Tiny Beautiful Things – Season 1 Episode 7 “Go” Recap & Review


The Past

The past flashbacks are back, and this time we begins with Frankie and Clare driving to the endless realm of possibilities that Spring Break brings. Here though, we specifically see how Jess and Clare actually met.

She was not looking at the road and rear-ended Jess’ car. He got her number as a fair trade for bearing the losses for repair works. Things escalate quickly. Jess brings her around to his parent’s house after just three months of dating. They are sceptical about Clare and her family background but that does not deter Jess’ resolve to marry.

He proposes to her in the parents’ plush library and vows to achieve great things with Clare. She is smitten and accepts. The engaged couple go to Frankie’s house, where she is impressed with Jess as he is kind and adores Clare. However, Frankie doubts if Clare is making the right decision. Clare defends her decision by saying she had to get out of their predicament in some way. Frankie is hurt but does not let it out.

On the wedding day, Frankie assures Clare that if she feels the marriage isn’t working, she can always go her own way. Everyone at the wedding is happy except for Frankie, who perhaps knows Clare has not made the right decision. An adult Clare accepts that she shouldn’t have married Jess, as a tiny voice inside her always said, “Go, even though you love him.”

The Present

The Uber ride back home is uncomfortable. Clare cannot focus on the Dear Sugar letters as she scampers through them. She dreads the chat with Danny about it in the morning. In a sort of breaking of the fourth wall, we see Clare confess to us that she is in no position to advise others on how to resolve their life problems. She herself is a mess and has so many that it invalidates her input. Clare drowns in the depths of Zach’s tacky waterbed.

Rae gives the cheque to her parents in the morning, while Clare is packing for a writers’ retreat into the woods. Danny wants to talk about the Uber driver but Clare asks him to let things be the way they are: perfect. Danny does not say anything, but equally does not look okay. He is disappointed that Clare is leaving without finishing their conversation and giving him more details. Amy picks Clare up but the ladies are going for Hayes MacKeown’s course, a reputed writer.

Amy announces her book, which has been almost twenty years coming, has been picked up by a publishing house. A screen rights deal might also be on the table. Clare is excited but there is a defeating look in her eyes as well that gives away her slight jealousy. Des, the receptionist at the hotel, says that the Hayes’ course is filled up. They have booked another course instead so Amy clears up the confusion.

Once they take their new course, they can turn and say they aren’t satisfied and switch to Hayes’ course. Clare has a special connection with him as he wrote her a letter when she was younger. Their ploy is partially successful. Clare sees Hayes in the water springs alone and approaches. She is awkward in her attempt to ask Hayes what he really saw in her writing that made him say “she was special.”

Hayes delivers a telling blow when he reveals his ex-wife Morag used to respond to fan mail; he never even read Clare’s short story that she sent with the letter. Clare and Amy have a fight when the latter senses Clare is not happy with her success, even though she could have Rae. As a result, Clare leaves the room in disbelief.

After spending the night outside, she comes back to Amy, who is awake. She apologises and Amy admits she cannot have children but always told Clare she didn’t want to. Thankfully, they make up with each other.

At the book signing, Clare overhears Des praising the authentic Dear Sugar column. It fills Clare with confidence and optimism. She ditches Hayes’ letter and asks him to sign the book addressing her as Sugar. She comes back to the house and announces to Danny that she is leaving her old job and becoming a full-time columnist. Danny agrees with her decision but then shockingly says that he wants a divorce.

The Episode Review

Episode 7 crucially restores and salvages Clare in my eyes. In the last few flashbacks, we saw her out of control and engaging recklessly with other men. All of that happened around the tragedy of her mother’s death but at the same time, disrespect to her loving and good husband. This episode puts into perspective those actions and rationalizes her approach. It is not a complete justification but reason enough to give Clare a chance again.

The passages from the novel are exquisitely intertwined with the storytelling, which is perhaps not as affecting. This episode was Clare coming to terms with her mistake with Jess and how that tiny voice in all of our heads is always right.

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3 thoughts on “Tiny Beautiful Things – Season 1 Episode 7 “Go” Recap & Review”

  1. It was driving me nuts too! Could it be Kevin Rahm? He was on Mad Men and Madam Secretary. He’s about the right age to play the dad.

  2. The irony of episode 7 is that Clare’s husband got the courage to leave after reading her Dear Sugar column. He didn’t know it was written by his own wife.

  3. Who is the actor that plays Jess’s father in episode 7? He doesn’t appear listed on IMDB full cast list.

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