Episode 6 of Conversations with Friends begins with Frances and Bobbi riding home on a bus. Bobbi largely ignores Frances.
At home with her mom, Frances experiences intense cramps and bleeding, which seems to happen every time she gets her period. This time, it seems worse than her period. Her mom comes in to help her, asking if there’s any chance she could be pregnant. When Bobbi nods, she takes her to the hospital.
Frances calls Nick in her hospital bed. He asks her if she’s drunk, and she hangs up, wiping away tears.
The doctor tells her there’s no sign of pregnancy or infection. Her pain is concerning, so they keep her overnight to see the gynecologist in the morning.
Nick texts her to say he hopes everything is okay. Frances cries herself to sleep.
Frances goes through a painful exam in the morning. Nothing serious shows up, but she’s scheduled for an ultrasound and put on contraceptives to help with her menstrual cramps.
Her mom takes her home, and Frances gets a text from Bobbi, concerning her relationship with Nick. “Did you think I’d disapprove? I genuinely want to know why you didn’t tell me.” Bobbi says she told her about kissing Melissa, so it embarrasses her that Frances wouldn’t tell her about Nick.
Frances goes through her old text messages with Bobbi. They reveal that Bobbi always thought Frances was hiding her emotions, while Frances would claim to not be as emotionally intense as Bobbi.
At night, Frances goes to see her dad at her mother’s urging. His house is a mess, and he’s not there. She later finds him standing outside a bar and walks him home.
Her mother tells her it’s good she went to see him. He’s important because he’s her father. Frances isn’t sure that’s the case.
Frances goes back to Dublin and meets Bobbi at a bar, where she apologizes for keeping Nick a secret. She says she doesn’t really know what their relationship is and wanted to work it out before she told her.
She says it’s hard to tell Bobbi things, as she can be judgmental and doesn’t like Nick. And it matters to Frances what she thinks.
Bobbi says she has come to like him. The problem is Frances making her feel “like an intruder” in her life. Frances hates that. She imagines Bobbi at the center of her life.
They go on a walk, where Frances tells Bobbi about her hospital stay. Bobbi says that must have been intense, but Frances doesn’t know what she’s allowed to feel about the whole thing.
Bobbi blames Nick for not using protection, but Frances stops her, claiming she’s being judgmental again.
She asks if they’re still friends. “Yeah,” Bobbi says. “Of course I’m still your friend.”
The episode ends with Frances finally texting Nick back. He calls her.
The Episode Review
Alison Oliver gives a standout performance in this episode, which refreshingly focuses on Frances in a setting apart from the glamorous couple that reeled her and Bobbi in.
There’s a lot of emotional, potent realism in this storyline. Frances’ pregnancy/miscarriage scare, her panic, her need to tell Nick but not knowing what’s appropriate for their situation–all of this underscores how tentatively a relationship functions when burdened by an affair.
Something I love about Conversations with Friends is how its focus is not zeroed in on romantic love, but addresses the complexities of love and relationship in all its forms. Frances’ envisioning her best friend at the center of her life boosts the importance of her friendship with Bobbi. Interesting, too, are Frances’ complicated feelings toward her father.
Conversations ask difficult and compelling questions about love. Can you love more than one person? Do you have to love your family? Can love ever truly be unconditional?