Episode 8 of Conversations with Friends begins with Frances and Bobbi attending Melissa’s book launch. Frances can’t stop staring at Nick and noticing his attention on his wife. “They look right,” she says to Bobbi.
Frances stands close to Bobbi to stare at Nick. She plays with Bobbi’s hair, but Bobbi slaps her hand away. “Don’t fucking use me, Frances.”
Frances walks out of the party and goes home. Bobbi takes a woman named Emer home that night, while Frances thinks about downloading Tinder.
Frances messages Bobbi an apology for her behavior. Meanwhile, she matches with someone on Tinder and goes on a date, but she’s not really into it. She doesn’t like him, and makes pretentious comments about his taste. Afterward, she kisses him and asks where he lives.
Bobbi later responds to say it’s fine; she overreacted. They meet for lunch with Philip. Frances tells them about her Tinder date. She then turns the conversation back on Bobbi and how she brought Emer home, so Bobbi puts Frances under fire for having a secret boyfriend. Frances confesses to Philip that it’s Nick.
When Frances says she doesn’t think Nick will leave Melissa for her, Philip doesn’t respond well. “I didn’t think you’d let someone take advantage of you like that.”
She asks if Bobbi feels the same. Bobbi says Philip doesn’t see the whole picture. But she does feel like she’s been watching her disappear.
Frances goes to see Nick the next day. She tells him about her Tinder date and asks if he minds. She tries to disparage her date by calling him “a med student who loved Yates,” who tried to recite one of his poems to her.
Nick doesn’t sympathize. “I feel terrible for you having young men recite verse to you in bars.” Frances wonders if he thinks she’s being “superior.”
When they go upstairs and start to have sex, Nick stops. He says she can’t take out her bad feelings on him. The fact that he’s married doesn’t mean she can hold her dates over him.
Nick thinks Frances only wants him to tell Melissa about them so they’ll start fighting. “The problem isn’t that you’re married,” she responds. “The problem is that I’m in love with you and you obviously don’t feel the same.”
Frances goes home to work on writing a story she calls ‘The Dance.’
“After we broke up,” it starts, “I didn’t cut holes into my skin like I might have done. It just didn’t seem necessary. I hurt enough as it was. And besides, my head was too full of her.”
The Episode Review
A melancholic gloom settles over Frances as she struggles to see a way forward between herself and Nick. At this point, she’s actively self-destructing. It seems like either a cry for attention to get Nick to choose her over Melissa, or a way to end the relationship before she gets hurt.
What’s interesting is how the series continues to tie Bobbi into the dynamic of Frances’ and Nick’s relationship. I’ve no doubt that Frances thinks herself truly in love with Nick.
But how many of her difficulties are unresolved feelings for Bobbi? The short story at the end of the episode could very likely be about her ex-girlfriend. How much closure, if any, did Frances receive whenever Bobbi broke up with her?