Do as I Say, Not as I Do
The whole country is in shock and grieving as episode 2 of Bupkis begins. But for Pete and his family, it is an occasion to celebrate. Amy’s sister is getting married. Amy feels coddled by how much attention she is getting for Scott. Now, Scott happens to be Pete’s father, who sadly passed away in the terrorist attack. That remains an underlying issue for the family and surfaces regularly throughout the episode.
People keep coming up to Amy and expressing solidarity, to the point where she feels smothered. She is sitting with Pete at one of the tables when he has to pee. This is when we meet Uncle Tommy (Bobby Cannavale) for the first time.
The charismatic “jack of all trades master of none” wears his heart on his sleeve and takes little Pete to the washroom. He teaches him how to use his fly to pee. We also learn he does cocaine every now and then.
We then see an adult Pete meeting Tommy in the present day. He has grown some white hair but remains the same kind of man. He now works for a Russian bank, which is most likely untrue. Tommy is going through a midlife crisis where he has no spark in his life, and he is even detached from Angela, his daughter.
On the wedding day, Pete keeps acting out. He hasn’t really processed the passing of his father and is almost remorseless about losing him. Father Mac (Steve Buscemi) tries to spiritually talk some sense into Pete but it does not work. Tommy takes him under his tutelage and runs an errand with him.
We see Tommy being a little scared of what lies ahead – his married life. His nervous energy is also filled with excitement and a love for his wife. It is Tommy who says the episode’s title, “Do as I Say, Not as I Do”, to Pete repeatedly. The wedding gets really fun when Tommy almost comes to blows with the DJ for not playing Pete’s “Cotton Eye Joe”, and then he plays it and everyone does the iconic steps.
Amy asks her parents for help raising the children. They are supportive and encourage her to independently be a single mother. The present-day Tommy has lost his mojo though, and he doesn’t have the same excitement as he did when he was young. And, it is also revealed that he might have suicidal thoughts. Pete is quite shaken by his descent into this crisis. Tommy is but a semblance of the towering figure he was as a young man.
Before dropping him, Pete tells Tommy it is alright not knowing what you’re doing in life. He cites his own example to comfort his uncle but Tommy is too drunk to get it.
A young Pete gets drunk at his first wedding and becomes the life of the party. These are a mix of his real-life memories and fiction but are quite joyous to watch. The episode ends with Amy ruefully looking back at what happened and images from the actual wedding Pete was a part of.
The Episode Review
Episode 2 takes a strikingly serious-minded turn after the casual first episode. We really do a deep dive into one of Pete’s core childhood memories of attending his aunt’s wedding two weeks after losing his father. Episode 2 nails the approach of replaying memories with a more liberal personal expression. Uncle Tommy, gleefully played by Bobby Cannavale, became the focus of Pete’s attention.
His startling midlife crisis could not undo the hero’s image in Pete’s mind. There were some meaningful one-liners, especially from Pete, that touched hearts. If the show is an allegory for the kind of person he is – carefree and casual on the outside, mindful and compassionate on the inside – then Pete Davidson is actually a misunderstood cultural phenomenon.
He might not be the voice of the generation. But he certainly is an important one. The personal touch with the real-life photos was an ingenious move. Hopefully, the upcoming episodes also have something like that for us to take away.
You can read our full season review for Bupkis here!