Saturday, November 24, 2018

REVIEW: 'The Kominsky Method' - Mindy Criticizes Her Father's Pride and Stubbornness in 'Chapter 7: A String Is Attached'

Netflix's The Kominsky Method - Episode 1.07 "Chapter 7: A String Is Attached"

Norman contemplates a financial arrangement with Sandy. Sandy tries to smooth things over with Lisa. Mindy helps her father with his tax situation.

In 2018, it makes no sense to provide full-length reviews of each individual episode for shows released all at once on the streaming services. Sure, there are some shows out there that value the power of the episode. They do make a point in differentiating each episode to ensure it's not just one big slog to the finish. However, the ability to watch the entire season at one's own viewing pace has largely changed the way we consume and discuss these shows. So, some brief summary thoughts are really all that's actually necessary with these seasons. As such, here are my latest thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's The Kominsky Method.

"Chapter 7: A String Is Attached" was written by Chuck Lorre, Al Higgins & David Javerbaum and directed by Donald Petrie

Mindy is the one character in this show who at least has some awareness of the real-world stakes of life. Everyone else basically sees everything as a performance. That can be so artificial in a way. It makes it incapable of anyone having a genuine connection because they are always conspiring to figure out how the other person will react. Mindy genuinely cares about her father. She doesn't want to believe that he's beyond redemption despite what her mother says. And yet, she has grown incredibly frustrated because of his tax problems. Sandy presents her with a solution in Norman paying off his debts. To her, it's a deal he should accept immediately because it presents a swift and complete fix to his problems. Instead, Sandy goes to the IRS with a sob story about him grieving the death of his accountant and being unable to replace him for three years. It's absolutely ridiculous. It doesn't work at all. It shows how Sandy wishes to lie and perform his way out of any situation. He's not allowed to do so though. He's a very proud man. He doesn't want to accept Norman's money with no strings attached. He wants to win back Lisa's love. He wants to prove to Mindy that he is a loving and caring father. It just takes him a long time to actually show his feelings in a way that is actually productive. Even then, it gets disastrous before it ever gets better. He accepts Norman's money eventually. When he does so, Mindy knows that she has to immediately run over to the IRS offices and pay off these debts. That is the most pressing concern for her. She doesn't want her father to accumulate any more interest. She wants it done with entirely. She has the complete number so that Norman knows how much he has to give in the first place. Even though he asked for that earlier, Sandy wasn't quick to provide him with the figures. Mindy is the one who is on top of everything. She is able to get all the way down to the IRS and pay off her father's debts before Sandy even leaves Norman's house. That's how much he doesn't prioritize any of this. He figures his daughter is just waiting for him out in the car and that she'll continue to take care of him. That's not true at all. She wants to leave him. She is only persuaded to stay because Sandy admits that she is much better in this business than he will ever be. He may not even be a great teacher. There may be nothing that he is good at. But his teaching gives him some sense of purpose. He will continue to do that even if he can't take credit for the performances that his students give in class. With Mindy in charge of the business though, it will ensure that everything will continue to run smoothly. Sure, it's unlikely that he will listen to every order that she gives. He will still be stubborn. But now, he's a man who understands his place in the world even though that's incredibly depressing. He was even willing to allow this money to cause a rift in his friendship with Norman. They get into a big fight because of it. That's what Norman wanted. He wanted to see Sandy have an epic reaction upon learning that he wouldn't have to pay back this loan. In the end, he still accepts that this is a debt that will be repaid in life or death. Sandy may never be able to completely pay back his friend. But it's vital that he maintains this bond because Norman is the only person in the world considerate enough to even give him the money in the first place. As such, it's so special when they meet together in their favorite booth once more - even though Norman immediately throws away Sandy's first check to repay him for this loan.