HBO News Blog

Togetherness: “Handcuffs”

By Andrew Roebuck on Jan 21, 2015 to Togetherness




In this episode we see Michelle Pierson attempting to break out of the responsible mother archetype and delve into her darker fantasies, or at least she attempts to do it. She is sick and tired of the predictable life she leads, and wants to change things up. We have already seen her adventurous side when she was caught by her husband Brett last episode while pleasuring herself with clothes pins.  It seems like this is what happens to the average stay at home mom when confronted with Fifty Shades Of Grey. The results of her adventurous side are hilarious, as they just can’t seem to fully commit to a night of rambunctious sex. Whether it be the hunger of her husband, or the fact that she doesn’t really know what she wants to do the whole night it goes up in flames once she gets a little rough with his genitalia. It is a perfect finale to Brett’s horrible day.



If the last episode left you wondering what the couple did for a living, this episode answers at least one of the couple’s main sources of income. Brett is a sound engineer for a major film studio, and we see him in a fantastic opening scene attempting to add some credibility to the latest picture he is working on by capturing the sounds of real coyotes. The scene is shot expertly, and shows while this film may be a comedy it hasn’t lost focus on making the show a brilliant piece of visual artistry. Unfortunately for Brett, the director of the film is less than impressed with his coyotes and uses the sounds of Alaskan wolves in their stead. This film seems like its cut directly out of reality. How many times have the background sounds we hear in television and movies gone unrecognized? Do we really know if the sounds heard on a battle in Game Of Thrones are accurate to the real sounds of the blades? Moreover, do we care? Brett has a thankless job, but an extremely vital one. The scene does villanize the director, but when you look at the scene from his perspective he may have a point. That is one of the signs of a good piece of art, both parties have viable views, and perspectives. In each others eye’s both the director, and the upstart sound engineer can be seen as villainous.



The relationship between Tina, and Alex continues to be one of the most interesting elements of the show. Tina clearly comes from the school of thought that being brutally honest, and pushing someone out of their delusional coma is better then waiting around and letting them do it themselves. Tina also seems to have some fondness to Alex, but I don’t think it will ever really develop into a true relationship. The main conflict of this season will be the rise, or fall of these two characters; they are both together at the bottom. Will they ascend together, or fall into a deeper state of disarray? I tend to think the season will end with Alex finding success thanks to the assistance of Tina, but Tina will not find what she’s looking for. One criticism is that Tina seems to already have a business in place for Party Supplies despite moving to LA only recently. It seems like an abnormally quick time to start up an effective business. Here is a closer look at the dynamics of their relationship. 

Overall this episode is both visually compelling as it’s extremely well shot, and it also has some very funny lines. The only real character who got the shaft this episode was Sophie Pierson the oldest daughter of the family. There was a lot of focus on the baby, but the daughter seemed to blend into the background only appearing in two scenes the entire episode. This show has a solid foundation, I only hope it can continue to build from here.

Here now is an inside look at the thought process involved in making this a compelling episode.

Togetherness: “Handcuffs” still airs on 01.21 at midnight; 01.22 10:00pm and 01.23 at midnight as of this posting and on HBOGo. Lastly, here is a preview of Episode Three entitled “Insanity”

Find Episode # 1 here.
Find Episode # 3 here.

  • The wife and I have a newborn… and we love this show! Great addition.
    It’s like Girls for 30 something parents.

  • Jef Dinsmore

    I think what makes this show click so far is the fact people across several demographics can relate to parts of this show and just don’t admit it. By seeing it played played out they relate to it and then can laugh at it. That is always a touchstone of good cinematic ventures. I mean, we all have had those awkward and/or embarrassing sex romps, right?

  • Eleonora Iafano

    We should all admit that we know of – or have family members who are exactly like this family. I had to laugh really hard when Michelle was caught reading the “50 Shades” book – because it was, and still is, quite the hype in Canada. And while books have a steamy way of portraying intimacy between lovers, the reality is when a couple is trying to venture into their wild side, it usually ends up being a series of unfortunate or comedic events.

  • This series has been developing enjoyably, with lots of wit and quirkiness. It feels like watching an indie film, and a really well-crafted one at that. All the characters are fantastically flawed and I think the series is going to be a really fun and honest depiction of family and love.

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