Platonic – Season 1 Episode 3 “Partner’s Retreat” Recap & Review

Partner’s Retreat

While the Grieves’ have gone on Charlie’s Partner’s Retreat in this episode, Will has an uphill battle on home ground. Sylvia’s anticipation of a super relaxing staycation experience isn’t going all that well.

To kickstart things, Charlie’s boss, Frank Schaeffer, intentionally spites Sylvia by not remembering her name but does remember the name of a server whom he met three years ago in Ohio. She feels like an outsider amidst the newly made partners. This could have been her but she chose to live a different life. In her head, she feels like this is the place where she belongs.

Her misery is further compounded when they run into Vanessa, an old college friend who just made partner, And, quite insultingly to Sylvia, just had her fourth baby as well. Will, the brewmaster, goes about his day with utmost professionalism.

While he does all the quality work, Omar helps him and has his ear for the entire morning. Reggie, who owns 51% of Lucky Penny, informs them that he met with the CEO of Johnny 66, a national burger chain. Not only that but he is interested in licensing their beer.

Will outright rejects the idea, but since he is a minority shareholder and Andy owns the majority, his decision will prevail. Even though this deal could potentially mean generational wealth for Will, he is concerned as a committed entrepreneur that his brand will be associated with a fascist.

Charlie tries to persuade Sylvia that Vanessa is probably jealous of the things she gets to do while at home, but Sylvia still feels a little unimportant.

Everywhere she goes, she cannot escape the “partner chatter” and finally gives up to hang out with Will. Unbeknownst to him, she has led him to a Johnny 66 outlet. As reluctant as he is to go in, Will’s stance is transiently changing. He doesn’t want to recognize the fact that the founder, Johhny Rev, has made a beloved and successful franchise, something Will could learn from.

Things like Will saying “Who buys this merchandise” and then actually buying it exemplify Johnny’s success story. He opens up about why he doesn’t want to be a corporate sell-out: he is cool and Johnny 66 isn’t. Sylvia goes with Will back to the bar having offered to talk to Reggie as Will’s lawyer.

Andy thinks this entire thing has to do with Will’s divorce. Because Reggie is Audrey’s stepbrother and he got the offer, Will is “unwilling” to accept it. Will goes into the back and tries to empty out all the beer kegs so that there is no beer to serve.

The situation gets out of control and he has a fight with Andy. His attitude remains to be fidgety and nasty. They go together to the hotel where Will has had a few drinks and they meet Charlie and Stewart, another new partner and Sylvia’s former colleague. She is becoming a little tipsy also and loses her wits when Frank meets her and thinks she is a waitress.

She angrily snatches the speech Frank is going to give at the conference and will only give it back if he can recall her name. He can’t and she eats his speech.

Charlie confronts her about the incident and Sylvia is still hung up on why Charlie didn’t tell her about Vanessa making partner at the firm. They have a discussion about her insecurities seeing her former colleagues and Charlie says she can join the law again if she wishes to.

While Sylvia and Charlie go to listen to Frank’s speech, Will sees a story Audrey has posted with her boyfriend. He angrily breaks down the door and prints an Employee Withholding Certificate.

He goes straight to the bar and makes up with Andy, having a new perspective on the Johnny 66 deal. Frank’s speech goes horribly, as expected, and he finally remembers Sylvia’s name. But she isn’t sure if that is a good thing.

The Episode Review

Platonic is really bucking the trend and has offered a pleasant twist on adult cross-gender friendships thus far. Episode 3 saw Will and Sylvia come to each other’s rescue in the most genuine, caring of ways. Their dynamic reminds me of their college days. In a way, they reflect how you and your best friend never grow out of the phase of life you met in but with the added sensibilities of adulthood.

Sylvia’s life choice to be a stay-at-home mother surfaced when she saw everyone at the retreat becoming the fantasy version of her own self. There are such one-offs that make you think you have made the wrong choice. It is natural to experience those moments and feel regret but Sylvia will be back to normal when she sees her children and the lives she has sculpted.

Episode 3 steadily brings the characters closer to the viewers and further establishes Platonic’s refreshing treatment of material that has been nothing but derivative in the past.

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You can read our full season 1 review of Platonic here
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