Casual: Death and Taxes – and Creepy F**king Eyebrows (Review)

Logo for Hulu's Casual

Casual this week follows on after Sara’s angry departure last week “And you have creepy f**king eyebrows.”  Alex fixates on her last words and attempts to contact Leon repeatedly. “Death and Taxes” is all about misplacement.

Valerie is still angry with Alex, Laura gets too close to Spencer’s death and Alex goes to confront his father. First,  however, Leon finds love.

The episode opens with a focus on Alex’ reluctant friend. He is dining with friends. Away from Alex and Valerie Leon is erudite, charming and funny.  Claire (played by the ever talented and beautiful Michaela Conlin from Bones) is clearly interesting in the Englishman. 

Cue a short prologue of sorts that follows Leon and his new ladylove.  In a truncated montage we see the relationship build and fail.  Claire’s interest in Leon wanes as she spends more and more time texting and being engrossed in her tablet.

Finally Leon checks and sees that she is having sexual fling with someone else.

The interesting thing about the whole “Leon love affair” is that he pointedly ignores Alex’ many phone calls. Once the romance is dead, Leon turns up to learn that since the break up with Sara, Alex is fixated on that eyebrow crack.

Leon tells his friend he needs “professional help.”

Laura continues to treat Spencer’s impending death lightly. She talks him into picking out a coffin. The two ultimately wind up at the coffin manufacturing company. They “try” one out and when Spencer begins joking about her managing his social media to provide posts from beyond the grave. Laura gets upset.

The truth of Spencer’s death has become all too real.

Alex tries to see Jennifer again and freaks out her patient. She sends him to see a tea-slurping colleague that drives Alex to distraction. He comes back to Jennifer who talks to him but not as a patient.

Drew and Valerie finalize their divorce paperwork. The two talk as they wait and Drew reveals that his new relationship is not going that well.  The new couple are trying to have a baby and Drew admits that he feels like a “factory worker.” Valerie laughs…a lot.

After Alex’ abortive visit with Jennifer’s colleague, he returns and she tells him that both he and Valerie are angry for the wrong reasons. Their irritation is misplaced and he should investigate what is really bothering him. Alex goes to his dad’s house.

He leaves without approaching his father. Before his car is out of sight an ambulance arrives with his dad on a stretcher.

Rather interestingly, Valerie gets on well with her soon to be ex. The two talk sexual encounters and how familiarity kills off a good sex life.  After a long involved session of talking things over, the two kiss.

This week’s episode allowed Laura to realize the reality of her friend dying.  It also showed Valerie getting over her hurt and anger with Drew.  Alex finally gets over the “creepy f**king eyebrows” remark and Leon has a lovely, but very short, relationship away from Alex and his family.

It made a nice change to see Leon as more than a prop for Alex.  His brief romance provided some insight into his character. The very short  love story also shows how Conlin can say more with an expression than most actors can with an excess of dialogue.

Casual airs Tuesdays on Hulu.  This show gets better and better. Stop by and check this one out.

Cast: