There’s usually one thing off-putting a few present’s general theme being put so explicitly within the mouth of a personality, however Dead to Me has been so robust by way of the primary a part of its second season that it will get away with it. It’s a line that each displays the present and will find yourself being what ties these Dead to Me two seasons collectively: Within the first season Jen Harding wanted Judy Hale to assist her recover from her grief greater than she wanted the reality about what occurred to her husband, and it appears doable that Judy now wants Jen to be there for her greater than she must know precisely what occurred to Steve. All it takes to convey them again collectively is the demise of a possessed chook.
Dead to Me first episode “Between You and Me” opens with a unbelievable scene that illustrates how effectively Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate know these characters and easy methods to stability their quirks. The best way they go from sheer panic at pondering that Jen could have buried her cellphone with the physique they simply left in a nationwide forest, to calm at discovering the machine, after which again to quiet terror once they see a cop automotive is pulling them over is simply good when it comes to timing. The final word punchline — that the cop stopped them when he noticed a driver with a cellphone is a bit simple to see coming, however Applegate and Cardellini promote the set-up so effectively that it doesn’t matter. The writing right here is usually robust, but it surely’s typically the 2 leads who promote stuff that wouldn’t work with a lesser solid.
Jen and Judy cease at Cindy’s Restaurant so Judy can pee and Jen can get into it with a waitress. Los Angeles Nationwide Forest seems to be solely about an hour away from Laguna Seaside, which makes the pit cease and the resort layover a bit odd, however that hour journey in line with Google is throughout traffic-light quarantine days. It might be 12 hours in common L.A. visitors.
Regardless of the actuality of the scenario could also be, the important thing dynamic of Dead to Me this episode is in the truth that Jen doesn’t take Judy’s wants critically. She wished a second with Steve’s physique after the burial, however Jen wished to only transfer on with it, reminding her that “We’re not in Snow White right here, we’re in Scarface.” Jen’s excessive analogy of their scenario illustrates how blind she’s been to the emotion of the opposite particular person strapped into this hell journey together with her.
What’s much more attention-grabbing is how the sensible nature of Jen’s worldview is in opposition to Judy’s. For Jen, eliminating Steve appears like a victory. Applegate brilliantly conveys the virtually literal weight off her shoulders. The identical isn’t true for Judy. Not solely did she not get her “sense of event” after the burial, however she’s not completed together with her grief. Judy is a extra religious one that gained’t discover (and doesn’t actually need to discover) the identical distinct closure as Jen.
What does this imply? An evening out! Jen and Judy find yourself at a resort that’s virtually totally occupied by a marriage social gathering, which suggests they get the Presidential Suite! They usually get to leap on the tab of the marriage social gathering on the bar that’s named Whispers and Winks. The women dance to “Chains of Love” by Erasure and toast to Steve earlier than getting caught stealing a couple of drinks from the bride and groom.
Jen comes house to a disaster: Dad Hen, the aviator that candy Henry thinks carries the soul of his father, is gone. It’s a intelligent writing twist and one in every of a number of selections that make this one of the best episode of Dead to Me the season thus far. First, it provides a pointy sense of closure that echoes what simply occurred with Steve. Judy sort of believes what Henry believes about that chook. So, to her, Ted and Steve’s soul had been each within the Harding storage simply a few episodes in the past. And now they’re each gone. Perpetually.
After all, it additionally offers Judy Hale the possibility to have the ceremony she was by no means allowed with Steve and, hopefully, discover some sense of closure. She sings “Dream a Little Dream of Me” over a montage of a few of the happier days with Steve, though the writers are good to chase these reminiscences with the reality that Steve was an terrible particular person. They embody flashes of the night time Judy hit Ted, Steve yelling at her to maintain driving. Judy thinks that every part is her fault, however the present reminds us that Steve seemingly precipitated the cover-up and probably even Ted’s demise. He might need lived if they’d gotten him to a hospital.
However now Ted is useless, Steve is useless, and Dad Hen is useless. And Charlie discovered Steve’s Mercedes Benz! That may’t finish effectively.
• I joked last episode that Shandy was a serial killer in coaching, and now it’s revealed that it wasn’t smooshy little Adele that killed Dad Hen, however Henry’s dead-eyed buddy that squeezed the life out of it. Everybody is aware of serial killers begin by killing animals. Look out for Shandy.
• Is anybody else impressed that the Dead to Me writers went to the cleaning soap opera trick of bringing again an actor by way of an similar twin after which virtually instantly sidelined him? We haven’t seen that twinkly James Marsden smile outdoors of Judy’s “Dream a Little Dream” montage for the final two episodes.
• Talking of low-cost methods, Jen and Judy working into Karen’s husband Jeff whereas he’s clearly having an affair with one other man on the identical resort as them arguably qualifies. And I hope it doesn’t change into a serious plot level, like a approach to blackmail Jeff into getting that surveillance footage of the road? That might take an already foolish second and make it worse.
• Cindy’s Restaurant appears to be a real place with the identical exterior/inside. Good plug. They need to put up footage and Jen and Judy on the wall.
• It’s sort of wonderful that we’re virtually midway by way of the season already and it appears like they’re simply now closing loops on the season one finale. The place do you assume they go within the ultimate six? And the place’s Ben?!?