Airtime: Wednesdays at 8pm on Pop
Episode: Season 2, Episode 1 (S02E01)
Tweetable Takeaway: Return to Schitt’s Creek for the laughs, but stay for the creeping empathy, as the Roses look for their bag … err, son
If this was your first time stumbling upon the antics of the Rose family in SCHITT’S CREEK, season 2 opener “Finding David” supplied a fitting introduction. It reminded viewers that television’s favorite disgraced family is shallow, unaware and tragic, but also downright hilarious.
We catch back up with the Roses in the aftermath of discovering a potential deal to sell their town of Schitt’s Creek had fallen through. Lest we forget the buyer suffered a serious heart attack and slipped into a coma before signing the agreement, but that’s of nobody’s concern anymore. Instead, what concerns everyone is the whereabouts of – well, not David (Dan Levy), who was last seen driving out of town in Mayor Roland Schitt’s (Chris Elliott) truck – but of a fashionable bag that David took with him.
Levy, who wrote the episode, gets serious mileage out of that bag. Mother Moira (Catherine O’Hara) begins wailing and thrashing everything around her after realizing her bag is gone, and if this is your first time watching “Schitt’s Creek,” you’ll quickly learn that few things are better than Catherine O’Hara wailing and thrashing. Moira bemoans the bag – passed down in her family as “emergency currency” in case a female had to leave her husband in the middle of the night – throughout the entire episode. Clearly in this time of great confusion she cares little about David, which is par for the course.
Sister Alexis (Annie Murphy) doesn’t seem to care about David, either, as we find her immediately pushing his bed next to her’s so she can have a king bed. Alexis is thinking more about the love triangle she accidentally created, whining to Moira and dad Johnny (Eugene Levy) about how she can’t break out of a marriage proposal by the sweet Ted (Dustin Milligan) so she can continue sleeping with the sexy Mutt (Tim Rozon). As she attempts to explain her disapproval of the marriage proposal to Ted, she tries every excuse – even remembering that her brother is missing – to avoid the hard conversation. “I haven’t been eating,” she tells Ted while at the Cafe Tropical, slurping down a parfait. “You just ordered the parfait,” says waitress Twyla (Sarah Levy).
Johnny shows he cares more about his missing son, but it’s motel concierge Stevie (Emily Hampshire) who displays the most concern. Sure David coldly dismissed Stevie’s feelings for him at the end of season 1, but Stevie remains empathetic, though some of that is her own concern that her feelings drove David out of Schitt’s Creek.
David is fine, though, as the Roses find him living with an Amish family. David, equating this to a massive change of life experience, decides to dress head-to-toe in black while expressing a deep transformation in the land of no electricity and homemade churned butter (though Miriam really starts churning a half-hour too early). It’s here where we see the Roses as the tragic bunch they’ve become – Johnny and Moira yell some 300 feet away from David, telling him they’ve come to save him. Alexis hilariously yells to David that she slept with Mutt, all the while a perplexed Amish woman tries to work next to David. And when the Roses leave, the Amish couldn’t be more happy to get rid of David, who taught them plenty about “patience, forgiveness,” and in perfect timing, “restraint,” chimes in the Amish mother.
As a final kicker, the Amish even deny the Roses a chance to feast with them, leaving our disgraced bunch to shovel down ice cream on the side of a road.
Still there’s reason to feel bad for our Roses. When David returns to the motel, and to Stevie, she gives him the cold shoulder. “There goes my one friend,” David says in a revealing moment. “Try saying that out loud – it is very dark.”
David may be the most interesting character on “Schitt’s Creek.” As a babied man-child he pouts wonderfully, but his unawareness seems to block his ability to have and retain friends. It’s easy to root for him as he attempts to open up.
And if you don’t want to root for anyone, that’s fine too. The Roses are perfectly funny as a miserable sack of former 1 Percenters. In whatever way you view the Roses, you should visit Schitt’s Creek at some point this season. Just be careful about the bag you bring.
Timothy Malcolm 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.
Timothy Malcolm | Contributor