Somebody Somewhere S2E4 Recap: “Key Phone Cash ID” and Throw Pillows

Sam gestures with her arms wide to Tricia, who stands on the other side of a car's hood that has cups and a bag resting on it in Somebody Somewhere S2E4
Photograph by Sandy Morris/HBO

The following recap contains spoilers for Somebody Somewhere S2E4, “Key Phone Cash ID” (written by Hannah Bos & Paul Thureen & Bridget Everett and directed by Jay Duplass)

For some reason I thought Independence Village was just going to shuttle MJ (Jane Brody) to Wichita, but no, Sam (Bridget Everett) and Tricia (Mary Catherine Garrison) have to take her. And worse, the staff didn’t even tell her she was going (they leave such things to the family), so Mary Jo thinks she’s going home.

Sam and Tricia hunch over to say hello to MJ as she is pushed out to meet them in the parking lot in a wheelchair
Photograph by Sandy Morris/HBO

Props to Tricia for the way she rips off that band-aid, and in general I love how her character has grown over the course of this series. If you go back to the very first episode of Somebody Somewhere, you’ll find a Tricia who is far more rigid and repressed. Now, though she’s ashamed of the pillows she’s selling in one way, she’s proud of herself in another. Since Amy Sedaris shared her pic in S2E3, things have sort of taken off. And while I don’t know that she’ll take up Sam’s idea of a whole line of hand-stitched pillows on the theme, Tricia in general has loosened up significantly. Unfortunately she lost her job at the grocery store after day drinking with Sam, but she’s not mad. She laughs about it.

Maybe the most touching moment, though, is when Tricia asks Sam if she thinks the good parts of their mom will ever come back. Sam says no, and you can see Tricia agrees. It makes her sad. It makes them both sad. MJ wouldn’t stop drinking even though the doctor told her to, so she had a stroke. She banned Ed (Mike Hagerty) from seeing her—which is a piece of information I don’t recall getting prior to S2E4—and she’s just wretched to everyone.

We know Mary Jo has her regrets. In S1E6, she expressed her desire to get better and recognized that she’d need help. But instead she relapsed fairly immediately. She’s miserable and no longer believes she can improve, so she just spirals out in that misery and spreads it when she can. It’s an all too realistic character arc, and it’s to the show’s credit that it acknowledges this kind of human possibility.

Joel sits behind the wheel of this car, with a finger to his chin
Photograph by Sandy Morris/HBO

On a more hopeful note, Joel (Jeff Hiller) stalks meets up with Brad (Tim Bagley) and they have a lovely conversation. Joel opens up about his problems with God, and I think what Brad says helps him come to terms with himself. But the real joy is in how Brad admits that he knows he’s not a good singer. That’s not the point, though. He loves it, and I think he’s right that it’s good for the kids to see him go for it.

That’s the message of Somebody Somewhere, if and when there is one: Do what brings you joy, without regard for what others think. That’s what choir practice was about, and it’s the spirit I’m sure will infuse Fred (Murray Hill) and Susan’s (Jennifer Mudge) wedding, which Sam offers to host at the family farm.

It will be a last hurrah for the place, haunted by Ed’s absence. But I’m sure that will be the season finale. In the meantime, Sam’s gotta go back to Darlene (Barbara E. Robertson) and resume those voice lessons. Because she has to sing “Ave Maria” and because she has to confront the truth about herself that made her run away.

At least I think that’s where this story is going.

See you next week.

Written by Caemeron Crain

Caemeron Crain is Executive Editor of TV Obsessive. He struggles with authority, including his own.

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