TV Series

Better Things: Season 3, Episode 8 “Easter” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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.

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Director(s)Pamela Adlon
Writer(s)Sarah Gubbins, Robin Ruzan
Air Date4/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
EstherMargaret Avery
OlivierShak Ghacha
WalterHarrison Page

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Max’s Photoshoot: Sam, Olivier, Max

Max smiling as she preps for her photoshoot.

With Max dropping out of college, Sam isn’t happy, but at the very least Max has plans. She got an apartment and now is trying to do some photo shoots with her friend and boyfriend. One which is planned out and yeah, entirely sponsored by Sam’s money, but from the equipment to the lighting, and choosing the location, it seems Max knows what she is doing. So that’s a small win, right?

Well, outside of Olivier sending flowers after it was done. Which would have seemed sweet if Sam didn’t take that thank you as him also thanking Sam for a room to have sex in.

Phil Is Shameless: Walter, Esther, Phil, Duke, Marion

Despite being Jewish, Phil loves Easter. Mostly due to the candy and with Duke by her side, she tries to get every last egg at Walter’s family event. One in which she pushes kids into the pool, doesn’t make friends with a single adult there, and even when Duke gets hurt, she doesn’t stop at all.

Then again, this is Phil. She is the kind of woman who tells Duke that Sam didn’t love her father and didn’t want to marry her. Much less that, when Sam got pregnant with Max, she brought up the idea of aborting her. You know, stuff you tell an impressionable and sensitive child.

Luckily, for Duke anyway, Marion shows up and puts an end to that. However, then he gets put in her crosshairs, and this leads to a huge scene being made. One in which Marion comes to the point of demanding an apology, which isn’t given what so ever. Instead, maybe to be bold, possibly due to curiosity, or it could be to atone, Phil goes to visit Walter’s wife, Esther. A woman dressed up for the occasion yet seemingly was never brought down to be with her family. Likely being part of the reason Phil was side-eyed, alongside Walter, during the day.

However, Phil spends time with Esther, talks to her about her seeing ghost and what not, and they watch Judy Garland sing together. In fact, the nearly catatonic Esther rises to sing because of Judy.

The Truth About Your Mother & Father: Marion, Duke

With Marion and Sam screwed up by Phil’s tasteless comments, Marion does some damage control with Duke. First and foremost by noting that Sam’s hesitation with marrying and issues with loving Xavier was/is because he is an ass. He then follows that up with a reminder that Xavier’s ways, personality, him being a loser, is not inherited. Duke is different, and on top of that, she is deeply loved. By Sam especially but also him.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. I know Duke doesn’t communicate about her identity and orientation but, even with that said, I wonder if Sam has any reservations about her guy friends?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Marion is 53.


Marion & Duke’s Conversation

Marion reassuring Duke after Phil said some hurtful things.

Marion has mostly been presented as someone who, to retaliate a bit for how Phil has treated him, as someone who always would push for Phil to be in a home. I’d even say that has been the sum of his character so far. Which is understandable, since how she came at him was TRASH, yet it also pushes you to understand why Sam feels the need to protect her.

But, when he had his conversation with Duke, it helped you realize that he is human. That he isn’t all numbers and revenge against his mom but, like Sam, he has a soft side. One we may not see often, but with how he talked to Duke, reassured her, rather than flipped out about his mom, we saw a nurturing side to him. Something I don’t think we’ve seen outside of Max’s high school graduation when it comes to him. After all, there was a time he rarely came around.

Phil Is Trash

I love to hate Phil sometimes. What she said to Duke, Marion, and her actions during the Easter Egg hunt, infuriating. Yet, like with Marion, we got to see this rare softness. For a part of me wants to believe she was looking for Esther since it was strange she didn’t see or was introduced. So to find this woman in a glorified closet, it was likely a bit of a shock. One which led to her sitting down and spending time with her since she knows what it is like, since she has to daily, to want company yet no one seems to be asking for it. Thus giving us a level of empathy we see in spurts, like when she saved Sam from Frankie’s question about her dad, but usually not for such an extended period.

Even if she kept things about herself during the whole interaction.

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