This week on TGW, for reasons which are not entirely clear – maybe the press are camped out at the Governor’s mansion, maybe Jackie’s home is too small, maybe they just didn’t want to build another set – Alicia threw a Ketuba-signing party in her apartment for the mother-in-law she cannot stand and the senior partner she has utter contempt for. It seemed to be the longest party in the world because – unless I’ve mixed up the timeline, which is entirely possible – Jason Super-P.I Crouse managed to investigate the entire case against Peter twice during it; first to show he’s guilty, then to show he might not be, who knows, while still finding time to make incoherent ramblings of affection to her in the middle of the street because (as Jed has previously pointed out) no one is going to notice the Governor’s very well-known wife making out with someone who’s not the Governor right outside her apartment block, are they?
Since feckless commitment-phobes who cleave to their adolescent insecurities in lieu of adult decision-making have been tv’s go-to male love-interest template for some time now, there will be people who found Jason’s declaration, such as it was, charming. I did not.
Equally irritating was the return of Zach, a character I used to like, who announced his engagement (to an annoying, patronising know-it-all) to a roomful of strangers at his grandmother’s party, being unable to wait till his parents came out of the next room. Perhaps his woolly, deluded plans for the future – of course he wants to be a “writer” – and marrying his college girlfriend/dropping out of college are a reaction to/ meant to remind Alicia of the more conventional, “sensible” choices she and Peter made at his age, and how they turned out. Perhaps they’re meant to show us that Alicia and her children have learned, from years of her doing what she thought she should do rather than what she wanted, to choose their future paths with their hearts rather than their heads, even if their hearts are idiots. Perhaps. For all its visual flair (the direction was particularly striking) and cleverness, I found this a strangely detached, cold, thought-exercise of an episode: while watching, I understood that it was very smart and that it had a lot to say, especially to those of us who’ve loved the show from the start and are preparing to say goodbye, but I didn’t feel any of it.