We Didn’t Think This Through
Michelle and Judy wake up with an answer to our question from the last episode: she did not hear anything Judy said. Michelle talks about going to Sonoma and opening a restaurant. But she feels conflicted about abandoning her mother.
By contrast, Jen and Ben wake up in bed together. Jen seems a bit uncomfortable in the situation but Ben feels relieved. He is blown away by how forgiving Jen has been in “this hit and run” thing. He then proceeds to talk about Steve while holding her hand. Charlie breaks Jen’s reverie by informing her there is a leak in the kitchen only for Ben to show up from behind.
He says he will try his hands at the pipes To his surprise, he finds “something” has completely melted away the plumbing pipes. That is what’s causing the leakage. Judy agrees to chemotherapy and Ashmani says she will need someone to help her through it. Despite Judy’s attempts to wave it off, Ashmani is too experienced to let this one go. Who will Judy tell this to? Ben bonds with Charlie over not telling his mother about that day. He reiterates he is not that kind of irresponsible guy in an attempt to earn Charlie’s trust.
Jen remembers when she washed away the dead rat in acid in the last season. That was the incident that caused the blowup in the pipes. Judy comes back and almost tells Jen about the chemo. But she chickens out at the last moment and says that she is “going away” for three months with Michelle to Sonoma. Ben comes down crying and the women decide to take him to grief counseling. At the meeting, he cries his heart out about Steve and past regrets, making the women feel even more guilty.
Yolanda mentions her husband Burt’s 20th death anniversary and Judy decides to have a celebration in his honor at Jen’s house. It goes quite well, as Judy tries to allay Jen’s concerns about Moranis by telling her she sent him in another direction away from Jen. Yolanda and Judy have a heart-to-heart conversation about Burt. She tries to cheer up Yolanda by saying that maybe Burt felt he had no choice when he decided to commit suicide. All of this reminds her that she is not playing it fair by Jen by hiding the truth about her cancer.
Michelle shows up at the party, almost revealing the truth to Jen. But she is not able to as the mother is drawn away to tend to Ben. Michelle comes clean by admitting she heard Judy tell her about the condition but was too cowardly to console her. She realizes her mistake and says to Judy she will be there for her no matter what. Judy is touched and the two embrace. Ben is too drunk and gets up on the stage, only to then fall into the swimming pool and almost drown. The party ends with that and Jen & Judy bring him in. Charlie expresses his anger and disappointment with Ben, after his promise he is responsible enough for the family.
Jen is upset with the revelation that the drowning killed Steve and she could not save him. Judy drops the truth about cancer to Jen and she is expectedly shocked. But she shuts Judy right up when Judy tries to say that she did not want to be a burden on Jen. The two embrace in a heartfelt moment and Jen says she will be with Judy all along till the end.
Ben breaks down in the station in front of Nick and the officer lives up to his promise to help him. Departing, he asks Ben where he got the bird and when he replies Henry, Nick suddenly connects the dots. As Jen is telling Judy about the shared schedule of appointments, the bathtub from the bathroom tumbles down into the kitchen area, as the Harding family and Judy watch in shock.
The Episode Review
Christina Applegate has really upped her game. The acting in this season is far more effective than the other three, most probably because of how the writers have humanized Jen. Some of her dramatic moments here were stunning and swirling.
She shares amazing chemistry with Cardellini which makes the show so watchable. The cat is finally out of the bag now and it was a long time coming. Imagine Judy going away without a goodbye and dying on her own, alone and miserable. Stage IV sets her fate in stone, in all honesty, despite how hard we try to think otherwise. It was all about support and being there for each other in this episode as Nick held up his end of the budding friendship with Ben.
Henry, Charlie, and Michelle, all stepped up too and the ensemble effort was one of the highlights of this episode. Even though the road ahead seems a tough one, at least everything that will happen the characters will not have to face alone.