Billy and Michael complete a run together in the park at the beginning of episode 4 of Uncoupled. The weatherman is having an event that he invites Michael to. He asks if Stanley will be there but Billy replies that Stanley has a tradition every Friday evening to have a peaceful night at a bar, reading a book.
He is also a bit annoyed with the teensy fight between Michael and Stanley. Michael does not give a firm commitment to Billy citing his mother’s (Lisa) visit to the town and apparently her being in the dark over Colin. The only worrying thing is that she absolutely adores Colin and will be very antsy when she learns about this.
Michael has lunch with his mother (Stephanie Faracy). He finally reveals Colin and his separation and she does not take it well. She pushes him to introspect and find out “what he did wrong”.
In the middle of her rant, she falls down the stairs of underground garbage disposal and is hospitalized. She is brought back home but Michael’s father comes to town to take care of her. Suzann and Michael show the house to a prospective couple, who seems annoyed with the smallest of things. Just then, Stanley arrives up the lift with a new painting that Claire bought from him. Michael gives him the cold shoulder despite Staley trying to reconnect with him. Suzanne tries to cover for him but Stanley decides to confront him about it. Michael is still unconvinced by Stanley’s reasoning that he went to Colin’s for Michael.
Suzann gets a call from one of the people who visited the open house. He is interested in buying it and the offer is only a smidge off the asking price. She is really excited and feels that they can convince Claire to sell. While waiting for Claire, Michael expresses his concern over the second notice on the liquor bill from Colin’s party. He is a little low on cash but does not want to ask Colin for it. Claire comes in all vexed with shopping bags. She listens to the offer from Suzanne but is instantly dismissive. The conversation goes something like this. Suzanne says something; Claire shoots her down; and then, when Michael rephrases it and suggests the same thing to Claire, she agrees. The argument is that Claire must do more to move on from her past and sell the house that has so many memories of her with her husband.
She finally gives in to seeing new apartments the same day. Michael’s father (Ben) warns his son not to go straight away to the bedroom to check on his mother. He goes anyway and discovers why: Colin has come to visit. Michael suspects that his mother called Colin to push both of them back together. But Colin reveals that he is still on the family thread and read the text about Michael’s mother. He felt concerned and came in to visit her.
Lisa suggests that she and Ben separated temporarily after he slept with his secretary. These things are normal in a relationship and Colin and Michael will be back together soon. Colin is late for a meeting and leaves. Michael gives him a cold send-off but is prompted by Lisa to run after him and ask about him.
The two have a very touching and genuine conversation. Until Colin mentions that he got a new dog. That is enough to send Michael on a rant and angrily come down on Colin for refusing to get a dog when they were together and Colin said he never wanted a dog. Colin walks off. Michael and Suzanne meet up with Claire for the showing but they instead go to Billy’s party.
At the party, Michael separates and Suzanne and Claire are left alone together. Michael meets up with Billy, who introduces him as an “eligible bachelor” to his friend group. One of them takes an interest in him. One other friend eavesdrops on the conversation and joins in to hear Michael’s sob story. Suzanne and Claire have their own thing going on.
They get to know each other better and discover that they’re both jovial people. Suzanne explains how she has never met Kai’s father as she had him after a solo backpacking trip through Europe. Claire finally agrees to sell the house and informs Suzanne that she does not hate him. Her cold personality is natural and not specific. Michael is offered a threesome by the two friends of Billy’s he was just talking to, who are actually a couple. He declines their offer out of pity.
Instead, he latches on to Dr. Sweeney, the therapist from episode two’s couple’s session. He is the drag performer at the event. Michael approaches him but Sweeney, as the character he plays, reveals the truth to Michael.
There was never a chance for them to get back because Michael only heard what he wanted to and didn’t even let Colin speak. Maybe that broke them up. He instead asks Michael to cherish the people in his life who decided to stay. Colin is not coming back and Michael must accept that. Suzanne overhears that and Michael expresses his newfound gratitude to her. He then goes to the bar where Stanley goes on Fridays. The two make up and Michael notices on his phone that Colin has left the family thread after Michael’s mother sends a text on it.
The Episode Review
A really eventful episode ends with another strangely painful setback for Michael. Right from the first moment, it seemed that his overbearing mother is on Colin’s side. Her ballsy move to call him back and initiate a patch-up is a remnant of a generational trend where emotions took a backseat to cultural paradigms. Modern appropriations have beset such mindsets and ushered in a new era of liberated free will, capable of following the heart over the mind.
Of course, Michael’s mother could have been right as well. Spending so much time with another person can sort of make you an extension of theirs and ruffling feathers once again could reignite the spark.
Anyway, it seems like that is not happening as Colin exits Michael’s life for good. Such run-ins do not seem likely in the rest of the season, barring an ultimate surprise waiting in the wings. Beyond his tumultuous life, we finally had a former look at the life of others around him.
Suzanne and Claire both came across as interesting and headstrong women with enough dating left in them to ride multiple partners. Spending more time with them was a fresh change. Uncoupled is primarily about Michael’s separation but taking out time to focus on other parts of the universe surely gives the show layers.