The Town Hall
Episode 3 of The Chair Season 1 begins with a Hitler joke. Because of course it does. Anyway, Bill is brought in to the office where the chief of communications, Ronny, is there to help word a letter of apology. Bill is completely apathetic about the whole thing though, something which Larson exhibits concerns about.
Ji-Yoon tries her best to get through to Bill too, who is still indifferent about the whole situation as things continue to escalate. Ji-Yoon though has a dinner at the dean’s house that evening, so for now it falls to postponing Bill’s class indefinitely while they come up with a solution.
Bill’s solution is to hold a meeting to try and talk through the issues. Before he follows through with this, Daphne shows up in Bill’s office to warn about his upcoming meeting. Ji-Yoon shows up not long after and awkwardness inevitably ensues between the trio.
Elsewhere, Joan ends up starting a fire in her office. She eventually manages to put it out, thanks to some handy fire extinguisher work, but it’s just in time for a guy from the IT department to show up and help with the WiFi situation. As she gets the connection up and running, things take an awkward turn when Joan encourages the technician to read out student reviews.
One particularly vulgar review sees Joan on the warpath, determined to track don who the student is that posted it and given them a piece of her mind.
That evening, Ji-Yoon’s dinner with Larson and his wife goes ahead. However, Larson’s wife confirms she’s already come up with a new candidate to give out the Distinguished Lecture award – David Duchovny. It’s a celebrity name that’s there to try and get more students into class and there’s no denying it’s a good idea. Although to be fair, Gillian Anderson would have been a better choice.
Anyway, with Bill still cracking more jokes about Hitler, he eventually does his meeting outside school and inevitably gets himself tangled in knots. Surrounded by students and being encouraged to do so, he does eventually apologize but it definitely doesn’t feel genuine.
As we’ve seen from the entirety of this episode, Bill doesn’t actually care. And now, surrounded by students and feeling the gravitas of his situation, it’s time for Bill to face the music.
The Episode Review
Bill is really not a very likable character. Making a mistake in class is one thing but to completely shrug off any responsibility and continue to joke and laugh about Hitler isn’t exactly a great look.
That’s before mentioning what a mess he is and how he hasn’t really learnt anything so far, apathetically going through his work day. Sure, he may be grieving but his character doesn’t have many likable traits.
There’s also a really weird and slightly creepy subplot brewing here between student Daphne and Bill. We’ll reserve our judgment for now but The Chair’s different subplots don’t quite mesh well together. And 3 episodes in, this show doesn’t have a central focus. Rather, it revels in chaos and random plot points for the sake of drama. And what decision will Ji-Yoon make regarding the fate of those three highest earners? We shall see.