Casual: Reunion – Crisis (Review)

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Casual moves rapidly on from Alex losing Snooger and Sarah moving in. “Reunion” follows Valerie’s exciting relationship with Jack (Kyle Bornheimer). It also focusses on Laura’s connection with Spencer (Rhenzy Feliz)  and Alex’s crisis with Sarah. 

This was an interesting followup to last week’s episode.  It seems that Alex is more concerned with Sarah moving in than losing his company.  Jack is clearly a conman of sorts and Spencer is more attached to Laura than she is to him.

Valerie plays hooky for three days and during that time does not answer one of Alex’s increasingly desperate calls. There is a good bit of contrast between the two siblings. While Alex is stressing over Sarah’s presence, and calm assuredness that they are now a couple, Valerie is having the time of her life.

Clearly she has forgotten the warning from Jennifer (Katie Aselton) about Jack being a game player.  Sure he is spontaneous and fun but, according to her new friend, he was with her as well. Alex points out that Jack “lives” in hotels, meaning that he is not stable. 

As the episode continues to contrast Alex and Valerie’s relationships, Laura reveals to Spencer that she really does not connect with anyone too deeply. She also explains that her first sexual experience took place at 15.  Laura tells Spencer that a boy “jerked off” over her tits. He is horrified.

Aubrey is still upset over Laura choosing Spencer over her. Later, after Laura has an unsatisfying stint with a vibrator, she calls, via FaceTime, and arranges for Spencer to watch a film with her “over the net.”

Valerie and Jack crash a high school reunion and tell the hotel that they just got married. The two have a brilliant time. They get the honeymoon suite and make friends with two of the reunion celebrants.

Meanwhile Alex gets increasingly stressed about Sarah, who has calmly moved in and spent an entire day stretching, and he enlists Leon to help.  Valerie’s old “one night stand” is less than enthused about the whole thing and escapes as soon as possible.

Sarah’s mother and sister arrive, bags in tow, to talk her into going back to Jordan.  She is confident that Alex “has her back” when in reality he wants her gone. Alex goes to Valerie’s office and to Jennifer’s looking for her.

Finally, he texts Valerie from Laura’s phone, “I need you.” Valerie drops everything and rushes home. Waking her daughter up, Valerie realizes that it was Alex who sent the text. Marching into his bedroom, she orders him downstairs. A sleepy Sarah stirs.

Valerie rips into Alex for using Laura’s phone and for expecting her to clear up his mess.  Going on the attack she tells her brother that she has been solving his problems for years. Alex responds that this is not true and that the one person he was happy with;  Emmy (played byEliza Coupe in season one),  Valerie slept with and destroyed his relationship with her. 

Sarah, part way down the stairs asks, “Who’s Emmy?”

Valerie leaves and goes back to Jack at the hotel. They attempt unsatisfactory sex and then she leaves. Jack says he will be gone for two weeks then will be back in town. Valerie waits for more and then takes her bag and goes. Amusingly, as she exits the hotel lobby, the two “reunion” friends spy her and wave happily.  Valerie ignores them.

Alex and Sarah have a talk and she works out that he only wanted her because she was unavailable.  She and her mother and sister leave the house. Alex is left alone and, taking off his sandals, lays on the dining room table in the fetal position.

Valerie seems to have found a perfect match in Jack but he really does seem to be too much fun. Laura’s relationship, or lack thereof, with Spencer will end in tears and Alex may be exactly what Sarah said he was.  A little boy who wants what he cannot have.

Casual has gotten so much better this season and Hulu  have confirmed that the show will be back for a third go around.  The show has added layers and subtle nuances to all the characters and it makes for a much deeper dramedy.

The series airs Tuesdays on Hulu.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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