”Tell Me You Love Me”: Katie’s baby fever
Swimfan strikes! This week’s cringe-worthy moment was not Jamie lazily riding backward on lame pony Nick but bitty Bella shifting and squirming on her bed while watching a DVD of Erika Christensen and Jesse Bradford getting it on in a pool. Tween Bella is running circles around her mother in terms of embracing her sexuality, and Jesus H., either that little girl is a monster actor, or all that blushing discomfort was because a crew of 25 was watching her twitch around for her sweet spot. On the one hand, go Bella! On the other, I feel icky, like I just walked in on my niece in the shower. (To quote Courtney Cox on Friends, ”I was just making sure the shower massager was working!”)
Thankfully, Katie stepped up to the plate of her anxious daughter’s puberty. Despite the fact that she herself has never had an orgasm, despite the fact that she’s suggesting another baby to avoid the possibility of sex for pleasure, despite the fact that she’s eager to bail on therapy rather than bear another fusillade of May’s probing questions, Katie treated her daughter’s own curiosity with respect and love. This after looking like she might pass out on the couch when May demanded rapid-fire information about her last orgasm. ”Katie on top? David behind? Clitorally? Thrusting fast? Slow?” Katie, that dirty talker, responded, ”Um, slow and fast, I guess.”
David, who prefers his wife on top by the way, is blooming in therapy. So much so that when Katie, after yanking her lumberjack-size pajama pants up to her breastbone, announced that she wanted another baby, Dave wisely suggested they talk to May before adding another curtain climber to their brood. Later in the episode he was hijacked by his sad office friend, who was preening about having the best sex of his life with one of their colleagues. This harmless, hairy meatball is a nice spot of levity on an otherwise relentlessly serious show. He seems like he stumbled out of the movie Office Space to remind us that, yes, being in a couple is hard and full of real challenges, but hey, at least you don’t have to suffer through a blind date with this schmo. His character and Katie and David’s terrifically cute son Josh (”it’s a list of hotties”) were nice pockets of air tonight.
And could Palek ever use a knock-knock joke from Josh right about now. When Carolyn announced she’s pregnant, his skin went ashen and remained bloodless for the rest of the episode. In a solo session with May, he spiraled out about hating his father for abandoning him when he was just 3 years old and his worry that he’s bound to repeat the same crime. I think the dude has a dangerous cruel streak (and for evidence, look no further than the moment he told Carolyn he didn’t want her and couldn’t foresee a time when he would again), but he is walking around with a hulking set of baggage. He told May that his father left his mother because he was born, though he kept repeating that no one ever told him that directly. Palek, hon, we have met your Mommie Dearest and seen the way she clings to you like cellophane. I bet a day hasn’t gone by when she hasn’t reminded Palek of his father’s betrayal, and the obligation Palek has to fill his place in her heart.
Sonya Walger got to use her best jaw-dropped, wide-eyed, you-gotta-be-kidding-me bitch face throughout the episode. Palek sucks. Carolyn’s boss sucks. (”Congratulations,” she told her upon news of the pregnancy. ”S—ty timing.”) Her sister sucks. ”You hate kids,” she spat in disbelief at her big sister’s news. But dammit, she is going to go to Dashell’s SpongeBob SquarePants party, and she’s going to announce to the world that she is not an infertile failure. At the park, Palek somehow got put in charge of supervising the jumper. When he saw a young boy crying in the plastic, netted cage — a nice metaphor for his own state of mind — he wandered in, knees locked, fingers splayed, and tried to make like he was enjoying himself bouncing on an inflated trampoline. ”He’s going to be such a good father,” cooed Carolyn’s girlfriends. ”He’s a natural!” That or he’s about to vomit Dashell’s SpongeBob cake on himself and all the other mini-Paleks left to their own devices in this lousy funhouse world.
NEXT: Jamie’s bad sex
Jamie shouted ”F—!” another 17 times this episode. She got naked and supposedly had bad sex. (Looked okay to me.) She got fussy that Nick, wearing his hair in what looked like criminally emasculating barrettes, fixed her toilet without asking and lugged a bunch of his stuff over. Wouldn’t that be awesome, and a needed jolt to this horribly dull plotline, if it turned out that he had a disemboweled Hugo stuffed in his softball sack rather than dirty tube socks? Later, Mason and her boyfriend (by my count, just the third African American we’ve seen on this show) came over to Jamie’s for dinner. Everyone got high. Everyone, that is, except my husband, who I cajoled to watch TV with me but then lost when he said he couldn’t bear to watch Jamie wallow in her moody pit of self-absorption.
If only Nick had my husband’s good sense. Instead, the dreary dreamboat went moony over Jamie’s beauty and bothered her about her devotion. ”Tell me,” he whined. ”You tell me,” she whined. (”Why are we watching this?” my husband whined.) ”Tell me you love me,” Nick demanded like a bratty child. Jamie, her mouth opening and shutting with the wheezy expression of a gagging cat, couldn’t get the words out. ”Tell me you love me,” I said to my husband before we went to bed. ”I watched that stupid show with you, didn’t I?” He’s a keeper, ladies!
But what did you guys think? Is there any hope for Palek and Carolyn? What will finally get Katie on top of David? Have you seen Office Space? Would you rather go on a date with David’s friend or eat nothing but SpongeBob cake for a whole weekend? What movie first gave you the funny shivers as a child? On second thought, maybe keep that one to yourself.