BONDiNG: Season 1, Episode 3 “The Past Is Not Always Behind” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Pete and Tiff in bed.
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We dive deeper into Tiff and Pete’s shared past and get to learn why she is so distant.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Rightor Doyle
Writer(s) Rightor Doyle
Air Date 4/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Doug Micah Stock
Chelsea Amy Bettina

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Gay For Rent Pay: Frank, Pete

It isn’t clear if Frank is curious about butt play in general, or being with another man, but with Pete confessing he works with Mistress May comes ideas. The first one being Pete, to clear his rent payment for the month, sticking fingers, with an s, up Frank’s butt. Now, whether or not Frank cleaned himself out beforehand? That isn’t gone into. All we know is his girlfriend walks in and promptly knocks Pete out.

Reminiscing Over The Past Since The Present Sucks: Chelsea, Tiff, Pete

Chelsea (Amy Bettina) crying in a bathroom.
Chelsea (Amy Bettina)

One thing Tiff wasn’t expecting, or hope wouldn’t happen, is Pete getting comfortable with what Chester does. For while she likes seeing a different side to Pete, it doesn’t mean she wants to lose the Pete who is her best friend. So with the Frank situation, she doesn’t support it at all.

Yet, that conversation is cut short by Chelsea. Someone from back home who now finds herself drinking alone since she has no friends. So upon seeing some underclassmen, she tries to bond with them, but neither Pete nor Tiff seem interested. However, in a way, with learning what we do later, it makes you wonder when Tiff arrived in NY and lived alone, if she maybe felt as isolated as Chelsea?

You Were The Only One Nice To Me: Pete, Tiff

Tiff and Pete in bed, with masks on.

With 13 years of being friends, you may wonder how did they do it? Well, the source of what kept them going is Pete was the only guy who didn’t see and treat Tiff as a piece of meat. For while he was a loser, he was kind, and though she went through a lot of football players, it seems sex with Pete may have been the few times she had sex due to her emotions and not for validation.

Unfortunately, though, the sex was bad and with bad sex comes the question if the relationship can survive? To which Tiff seemingly thought it couldn’t so she ghosted Pete after high school. A decision he was rather hurt by but, somehow, they patched things up.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Pete apparently was in a West Side Story musical in high school. No word on who he played.

Highlights

Tiff Opening Up

You have to admire how Tiff is played to be distant yet not dead in the face or her emotions. Clearly, she is kind of lost in her own head and seems to find being Mistress May, anyone but herself really, a relief. This especially becomes clear as Pete did his own psychological trick with the masks. Thus leading her to open up in ways she likely wouldn’t on the day to day.

Yet, I must admit I wonder how much of that was triggered by Chelsea popping up? Did she perhaps remind Tiff of how lonely she was before Pete returned to her life? Since Tiff may have work and school, but it appears she isn’t necessarily trying to be social at either place. At school, she arrives a bit late and leaves promptly. Then, at work, she does her job, cleans up, and goes.

Doug (Micah Stock) during his presentation.
Doug (Micah Stock)

Making the possibility of Doug entering her life interesting. Particularly since he shows signs of genuine interest versus wanting to get into her pants.

On The Fence

Pete’s Reason For Hiding Who He Was

I must admit I was a little confused by what Pete meant when he spoke about why he was in the closet as long as he was. Mostly because he subverted the expected narrative of it being for safety and more so made it was for survival in a different way. Almost like he was in the closest for it was his sanity more so than his fear of persecution. Which I get to a certain point, but it does make me wonder if you have to be a gay man to get it. Similar to you having to be a woman, Black, a mix of the two, Latinx, etc to get other deeply personal cultural references.

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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 1, Episode 5 “Double Date”Pete and Tiff go on dates, and while both are awkward at first, it seems they found someone who might be willing to work out their kinks.
Director(s) Rightor Doyle
Writer(s) Rightor Doyle
Air Date 4/24/2019
  • Breakdown The Walls: Tiff, Doug, Rolph
  • Josh Really Has Weird Date Ideas: Josh, Pete
  • Dammit! I Caught Feelings: Tiff
Season 1, Episode 6 “Penguins”Both Pete and Tiff harness who they are and blur the lines between their alter egos and who they are without the mask. How do you think it went?
Director(s) Rightor Doyle
Writer(s) Rightor Doyle
Air Date 4/24/2019
  • Coming To The Stage… Chester?: Pete
  • This Is Me: Doug, Professor Charles, Tiff
Season 1, Episode 7 "Into The Woods"The inevitable happens when it comes to Tiff and Pete’s line of work. Leaving you to wonder, will they survive?
Director(s) Rightor Doyle
Writer(s) Rightor Doyle
Air Date 4/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Trevor Stephen Reich
  • There Was A Fight?: Pete, Tiff
  • Prom Night: Pete, Tiff
  • It Was Bound To Happen: Pete, Tiff, Trevor
Season 1, Episode 4 "Let's Get Physical"Both Pete and Tiff decide to make some compromises to bring new people into their life. Also, Tiff shows she probably doesn’t need Pete as a bodyguard.
Director(s) Rightor Doyle
Writer(s) Rightor Doyle
Air Date 4/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Daphne D’Arcy Carden
Andrew Eric Berryman
  • I Just Don’t Want Him Calling Me Mother: Andrew, Daphne, Tiff, Pete
  • Why Must You Make This Date So Complicated?: Josh, Pete, Tiff
  • Not All Men: Doug, Kate, Professor Charles, Tiff
Season 1, Episode 3 “The Past Is Not Always Behind”We dive deeper into Tiff and Pete’s shared past and get to learn why she is so distant.
Director(s) Rightor Doyle
Writer(s) Rightor Doyle
Air Date 4/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Doug Micah Stock
Chelsea Amy Bettina
  • Gay For Rent Pay: Frank, Pete
  • Reminiscing Over The Past Since The Present Sucks: Chelsea, Tiff, Pete
  • You Were The Only One Nice To Me:Pete, Tiff
Season 1, Episode 2 “Pete Shy”Some of the awkwardness of episode 1 slips away as you realize Pete, while gay, is still Georgia made and Tiff has long left her conservative upbringing behind.
Director(s) Rightor Doyle
Writer(s) Rightor Doyle
Air Date 4/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Professor Charles Kevin Kane
Kate Stephanie Styles
Rolph Matthew Wilkas
Josh Theo Stockman
Fred Charles Gould
  • A Tiff Styled Pep Talk: Tiff, Pete
  • Teacher’s Pet: Tiff, Professor Charles, Kate
  • It’s A Fulfilling Life: Tiff, Rolph, Fred, Pete
Season 1, Episode 1 “Old Friends, New Names”Bonding starts off very weird, and potentially niche, but it has the potential to break out of that.
Network
Netflix
Creator(s) Rightor Doyle
Director(s) Rightor Doyle
Writer(s) Rightor Doyle
Air Date 4/24/2019
Genre(s) Comedy
Good If You Like Awkward Sexual Situations Made Into Jokes
Isn’t For You If You Are Uncomfortable With The Idea Of A Dominatrix Berating Her Client
Introduced This Episode
Tiff Zoe Levin
Pete Brendan Scannell
Frank Alex Hurt

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