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Splitting Up Together - Yes Deer and Glowing Pains - Double Review - Feel All My Feelings



Before we break down all the hi-jinks Martin and Lena are up to lately, let's address the bun in the oven. Not Maya's, although I was surprised that Sugar Beard-Country Music Face might not be entirely out of the picture. The flowers waiting for at the OB/GYN's office are either a testament to his dedication or a sign someone needs a restraining order. It's the other pregnancy that I'm most curious about. My opinion is that it will be a fascinating wrench. How it will affect everyone remains to be seen, but right now it doesn't seem like it would have that big of an impact.

"Yes Deer" and "Glowing Pains" both primarily focused on Martin's parenting. A positive result of the divorce is that he's been required to interact more with his kids. In "Yes Deer," this translated into taking Mason along on a camping trip. His goals: bonding with his son over "manly" things and helping Mason get over his broken heart. (I feel confident that Hazel "lost" her phone and had her parents buy her a new one by that point.) Mason doesn't love the outdoors. He balks at killing a deer for dinner, leaving them with just a box of Wheat Thins. However, the trip is not for naught. When his father pushes him to move past Hazel and get over his feelings, Mason respectfully points out he's just a teenager. And he doesn't want to sweep this experience under the rug.
“I want to feel all my feelings.”
He often does that by listening to music, so he shares an earbud with Martin. They both get a bit choked up by the gentle strains of Lukas Graham's 7 Years Old. It lands well, not only because it gives Mason some character development, but also because it's a more subtle examination of the generation gap between father and son.

Martin's parenting rampage in "Glowing Pains" is less successful. Mae is acting a bit odder than usual, and Mason and Milo inform Martin she has a crush on her English teacher. We witness her in class, and she certainly does have a crush. Her teacher Mr. Dodson is totally oblivious or unconcerned. Martin is decidedly the obvious after reading Mae's notebook. She titled it "Mae's Musings," and page one is a vivid recounting of her infatuation with Mr. Dodson, which she writes is reciprocated. Martin naturally storms down to confront Dodson. The best part of this is how mortified Mae is and how strongly she denounces Martin. "Haven't you ever heard of fan fiction?" Cold fury basically wafts off Olivia Keville, who gets the opportunity to shine here. Lena later reassures him that Mae will eventually forgive him for breaching her privacy, assuming the worst, and embarrassing her in front of oodles of people.

Lena faces hurdles of her own. First, there's a tense battle of wills with the contractor Vlad (played by The Americans' Costa Ronin! Did not recognize him in the previous episode). Lena greets the workers with a continental breakfast station, but her enthusiasm cools faster than a fresh-baked waffle when they guys have to take care of some business.
“Seriously, you guys don’t come with your own facilities.”
They littered around the yard. She gave them dirty looks. And then Lena overheard the men joking that she needed to get laid. Camille agreed with them, so Lena called up hunky artist Wes for a little scuffling-in-the-hay. (It was all chill with his girlfriend, as they are poly-amorous. Heaven forbid Lena had made an omelet afterwards though.) Back at the house, Lena found that Vlad and his workers had cleaned up and made progress. Plus they brought in their own facilities: Easter egg pink.
"It kind of feels like you got it for me." Lena noted.

Her second hurdle came when Maya tried to attend an obstetrician appointment without Lena. She felt smothered by all Lena's advice and knowledge and experience that Lena was literally shoving to her in a binder that would make Amy Santiago-Peralta jealous. This led to both sisters sitting stiffly across from each other, as their dad tried to play peacemaker. Maya finally dropped a truth bomb.
“You act so holier than thou. You don’t really have all the answers.” She took it a step further and pointed to Lena's divorce as proof of her ability to fail.
Maya stormed off, leaving Lena to react angrily to her words. The scenes with Diane Farr and Jenna Fischer always feel a pinch more raw than any other interactions, which makes it easy to be invested in their emotional bond.

For now, though, Maya's concerns were swept off, classified as "pregnancy hormones" by Martin who offered Lena some sound advice on how to fake remorse and empathy. The show needs to keep nurturing its most effective connections, so I hope that Maya and Lena work on things.

Arthur and Camille got a nephew to stay with them...so, yes, they're still on the show.

And, last but not least, hugging Martin and Lena are my favorite Martin and Lena.


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