This week on BLUNT TALK it’s all raunch and sex for Walter’s crew, while he and Harry get more involved in the mystery of the L.A. drought scandal. Episode seven, “I Can’t Believe I Made Love to a Sociopath,” is probably the wildest episode of the season, but I don’t think it actually translated into too many laughs for me. I’m not sure what the plan was originally this season, but we’ve seen the complete sacrifice of reality and character development for farce, and this episode may be the pinnacle of that.
The episode centers around Walter and Harry hunting down the private eye they were led to last week by Paul Scheer’s bumbling blackmailer. Accompanying them and making his return to the show is Walter’s son Rafe, played by Patrick Stewart’s real son Daniel Stewart. It was nice to see him back given their first episode together was one of the better ones, but unfortunately the conflict that made their relationship interesting in season one, was wrapped up so tidily Rafe has nothing to do besides play another sidekick in Walter’s zany life. I liked seeing the show explore Walter’s guilt over leaving his first wife and being a negligent father, and even though it wasn’t very believable, Rafe’s boxing match and deciding to win it for his dad was genuinely touching. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re actually father and son, but you got the sense there was an element of truth to that relationship in reality. So it was a bit of a bummer to have Rafe return just to effectively punch a cop and be the muscle for Walter and Harry.
The failure of exploring that relationship also extends to all the other relationships now in the show. It seems the creators have completely punted on caring about the characters and are all in on the wackier elements of the show. Episode seven was particularly sexual for a show that hasn’t shied away from its characters proclivities, but has treated it with a bit more tenderness. We get Martin sandwiched between his Rosalies who are now both ready to share him and even seem to get along, and this admittedly is treated quite sweetly. But then we turn to “Jimelia,” which finds a new challenge for our favorite couple, as Celia has started a very physical relationship with Rob Huebel’s character from a previous episode. Huebel returns as a proctologist and self-proclaimed lothario who makes his way through the women of the Blunt Talk office. This of course strikes the ire of Jim and ends up bringing him and Celia back together. It works fine now that the bar has been so thoroughly lowered, but it doesn’t add up to anything beyond its jokes.
There’s very little emotional honesty to the show anymore. Maybe I should accept that for the next three episodes and just enjoy the laughs whenever they do come. Rob Huebel gives the biggest laughs in the episode when using a line from Bladerunner to explain his fast performance in bed. And then surprisingly, we also get the return of Walter’s ex-wife and Moby in a scene where their sexual roleplay leaves Moby getting whipped and begging for more. I never expected Moby to devote himself so thoroughly to the role but he is consistently funny when he’s used. I have to admit I forgot all about him as a character this season, but it looks as if we’re approaching a wedding episode between Moby and Walter’s ex-wife. It feels tacked on but I’m sure the creators just wanted a wedding set piece to set up some jokes for the finale or penultimate episode.
When we turn our attention back to Walter we find him going back and forth with a sharp-tongued private eye who feels right out of a Raymond Chandler story. The banter between Walter, Harry and the private eye is funny on its own and I enjoyed them stepping into the scenes of a noir film momentarily. But the end of the episode is such a major plot choice that I’m not sure what to expect for the rest of the season. Surely Walter and his posse won’t go to jail, I’m sure they’ll get out of it quickly and the stakes of the cliffhanger will be completely under utilized. Still, I’d like for it to amount to something. I mentioned in my review of one of the first few episodes, that the show has boxed itself into a plot corner that it needed to abandon to get out of. Instead, we’ve seen the show pushing towards a plot that I doubt anybody is really interested in.
Season 2, Episode 7 (S02E07)
Blunt Talk airs Sunday at 830PM on Starz
Greg Brecher | Contributor