Sam calling for a family meeting

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Many notable reveals happen in episode 7, including learning information you may feel we should have known about for years.


Aired 4/4/2022
Network FX
Directed By Pamela Adlon
Written By Pamela Adlon, R. Eric Thomas, Judy Gold
Introduced This Episode
Jay Kevin Phan

Recap

Struggling With Moody Teens – Sam, Duke, Frankie, Max

Duke standing outside Frankie's room, looking like an outsider

Sam has had enough. Duke is always on their phone and barely masking their addiction to vaping, Frankie is as rude as ever, and Max? Well, Max isn’t doing bad, but she has to take one for the team since Sam needs support in cutting everyone off from their phones. Which is a struggle for all, including Sam, since she is as dependent on her phone as her kids.

You’re Someone’s Girlfriend? – Jay, Frankie, Sam, Duke, Jerza

Apparently, since they were 13, Frankie has been Jay’s girlfriend. Mind you, a beard, not a romantic girlfriend, but to provide cover for him really dating Jerza (f/k/a Jason), Jay’s conservative Vietnamese parents believe Frankie was his girl. This saddens Sam a bit, for Jay is all kinds of awesome, and it’s sad to her that his parents are missing out on who he truly is. But, like with most, Sam reassures Jay that her home is a safe space for him to be who he is, and Jay appreciates that.

Sadly, Duke doesn’t feel the same, but Frankie deciding to cut Duke off from asking questions is what sours Duke’s mood more than it already was.

Don’t You Love Me? – Max, Sam, Rich, Duke

It has been around a month since Max’s abortion, and at this point, neither Rich nor her think Sam should be kept in the dark any longer. But, with Duke overhearing them, it seems the secret is slowly leaking out to the point that Rich has no choice – especially since Max chickens out.

So, slowly, but not outright, Rich hints that Max had an abortion, and while Sam avoids any explicit details, she does focus on Rich being that, the situation being over, and Max being okay. For, in the end, that is all she needs to hear.

Max confessing her love for Sam

Plus, with Max coming home after drinking with Paisley, very friendly and loving, Sam is just enjoying this jubilant side after dealing with a Max who was nothing but a pain in the ass for so long. But now, she is maturing, responsible, and may actually make it when Sam is no longer around. Now just to get these other two over the hill.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Why are we just now meeting Jay if they have been dating Frankie since they were 13? Even if just to keep a cover story?
    1. Also, have they been together as long as Jason and Jerza been together?
  2. How come Jerza’s parents never come over?
  3. Did those kids really not know Sam was Frankie’s mom? Does Frankie really avoid talking about their mom to that level?
  4. You think Duke is as they are because they haven’t found their tribe? Hence the moddiness?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Duke has a breakthrough which gets her out of this funk she is in
  2. Frankie comes out as aromantic

Review

Highlights

Max Loving On Sam

Max’s journey with Sam has been ridiculously long. Previously, Max was like Frankie and made it seem everything wrong with their life was because of Sam’s lack of support. The only difference being, Max decided to often fall apart and have tantrums while Frankie would escalate the situation, dramatically leave, and make Sam question what she did wrong?

But now, it seems Sam is beyond the light at the end of the tunnel, and Max gets it. Max has completed the coming of age portion where she rebelled against her mother and then finally saw her mom as a person. Now she can love her, as she is, as Sam Fox, a flawed human being who did her best, and even though it required Max to get quite drunk, it does provide hope. Not just for Sam but also for viewers who have kids or hope that Frankie and Duke may shift like their eldest sister one day.

On The Fence

Jay’s Introduction Feeling Long Overdue

Jay (Kevin Phan) talking to Sam in the bathroom
Jay (Kevin Phan)

One of the odd parts of Better Things is that so much happens in Frankie’s life that is off-camera, including what has been going on with Jerza and even Frankie themselves. But, while we’ve gotten bits and pieces, the fact Jay, who claims Frankie has been their girlfriend since 13 is just arriving?! I feel disrespected.

Bad enough, Frankie seems to be devolving and going back to being a little butt head with a chip on their shoulder, but now this person they have been faking a relationship with is introduced? Isn’t Frankie the one who was pushing for the truth out of Sam all this time? Don’t get me wrong, Frankie wanting to know the truth about Sam and their dad doesn’t compare to a closeted kid, but this further Frankie’s hypocrisy and makes you wonder if we may not get a just ending for Frankie. Just one that pushes us to realize life goes on, and we may not see Frankie truly grow out of this attitude.

[ninja_tables id=”64527″]

Sam calling for a family meeting
Better Things: Season 5/ Episode 7 “Family Meeting” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
While Better Things continues to have wonderful representation for the LGBTQIA+ community and those who defy how binary gender can be, it's hard to not feel we're not getting the story and development we deserve for some, as they become poster children for equality.
Highlights
Max Loving On Sam
Disputable
Jay's Introduction Feeling Long Overdue
80

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