Empire State Of Mind
Episode 3 of Sex/Life Season 1 begins with Cooper reading Billie’s journal. Well, I say reading. Actually, he’s bent over the kitchen table masturbating while reading the graphic descriptions of scenes with her and Brad. After this, it feels like business as usual as Cooper is distant with Billie and goes about his day.
When he leaves, Billie reflects on the moments she started writing this journal. In fact, it occurred back when Ellary was 1 month old. Awake most of the night, it left Billie to think about her life. Despite getting all of her thoughts out, she’s slumped into a depressive state wishing to go back to the endless parties.
Cooper meanwhile is dead-set on finding out more about Brad Simon. He’s been on the front cover of Rolling Stone magazine and is clearly a hotshot in the entertainment world. Only, Cooper too is a hotshot at banking and gets his proposal approved by boss, Francesca. Only, he’s distracted and decides to go and check out Brad.
This includes getting a monthly pass to the gym, where he watches from afar as Brad punches the bag. Cooper doesn’t exactly make it subtle but in the showers notices the size of Brad’s penis and shakes his head. Don’t fret Cooper, it’s not the size that matters, it’s how you use it.
At school, Hudson has trouble adjusting so Billie is encouraged to hang about. The whole time she’s there though, instead of focusing on her son she’s too busy thinking about Brad. Mum of the year alert!
Well, she rings Sasha and learns all the details about how she and Brad hooked up and had sex. Sasha says it outright though, telling her best friend she needs to get her head screwed on and stop romanticizing over Brad. As Billie herself exclaims, he’s her own “personal apocalypse.”
Hudson creates the first family portrait, which Billie loves. Not, fantasize-about-having-sex-with-Brad love but it’s a good second prize. Anyway, she pawns her kids off to Olga again and decides to head out, admitting that she has something she needs to do.
This includes meeting Cooper after work where they end up having sex in his car. Only, Billie doesn’t exactly look too thrilled and finds herself staring up at the sky after the deed. Is she really thinking of Brad at this very moment?
Flashbacks reveal more about Brad’s toxicity. It’s taken 3 episodes to actually get some dialogue beyond flirting and sex scenes but we do see a little of him opening up.
Brad’s Dad left when he was 8 and since then, he’s bee trying to win his affection back. He’s still waiting and has been all this time. 24 years later he’s received nothing from his Father.
Brad has a habit of pushing people away, typified by some pretty awful things said in anger to Billie earlier in the episode. As tears sting his eyes, this rare moment of honesty shatters his bad boy façade.
Anyway, as the episode closes out Sasha rings Billie but it’s actually Brad who picks up. She’s flustered, and even more so when he puts the camera on and has sex with Sasha in front of her. Instead of hanging up, Billie gets comfortable and starts pleasuring herself… while watching her best friend have sex with her ex. Is this weirdly inappropriate or is it just me?
The Episode Review
Billie is a really difficult character to empathize with. The fact that she made a big deal about Cooper going into her journal is one thing but to actually pleasure herself while watching Brad go at it with her best friend is all sorts of messed up.
Look, I know I’m coming at this from a male perspective but whether this was a man or a woman in the lead role of the show, the sneaking about and the very obvious midlife crisis does this show no favours.
Sure we all get fantasies but to go this far and to be this deceptive is really not a great look and it paints Billie in a really unsavory way. It also obscures and distorts what the message of this show should be. Is this about self discovery? A message about how the perfect life is boring? How you should seek out fun sexual ventures and cheat on your partner?
So far this show has been pretty awful. I know a lot of people will be coming at me with knives over that statement – after all this is an erotic thriller – but the writing has been really poor and the character motivations are all over the shop.