Sorry For Your Loss: Season 1/ Episode 7 “I Hate Chess” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Bobby (LisaGay Hamilton) sitting on her bed.
Bobby (LisaGay Hamilton)
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We get to meet Matt’s mom and dig a bit into his childhood as Leigh tries to find something, someone, to blame besides herself.


Network
Facebook Watch
Director(s) Rose Troche
Writer(s) Desta Tedros Reff, Danielle Henderson
Air Date 10/2/2018
Characters Introduced
Bobby LisaGay Hamilton
James ?

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Accountability: Sabrina, Jules

With Jules at step 4 of AA (Link if you want to read all 12), she is having a hard time prepping to be accountable for all she has said and done. This is especially true for missing a phone call from Matt the evening before he died. This weighs on her heavily for telling Leigh that kind of scares her.

However, Sabrina, Richard’s wife, who comes to Jules’ dance party class, tries to console her since she gets it. Her mom was an alcoholic, she had trouble, so she wants to help Jules navigate this path. For even though Richard has no connection to Jules, he isn’t her adopted dad it seems, Sabrina has heard a lot and wants to be available to give advice. Such as Jules not telling Leigh about that phone call.

Commentary

Jules leaning on Sabrina's kitchen counter.

I’m unsure whether to dub Sabrina being in Jules’ business sweet or weird. It would be one thing if Richard was Jules’ father, or seemed to play any kind of role in her life. However, him getting second-hand information, likely from Leigh? It makes it so Sabrina stepping in seems awkward. On one hand, considering how Leigh talks, and stories Richard surely has about Amy, she might be doing Jules a solid. Yet, there is this sort of nosiness that I can’t get passed.

Perhaps it is just because I don’t understand AA culture and how, with them having a mutual friend, maybe they check in on each other?

The Truth About Matt’s Childhood: Bobby, Leigh, Danny, Matt, James

Despite how long Matt knew Leigh and how much he loved her, he didn’t speak about his childhood. He especially didn’t speak about this scar on his back. Why? Well, because he came from a family which would rather suppress the negative than openly speak about it. For example, Matt and Danny’s father James, he had depression. Like Matt, it seems, James gave himself all to his day job and left just enough for his home life.

However, unlike Matt, James wasn’t seeing anyone, didn’t take any medicine, so when he hit low points, he bottomed out. Which is what led to Matt getting his scar. He tried to coerce his dad to take Danny to tryouts and when James got frustrated, he pushed Matt into a mirror and he got cut. Effectively ending their relationship which seemed to be decent before that.

Now, when it comes to all this coming out, neither Bobby nor Danny wanted that. Bobby was fine suppressing the faults and difficulties of her husband and Danny didn’t want Leigh’s need for answers leading to people assuming blame. Yet, that is what kind of happens. It’s just Danny who ends up blaming his mom over people in the family not getting help and thus they have two dead family members.

Commentary

Leigh asking Bobby is Matt was depressed as a kid.
Leigh: Was Matt ever depressed as a kid?

It’s almost as draining to recount that as it was to watch it. For in many ways you can see Leigh in Bobby. She wanted the simple answer as to why this person or that person ended up dead. Why they got moody or distant, and she may have also tried her best to justify those actions and alleviate whatever reason there was for James, maybe Matt as well, to feel depressed. Yet, like Leigh, she couldn’t.

However, unlike Leigh, Bobby might not have felt the need to dig. Unlike Leigh, there wasn’t a need to blame, question, prod, and maybe you could say that comes with age. Bartering and being angry like that, what good would that do Bobby? She has happy memories and digging into the unknown and sadness isn’t going to make her feel better. It’ll just add depth to the despair she isn’t trying to drown herself in.

Sometimes It Isn’t a Knot That Holds Together Two Strings: Danny, Leigh

Despite Matt being gone, and their relationship not being the best, it is clear that Leigh feels something for Danny. Not romantically but as a brother. Otherwise, she would have no need to apologize to him as often as she does. Which Danny gets for it isn’t like Leigh is a stranger. He may not have been gung-ho about her, but his brother chose her so she became family. Hence why he tries, within reason, to be there for her.

Like showing, despite what happened, Matt was happy. He loved her, chose her, and she brought joy to his life. And really, the only thing to blame is the disease. Not Danny, not Bobby, the family, herself, but the disease.

Commentary

Leigh recognizing the pattern she and Danny have and apologizing for it not getting better.
Leigh: And I’m sorry that I have to keep saying I’m sorry.

As much as they bicker and fight, I really do love these two as siblings. I’d even say there is more appeal in them being siblings than Leigh and Jules. For at least with Leigh and Danny there is some kind of chemistry there. Granted, mostly volatile, but this need to connect with someone who, in some form or fashion, knew Matt like she did keeps them coming back together and trying to work things out. Maybe even forgive past transgresses.

The same can’t be said with Jules and Leigh. Outside of growing up together, and living under the same roof, nothing is really keeping these two together. Pushing you to wonder if a moment may come, especially taking note of Matt’s death, when Leigh may realize Jules might have been going through something. Perhaps still is.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What were the circumstances surrounding Jules’ adoption? With us talking about Matt inheriting depression and Sabrina inheriting a weakness in regards to alcohol, could the same be said about Jules? Maybe, did her parents die or lose her due to alcoholism or being unable to deal with their depression?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Sometimes the more generous act is to just keep things to yourself.
— Sabrina

Highlights

  1. Meeting Bobby helped illuminate Matt’s childhood.
  2. Though only briefly, the show addressing how Matt and Leigh come from two different cultures was a nice touch. For it seems a lot of shows stray from the idea of addressing that when they have interracial relationships. Especially in a way which isn’t set up to begin or end an argument.

On The Fence

  1. Jules is starting to seem like an outlier. What is to be done with her and will she be defined outside of her alcoholism?


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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Characters Featured
Season 2, Episode 3 “What’s Wrong With Your Chest”Amy has a mid-life awakening, and it leads her to not only clear out some material things but what has taken up space in her heart and mind.
Director(s) Ry Russo-Young
Writer(s) Sheila Callaghan
Air Date 10/1/2019
Introduced This Episode
Evie Daniela Leon
  • The Side Effects of Therapy: Jules, Leigh, Amy
  • When You Grow Up Without The Family You Wanted, You Create It: Leigh, Amy, Jules, Matt
  • A Mid-Life Awakening: Amy, Sabrina, Jules, Leigh, Richard
Season 2, Episode 4 “Mr. Greer”Lest we forget, Matt was a teacher, and with that said, we see how the students too suffered a loss.
Director(s) Hanelle Culpepper
Writer(s) Charles Yu
Air Date 10/8/2019
Introduced This Episode
Nina Khalijah Joi
Lacey Lyndon Smith
  • When Amy’s Away, Things Become Disarray: Lacey, Jules, Leigh
  • Honor Thy Brother: Bobby, Danny
  • Sorry For Your Loss: Nina, Leigh, Matt
Season 2, Episode 5 “Norway”There are two reveals this episode which we’re left to wonder, not the reaction of the person who receives the reveal, but what may come of it long term.
Director(s) James Ponsoldt
Writer(s) Kit Steinkellner
Air Date 10/15/2019
  • Things I’ve Wanted To Say, But I Worked Here: Lacey, Jules
  • Abandonment Issues: Danny, Jules, Leigh
  • I Think I Love You, And That’s What I’m Afraid Of: Leigh, Danny
Season 2, Episode 2 “I’m Here”Danny has a reckless, but fun, encounter as Leigh takes drugs and Jules decides to tell Leigh about herself.
Director(s) Chinonye Chukwu
Writer(s) Etan Frankel
Air Date 10/1/2019
Introduced This Episode
Simone Cleopatra Coleman
  • It Was A Crazy Day And Night, But So Worth It: Jules, Simone, Danny
  • Onto A Different Plane: Leigh, Amy, Matt
  • The Outsider: Jules, Leigh, Amy
Season 2, Episode 1 “Middle Finger, Thumbs Up” [Season Premiere]It is now 6 months from Matt’s death, and while Leigh is slowly finding ways to move on, Danny’s absence makes it hard.
Director(s) Azazel Jacobs
Writer(s) Kit Steinkellner
Air Date 10/1/2019
  • I Can’t Do This Anymore: Amy, Leigh, Richard, Jules
  • How To Move On From Your Dead Brother’s Wife?: Danny
  • We May Not Be In-Laws, But We Can Still Be Something: Danny, Leigh

Season 1/ Episode 10 “The Penguin and the Mechanic”

In the season finale, both Leigh and Jules find a sense of closure while Amy and Danny are left questioning their emotions

Season 1/ Episode 9 “Welcome to Palm Springs”

With a trip to Palm Springs, gifted by her dad, Leigh decides to get away from it all. Perhaps even begin the process of fully moving on.

Season 1/ Episode 8 “A Widow Walks Into A Wedding”

It seems everyone is tired of being single and that means desperate times may mean desperate solutions.

Season 1/ Episode 7 “I Hate Chess”

We get to meet Matt’s mom and dig a bit into his childhood as Leigh tries to find something, someone, to blame besides herself.

Season 1/ Episode 5 “17 Unheard Messages”

We finally learn how Matt died but the jury is still, kind of, out on whether he had an accident or it was suicide.

Season 1/ Episode 6 “I Want A Party”

With the idea of Matt’s demise not being an accident, Leigh decides it’s time to break the funk or she may end up going under.

Season 1/ Episode 4 “Visitor”

We learn what was the thing which triggered Matt wanting to propose to Leigh as well as see Jules struggle to rebuild her image.

Season 1/ Episode 3 "Jackie O. & Courtney Love"

As Leigh meets another young widow, and her best friend gets engaged, she finds herself digging more into the blemishes of her marriage.

Season 1/ Episode 2 "Keep, Toss, Give Away"

As some of Matt’s secrets come out, some even Leigh didn't know, we dive a bit further into the complicated family he was part of.

Season 1/ Episode 1 "One Fun Thing"

Thanks to Elizabeth Olsen, the full weight of emotion dealing with losing your spouse, while young, will weigh on you like a sandbag.


Episode 7: I Hate Chess

Episode 7: Despite Danny's warnings to leave his mother out of her search for answers, Leigh reaches out to her mother in law for the first time since Matt's death.

Posted by Sorry For Your Loss on Tuesday, October 2, 2018

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