SMILF: Season 2, Episode 7 “Smile More If Lying Fails” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

SMILF Season 2, Episode 7 “Smile More If Lying Fails” - Title Card
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In a pseudo-Eliza focused episode, we’re reminded how well to do her family is as Bridgette is reminded how much of an outsider she is.


Episode Information: Episode 7 “Smile More If Lying Fails”

Network
Showtime
Director(s) Kerry Washington
Writer(s) Frankie Shaw, Thembi L. Banks, Rochée Jeffrey
Air Date 3/10/2019

Recap

Left Out: Rafi, Nelson, Bridgette

Rafi and Nelson reveal to Bridgette that they are getting married and while this is kind of a pinch to her ego, the blow comes in realizing Larry is invited, but she isn’t. Which for her is a problem since she supposedly was Nelson’s friend and with Rafi and her relationship seeming better, it makes it look like any closeness they had was all in their head. This insecurity especially becomes validated when she realizes Rafi changed her name from Baby Momma in his phone to her government name. Making her feel their connection has been sterilized.

The Outsider: Eliza, Bridgette

Bridgette saying something ridiculously ignorant.
Bridgette: […] I think in a past life, I was a slave.

Being that Bridgette isn’t the whitest of white girls, but her skin isn’t Black, it makes her often feel like an outsider. This isn’t helped by Eliza only calling on Bridgette for weed, and not inviting her to a party at her dad’s house. Though, in her defense, Bridgette is a bit green behind the ears when it deals with people of color. For example, someone offers to braid Larry’s hair, and he gets a bit scared and agitated during the process, so she gets hers done too. During that, she notes she thinks she was a slave in the past life. So, yeah.

However, she doesn’t go that far around Eliza’s family. She really pushes being seen as a play cousin and seems innocently ignorant about how cultured Eliza’s people are. But, in the end, Larry got to play with kids who look like him, she got to learn about Black sororities and Eliza’s people and got to escape her Rafi drama.

You Got A Friend In Me: Eliza, Bridgette

With her relationship with her mom always in flux, a wake-up call from Rafi and Nelson, and Eliza presenting this whole other life Bridgette is not privy to, it makes her feel lonelier than ever. However, Eliza clears a few things up. For one, weed didn’t help calm her down from her panic attacks as much as Bridgette’s company did. Two, while not Black, she and Bridgette are close and have a sisterhood of sorts. Not something that can easily, or should be, compared to Eliza’s skin folk, her sorority, or even her family (play or otherwise).

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Eliza not liking Bridgette adding onto her anxiety.
Eliza: I really hate it when people expect shit from me.

Review

Highlights

Eliza & The Black Side of the Boston Area

Boston, according to World Population Review is hovering around 50% white and nearly a quarter Black. So, to say it is a bit strange how little Bridgette has come across Black people not related to Eliza wouldn’t be weird. Especially since, as shown, Bridgette seems to feel more comfortable in urban spaces, around Black and Latinx people than the Ally types. But, what makes her peering into how the other half lives, Eliza’s people especially, so important is that they are complete opposites of Rafi and his people.

From the beginning, while Eliza has appeared to be a bit of a mess, it was noted she was from a brilliant family. One with doctors, well to do people who finance their children’s education and sometimes their lives. The type of stuff you really only get in soap opera styled shows and not so much dramedies like this. And I think, even though Bridgette watches TV, the whole experience was foreign to her. Though, in general, I think Bridgette is in such a tight bubble that when it comes to people of color, she doesn’t know how to act period.

But, Bridgette’s reaction aside, it was also good to see the anxiety which comes from such expectations as well. For taking note of how well everyone was doing in Eliza’s life, surely she felt the opposite growing up than what Bridgette got. I mean, her dad expected her to become an astronaut. That, by no means, is an easy task and is highly competitive. So to see the weight of that and her father’s sense of perfection begin to really weigh on her gave additional layers to Eliza.

Bridgette As The Outsider

Bridgette noting how she felt unwanted in a way since Eliza didn't invite her to her dad's BBQ.

Bridgette is somewhere in her late 20s or 30s right? Yet, despite growing up or around people of color, she thought it would be okay to say she believed she was a slave in the past life. That statement, ignorant as hell, also shows how much Bridgette wants to feel connected to something or some kind of community. One that is either close like Rafi’s family or has the upward mobility like Eliza’s. For the family and sort of community that Tutu offers? It’s kind of toxic and isn’t providing the support Bridgette needs, beyond a babysitter on occasion.

So, of course, she wants to see down, get an honorary membership and is invited to parties and family things. As noted with the play cousin thing, she wants to choose and make her own family, and after all she has been through, each time she thinks she has found one something happens. Leading to, at this point, her probably not thinking it is because of the other person but her. Which is a devastating realization.

On The Fence

The Hank Situation

Something about the Hank situation made me think of Aziz Ansari and his debacle. The weirdness of going over someone’s house, the conversation going left, and next thing you know things are getting sexual. But, also taking note of Bridgette’s history, her writing it off as a bad date says volumes as well. Almost like what happened should be expected and written off. That she was partly responsible for going over there, letting things go too far, and not saying she wasn’t into it.

And all of this could have been far more interesting if Hank didn’t seem like a character who was on for a gimmick. Since clearly Bridgette wasn’t over her hang-ups and only saw him because Eliza’s extended family got into her head about being alone. Perhaps pushing the idea that you should settle and that leading to a whole other conversation about relationships for those who are, I want to say disabled even though the word doesn’t feel proper for Hank. But with Smilf cancelled, due to Frankie Shaw’s inexperience, it seems the show won’t get to build off what is noted in this topic further.

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SMILF Season 1 Episode 8 Mark's Lunch & Two Cups of Coffee. [Season Finale] - Title Card


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Season 1 Recap/ Review 

Season/ EpisodeSynopsisDirector, Writer, and Introduced ActorsTopics & Focused Characters
Season 2, Episode 9 “Single Mom Is Losing Faith”We’re gifted a western theme to help remix things as Bridge and Nelson reconcile, and Mr. Daddy gets his.
Director(s) Zach Strauss
Writer(s) Frankie Shaw, Zach Strauss
Air Date 3/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Mr. Daddy Clark Gregg
  • Sloppy Seconds: Rafi, Nelson, Bridgette, Tutu, Larry
  • Mr. Daddy: Nelson, Bridgette, Larry, Rafi, Tutu, Ally, Mr. Daddy
Season 2, Episode 7 “Smile More If Lying Fails”In a pseudo-Eliza focused episode, we’re reminded how well to do her family is as Bridgette is reminded how much of an outsider she is.
Director(s) Kerry Washington
Writer(s) Frankie Shaw, Thembi L. Banks, Rochée Jeffrey
Air Date 3/10/2019
  • Left Out: Rafi, Nelson, Bridgette
  • The Outsider: Eliza, Bridgette
  • You Got A Friend In Me: Eliza, Bridgette
Season 2, Episode 8 “Sex Makes It Less Formal”On top of possibly seeing the scene which led to SMILF being cancelled, we get a few moments that might make you cry.
Director(s) Cate Shortland
Writer(s) Emily Goldwyn
Air Date 3/17/2019
Introduced This Episode
Winnie Claudia O’Doherty
Enid Melanie Griffith
  • We’re The Morons: Jackie, Tutu
  • I’m Suffocating: Winnie, Enid, Nelson
  • The Right Decision: Bridgette, Rafi
Season 2, Episode 10 “Single Mom Is Looking (For) Family”In the series finale, Tutu reveals something major as Rafi struggles with Larry’s birthday and what should have been good news.
Director(s) Cate Shortland
Writer(s) Zach Strauss, Halley Feiffer
Air Date 3/31/2019
  • We’re Fated: Bridgette, Rafi
  • Same Ol’ Mistakes: Bridgette, Rafi, Nelson
  • Milo & The Girl Left Behind: Tutu, Bridgette
Season 2, Episode 6 “Should Mothers Incur Loss Financially?”Accountability is forced upon Bridgette, Tutu, even Rafi and each take the call and pursue different decisions. Some a bit drastic.
Director(s) Cate Shortland
Writer(s) Frankie Shaw, Jessica Moore
Air Date 3/3/2019
  • Losing The House: Tutu, Jackie, Joe Jr.
  • Losing Dignity: Tutu, Jackie, Bridgette, Larry
  • Losing Nelson: Bridgette, Nelson, Rafi
Season 2, Episode 5 “Single Mom In Love Forever”The days before and day of Larry’s birth are relived – as well as the reason Colleen goes by Tutu and the beginning of the end for Rafi and Bridgette.
Director(s) Cate Shortland
Writer(s) Frankie Shaw
Air Date 2/24/2019
Introduced This Episode
Fiona Ally Sheedy
  • 2014: Rafi, Bridgette, Tutu, Eliza
  • A Classy Mom: Bridgette, Rafi, Tutu
  • The Healing Process Begins: Tutu, Bridgette, Rafi, Fiona
Season 2, Episode 4 “So Maybe I Look Feminine”It’s Bridgette’s first weekend without Larry, and she gets an offer to hang out with Nelson – what could go wrong?
Director(s) Frankie Shaw
Writer(s) Heather V. Regnier
Air Date 2/17/2019
Introduced This Episode
Himself Kevin Bacon
  • A Day To Myself?: Larry, Bridgette, Rafi, Nelson
  • How The Other Side Lives: Nelson, Bridgette, Kevin Bacon
  • An Idle Mind Is The Devil’s Playground: Bridgette, Larry, Rafi
Season 2, Episode 3 “Surrogate Mothers Inspire Loving Families”Non-white women who live in Boston, two who work for Ally specifically, and one of the two’s sisters are the focus of Smilf’s latest episode.
Director(s) Frankie Shaw
Writer(s) Emily Goldwyn, Jess Lamour
Air Date 2/10/19
Introduced This Episode
Elsie Numa Perrier
Mindy Nhadya Salomon
Ida Sisa Grey
Chloe Mia Kaplan
  • You Know I Am Your Mother: Ally, Ida, Chloe
  • A Birthday Gift For Us Both: Ally, Mindy
  • At Beck and Call: Ally, Mindy, Elsie
Season 2, Episode 2 “Sorry Mary, I’m Losing Faith”It’s one baby step forward, and two hops back as Bridgette continues to try to get her life together.
Director(s) Frankie Shaw
Writer(s) Frankie Shaw, Rachel Leavitt
Air Date 1/27/2019
Introduced This Episode
Joe Junior Lucien Spelman
Jackie Sherie Rene Scott
Hank Dan Aid
  • Mourning Together: Tutu, Jackie, Joe Junior
  • Derailment: Hank, Bridgette, Ally
  • Something Has To Give: Rafi, Bridgette

Season 1/ Episode 1 “A Box of Dunkies and Two Squirts of Maple Syrup”

Smilf, similar to Shameless, seems like the type of show which will gain a loyal fan base, but not the mainstream attention it may come to deserve.

Creator: Frankie Shaw

Season 1/ Episode 2 “1,800 Filet-O-Fishes & One Small Diet Coke”

Bridgette continues to reveal herself as someone who not only gets underestimated but probably underestimates herself.

Director(s) Leslye Headland
Writer(s) Frankie Shaw & Emily Goldwyn
Characters Introduced
Ryan Joseph Winford Warren
Eliza Raven Goodwin
Casey Austin Abrams
  • Larry is Sick!: Rafi, Nelson, Bridgette, Larry
  • Smarter Than You Know: Ally, Bridgette, Casey
  • What’s Up With Tutu?: Tutu, Bridgette

Season 1/ Episode 3 “Half a Sheet Cake & a Blue-Raspberry Slushie”

How does one bring dreams to reality? Much less, know when a dream is feasible? Those are the questions Bridgette faces this episode.

Director(s) Leslye Headland
Writer(s) Frankie Shaw & Jess Dweck
Characters Introduced
George George Basil
Kit-Kat Kimberley Crossman
Craig Jeremy Shamos
Joe Blake Clark
  • Money Is a Major Issue: Bridgette
  • Finding Your Niche: Eliza, Nelson, Bridgette
  • The Escorting Business: Bridgette

Season 1/ Episode 4 “Deep-Dish Pizza & a Shot of Holy Water”

After being assaulted, Bridgette is trying to reclaim her inner bad ass, but people refuse to let her be great and validated.

Director(s) Leslye Headland
Writer(s) Karey Dornetto
Characters Introduced
Ken Matt Shively
Eddie Mark Webber
  • Can I Get Some Validation Here? A Win?!: Eliza, Tutu, Bridgette
  • Reclaiming My Time & My Power: Bridgette
  • You Don’t Respect Me At All Do You?: Rafi, Tutu, Nelson, Bridgette, Eliza

Season 1/ Episode 5 “Run, Bridgette, Run or Forty-Eight Burnt Cupcakes & Graveyard Rum”

Smilf sends us on some kind of trippy Groundhog Day scenario which leaves you wondering what of it all was canon?

Director(s) Amy York Rubin
Writer(s) Zach Strauss
Characters Introduced
Regina Gabrielle Maiden
Phil Gary Anthony Williams
Mo Paula Pell
  • Groundhog Father’s Day – Part 1: Ally, Bridgette, Rafi
  • Groundhog Father’s Day – Part 2: Eliza, Regina, Bridgette, Phil
  • Groundhog Father’s Day – Part 3 and 4: Rafi, Nelson, Tutu, Mo, Bridgette

Season 1/ Episode 6 “Chocolate Pudding & a Cooler of Gatorade”

Disappointments come all around and Bridgette finds herself being everyone’s go-to person.

Director(s) Amy York Rubin
Writer(s) Sarah L. Jones and Mel Shimkovitz
Characters Introduced
Angie (Rafi’s Mom) Marabina Jaimes
Edmond Donald Li
  • My Mother, My Weakness: Rafi
  • Seeing Edmond: Tutu
  • Searching For Purpose: Tutu, Bridgette, Ally

Season 1/ Episode 7 “Family-Sized Popcorn & a Can of Wine”

Epigenetics is the word of the day as Tutu, Bridgette, and maybe even Larry, have a bit of a bad day.

Director(s) Frankie Shaw
Writer(s) Scott King
  • Epigenetics: Tutu, Eliza, Larry, Bridgette
  • I Need A Win Here: Tutu, Eliza, Larry, Bridgette, Joe

Season 1/ Episode 8 “Mark’s Lunch & Two Cups of Coffee.”

In what some may find a triggering episode, Bridgette seeks to get to the root of some of her problems: the father who molested her – repeatedly.

Director(s) Frankie Shaw
Writer(s) Frankie Shaw
Characters Introduced
Richard David DeBeck
Young Bridgette Jordana Rose
Therapist Stacey Moseley
  • My Dad Touched My Vagina: Bridgette, Tutu
  • Date With Daddy – Preparation: Bridgette, Tutu
  • Date with Daddy: Tutu, Bridgette, Nelson, Eliza

Season 2, Episode 1 “Shit Man, I’ve Literally Failed”

Season 2 of SMILF begins in tragedy, yet with death may come new life for Tutu and Bridgette.

Director(s) Frankie Shaw
Writer(s) Scott King
Air Date (Online) 1/3/2019
Introduced This Episode
Sheila Mindy Sterling
  • Daddy Isn’t Here: Bridgette
  • Goodbye Joe: Bridgette, Tutu, Joe, Larry
  • This One Is For You Ma!: Tutu, Bridgette

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