keeping an eye on Jamie as she almost stepped into the grave. Morning lets Sean know that Bev probably knows they slept together, and Sean tries to fight his guilt. As everyone mingles, Sean takes a moment to thank Bev for the watch. After a bit of their trademark banter, Sean comes clean about sleeping with Morning. The conversation turns into one big declaration of “It’s Okay Because We’re Not Together”.
Then, a truly beautiful scene happens. Standing side by side as the funeral begins, Beverly is allowed to use the moment to mourn her the state of her marriage. She tells Sean, “I just always assumed that when I died, you’d be there. Or, if you died, I’d be there. Now I’m thinking… Who knows? Maybe not.” The ceremony is very touching, but it’s put on hold for another Merc-is-an-ass moment as he takes a very important phone call. There’s no business like show business, and when Matthew Broderick’s agent calls to let you know the actor is available to make some deals, you have to answer.
This is my favorite episode of the season so far. Episodes needed to get Beverly and Sean back on the same level, and a funeral is just as good as any setting to do some metaphorical burying of big emotional baggage. Their marriage is still in question, but at least they both know the other is still emotionally attached. If Matt and Sean can make nice, it’s only a matter of time before the Lincolns team back up again.
Also, where the hell is Tamsin Greig’s wheelbarrow full of awards?