Thursday, October 25, 2018

REVIEW: 'Mom' - Christy Tries to Help Marjorie Grieve After Her Husband Dies in 'Flying Monkeys and a Tank of Nitrous'

CBS' Mom - Episode 6.05 "Flying Monkeys and a Tank of Nitrous"

When Marjorie's husband passes away, the ladies accompany her on a trip to memorialize him.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of CBS' Mom.

"Flying Monkeys and a Tank of Nitrous" was directed by James Widdoes with story by Marco Pennette, Anne Flett-Giordano & Michael Shipley and teleplay by Nick Bakay, Adam Chase & Susan McMartin

Death can often be a sudden thing. Grief can be even more surprising and unexpected. Everyone in Marjorie's support group is expecting her to be an emotional mess following the death of her husband, Victor. Christy and Bonnie wanted to give her a nice trip away to see Wicked in San Francisco. Instead, they have to leave during intermission because Victor has suffered another stroke. This time it turned out to be fatal. Marjorie doesn't seem to have any reaction to it though. She just continues going about her day as if nothing has happened. She is still going to meetings. She is still interacting with her friends. She is still running errands. She isn't sad. She's very accepting of what has happened. The show never spent a whole lot of time with Marjorie and Victor as a couple. It did a few stories. But the audience never got to see the scope of her caring for him. He needed so much care following his first stroke. As such, it's understandable that Marjorie has been grieving for a long time. It doesn't all of a sudden come bursting out now that he is dead. He has been dying for awhile. She has always known that. She lost the man who ran over the opossum and proposed to her a second later. That wasn't the man he was during his final days and months. As such, Marjorie feels like a terrible person for feeling relief upon getting this tragic news. She wants to lash out at Christy who is trying to force her into a typical narrative of what grief looks like. Marjorie can still sense that the world around her is talking about her and what she's going through. She just wants to laugh at the spot where Victor proposed now being a Costco. It's just so ridiculous. Plus, it affords the entire group to just bulk up on some items that they need. Sure, Bonnie and Christy probably don't need a giant tub of pickles. But they have it now. That could come in handle considering how quickly Tammy has been going through food at the house. But that point of comedy doesn't distract from the larger story on display either. Christy wants to be a good friend. She wants to help Marjorie just like she has done so many times over the years. She wants her to express what she's feeling. She doesn't want her to bottle everything up and then take out those emotions by getting drunk and high again. She doesn't want this to be the thing that takes Marjorie's sobriety away from her. She is still working the program. She understands that this is a slippery slope. But Marjorie isn't having the typical reaction to death. Sure, she still chooses to hang onto Victor's ashes for a little while longer. She is holding them close even though he may be tucked away in her kitchen. Right now, it's more of a loss to know that her cat no longer has his companion in the world. That's the moment where the grief hits her and her friends are there to comfort her. This has been a difficult time for her for awhile. It's actually surprising that Wendy is the one who can best articulate what Marjorie has been going through. That's unexpected and further proves that the rest of the group typically talks over her. But she has first-hand experience on this issue because of her job. As such, that makes her the perfect person to help Marjorie understand what she's feeling. That's necessary and proves that these women are so strong when they work together to confront a problem.