[7.7/10] Liked this one quite a bit. Two strong storylines that had great beats for a variety of characters.
I honestly don’t know which one I liked better. The one where Johnny struggles over whether he can pay for both the new second motel and his son’s wedding catering seemed like it was about to crater. The whole “business vs. family money trouble” bit is a cliché, and it started to lean into some more unpleasant bridezilla tropes for David. Plus the humor of Johnny trying to not-so-subtly find ways to go less expensive at the caterer’s was pretty tepid.
But from there things took a really nice turn. For one thing, David coming and telling his dad that the extra plates aren’t his dad’s financial responsibility and that if Johnny can’t afford the catering at all, David would totally understand helps mitigate his wedding-related nutso-ness. Likewise, Johnny’s predicament takes on a more emotional tone when he recalls that he and Moira had set aside their own nest egg for David’s wedding, involving flying people to Bali and other extravagance, and now he’s struggling to just pay for beef tenderloin. It’s not just about the financial situation it’s about being able to provide for your kid on a major day in their lives and the sense of not measuring up to your own expectations that reminds Johnny how far he’s fallen. Eugene Levy does some of his best work in the series in that moment.
The solution, though, is even better. Stevie using Johnny’s own techniques from his book to come up with a strategy to franchise the Rosebud and solve their financial woes is a nice beat for her. I’ll admit, it seems like a stretch, but it works within the willing suspension of disbelief of the show, rouses Johnny, and proves Stevie’s business mettle.
I also greatly enjoyed the Moira/Alexis story. For one thing, the soap opera humor is worth plenty of chunkles, and it’s a venerable strain of comedy. More than that though, I like the trajectory of Moira being ready to sign on for a reboot, being steered toward the truth by her daughter, and then getting a measure of revenge and perspective. Alexis having the shrewdness to research what happened and understand who has leverage continues her development, and Moira slapping the co-star who squeezed her out and “going after what she’s worth” at her daughter’s encouragement is a great corresponding note for her to play.
Overall, this one is a breath of fresh air in what’s otherwise been a weaker season, with quality things for almost all the major characters to do.
I like that the show always focused on the characters moving forward and not lamenting (that much) about the money they lost, but it was sad seeing Johnny feeling so bad about not being able to pay for David’s dream wedding, so that got me wondering about the business manager that stole their money! Like I would love for the roses to get it back, I feel like they’ve learned their lesson, but I guess that isn’t happening