Well, here we are together again with our dysfunctional foursome. If you are here you know them as Brett and Michelle Pierson (Mark Duplass and Melanie Lynskey), Tina Morris (Amanda Peet) and Alex Pappas (Steve Zissis). Also you know that this sad bunch is no nearer to being truly together than they were when we left them last year. You do remember all that, right? Michelle was in Sacramento with her Charter School colleague David (John Ortiz) and having had an epiphany of sorts Brett was on his way to surprise her. Plus, Tina simply broke Alex’s heart. Here, this gets everyone up to speed.
Melanie’s situation is prevalent then when Season Two opens and you scratch your head a bit wondering about that cliffhanger. Did that hard, hot kiss turn into something more? What did Brett discover when he arrived? There is no evidence of what happened right away. We find the Piersons, Tina and her boyfriend Larry (Peter Gallagher) down in New Orleans where Alex is filming. They are there to celebrate his birthday and everything seems hunky-dory. Michelle, however, is keeping a secret and via flashbacks, triggered by their hotel accommodations, we see just how far her evening with David went. We also learn that Brett didn’t arrive until the next morning due to car trouble. And with the ramifications of all that we pause for this Inside Episode #2 clip.
Ah, these folks just can’t get in sync can they? Last season Alex was warming up to Tina to the point of heartbreak when she just failed to get it. Now, with everyone celebrating his b-day the roles are reversed. Tina regrets and misses Alex, prompting her to get him an expensive yet odd antique as a gift last minute. He has moved on and is happy with a career and a spunky girlfriend now. This dynamic is the same in the Pierson’s relationship. Last season Brett was disconnected from every attempt, no matter how small, Michelle made to make it work. Now after Brett has a change of heart, Michelle’s is just not in it. How can it be when she has had an affair, again revealed in flashback and in a rushed confession to Tina? Now, we don’t want to make it sound like this show is a total downer. There were a few cute and awkward moments in this premiere episode. The new Alex is fun to watch and Tina’s lugging around the heavy birthday gift is silly. There are also a few great quips in there.
Where do either couple go from here? Well for Tina and Alex we are just not sure, but “Hotels” does show glimpses of what a fun loving couple they could be. It looks like Michelle, however, is leaning towards a full confession to Brett against Tina’s advice. The overall arc of the season might just be whether or not Michelle does confess or cover up. The episode does serve to set up the season well and even though it was one of the heavier episodes it didn’t bother me; that is just the tone this show takes and it makes those absurd moments pop out even more. I’m looking forward to the weeks ahead, are you?
Next week’s preview of Episode # 2 “Everybody Is Grownups” reveals Tina going cornball again when Alex returns home and Michelle’s mood swings.