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So Help Me Todd - The First Date is the Deepest - Review

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Just as the Wright’s were brought closer together by the revelation that Margaret was a victim of abuse at the hands of Todd and Allison’s father, their relationship hit another stumbling block tonight when the fate of Margaret’s named partnership at the firm was unwittingly placed in Todd’s hands, and Allison was dragged into Margaret’s case in the worst way, just as her marriage was falling apart. The writer’s have done a great job this season of consistently mixing the right amount of drama with comedic relief, and tonight was no exception. 

Losing a parent is always difficult, but for a person living with Autism, it is even more difficult. Autism affects a person’s ability to understand the concept of death and loss, and since it also affects social skills, it causes the person to have difficulty figuring out how they are supposed to behave when someone dies.Tonight’s case, focused on a neuro-divergent young man, Ryan, who lost his mother in what was supposed to be a routine surgery. Not only was Margaret an old friend of the deceased, the surgery took place at Allison’s hospital. Ryan sought Margaret out, after the hospital attempted to get him to sign a settlement almost immediately after his mother’s passing. Margaret felt close to the case because she knew the victim, but even more so because of the way the hospital was clearly trying to take advantage of Ryan’s neurodivergence. Few shows have included neurodivergent characters and this teacher certainly appreciates writer Earl Davis for not only writing about a character that lives with Autism, but for doing so in an accurate and respectable way. 

During the investigation, Margaret discovered that Allison had been living at the hospital and was a little too close with the doctor who performed Ryan’s mothers surgery, Dr. Ross Woods. Although Margaret has definitely softened in her approach to her daughter since the beginning of the season, she still has difficulty letting go of her expectations, and was quick to defend “poor Chuck,” without listening to Allison’s reasons for the split. To make matters worse, Margaret subpoenaed Allison to testify against Dr. Woods and when Allison was defiant on the stand, refusing to paint the doctor in a negative light, Margaret humiliated her by accusing her of walking out on her husband and having an affair with Dr. Woods during her testimony. In the end, Dr. Woods was proven to be innocent and everything she put Allison through was all for nought. 

Regardless of Allison’s reasons for leaving Chuck, what happens in a marriage is nobody’s business, except for the married individuals. Margaret inserting herself and taking Chuck’s side was completely inappropriate. It is clear that Allison knew how her mother would react from the beginning, since she chose to live at the hospital and not turn to her mother for a place to stay. Margaret’s actions, however, were obviously worse than Allison anticipated, and it is difficult to imagine that Allison will be quick to forgive Margaret for her behaviour. Allison is already facing a huge feat by leaving Chuck and attempting to figure out her identity apart from her mother’s expectations. Margaret’s behaviour towards Allison and the damage that she has already inflicted on her life, will certainly have an impact and could cause Allison to descend further into a downward spiral. 

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more complicated, more drama ensued when Todd was recruited by the head of the firm, Beverly Crest (Leslie Silva), to run background checks on the top runners to take over for ousted partner Alistair Song. Todd immediately saw the writing on the wall- Crest is considering outside candidates for named partnership, when Margaret has worked so hard for years for the job. Todd wanted no part of it, but he was backed into a corner when Crest threatened the reinstatement of his PR licence. The drama was further intensified when Crest revealed that one of the candidates was Gus Easton, Margaret’s love interest, with whom she was about to go on her long-awaited first date with. As one could have predicted, the date was ruined when Todd showed up to the restaurant with news about the medical malpractice case, and ended up confessing what Crest had commissioned him to do. Gus, who doesn’t have a very good way with words, revealed that Crest spoke to him about the consideration, but he didn’t feel it was pertinent to tell Margaret. This of course hurt her immensely, causing her to end things with Gus on the spot. 

Margaret has dreamed of being a named partner for so long, and she has given up so much for the firm to make it happen. The fact that Crest was even considering anyone other than her, must feel like a knife to Margaret’s chest. It is unclear what Crest’s motives are for not giving Margaret the named partnership, but there is definitely a reason and hopefully that reason will be made clear before the end of the season. The storyline is interesting, but not enough to sustain interest for much longer. 

Other random musings from the episode: 
  • Lyle and Kyle? Seriously? Who comes up with this stuff? 
  • Susan telling Todd they can no longer be friends because she needs to be away from him? How could Todd just accept that without question?? What does she need time for?? 
  •  If Allison is no longer living at the house with Chuck, does that mean that Todd has to move out of the garage? Otherwise, can you say awkward? 
  • Just when we thought we were finally going to get an explanation for Gus’s “hot and fresh” car, Todd interrupts!
Over to you, SHMT fans! What will Margaret’s actions tonight mean for Allison? Will she ever be able to forgive her mother for her behaviour? Is this really the end for Gus and Margaret? Share your thoughts below and follow me on Twitter @MiddleofCanada.

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