Wednesday, December 9, 2020

REVIEW: 'Big Mouth' - Nick's Friends Rally Together to Protect Him From His Most Destructive Behavior in 'What Are You Gonna Do?'

Netflix's Big Mouth - Episode 4.10 "What Are You Gonna Do?"

Forced out of his own body by his smug alter ego, Nick fights back - with help from his friends and the Gratitoad. Matthew comes out to his dad.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season finale of Netflix's Big Mouth.

"What Are You Gonna Do?" was written by Gil Ozeri and directed by Andres Salaff

Nick Birch fears he is destined to become just like Nick Starr. That has been his concern for awhile now. He ran away after being scared by that reality at the haunted house. And now, that persona has actually taken over his body. It's a high concept premise. One in which the friends have to rally together before Nick becomes a lost soul for good. At first, he wonders if that is actually all that bad. He sees this personality evolution as inevitable anyway. Why should he try to change things now? Is he even capable of changing things? Everyone has essentially come to expect that this is the time in life where they become who they are. As such, this reality seems set in stone for Nick. It isn't though. His friends have learned so many lessons over the course of the season. That makes them capable of helping Nick in his time of need. Sure, they have to realize that he is worth saving. They have to buy into this idea that a different personality has taken over his body. They also need to believe that he is not beyond redemption. He has made some major mistakes. He has hurt his friends. It would be so easy for Jessi to walk away and never have to deal with him again. The Gratitoad wants her to remember the redeeming qualities of their friendship. Connie has her own perspective as well. She still cares about Nick even though she is no longer his hormone monster. A sense of duty is essentially created to do right by him. It's all about helping others become the best versions of themselves too. It's easy to be consumed by the doubt and fears of trying to figure out oneself. Matthew is terrified to come out to his father. It's no big deal in the end though. His dad never lived under the illusion that his son was straight. The conversation they have mostly just clarifies that Matthew has a boyfriend. It's not a big surprise or development. It may not create a more meaningful relationship between the two. But it offers enough support for Matthew to feel encouraged and loved. It may take some time for his mom to be accepting. However, his dad is already there. That's a blessing. Meanwhile, an honest conversation between Jay and Lola wasn't enough to suddenly mend their relationship. They do genuinely love each other. Jay could say that and Lola couldn't. She was afraid that making that declaration would solidify his desire to leave her just like everyone else has in her life. In turn, they both grow enraged over how the other acted in the moment at the diner and the aftermath. It doesn't matter to Jay that Lola can declare her love now. She didn't when he needed it from her. It's petty. But these two are quick to turn hostile. This season has developed their bond and even suggested that they are fun together. Turning against each other will create some compelling stories too even if it still builds to a reunion at some point. Again, these extremes seem like the only options. They aren't though. Sometimes a little perspective is necessary. Nick is terrified of his anxiety. Tito is a constant plague in his life. Jessi feels the exact same way about her depression. Confronting these issues head on actually takes away their power. Nick has to accept every part of himself. He may not like everything he has done. However, that's who he is. If he doesn't like it, then it's up to him to do something about it. If he is overwhelmed, he can take a moment and breathe. He can be gracious for what he has in the world. That makes some of these concerns seem small in reality. It's actually pleasant to see Rick come up the stairs and deliver his catchphrase. It still doesn't particularly mean anything. But it's also a rallying cry for these friends. They depend on each other. They can count on each other when things grow tough and complicated. These issues may still pop up again in the future. But these support systems exist to help. Nick has been a jerk this season. He has been bullied as well. And now, the power of friendship has allowed so many to overcome these issues and make theit bonds stronger and even more rewarding. Life is forcing all of them to evolve. They are growing together and that will ensure a stronger future even if it will still feature more growing pains.