SMILF: Season 2, Episode 8 “Sex Makes It Less Formal” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Nelson cutting her wedding dress.
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On top of possibly seeing the scene which led to SMILF being cancelled, we get a few moments that might make you cry.


Network
Showtime
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

Tutu continues her descent into a depressive episode, and while Jackie wants to be there for her sister, Tutu is making it hard. She is drafting a will, watching documentaries on Sylvia Plath, and it is becoming a bit much. However, it is agreed that Tutu needs to get out of the house and rather than the beach, there is a compromise of filling Larry’s little kiddie pool and relaxing in the back. As Tutu fills the pool, Jackie unpacks Tutu’s river cruise luggage, so she can have a swimsuit and so that she doesn’t have to be triggered by something else. Thus leading to Larry’s suicide letter. One which doesn’t have anything about the house but is a goodbye and an apology for being selfish and wanting more time with her.

I’m Suffocating: Winnie, Enid, Nelson

We’re coming up on Nelson’s wedding day and to say she may not be into it would be fair. Yet, it could also be because of her mom. Though Enid comes off as this free spirit, she is also pretty intense and it seems a bit much for Nelson at times. And yeah, her sister Winnie counterbalances that since, unlike Enid, she isn’t about being skinny and perfect, but with both seemingly comfortable with who they are and Nelson struggling, it makes putting on the dress stifling. Especially since it seems she is on autopilot rather than actively making decisions.

The Right Decision: Bridgette, Rafi

Bridgette and Nelson on a stoop.

While lacking a wedding invite hurt, that doesn’t stop Bridgette from using Ally’s credit card to buy a stripper and sex toys for Rafi’s bachelor party. A party which starts off well with fun, laughs and party games, until two major things happen. The first is Bridgette pushing everyone to give Rafi advice and her bringing up how she and Rafi were there for each other when he was an addict, and she had some episodes. The second major moment comes from Bridgette seeing Nelson’s ring cost $4,000 and her remembering what Eliza’s folks said and that triggering her. Leading to her dancing like a stripper and acting out before Rafi decides he needs to make an exit.

But, Bridgette having a moment also leads him to think, like Nelson is on the other side of town, maybe he isn’t making the right decision. Something that Bridgette may know, for she might be realizing, years ago, breaking off her engagement, might have been the wrong decision for her and their family.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. So which scene is the one which shut down the show? The scene in which Nelson and Rafi had sex or Nelson trying to masturbate? That is assuming the scene made it into the final cut.

Highlights

The Family That Cries

What SMILF really boils down to is conversations between your blood relations and chosen family, and how those people help you get through life. Colleen (Tutu) is a piece of work, but she relies on Jackie, formerly Joe, and Bridgette to help her stay away from her darkest places. To provide her a distraction or escape or else she’ll drown. It’s like she says in the episode, death, and sorrow is like mother’s milk to her, but I don’t think she realizes she is sucking from the breast of someone who’s dead and their milk is poison. So she needs, constantly, someone to take her off that nipple.

Tutu defending her decision to watch depressing shows.
Tutu: It’s real life, Jackie. Open your eyes.

Then for Nelson, be it directly or indirectly, you can see her mother’s influence on her. Since we’ve met Nelson, she has tried to be carefree like her mom or sister, be friendly and all that. Yet, arguably, we saw the real Nelson in the last few episodes. One which has a bit of anxiety, is capable of being kind and sweet but doesn’t want that cycle to be constant for hours and days on end. Also, she is someone who may lack a certain closeness with her father, and it may explain her relationship with Rafi.

How you may ask? Well, either to upset her father into being active or to show she does have her head on straight, it seems like the only reason she is marrying Rafi. After all, what does he bring to the table? Depending on how you take that sex scene, he may not be the best lover. A nice guy, yeah, who has an adorable son, but that creates another issue for now she is sometimes responsible for this kid and has a slightly complicated relationship with the mother. One she has tried to work on but isn’t consistently good.

Leaving Bridgette. I don’t want to say Bridgette is stunted, but she does certainly lack direction and is an example of how having a kid doesn’t always activate the idea of doing anything and everything. Bridgette right now is living off Ally’s credit card and the occasional handout from Tutu, when she can get it. Yet, just the littlest thing helps since, like her mom, Bridgette errs on the side of pessimism and so people showing her, mostly close friends and family, she isn’t alone, won’t be alone, it brightens her day.

Pushing the point that as much as SMILF can be silly, to the point of ridiculous, it is really just showing how the little things family and friends do helps keep you alive or willing to live. For so easily you can end up comfortable in a dark place and never want to leave as you get swallowed whole. So you have to have someone who either shines a light or is willing to drag your ass out of that place.

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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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