With Sam complaining about not being seen, you may think it is due to lack of intimacy but could it be just wishing she could talk to her dad?
|Writer(s)||Pamela Adlon, Ira Parker|
|Introduced This Episode|
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A Ladies Night Ruined By Men: Lala, Lenny, Pascal, Tressa, Sam
Sam seems lonely to the point of it being clear she isn’t looking for intimacy in the form of sex but just a connection with another adult – period. Making these rare ladies night everything to her but between Ida messing around with the boys and the drugs, it made Lala’s birthday party not what Sam needed to recharge. Then, when Lala hosts a New Years event, her husband showing up kills the vibe Lala, Lenny, Pascal, Tressa, and Sam had going.
Which, when Sam points that out, she gets treated like the bad guy over. Lala even makes it seem Sam is jealous that she has someone and Sam doesn’t have anyone to go home to but her kids. Which sort of shuts Sam down and leads to Lenny and Tressa to try to mend things since they see that was a hard blow for her.
I See Grandpa: David, Sam, Duke, Frankie, Murray
The harder things are for Sam, the more Murray seems hell-bent (probably not the best choice of words) to try and help. Unfortunately, more often than not, he appears in front of Duke and with her scared of him, and Frankie co-signing there is something in the house, Sam gets desperate. How desperate? Well, she talks to David about pretending to be a medium, and this offends him.
Why? Well, because he wants to be taken seriously and not like someone Sam sees because she either doesn’t have much prospects or he is accessible. Which Sam tries to reassure him about by making out but, arguably, that’s to keep him in her life and happy more than her committing to a damn thing.
Daddy Isn’t Here: Sam, Murray, Duke
There might be a need to question how much do the girls know about Sam’s childhood and her father? Do they know about their relationship? Duke seemingly couldn’t remember he died of a heart attack so is how he died mentioned ever? Is him being a ghost not because of Sam having a bit of a mental break but because he is an actual ghost of the past people ignore who wants to be seen, acknowledged, and his impact noted?
Could that explain why Duke decided to eat his ashes in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Not because she is just a weird child, but she sees how much he means to her mom, so she wants more of him in her? Especially to counteract her dad’s influence? Excuse the questions but with us finally getting some headway with Murray’s ghost, I’m a little excited.
How Deep Sam’s Loneliness Is
In nearly every other episode, Sam speaks about not feeling seen and points to menopause being part of, if not the problem – alongside aging. However, I think with us seeing Lala pack it up so quick, it isn’t just about aging and men not taking note. Sam wants real conversations. She wants to be engaged in intimate moments and discussions which makes her feel like something beyond a mother, beyond whatever David feels, and makes her feel part of something again. Which, unfortunately for her, it is like as soon as she feels a connection something interrupts it and she has to wait for days, weeks, if not months, for that feeling again. And it is driving her insane.
Duke and Sam Having A Moment
Duke is one of the characters who easily make touching moments on the show. Be it her making sure Sam has what she needs for her cleanse, her scene with Marion in the car, or learning about Murray on Sam’s bed. It’s those kind of moments which help you see Sam’s soft side and remind you that as gruff as she can be, it isn’t because she wants to. There is just a lot on her plate and often times no one steps up, but her, to address the BS. So Duke often allowing her to have peace helps you understand why she clearly is the favorite.
Murray’s Presence Is Starting To Make Sense
With Sam approaching the age her father died, it makes sense that a lot of things dealing with mortality, feeling forgotten, are starting to bug her. Maybe even lead to her dad feeling conjured up. For if it isn’t the idea of death staring her in the face, it’s the question of how will she be mourned? If not, when it comes to her kids, has she fully prepped them for a life without her?
Breaking all that down, I think the biggest thing here is that Sam probably didn’t get to really mourn her father the way she wanted to. With a showbiz career, and mom like Phil, who knows if she really got to sit, cry for days and weeks, over the man who was not only her father but probably one of her best friends. Taking note of Duke and Sam’s relationship, the way Sam presents things, likely her relationship to Murray was the same way. So him popping up likely is because the anniversary of his death is coming up paired with Sam reaching the point he left her and Marion.
Which, as shown by how terrible Marion and Phil’s relationship is, likely was a turning point in her childhood. And while Sam does have a community of friends, they have kids, don’t want kids, and that probably leads to some fear for what may happen to her children. And it seems Murray’s appearance is of a similar ilk to when Mary Poppins or other magical figures appear. With Sam at the end of her rope, unsure what to do, he is showing up since he likely was the last person she knew she could turn to. Thus why he brings up the gay thing and how that should have made her laugh. That’s what he once was to Sam – the person who knew how to make things better, if just for a moment.
I Really Do Need Them To Put Some Respeck On Frankie’s Name
As spoken with luna margo valentine when we chat on Twitter, Frankie is getting a very raw deal from Sam. She doesn’t get these Duke and Sam moments, nor the pursuit of understanding Max gets so she can flourish. Frankie is mostly just given eye rolls and treated on the same level as Murray. Like she is a ghost that Sam is hoping will go away if she doesn’t engage her too much. But, luckily, it seems the next episode may force the two to spend some time together. Now, whether it ends in drama, we’ll find out.
|Season/ Episode||Synopsis||Episode Information||Topics & Focused Characters|
|Season 3, Episode 8 “Easter”||It’s Easter and while Max does a photo shoot, and Sam cooks up a storm, Phil causes a bigger scene than usual with Duke and Marion.|
|Season 3, Episode 9 “The Unknown”||It’s a slice of life episode which largely seems to be self-contained until we realized how integral Mer was for everything that happens.|
|Season 3, Episode 10 “Show Me the Magic”||With Sam complaining about not being seen, you may think it is due to lack of intimacy but could it be just wishing she could talk to her dad?|
|Season 3, Episode 7 “Toilet”|
It’s Mother’s Day and the eve of Sam’s colonoscopy, and it seems she needs to let some s*** go.
|Season 3, Episode 6 “What is Jeopardy”|
As Sam revisits her past, far more than she’d like to, Phil finds herself part of one life-changing event and admitting that, for her personal life, things aren’t the same.
|Season 3, Episode 3 “Nesting”||What begins as a nice family dinner becomes what all do – a bit of bickering, regret, and then a thankful calm.|
|Season 3, Episode 4 “Monsters in the Moonlight”||At this point in her life, Sam wishes things would get easier and it wasn’t always on her. Yet, who does she know willing to step up?|
|Season 3, Episode 5 “No Limit”||After a trying few days, Sam has a bit of a breakdown that drinking with friends won’t fix.|
|Season 3, Episode 2 “Holding”||Between dealing with ass****s on set, and then at Duke’s school, Sam tries to pick her battles and one leads to someone getting smacked.|
|Season 1/ Episode 1 "Sam/Pilot"||In a way, the show is like a female version of Louie with the exception that Pamela Adlon is less socially awkward and she has three daughters instead of two.|
|Season 2/ Episode 1 “September”||Better Things returns and Sam’s house is in a bit of disarray. Though, as I’m sure Sam would say, “What else is new?”|| |
|Season 2/ Episode 2 “Rising”||In this episode of Better Things, it seems the idea is: Sam is only a mean person if you give her reason to be a mean person.|| |
|Season 2/ Episode 3 “Robin”||Could Sam have really found love? May the title of this show, Better Things, no longer be wishful thinking but actually here?|| |
|Season 2/ Episode 4 “Sick”||As Sam is trying to talk herself into breaking up with Robin, Xander shows up and reminds her why she fears love.|| |
|Season 2/ Episode 5 “Phil”||While Phil has always been mean-spirited and quirky, something is seriously wrong now. To the point, Sam isn’t sure if she can handle her anymore.|| |
|Season 2/ Episode 6 “Eulogy”||In a change of pace episode, we’re shown what it is like to be in acting alongside a reminder of how much Sam means to her kids. Sam and Frankie anyway.|
|Season 2/ Episode 7 “Blackout”||After a blackout, Jeff and Sam head on down to the store to buy a generator. Which leads to her running into Robin.|
|Season 2/ Episode 8 “Arnold Hall”||Pray for Sam everybody. For between Xander’s dad Arnold and Frankie, she may actually lose her mind – if she didn’t already lose it.|
|Season 2/ Episode 9 “White Rock”||During a trip to Canada with her kids, a family secret is learned about from Sam’s uncle Lester.|
|Season 2/ Episode 10 “Graduation”||It’s Max’s graduation and perhaps the parting lesson Sam gives her is about consistency and a reminder of what love is.|
|Season 3, Episode 1 “Chicago”||It has been more than a year since we were gifted with a new episode of Better Things, and this feels like an appetizer for what’s to come.|