Love Life: Season 1 Episode 5 “Luke Ducharme” – Recap/ Review with Spoilers

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The foundation of a character usually is in their childhood, so we head back to 2006 when Darby was 15 to learn of her first heartbreak – beyond her parents.

Director(s) Stephanie Laing
Writer(s) Sam Boyd
Aired (HBO Max) 6/4/2020
Introduced This Episode
Young Darby Courtney Grosbeck
Luke Griffin Gluck
Larry James Le Gros
Therapist Siobhan Fallon Hogan

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Therapy – Therapist, Darby

Therapist (Siobhan Fallon Hogan) speaking to Darby.
Therapist (Siobhan Fallon Hogan)

After a certain point, when patterns begin to become a bit too much to bear, you may seek out help. Now, friends are always an option, family, maybe even co-workers. However, sometimes you just need therapy. Mind you, not a psychiatrist, we’re not talking drugs, just someone to talk to outside your circle who has an objective point of view.

Which for Darby is necessary for as much as Sara is a big help, she is in a long term relationship and dealing with a whole other set of issues. So, Darby goes to therapy, which, for her, is uncomfortable and probing in ways that help you understand why Jim and Sara don’t dive deep into each other’s past.

I Got So High Before I Dropped Out Of The Sky – Darby, Luke, Claudia, Larry

So, while, in episode 1, it is noted the divorce of Larry and Claudia was the first strike to Darby’s inability to have healthy attachments to people, Luke was the second. Now, who is Luke? Well, in 2006, when Darby was 15, she applied and got into a boarding school, Cornelia, as a means to test if her parents would fight for her to stay – they didn’t.

Thus she ended up at this school, and with her mom being away during Thanksgiving and having no desire to be with her dad, she stayed behind and met Luke. He is this guy from Corpus Christi, Texas, whose father is a Republican lobbyist, and is into musical theater, “The O.C.,” John Mayer, and Darby. Well, at least during the Thanksgiving break. Afterwards he becomes distant, and no matter if Darby takes the friendly route, joins a production of “Cats” to be closer to Luke, or give him a pseudo-hand job, nothing does the trick.

But, to add insult to injury, he won’t commit to her but will have sex with her roommate, who is very whatever about it. Leading to Darby claiming she has cancer and, for quite some time, enjoying the love and attention that lie brings. At least until it becomes clear the principal won’t put up with it, and she is forced to go home. Leaving Darby a bit of a mess as her dad tries to understand, maybe take on some responsibility for what happened, and Claudia digs in the knife.

Settling Is Better Than Nothing – Darby, Magnus

Ultimately leading to Darby, who can’t take how much therapy would mean undoing all she thought, and forcing her to reflect on her current circumstances, to nevermind the practice. Hence Magnus’ proposal is accepted, and we are to assume she is now married with a man that has a mountain of debt.


The Young Actress Having Kendrick’s Mannerisms Down

Young Darby (Courtney Grosbeck) smiling at Luke.
Young Darby (Courtney Grosbeck)

Anna Kendrick is “Love Life,” so to spend an episode with someone else is a challenging proposal to accept. However, Grosbeck gets the smile down, and certain mannerisms that allow it to be an easier than expected transition. I’d even say Grosbeck has the look and vibe to head her own show. For while it is the mannerisms that get you to accept her, someone of her own creation makes you take note of this young Darby and see someone you’d like more of.

Getting To Understand Darby’s Complicated Relationship With Her Parents, And How That Plays Into Magnus Being Chosen

While our past do not define our future, it does allow us to see a roadmap to what we’ve become. So for Darby, it allows us to see beyond the narrative she has put out and get an idea of who she is. Which is someone who doesn’t know how to handle conflict or being the one who disappoints someone. This addition to her fear of rejection and difficulty with forming long-lasting relationships help you understand why the cycle repeats itself. Never mind, considering why and how Darby leaves therapy, she ends up deciding she is more comfortable in her patterns than getting better.

For if this adds anything to Darby’s story, it is that, as much as she may not like how her life is going, she isn’t ready, or willing, to drastically switch her path. If anything, she just wants the people to change without her having to do too much work to not attract or keep said people.

Getting To Understand Darby's Complicated Relationship With Her Parents, And How That Plays Into Magnus Being Chosen - 83%
The Young Actress Having Kendrick's Mannerisms Down - 85%


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