Episode 2 of Modern Love begins with Joshua pitching news about Fuse, a dating website to a reporter called Julie. She asks him whether he’s ever been in love and it’s a question that throws him completely. It’s here we then dive back in time and see Josh and his love interest Emma meeting at a prospective job interview. She gets the job but only because Josh stays after her interview to get her number.
They go on a date together at the zoo and exchange life stories soon after. From here, they share their first date which leads to a happy six months of living together. Unfortunately, their relationship hits a roadblock when Emma cheats on him. After leaving her, Joshua slowly gets back on the road to recovery until he sees his ex-flame in the streets again. This prompts him to break up with his girlfriend and call her, where he learns Emma is engaged.
As we cut back to present day, Julie tells him her story about her troubled relationship. With 2 kids and a disinterested husband, her life takes a wild turn when she runs into her long lost lover during a book signing. They get talking and learn the spark they had never really died out and they share drinks together. Heading home, Julie realizes what love is and as we jump back to present day, both Joshua and Julie go their separate ways where she writes an article about his romantic endeavors with Emily.
It’s a touching article and one that Emily ends up reading. As the episode closes out, Joshua and Emily rekindle what they had at the zoo as they kiss and the screen fades to black.
One of the strongest episodes of the series, Modern Love delivers a thought provoking, deeply thematic episode with plenty to pick apart. There’s a nice juxtaposition between the two stories and everything, right down to Julie and Joshua himself, has seemingly been deliberately placed to play on these differences. Both stories touch on ideas of temptation and betrayal, while both are tied together by the present day similarities between Julie and Joshua.
Even their ages – with Julie a more mature, experienced lady and Joshua still a relatively fresh-faced, naive guy when it comes to dating – dances around these differences in the best possible way. On the surface, the tale itself is a good one but under the hood there’s a lot going on that gives this episode more of a mature, thought provoking nature than it otherwise would on first viewing.