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Splitting Up Together - Sign Language - Advanced Review

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Splitting Up Together airs on Tuesdays at 8:30 CST on ABC after Black-ish.

Directed by Dean Holland
Written by Emily Kapnek

Last year’s comedies were better than normal and Splitting Up Together was one of the most enjoyable. It’s also one of only a handful that made it to season 2. Lucky that it did because the season 2 premiere is a microcosm of all that the show did right in season 1. This episode is written by the series creator, Emily Kapnek, and she knows how to sell the story concept. The episode is funny and heartwarming with characters that are both lovable and frustrating for their quirks. It’s easy to see why Lena and Martin divorced but it’s also easy to root for them to make it.

Starting where season 1 left off, Martin and Lena are dealing with the aftermath of sleeping together. With it comes conflicting feelings but a whole lot of hope too. The audience can clearly see where things are still failing, but Lena and, especially, Martin are riding a high. For Lena, it is about creating memories they never got to make, while Martin sees a side of Lena that he always wanted her to be. The question comes in if either are sustainable in the long run. Caught making out by loved ones, they are cautioned to hold back. Their relationship has finally gotten to a great place and others are concerned that sex again will complicate things. Lena and Martin are willing to risk it. After all, it is the second chance they never thought they’d get.

What I loved most about this episode is how well-rounded the main cast is. No one is all right while the other is all wrong. Instead, they use the most heartwarming scene to explain why Lena is upset and it makes sense, even if the audience was mostly looking at those things from Martin’s viewpoint up until then. The actors really sell the scene as well. Jenna Fischer makes Lena vulnerable while Oliver Hudson visibly shows how Lena’s words change Martin’s understanding of the situation. He gets it and as such, the audience gets it too. Martin doesn’t come out quite so well in this episode though. His foibles are never really addressed and I hope that becomes a focus later on. There is much growth still to be done, but he makes up for a lot when he takes on Lena’s problem himself. I’s a good thing he does because the ending scene is rough and it leaves everything up in the air for season 2.

Grade: A-

Episode Awards:
Best Reason to Watch - the balance between heart and laughs
Best Scene - Lena tells Martin what she needs and he finally gets it
Best Moment - Lena and Martin singing Taylor Swift
Best Impressions - Lena
Worst Compliment - Old Lena vs. New Lena / squinty, weird eyes
Biggest Ouch - the last scene
Most Optimistic - Martin
Most in Need of Boundaries - Camille
Most Interesting Character - Maya
Most Overplayed - signs
Most Cheesy - “Every road leads me right back to you.”
Least Helpful - Martin
Least Necessary - the scene with the kids is completely tacked on

“Are you trying to hook up with me, because I was unconscious like 3 seconds ago?”
“I’m not missing it. I’m fixing it.”
“I’m only mentioning it now because I’m working on my honesty. Speaking of which, one of you is not pulling off that neck scarf.”
“It’s like divorce is exactly what our marriage needed.”
“Just go with the flow.” “Well, I tend to violently struggle against the flow.”
“Ruin what? Our divorce?”
“Zinc is not a dessert.”

Screencaps from ABC and SpoilerTV.

Splitting Up Together airs on Tuesdays at 8:30 CST on ABC after Black-ish.

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