Love Life Season 2 Episode 9 “Marcus Watkins” Recap & Review

Marcus Watkins

Episode 9 of Love Life Season 2 begins in January 2020. It’s been four years since Marcus’s divorce to Emily and he’s determined to make 2020 his year. Only, fast forward to March and it very much isn’t. Of course, as per most shows in the west now, the obligatory COVID crowbarred episode crops up. Hooray!

Marcus leans into the paranoia and worry, encouraging his new roommate to sterilize and wash her hands. Only, she doesn’t exavftly have a great hygiene regime and that leads to Marcus breaking things off with her.

Marcus goes about life like normal (well normal-ish anyway. He still wears a mask) in the pandemic, heading over to Ida’s place for the evening. He receives a call from Josh, who claims to have COVID and that he’s staying in the office. This cycle of misery continues until Mia rings to check up on him. She finally opens up and admits that she cheated on him.

Mia wants to meet so she can apologize in person. However, given how heartbroken Marcus was over this, he hesitates, unsure whether this is a good idea or not.

Off the back of this, Josh speaks to Marcus following the George Floyd video and asks for Marcus’s support with the company statement. It’s the final straw for Marcus, who has always felt like a spare part at the company, and calls out Josh for hypocrisy. And just like that, he quits his job completely.

After attending Ida’s marriage, Marcus decides to take the plunge and meets up with Mia. She finally opens up and apologizes for what happened between them in the past. This is enough for Marcus to decide they should make a go of it again, kissing out in the street. They eventually decide to move in together too; nothing can go wrong now…right?

The Episode Review

Now, I appreciate that a lot of shows in the west have jumped on this bandwagon of adding COVID into stories. For shows like Grey’s Anatomy, it makes perfect sense. And I guess in a way, it does make sense for Love Life too – this show traveling through time – to do the same. Unfortunately, the writing and consistency of using this undermines the story.

The main plot here is basically Mia and Marcus getting back together. But yet, the first half of the episode is taken up with forced COVID references, inconsistent uses of masks, sterilizing etc. along with the BLM movement but not utilized in a way that actually shows the effects this has on the community and wider world.

As an example, right in the middle of this pandemic we see people just happily talking and eating at the restaurant with no screens between tables, no masks, no hand sanitizer and the workers not wearing masks. A couple of scenes later, in the background at the park and street (around the time Mia and Marcus flip flop around wearing masks) no one is social distancing or wearing masks.

This sort of attention to detail is what ultimately makes this feel like an after-thought to score brownie points rather than a genuinely decent inclusion to the show.

Like, why not show Yogi traumatized from an encounter with the police? It could be a simple questioning but because of George Floyd, he’s really scared and needs a call from Marcus to calm him down? Why not portray Marcus’s parents coming down with COVID and both Marcus and Ida are concerned, reflecting on their past interactions with their folks? All of these would have been a great opportunity for character growth. But nope, we just get the stock references and that’s it.

With Mia and Marcus about to go steady though, the ending to this episode looks like we’re on course for a happily ever after. Is there one more twist to come though I wonder?

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