DIVORCE S3 – “Bad Manners”

Ever wonder what staying in contact with an ex shouldn’t look like? Well, look no further. The dinner date from hell took place on this week’s episode of Divorce, and aside from using the age-old excuse, our children, I couldn’t help but think, why do these two, Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Robert (Thomas Haden Church), still keep in contact? Even though they are in their respective unions, Frances felt it was time to bring Henry (James Lesure) out for showing. Frances suggests a dinner date at Jackie (Becki Newton) and Robert’s place. Her reason? Well, poor Frances felt simply horrible for the way she charged at Jackie regarding their son’s college plans. And to be fair, Frances was a bit much last week when addressing Jackie, and shame on Robert for not having her back. To make things even more exciting, her daughter’s basketball coach, Jeremy (Dominic Fumusa), asks her out for a date. She politely declines.

On to the funniest and awkwardest dinner to hit TV in a good while. One by one, each of them showed why this was such a bad, bad idea to begin with. While Frances and Robert would like to think they’re doing the right thing by introducing their partners to one another, it’s clear, they’re only doing this convince themselves that they’re over one another. As a result of the disaster, Frances finds her self dumped, because, well, in Henry’s words, she can do whatever she wants to. Apparently, when someone asks you out, even if you decline, Henry thinks you should volunteer the information. I’d love to say I agree, but I think this was only a problem because Robert brought it up. And Jackie, poor Jackie, lives in a world where she desires Robert’s validation and attention, only to shake things up by sharing that her last daughter stayed in bed with her until she was 11. Prepare for many sleepless nights Robert.

Diane (Molly Shannon), my favorite character of the series, continues to shine through. Life sucks for her because she doesn’t have money and finds herself working in a department store. To divorce-molly-shannon-talia-balsammake things more interesting, she’s been carrying around a box of tampons that hasn’t been opened for six months. Her roommate, and the third part of the trio, Dallas (Talia Balsam), calls it like she sees it. There’s some fear there, and in an endearing moment, she helps her friend accept that she’s going through the change. All things aren’t too bad on the other side of divorce for Diane. She’s been asked on a date by Gordon (Harris Yulin), the grandfather to the teenager who tried to steal a leather jacket last week. Dallas, though mostly absent, continues to press through her own issues. We continue to see her unravel in each episode across from her patients. It’s clear that, whatever she’s thinking, is causing her sleepless nights, and to disconnect from the world around her.

Overall, Divorce is much better for me this season than last season. I can sense things are wrapping up and I’m okay with the way they’re going. While Frances continues to figure it out (likely not being a bird enthusiast), this almost feels like Robert is heading for divorce again, and Frances will be there, in some weird way as they navigate a future of horrible boundaries. But that’s just my guess. Like you, I’ll be tuned in next week to see how things unfold.

This season, SJP and team chose all female directors. Check out some behind the scenes footage as they talk about what that looks like:

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