The only thing more powerful than the moment when a character discovers something new about themselves is the moment a character realizes when something needs to go. And that seemed to be the theme of this week’s hour, in which multiple characters let go of various parts of themselves, no matter how small.
For Jay, it was both his hair and his relationship with Laura. For Keith, it was ALL of his hair (and maybe a part of his old self). For Ryan, it was the guilt he felt for what he did to his father. For Lisa, it was her relationship with Alvey. For Christina, it was her sobriety and her temporary hope for a relationship with her son. For Nate, it was any leftover delusions of grandeur he had about his career. For Alvey, it was the idea that his youngest is a fighter (and also probably $30,000 of his money).
We kick things off with Alvey and Nate getting ready to head to Fresno for Nate’s fight. Lisa, embarrassed by Alvey’s DUI, has no problem watching him walk out the door. Jay then bids his brother farewell, followed by good-luck hugs from both a very sweaty Ryan and an even sweatier Keith. My favorite moment of this episode might’ve been Alvey looking at Nate and saying, “You know he murdered someone?”
So while Nate and Alvey try to get checked into their hotel, Jay continues his starvation diet by giving Mac a lecture about how much time the average human wastes on food. “You’re eating your life away” is poor Jay’s way of trying to convince himself that he doesn’t want that burrito.
But that’s not nearly as hard to watch as it is seeing Christina pay Terry a visit, sleep with him, and walk away with heroine in her purse. Actually, maybe this week is all about things that are difficult to watch because Nate’s fight also falls under this umbrella.
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After Alvey shows up drunk in the middle of the night and messes with Nate’s sleep, it’s time for Nate to get into the (extremely sketchy) cage in Fresno. And here’s the thing about sketchy promoters and sketchy fights: They come with sketchy refs, sketchy crowds, and an extremely loose grip on “rules.” Fighting a guy that’s 6 pounds overweight, Nate sticks to his strategy: Take him down because he has no ground game.
But when the ref continually stands the fighters up because he wants a good show, things get ugly. Alvey’s fear comes true when the fight turns into a brawl, and eventually, looking at his beaten son, Alvey’s forced to call the match. It’s then that he calls Lisa with the realization that his son might not be a fighter after all. She responds with a realization of her own: She won’t be home when Alvey gets back. She’s going to stay in one of her dad’s condos for a while.
NEXT: About Lisa’s decision