Welcome to Wrexham – Season 2 Episode 13 “Family Business” Recap & Review

Family Business

Ryan Reynolds’ mother, Tammy, plays the ukulele. She explains that Ryan, the youngest of 4 boys, possessed self-raising wisdom and that her late husband was emotionally distant. Ryan and Rob explain that sports are something that families, often fathers and sons, can always fall back on. This is true for Wrexham forward Ollie Palmer and his father, Andy. They’re best mates. Ollie tries to recreate the joy of his upbringing with his own children.

Ollie’s wife and kids live in London. Traveling between there and Wrexham has been hard for all of them. Ollie’s father has served as security for multiple members of the British Royal Family. This caused a lot of absences during Ollie’s upbringing. Both of Andy’s parents talk about their divorce and the difficulties of divorcing with children. Andy reveals he is gay.

Fleur Robinson, the CEO of Wrexham, shares bits of her daily challenges. She struggles with being away from her family, but she sacrifices to excel in a male-dominated industry. She says she’s learned her skills as a CEO from her father. He’s proud of her. However, her dad wishes it was easier to get her to answer the phone.

Ollie Palmer and his parents share intimate details about the process of Andy coming out. Andy’s father, upon finding out, treated him like he had a literal, curable illness. Andy though, has passed on a legacy of love and tolerance. We’re then introduced to Rob’s mothers, Helena McElhenney and Mary Taylor. Like Ollie, Rob’s parents divorced when he was fairly young. Rob comments on the generational divides. Rob, Ollie, and both of their parents talk about the undue difficulties as well as the welcome support of good people.

The final five minutes

Elliot Lee, Wrexham Midfielder, is a passionate pro footballer; as was his father. Rob Lee has played for the English National team 21 times, or “ has 21 caps.” Elliot wants to have his own legacy, to be more than ‘just his father’s son.’ Elliot and Ollie don’t pay for drinks at local pubs.

Ollie, Caitlin, and their kids go diving at the aquarium. Ollie admits his interviews have felt like therapy. He’s grateful for the chance to be open and feel more free than he did as a child. He says over a climactic montage of himself, Rob, Ryan, Elliot, and Fleur with their parents. To paraphrase, ‘time is the most precious commodity, and life is about how you spend it.’

The Episode Review

A docu-series featuring Rob McElHenney and Ryan Reynolds pays ultimate dividends in “Family Business.” An episode that seemed like it might be a low point of filler turned out to be another emotional example of Welcome to Wrexham’s ability to unflinchingly showcase intimate family struggles. It is at times, uncomfortable to hear, but in this case, it makes it all the more important to listen.

Whether being a child of divorce, or a child of one or more gay parents is even considered controversial is largely split along generational lines. Rob hints at this much. This is an episode some may consider ‘political.’ For others, it simply isn’t. Beneath any specific circumstances though, is a recurring theme of football and genuine connection uniting everyone.

This entire show has felt a bit like a deep dive into Rob. Buying Wrexham was more his idea, and there’s a big separation between himself and his biggest role, ‘Mac’ in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Ryan Reynolds, though, may bear more similarity to the characters he plays, sharing ‘Deadpool’s’ tone and sense of humor. This is perhaps the most vulnerable Ryan has been.

The smooth, content-motivated transitions and cuts between similar stories are consistent through 20-25 minutes of the episode. The final montage carries a highlight-reel allure, but the last portion loses momentum, and it’s not for the obvious reason. Choosing to include Elliot Lee’s story in the final act was not a bad move. In fact, it was a beautiful addition to the tapestry. The slight hangup is almost purely opinion, arguably judgmental, and buried deep in pseudo-psychology.

Off the deep end

The vibes feel off in the scuba diving ending. Caitlin says she was ‘dragged along.’ Even if she was joking, it’s a hard phrase to hear given their stretched living situation at the time of filming. Ollie narrates about the importance of being there and then proceeds to get into scuba gear and then enter the water… without his children. The image of Ollie touching his son’s hand through glass is powerful, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. It felt as though Ollie was almost attempting to make up for the time he felt he lost as a child.

This is a Hollywood documentary. “True reality” is not something that can be purely captured through an aperture. As such, messages, personal truths, and more will not always translate perfectly. The attempt to communicate, though, is always worth the effort.

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You can read our full Season 2 review of Welcome to Wrexham here!

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