Although lots of the circumstances of Hazel’s life are completely international to me — artificial associate as stepmom, dwelling on the lam from a billionaire who turned your mind into his dwelling leisure system, additionally I’ve extra of an ordinary eye circumference however that’s neither right here nor there — this episode is DEEPLY relatable to me, as somebody who believes there isn’t a higher place for a heart-to-heart than a diner.
Hazel and Byron negotiate over the place to satisfy to debate this divorce, and right here we should droop some logical issues as a result of I suppose addressing them would make for dangerous TV. However: Hazel is de facto going to signal these papers with out letting a lawyer learn them first? Additionally: Wouldn’t she have signed her tabs earlier than she even acquired to the assembly? And now she’s going to enter this assembly by herself? With a man who kidnapped her and doubtless has the power to simply ZAP her to loss of life at any second? However I can see how having a bunch of interlopers would break what we’re actually going for right here from a TV POV, of an intimate and trustworthy dialog between two individuals who have spent a decade solely being strategically intimate (as we are going to be taught shortly!) and mendacity on a regular basis.
Hazel rolls as much as this assembly in brief shorts and boots; I do know she’s alleged to look trashy however I sort of like this outfit? Am I incorrect? She does NOT wish to be hugged or known as “Noodle.” I guess Noodle is a reputation Byron present in a e book of “cute pet names to your girlfriend” and he simply began utilizing it with out even asking her if she appreciated it. I’ll say that, regardless of all the pieces, he’s very charming right here. He tells her he’s not watching her feed anymore despite the fact that that’s not precisely true, since he’s nonetheless counting on info from the feed (reported to him by Bennett) to make all of his selections.
This entire assembly is being noticed rigorously by Judiff and Herb. After Judiff arrives to search out Herb and Diane, hilariously, studying the newspaper and consulting one another on the crossword, Judiff explains that DUH this entire factor is a TRAP, all the pieces Byron does is in his personal self-interest and he and Hazel went on one date after which she DISAPPEARED FOR TEN YEARS. They pull as much as the diner and Judiff manages to cover a recording machine on a bottle of ketchup in such a means that no one notices it’s there … unbelievable tech, good job Judiff. There’s some back-and-forth later when the ketchup bottle lands on a unique desk, however by and enormous it serves its objective right here and Judiff and Herb can overhear most of what’s occurring, which Judiff can also be recording for later evaluate and attainable admission into proof. (One of the best half is when Herb says, “That’s a great mic. Picks up sarcasm.”)
In order Hazel frantically indicators on the tabs (once more, why didn’t she do that earlier than, the place is her LAWYER, okay I’m sorry, shifting on) Byron tries to make cute couple-y dialog, asking what she’s been as much as. Sadly a variety of this dialog is rather like, what if the that means of the present had been articulated aloud a number of instances by its primary characters — “How did that really feel … to search out out one thing about me that I selected to let you know?” Good Lord, we GET it — however issues do get very humorous when Byron struggles to order a meal, and when he makes a cute joke: “I don’t have to be a good-looking recluse. I can simply be good-looking.” Do we expect Bennett wrote that line? Sure.
Hazel and Byron debate the that means of free will and happiness. Will it shock you to be taught that Byron believes life is healthier within the Hub as a result of out in society “individuals are prisoners to life’s variables”? SMH Byron you may’t use “prisoners” in a figurative means when you’re making this sort of analogy as a result of Hazel was actually a prisoner in your Hub! Hazel doesn’t take this strategy, as a substitute mentioning that what Byron is describing as troublesome is basically poverty and clearly if he lived outdoors of the Hub he would nonetheless lead the functionally frictionless lifetime of the superrich.
Byron begs Hazel to return again. She names her phrases for causes unclear (why is she even humoring this line of dialog?? I suppose to get his confession on tape however she doesn’t know the desk is bugged in order that is not sensible … once more, given her trauma, and so on., it appears extremely unlikely she would expose herself on this method however OKAY let’s transfer on): No extra surveillance, no extra orgasm evaluate — “I have already got the information I want,” okay thanks, Byron, really not the purpose — and no extra nutrient-intake counters, no extra censored motion pictures and books, she will get to choose materials and nail polish (Byron argues for a coherent aesthetic, naturally), and no extra alarms and music out LOUD not in headphones and in addition a pet, which crosses a line for Byron, who says should you don’t put on pants you may’t sit on furnishings. Additionally Hazel needs her personal mobile phone, to have the ability to come and go as she likes, and most of all she needs the chip out.
Hazel is all “are you admitting that you just had been incorrect” as a result of she is such a lady, like, I’m sorry however that’s peak girlfriend (or spouse on this case) to have clearly received the argument however nonetheless simply want to listen to the phrases “I used to be incorrect” or it’s like the entire ordeal was for nothing. Byron virtually admits this however then he undoes it by saying that technically the chip was efficient! See, look how a lot better he is aware of her now! Wouldn’t this be cool as a disposable wearable tech piece that folks put on for a brief period of time? Hazel does an ideal rage-whisper: “You assume all of this was only a fucking tough patch?” “That’s really an ideal title,” Byron says, and I’m useless. Hazel is his muse!
Byron says he lastly will get it: What Hazel actually needs is selection. He needs to surrender management. I want to direct him to a recent New York Times piece he might enjoy. He claims he is able to be susceptible which Hazel says is fairly wealthy from a man who practices “efficiency celibacy” and right here is the place we be taught that whereas Byron went down on Hazel aplenty, he by no means had intercourse together with her or let her reciprocate as a result of he wished to “keep away from emotional flooding”!!!!! Hazel precisely describes this as “torture” whereby “I needed to provide you with all of my vulnerability and also you wouldn’t give me any of yours,” which is once more the present making the characters say out loud the extraordinarily apparent themes of the collection, for which I’m docking a star.
They’ve a bit fantasy of “beginning over” so Hazel can be taught a few of the unhappy origins of Byron’s life: His actual title is Greg, he’s from Montana, his dad is a mailman, his mother left together with his brother when Greg was 8, and “she’s in all probability useless.” He’s afraid of being alone. He’s excited by watching Hazel. Simply speaking about this makes him — what was his phrase? Emotionally flood. A-plus camerawork right here by director Stephanie Laing. He comes the second the ketchup bottle hits the desk. Hazel bursts out laughing and applauds, then calls for he signal the papers. (Don’t they want witnesses for this to be legit? I truthfully don’t know however I simply began watching The Good Spouse and I really feel like they do?)
Right here is the place Byron reveals that, what have you learnt, he doesn’t actually need Hazel to have decisions or freedom; he has little interest in relinquishing management, or her. He tells her that Herb has pancreatic most cancers and can die throughout the 12 months on this planet however that on the Hub he may very well be saved. Hazel calls his bluff and says she’d fairly let him die, which is a factor Herb overhears, which is … loads.
However then: TWIST. Hazel offers her dad one final likelihood to return clear in regards to the most cancers, and Dad says Byron was messing together with her. However then we uncover: Hazel drugged Herb so he would sleep by the whole stripping of his dwelling and its recreation in a Hub dice! Right here I really feel obligated to level out that it appears Hazel has realized completely nothing from her incarceration re: the significance of free will in a relationship, the necessity to make your individual selections even when they aren’t the selections your family members need you to make, and so on. I imply, why would she do that on this means? Versus, say, telling her dad about this selection and letting HIM determine what ought to occur to his physique and his life? It’s actually not her name to make!
Over breakfast in what Herb thinks is his home however is de facto within the Hub, they’ve one more very on-the-nose dialog whereby Hazel says she envies Diane’s worry-free pore-less existence and Dad actually says “sort of like what you had with Byron” and I write in my notes OH MY GOD WE FUCKING GET IT WE SEE THE PARALLELS STOP POINTING THEM OUT.
Hazel maintains the phantasm of freedom by telling her dad she’s going for a stroll. The clouds have a bit glitchy nook in them — as she tells Byron when she walks by a disappearing door, a panel is out within the sky. It’s very jarring to see her in her dwelling garments within the Hub. Byron places his arm round her like all the pieces is okay and he or she isn’t just trudging in opposition to her will again into his particular cage for her.
Judiff items it collectively however she’s too late to save lots of them. Or IS she? I’d guess on her earlier than I’d imagine in Herrringbone or Fiffany, who I assume are nonetheless bumbling round within the pasture dice, ready for loss of life.