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So Help Me Todd - More Fang for your Chuck - Review

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The penultimate episode of the debut season encompassed everything viewers have come to love about the show, a perfect mix of comedy and drama, but with essential character development that led to big decisions being made by the primary characters. 

Tonight’s hour centred around Allison’s husband, Chuck, who found himself in hot water over a cash prize giveaway he implemented for the hockey team he works for, the Portland Widows. Chuck was accused by the FBI of fixing the cash giveaway, and Margaret and Todd were determined to help prove his innocence, but Chuck did not make it easy for them. He does not read social cues well and is incredibly naive to serious situations. During his FBI interview, he basically implicated himself, unaware that the FBI agent was luring him to admit his culpability. The investigation also led to the discovery that Chuck was being framed, and he was completely oblivious, unaware of anything that had happened to get him to this point, which frustrated Allison. 

After getting to know Chuck much better during tonight’s episode, it is no surprise that Allison wants out of her marriage. Chuck’s personality is in direct contrast with Allison’s, which makes the fact that she settled for Chuck to please her mother, even more heartbreaking. Margaret still refuses to believe that this is the end of her daughter’s marriage, and pesters Allison to at least try to make things work or consider counselling. Chuck, meanwhile, isn’t taking the separation well and since Todd is still living in his garage, considers him a confidant. To make things even more awkward for Allison, she has moved in with Margaret and is subjected to non-stop badgering about her marriage. 

The timing of Chuck’s case put Margaret in a difficult position with the head of the firm, Beverly Crest. Beverly wanted Margaret to help her with a case, but the trial was taking place at the same time as the FBI investigation and her loyalty to Chuck prevented her from fulfilling her obligations to the firm. Beverly certainly didn’t hesitate to make it known that Margaret’s decision would likely affect her ability to become named partner at the firm. It seems that no matter what Margaret tries to do to impress Beverly, it always ends up blowing up in her face. 

Margaret was also put off when she was once again pitted against her arch nemesis, Natalie Harris (Laila Robins), who was on the opposing side of Chuck’s case. Margaret tried to get Natalie to listen to reason and drop the charges against Chuck, but Natalie was still bitter over her embarrassing loss to Margaret in the last case that they tried across the aisle from each other. Thanks to Margaret and Todd’s clever investigative skills, they discovered that the person behind the fraud was Chuck’s Boss. Margaret tried to stick her win to Natalie, but Natalie was actually happy that Margaret helped her nab the real suspect, allowing their rivalry to live to face another day. This will likely not be the last we see of Natalie Harris and that is a good thing. She keeps Margaret on her toes and the two make great sparring partners in the courtroom. 

During a Portland Widows game, Todd and Allison were seated directly across the arena from Susan and Peter, who were lovingly cuddling in their seats. Allison notices the longing in Todd’s face, and he tells her about the kiss. Allison cannot resist capitalizing on the opportunity to mock her little brother, but she also provided him with some advice. She told him that she can see that he is pining hard for Susan, but she is with Peter and he needs to move on. During Todd’s discussion with Allison, we also learn that Amy (Briga Heelan) is back at Cornell and their relationship is basically over. Despite Susan’s insistence that Peter does not find Todd to be a threat, Peter is completely jealous over Todd and Susan reminiscing about the past and their natural chemistry with one another. So much so that he asks her to elope in Vegas immediately.

Before Susan can answer Peter’s Vegas proposal, Allison asks to meet with her. She wants Susan to handle her divorce. Listening to Allison’s story, led Susan to question her relationship with Peter. There are a lot of parallels between the two relationships, but the most glaring is that Susan is clearly not in love with Peter and is only with him to meet her parents' expectations. Margaret attempted to say the right things to Allison, going so far as to call her brave for leaving Chuck, but Allison is no longer in a place where she wants to listen to her mother. After spending her entire life living to fit her mother’s expectations, she is ready to discover who she is and what she really wants for her life. Margaret has never apologized to Allison, not that an apology can ever make up for Allison’s years spent in misery, and she is not ready to hear an apology from her mother. The best thing that Margaret can do to help heal this relationship, is support Allison and her decisions moving forward. 

A highlight of the episode was when Margaret and Todd went undercover at a Debtor Anonymous group, and Margaret used Todd’s persona as her cover. She got right into character, pointing out all of Todd’s numerous mistakes that led to him being broke. Not being one to handle criticism, Todd decided to hit his mom where it hurts, by mocking the mistakes that she has made since Harry left, accusing her of having a shopping addiction that forced her to neglect her son. This episode certainly brought up the cracks in the Wright’s relationships with one another. Something that will likely be a focus for season two, as the three work to heal and move forward. 

Lyle also had an interesting storyline tonight. He was put off that the firm hired a forensic accountant, when he is more than capable of doing a deep dive into financial files. He immediately put that aside, when he realized that the new accountant is a beautiful woman named Alex. Professional, polished, by the books Lyle immediately becomes a bumbling lovestruck puppy at the sight of Alex. Despite this, Alex finds Lyle charming and the two hit it off or so it seems. Alex is clearly using Lyle, as viewers witnessed her picking up his pen with a tissue and putting it in her purse. It is unclear why anyone would want to investigate Lyle, but viewers will likely find out during the season finale. Or perhaps this is a storyline that will build into next season. 

It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear Chuck ask Todd if he was going to leave him, too. Yes, Allison was a victim in this relationship but Chuck was, too. The woman he loved married him without being able to reciprocate that love and then proceeded to mislead him for years. He did not deserve to be treated that way, even if he was too naive to see the truth. 

After such a heavy episode, it will be interesting to see what the writer’s have in store for the show’s first season finale. I would love to hear your thoughts and predictions. What do you think will happen with Susan and Todd? Will Margaret and Gus finally be able to make it work this time? Will there be a cliffhanger? If yes, what? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @MiddleofCanada.

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