The opening of this episode was hilarious with Lily being forced to endure the excessively loud sex sounds apparently made by Simone and Jack, which she uniquely calls “sex terrorism”. However it was ruined for me when it was revealed that the writers were yet again using in media res. This is really getting old, to the point that I feel that this show takes the “in media res excessive use cake” from House Husbands. However the technique redeems itself by catching up with itself a lot faster, in comparison to the previous episode, not to mention it seamlessly enables a plot twist.
Anyway, this time the writers take the viewers back 20 hours earlier where we see Pete informing his father, Ivan, that he is about to become a father himself. These scenes were incredibly sweet and honest, with Ivan unable to contain his happiness not only at the thought of becoming a grandfather but also at his assumption of Lily being the mother, as well as his admission that he found parenting boring but amazing. These scenes added another dimension to the apparently odd Ivan.
Meanwhile Lily finally has an idea at work that is approved, a happy moment for her which is quickly undermined by Eric’s behaviour. This episode did a great job at sending the message to the viewers–both male and female–that sexual harassment is unacceptable. Eric was set up to be a cringeworthy character to be mocked, however until now he wasn’t completely unlikeable. I loved the moment when Jack stood up to Eric by giving him a taste of his own medicine, which in turn lead to Lily finally admitting how she really feels. I liked the choice by the writers to have Eric both be shocked by the truth and simultaneously not learning his lesson, it shows that he is human, as well as the reality of how sexual harassment can affect many women.
However my favourite choice by the writers by far, not only for this subplot but for the entire episode, was to have Lily end up acting in a similar way to Eric by unwittingly talking about Jack’s attractiveness simultaneously behind his back and out in the open. Lily and Jack talking about Lily’s “statistics” on Jack was hilarious and the ending of this plot worked out well in regards to building up the feelings between them.
In regards to Pete’s plot, I found the writers choice to make Meredith a little “out there” questionable. As I mentioned in my review of the pilot, I haven’t read the book so I’m only judging at face value, however I feel that her incompatibility with Pete has been shown adequately, I don’t think abruptly changing her personality is necessary. Considering how unsure Pete is of their relationship, it was good to see another side to him in this episode when his jealousy of Meredith’s ex, Mitchell, shows itself. It’s a darker, more selfish side and adds another dimension to the character. I also liked the choice by the writers to make Mitchell a good guy, avoiding the stereotype of two jealous men competing over a woman.
I didn’t think that the truth of Lily and Pete’s one-nighter would come out at the dinner as it’s too early in the series, however I liked the choice by the writers to have Simone almost reveal it. On a technical note, I didn’t like the choice by the director to have close up shots of Pete’s and Meredith’s faces, it was very off putting. However it was clearly the purpose of the shots that being said, knowing this didn’t make me dislike the choice any less.
On another note, it was nice to see Lily’s family members again, however as amusing as it was to see Mimi struggle with botox, they didn’t really add to the episode. However one thing I did like was more of an insight into Vincent and discovering that he wants to live independently and is a doctor, these facts expand his character not to mention they display the great choice by the writers to avoid the misconceptions surrounding disability.
Overall this episode was a huge improvement with the focus on the development of the characters.