This Must Be the Place
Episode 8 of Sex/Life Season 1 marks this finale with wedding bells. Yes, it’s Brad and Billie’s alt-life. It tumbles out at once as Billie makes her choice. A life with Brad would be incredible (according to Billie and contradicting what we’ve seen from their past of course) but she won’t give up Cooper. As he turns and walks away, Cooper watches from the window.
Cooper is in a depressive state, especially after what happened the previous night. He calls himself a monster and claims he broke their wedding vows. Billie is pretty forgiving to be honest… until he blames her. Cooper trying to be like someone else has caused him to do a lot of damage to their marriage. As he puts it, there’s a stain on their relationship.
Well, Billie decides to do things differently. She revisits her journal but this time actually writes about Cooper. She calls herself lucky and decides to settle in for the long-haul. At school, Caroline is not happy. She twists what happened with the sex party and scoffs at the notion of Billie and Cooper together. As she so eloquently puts it: “I’ll eat my shirt if you’re still together by Christmas.”
Cooper heads to work and faces the music. Dev’s face is a mess but Cooper covers for him, claiming he’s been beaten by thugs. With Cooper’s job on the line, Devon forces him to go all-in with the pitch as he vouches for his job.
This brings Cooper into Francesca’s office as he spills the truth about what really happened. Unfortunately it’s going to be taken to HR and it could cause massive repercussions. Fran hands over her apartment key and encourages Cooper to move past Billie.
Remember what I said before about the kids being the ones to suffer? Well, Cooper bails on Hudson’s International Fair for school and heads over to Brad’s place instead. There, Brad admits that he’s madly in love with Billie. However, he also admits that she said no to him despite him proposing. There’s actually quite a nice dialogue here, as Brad admits he’s no match for Cooper and the two air out their differences.
Finally Cooper shows up at the International Fair. Given this is supposed to be about the kids, Dev and Cooper air out all their dirty laundry in front of everyone. However, Cooper makes a bold stand and claims he has the best wife, taking her out for ice-cream with Hudson.
Cooper has lost the partnership and could well lose his job too. However, it seems like his marriage is on the up.
As we fast forward in time, Olga is still there playing Nanny while Billie is back at college. She also spends more time with Hudson, patching things up with Caroline in the process.
Thankfully Cooper doesn’t get fired, and in fact Dev calms down and decides to forgive him after all. Sasha is also a best selling author now and she’s engaged to a man named Alex. All is good for Billie… right? Oh no, please don’t tell me. Yep, here we go…
While the family are out at Hudson’s school play, Billie comes to the realization that her current life isn’t enough. She charges up the sidewalk as Cooper watches her on his tracking app. He rings Francesca and tells her he’s not sure what to do.
Billie meanwhile charges into Brad’s apartment and has made a big decision. She’s not leaving Cooper. However, what she will do is cheat on him and have an affair behind his back with Brad. According to her this changes nothing. She’s going to cheat on Cooper… yay?
The Episode Review
Oh Sex/Life, you nearly did it. Up until 5 minutes before the end this finale actually rounded everything out with the perfect farewell and I was ready to throw my hands up and concede that the ending made this journey worth taking.
Up until 5 minutes before the end, the message here served as a reminder that despite all your desires and fantasies, sometimes you have to remain grateful with what you have. As Billie herself mentions, she has 85% of what she wants and has been desiring the other 15%. By the end she realizes that the life she has is perfect.
Instead, all of this is thrown out the window. Billie changes her mind and thinks, “yeah why not, let’s have an affair instead.”
Alas, she not only leaves Cooper and chooses Brad, she goes for the infinitely worse option of going behind his back to have an affair. And…this is the good option? The way this show ends with an empowering speech about femininity and choosing freedom sends the complete wrong message to men and women everywhere.
What Cooper did was completely out of line. He never should have gone that far at the swinger’s party and Billie has every right to blame him for that. However, throughout the show he’s managed to resist temptation and not succumb to outright cheating. He’s also been an open book too and fell in love with this façade of Billie that she’s clearly been putting on. Billie? Well, she started all of this and in the end has decided to throw it all away for her bad boy ex with the “giant heart”.
Through it all though I feel sorry for the kids. Not once have Billie or Cooper thought about their children and that’s the worst part of all this. It’s especially prevalent when you reflect back on that sick montage where Hudson and Ellary were Brad and Billie’s children instead. She literally fantasized about another man bringing her kids up.
There’s absolutely no repercussions for any of this and allowing Brad to come inside her house and watch as Ellary sleeps just feels all kinds of wrong.
There will be a market for this show and it’ll undoubtedly attract viewers in their thousands. I also know there will be people reading this recap that completely disagree with me – and that’s fine. That’s the great thing with this gig, everyone has a valid opinion.
Sex/Life though feels tonally conflicted, unsure what message it’s supposed to send out and eventually ending with “cheating is absolutely fine as long as your husband doesn’t know.” That’s not quite the empowering burst of femininity this show so easily could have achieved had it ended 5 minutes before.