Better Things: Season 4 Episode 2 “She’s Fifty” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

As ageism and other issues hit Sam and her friends, we’re reminded how her kids can be so sweet but also a major pain in her ass.

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Sam noting she is having a midlife crisis.

As ageism and other issues hit Sam and her friends, we’re reminded how her kids can be so sweet but also a major pain in her ass.

Directed By Pamela Adlon
Written By Pamela Adlon, Ira Parker
Aired (FX) 3/5/2020

 Plot/ Recap

Getting Old Ain’t For The Weak: Sam, Lenny

With Sam hitting 50 and Lenny at 49, the two ladies know getting older can suck. For Lenny, on top of getting older, she still has young kids, she and her husband are on the outs, and with macular degeneration, life is kicking her ass. As for Sam? Well, the issue is getting steady and, dare we say, fulfilling work. For when a project she used to work on gets revived, while allowed to audition, she ultimately is replaced by the voice work of a dead guy. Which isn’t something you want to hear when you got three kids, a leaky roof, and a mother whose actions are increasingly erratic.

Some Things Never Change: Max, Sam, Duke

But perhaps Sam’s main issue is that, in shielding her kids from her troubles, or knowing they can’t do much to help them, they aren’t aware of what is going down. If not, based on the last episode, perhaps thinking what could solve Sam’s issues would be a man.

However, this go around they are more worried about themselves than Sam. Hence Max purchasing a chinchilla, with Sam’s credit card, despite Max having her own job. Thus truly showing, while great progress might be made, there is so far to go.

Review/ Commentary

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A Reminder Of Sam’s Struggles

All things considered, Sam having money issues, lacking respect from her kids, Phil acting up, and all we’ve seen in this episode aren’t new. Yet, it hasn’t really gotten old. Adlon, and her writing partners, have long concocted ways to show different facets of the same issue.

Take Sam’s money issues. We have her ex-husband asking for money, her kids using her credit card as if her residual checks are kicking ass and taking names, a mother who she may or may not be financially supporting, and then when it comes to work? We’ve seen Sam’s jobs. If she is lucky, she’ll get a consistent voice over role and, if not, some crappy film that pushes her to act like she is a union rep.

And then with the girls, it is an up and down thing. Max can get a job but doesn’t support the household by much. Duke might be the sole one offering any real sense of support, yet she has the same bad spending habits as Max. Then with Frankie, while their independence is invaluable, they will join in with their sisters and find ways to make Sam’s life harder.

Yet, what seemingly may happen this season, more than others, is Sam worrying more about herself and realizing she has raised her kids to be, to a varying degree, capable of independence. Max can hold a job and, if needed, can move out. Frankie has clearly shown they can survive without Sam and Duke? Well, she has broke the cycle in terms of being nicer than Frankie, not as bratty as Max, and could be the best of the three. So better now than later getting her adjusted to having to fend and take care of herself.


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A Reminder Of Sam’s Struggles - 85%


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