Better Things: Season 4 Episode 3 “Escape Drill” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Growth and next chapters are the focus of “Escape Drill” as Sam’s advice provides solutions, Jeff has a confession, and we get a surprise from Frankie and Duke.

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Lenny, Lala, and Sam in a divorce attorney's office.

Growth and next chapters are the focus of “Escape Drill” as Sam’s advice provides solutions, Jeff has a confession, and we get a surprise from Frankie and Duke.

Directed By Pamela Adlon
Written By Pamela Adlon, Ira Parker
Aired (FX) 3/12/2020
Introduced This Episode
Dee Telma Hopkins

Plot/ Recap

Making Amends: Jeff, Sunny, Sam

Jeff, Sunny’s ex-husband, and Sam’s second-best guy friend, behind Rich, decides it is time to atone and reveal all the things he did while under the influence. For Sam, the list is fairly quick as he notes a few things he did to her or her house. However, with Sunny? There are 19 years worth of incidents, which include fingering her sister, so that takes a while. But, in him holding himself accountable, it seems Sunny might truly forgive Jeff. Heck, they even have the kind of tension which pushes the idea they may have sex.

Getting Old Isn’t For The Weak: Sam, Lala, Lenny, Dee

With Lala gung-ho on getting a divorce, and Sam just wanting Lenny to know her options, she introduces them to Xavier’s lawyer, Dee. And after that meeting, Lenny continues to push back on the possibility she may get divorced. More so due to her not wanting to be 50 and trying to date in Los Angeles vs. truly believing, anytime soon, Richard and her can reconcile.

Dee (Telma Hopkins) being introduced.
Dee (Telma Hopkins)

The Girls Are Changing: Frankie, Duke, Max, Sam

From Frankie having a boy in their bed that isn’t Jason, to Max noting she doesn’t want to be like her mom and worry about money, we see a different side to Sam’s kids. However, the biggest surprise might be Duke. For while she is at that age where insecurities about her body are to arise, hearing her talk about hating her nose, thinking she is fat, and the insecurities partly stemming from how perfect she thinks her sisters are is a bit of a shock. But, it does act as a reminder that when it comes to Duke, the majority of the time we’ve seen her is around her family. Thus, we don’t get to know her outside the façade she wants them to see.


  1. How dare Max talk about not wanting to be like her mom, and worry about money, when she is the main one who tries to spend up Sam’s money!

Review/ Commentary

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Another Side To Duke

Duke is, unlike her sisters, someone who is clearly operating on two different personas. With Frankie and Max, who they are around their friends mirrors who they are around family. Duke, on the other hand, she is sweet, accommodating, vulnerable, and all Sam could hope for when around family. She has that nurturing side, without the sarcasm, that Sam is known for.

Duke made up.

Yet, as we’ve seen sporadically throughout the show, Duke has a mouth on her, and with her now being a teenager, it seems she also has insecurities we’ve never heard mentioned as well. Leading you to wonder, will we get to see the less sweet side of Duke this season or, like in the past, will we get just a moment, and then she switches back to the sweetheart we all know and love?

Frankie Has A Love Interest?!

Like Sam, we were shocked to see a boy in Frankie’s bed, much less one which wasn’t Jason. Yet, the bigger shock is probably Frankie having a love interest at all. Which isn’t to downplay the connection we saw in “Get Lit,” episode 11 of season 3, but Frankie has never been flirtatious with anyone. Even Jason, who is her sole consistent friend, he’s treated like their brother more than anything else.

So, possibly, like we are seeing a new side to Duke, *fingers crossed* we’re going to see a new side to Frankie.

Sam May Have A Gig

Jessica Barden and Sam sharing scenes? Oh, that could be fun. Especially since Sam, when at work, is allowed to be her own person. What I mean by that is, with friends and family, she often acts as someone’s crutch and is put in a “less than” position. One that allows the other actor to shine and, every now and then, Sam gets a jab or two in. However, at work, Sam doesn’t make herself as small and comes off as an equal. Which, with the right partner, reminds you that Adlon is as much a team player as a star.

Jeff’s Apology

I feel like with Sam, most don’t apologize or admit they were wrong until she blows up on them for she has had enough. However, Jeff, in my mind, aside from trying to atone overall, recognizes Sam is a genuine person. Also, unlike many in her life, he appreciates her. Hence not only his apology but coming over hours earlier than he was supposed to in order to set up a cage for that chinchilla. After all, Sam is the type to drop things and help so I like to think Jeff is following her example.

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Another Side To Duke - 85%
Frankie Has A Love Interest?! - 84%
Sam May Have A Gig - 86%
Jeff Apologizing - 87%


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