2.19.2008

I'm supposed to count on you now, suddenly?

Blogger is being super difficult so you don't get a picture today. And let me tell you, though I am determined to stick this out through the end of the season, I am so ready to be done with this show and get back to blogging about something more relevant. Yay for TV coming back to us!

Unfinished Business
Lily’s dad Phil is in town for some reason. Lily has a job interview for an assistant editor position at a hip young magazine. Christie, the editor she interviews with, is kind of intense. Phil takes Grace to her school play rehearsal and they get into a car accident on the way home. A few days later Phil and Lily get into a huge argument when he tries [again] to butt into her relationship with Jake. Although Phil is insensitive to Lily’s feelings, he is kind of entitled to an opinion because he owns 40% of the restaurant. They both go to bed angry and – of course – when Lily comes downstairs later to apologize she finds her dad unconscious, sprawled on the kitchen floor.

It turns out Phil has had a stroke, and the doctor is not particularly reassuring. Lily is remarkably calm and holds the family together admirably (much like she did in the ep where Rick nearly cut his finger off), so apparently she’s good in a crisis though you wouldn’t guess it. Lily gets a call telling her she got the job – and learns that she misunderstood the ad; the job is for assistant to the editor. She arrives at the hospital to find Jake and Judy looking absolutely wrecked. Phil has had another stroke, and there is no hope.

The family has to decide whether or not to take Phil off life support. The kids debate and argue, only to find that their mother has made the decision on her own. This ep was really quite sad, but then at the end they had to go and ruin it by having a little B&W interview with Phil about “the important things in life” that ends with him laughing and throwing his hands gleefully in the air … in ├╝ber slow motion. It’s really, really bad.

Strangers and Brothers
Holy crap! Patrick Dempsey plays Aaron, Lily and Judy’s schizophrenic brother, who is really in bad shape. Dempsey is quite good in the role, but unfortunately I have trouble not seeing McDreamy. I haven’t watched Gray’s Anatomy since mid-second season, and yet the show is so pervasive in the media that I can’t envision him as anything else (not even Ronny Miller). Anyway, Mom and Aaron have some weird issues that either haven’t been explored , or I just wasn’t paying attention. Lily and Judy are amazing with Aaron, while their mother seems to wish she could forget he exists. Having had some experience with dealing with this type of thing, I really like the fact that the show doesn’t treat Aaron as though he’s particularly “weird”; compared to how everyone else treats him it’s the mother who seems weird.

During shiva, Phil’s best friend/lawyer Manny tells Lily that Phil set up the business so she & her mother could fire Jake without repercussions – even though Jake owns 30% of the restaurant. Later, Manny tells everyone the news and Jake storms out of the house. In the end, Lily gives Jake her father’s watch and tells him to make the restaurant work.

In addition to dealing with Aaron’s schizophrenia, this ep deals with the notion of widowhood. Not only has the mother just lost her partner of 50-odd years, but the kids were always closer with their father, and now that he has passed away the mother is terrified of where this leaves her in the scheme things. It seems their mother has never been a part of their lives, so when Lily and Judy tell their mother they want to be there for her, her reply is, “I’m supposed to count on you now, suddenly?” How sad.

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