SCHITT’S CREEK Review: “Family Dinner”

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Airtime: Wednesdays at 8pm on Pop
Episode: Season 2, Episode 2 (S02E02)

TB-TV-Grade-B

Tweetable Takeaway: The Roses are finally learning to be humans in a quiet episode of #SchittsCreek


“I haven’t taught you life’s basic skills,” says Moira to David after their attempt at cooking a family dinner edges off the rails.

Moira says this with seething inflection, as if to dig further into the hopelessness of her babied son. But there’s a moment of real sadness in the statement, especially as Moira describes how resourceful she was as a child. Without sarcasm she describes baking bread from scratch and fixing tables, as if it came from some other person altogether. 

In a way it did, because this version of Moira – caked in mascara and struggling to stay composed half of the time – doesn’t even understand the basic cooking concept of “folding.”

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SCHITT’S CREEK gets even quieter in its second episode of the season, “Family Dinner.” It allows us to further explore the complicated relationship between Moira and David, two of the same who clearly don’t want to be who they became. 

Moira somewhat longs for her resourcefulness, eager to please Johnny and Alexis by making enchiladas from an old family recipe. Forget that Catherine O’Hara saying “enchiladas” is utterly ridiculous, there’s a sweet tragedy to Moira that comes across throughout the episode, even when she’s projecting her anger onto her son.

And son David doesn’t want any of it, deciding to walk away after becoming frustrated with the concept of “folding” cheese, even thinking that the shredded cheese they’re using is “broken.” Still, David calls up a YouTube video showing how to fold. He cares. He wants to be loved. And he wants to not look like a complete idiot. The Roses really are humanizing!

And maybe David is catching on, too. He and Stevie head to the general store to grab dinner ingredients, and while Stevie makes it “abundantly clear” she’s moved on from David, he can’t seem to accept it entirely. A seriously slow burn would be best for these two.

Meanwhile Alexis is trying to fully remove herself from the band-aid that is Ted’s marriage proposal. She visits him at his veterinary practice and nearly rips out the band-aid, but Ted’s idea to “wait a few weeks” catches Alexis on a teeter-totter. It allows for Annie Murphy to do some serious facial contortion and stuttering. And it’s beautiful.

Alexis finally returns to end it with Ted, and though she stumbles in the delivery, she does the deed, leading Ted to fall into Johnny’s arms in tears. He tells Johnny it’s rare to find someone so beautiful and smart (cue a perfect bug-eyed Eugene Levy), and “so deeply selfish yet charming,” which Johnny understands. Ted will move on. Alexis may have already forgotten his name.

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Johnny spends much of the episode on his own in a very forgettable C-plot. Auto garage owner Bob overhears Johnny seeking an office and takes him to his garage. Bob basically tries to force Johnny to work at the garage, which he rejects. A young family friend of Bob’s in brought in for further confusion, leading to a so-so Manga joke. In the end Johnny will have space and maybe some small battles in the garage.

It all leads to the family dinner, which takes place at Roland’s house after Moira tried to strong-arm Jocelyn into using their kitchen, and Roland asked for money in return. It turns out the enchiladas aren’t too bad. So yes, the Roses are humanizing.

Then Johnny contends this could be a regular family occurrence.

“This won’t be happening again,” retorts David. Moira agrees. You just can’t simply fold the humanity into the bubbling pot.

TB-TV-Grade-B

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is a writer who grew up on “The Golden Girls” and “Seinfeld,” and writes regularly about entertainment, arts and lifestyles for a number of publications. Talk TV with him over Twitter.

Twitter: @tsmalcolm
www.tsmalcolm.com

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