Suburgatory, Episode 2.16 “How to be a Baby”
Written By: Brian Chamberlayne
Directed By: Victor Nelli Jr.
Airs Wednesdays at 9:30pm ET on ABC
For an episode that relied on a restating of a famous moment in a romantic film and a lot of subtle comedy, Suburgatory managed to include one titanic shift: Noah is in love with Carmen! Or at least in such a strong infatuation with her that he would break up with his wife at her book signing and recreate a moment from The Notebook in Dallas’ shower. It was such a strange ride, but completely hilarious.
Noah began the episode in an extreme funk, having Carmen withdrawals and, after beating up his psychiatrist, is given to George’s care to try and get him weaned off that fixation. I like how Noah and George’s relationship has basically inverted since the show began. George, now in a relationship with Dallas, has become the one to offer sage advice, instead of being on the receiving end. He spent much of the episode using food (baklava and maple syrup) to get Noah’s mind off Carmen; however, he realizes the reason why he’s trying to do so is that he sympathizes with Noah’s wife Jill, who might be getting dumped. Once he’s free of that burden and hands Noah a phone cleaning rag Carmen gave him, Noah sees this as a sign to dump his wife and declare his love for Carmen. That was certainly a plot twist I did not see coming, no matter how foolish Suburgatory could get.
Speaking of Noah’s wife Jill, she spent the entire episode proving to the audience why Noah would want to dump her. Jill strides into Dallas’ crystal shop and mentions that she is promoting her new book. Tessa, becoming stressed out about college applications, offers herself up as an intern to help Jill with this task. After undergoing a hilarious 6 almond challenge and other demeaning tasks, Tessa gets a creative writing assignment from Jill: to write a review from her son’s perspective for her new book “How to be a Baby: You’re Out, Now What?” Tessa was not having it with this and wrote a scathing review, causing Jill to insult her incompetence and drive her back to Dallas.
Last, but certainly not least, was Dalia helping Mr. Wolfe get over his breakup with Chef Alan, complete with a new hairdo (magenta tips!) and confidence. Dalia might not be getting the lion’s share of the plot focus, but Carly Chaikin is making her moments stand out. That scene of her dry crying will have even the hardest soul cackling while watching it.
The end scene will probably be all anyone can talk about and fans of The Notebook will appreciate how it skewers the drama and definitely caps off an interesting episode of the show with aplomb.
– Terence Johnson