As the owner of the restaurant appears, we’re reminded all who envy Tess’ brand new eyes to things still are capable of experiencing something new.

Director(s) Marta Cunningham
Writer(s) Kenneth Lin
Air Date 7/21/2019
Introduced This Episode
Maddie Sandra Bernhard
Omar Karim Saleh
Gabe Paul Anthony Stewart
Giselle Tiffan Borelli

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Some People Are Meant To Change Your Life Just In Minor Ways: Tess, Simone, Omar

With Tess being so open and curious, it makes those like Omar who aren’t a bit strange. Yet, Simone expresses the man is an architectural genius. Someone who is transforming the west side of Manhattan and, apparently, is a former lover. Well, at least one can only assume since, sometimes, it seems Simone likes to embellish or find new ways to hold Tess’ attention.

That thought aside, with Tess showing genuine interest in Omar’s work, responding to his question of what she’d want when she walks into a building, he shares with her a secret spot. Be it a location he usually goes to alone but wants to shares with her, or where he plans his next building to be made. Either way, Tess’ network grows as does her love for New York City.

You Gotta Keep Stimulated: Maddie, Tess, Scott, Howard, Simone

Maddie (Sandra Bernhard) shopping at a local market.
Maddie (Sandra Bernhard)

The restaurant is a buzz since Maddie, the owner of that restaurant, and 6 others, has made an impromptu visit. Something Howard is surprised by since she usually gives a heads up. However, thanks to Simone seemingly not appreciating the idea of Howard trying to gain autonomy over the restaurant, she did what she had to do.

This leads to a few things coming about. One of the biggest things is Scott being fired, and later rehired. Why? Well, despite what Simone thinks, what Howard is trying to do is not take over and drastically change Maddie’s vision. More so, he is trying to modernize it and keep it alive – subtly. However, the subtle changes upset Maddie, but that’s only because, as Simone points out to Tess when the firing happens, it pushes Maddie to realize she is replaceable.

As you can imagine, someone who had their first restaurant right out of culinary school, at 26, and at least 17 years in the game, per her professional relationship with Howard, may fear being replaced. Heck, it could even be she wanted Scott not to get complacent? It’s hard to say really. Howard delivers the message and also fights to rehire and whether Maddie was that offended is hard to confirm. Especially since she tells Howard to do what he wants when it comes to rehiring and giving a small raise.

But, one thing which is true is that Maddie does seem to feel she needed the opportunity to be back in a kitchen. Not to say she doesn’t enjoy her success, but now she mostly does the mindless work. The stuff which pays bills, is still in her field but isn’t fulfilling. Leading to her asking Howard if he does acting anymore? To which the answer is no since his job takes up too much of his time. Something which isn’t necessarily the wrong answer, but does come off as a disappointing one.

Not All Growth Needs To Be Public: Tess, Will, Giselle, Gabe

Will being told a couple would like to watch him enjoy himself.

It has long been established that many at the restaurant have hit a wall. They came to NY to be somebody, challenge themselves, but then they got complacent. Will is one of those people. He wanted to be a filmmaker, show some edge, yet now he just eyes the new girls, maybe gets what Jake doesn’t want, and holds a notable but perhaps meaningless role. One which is replaceable.

Yet, he is presented a challenge which could change that. What is it? Just masturbating in front of a couple, Giselle and Gabe with an incentive being $5,000. Something that no one in the restaurant, when he tells people, thinks he can or will do. Well, except Tess.

More so, she challenges him to do so, and when he does, he naturally seeks her out. Even lies to the others about doing it either because he wants to prove to himself his capabilities, over them, or since this growth he wants to be a small victory celebrated. One between him and someone who comes off like a real friend. Someone who doesn’t just see him as part of the staff, their odd dysfunctional family member, but an individual capable of being more than his role in the restaurant.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • July 10th, 1987, is when the restaurant opened.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Are Maddie’s other restaurants, community-wise, similar to the one Howard manages?



Will Challenging Himself

It isn’t clear, in the long run, what Howard’s desire for change may lead to, but it was nice to see someone of Tess’ world push beyond the restaurant. For with us being told everyone has hit a bit of a wall, so comes the question of who and how will they find a way over, under, through, maybe even around the wall? Making Will being one of the first only fitting since he is one of the first people we truly got to know on the show. Plus, as much as Heather and Ari seem to be themselves, open, communicative, Will seems to be the only one fully comfortable in who he is – for better or worse.

So to see him go out of his comfort zone was amazing. Yet, it also reminds you how, despite the whole family vibe many claim, the restaurant isn’t necessarily a healthy and growth-oriented family. Making Tess more than the doe-eyed newcomer, but a harbinger of change.

A Reminder To Not Let Your Passions Die On The Vine

Maddie (Sandra Bernhard) analyzing Howard.
Maddie (Sandra Bernhard)

A change that perhaps will permeate beyond just Will. Maybe it may spread to Howard who, to a bit of surprise, wanted to be an actor of all things. Can you imagine? Let’s say 17 years ago, it’s the 2nd year of the restaurant, and a younger Howard walks in. He is looking for something to pay the bills with and Maddie, willing to take on a big-eyed rookie, brings him on.

Yet, somehow, for some reason, Howard ends up enjoying his day job and never minding the dream.

Simone Gunning For Howard’s Job?

Which perhaps is what is happening for Simone. She has comes to the point where the dream is dying on the vine so she is trying to undermine and perhaps sabotage Howard? Heck, maybe even make Tess in her image so, as she becomes the new Howard, someone fulfills her role, and the restaurant is relatively maintained.

Though, considering Tess is a bit more warm, and approachable, Simone better be mindful of what she is doing. Lest she forgets, if Scott is one of the best sous-chefs around and he can get fired, who is Simone? Connected, yes, but it seems Howard’s restaurant, Maddie’s I mean, is but part of a larger community and Howard could just as much recommend Simone as possibly blacklist her.

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Stephanie Danler

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Season Reviews

First Season

Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page
Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 2, Episode 8 “Bodega Cat” [Season Finale]How one wields their power and influence is focused on as Tess reads Simone’s short story and Will fears what may come if he continues to be a manager.
Director(s) Stuart Zicherman
Writer(s) Azie Dungey, Luke Sand
Air Date 8/18/2019
  • Will, Layla, Howard, Sasha, Heather, Tess | Preparing For The Next Episode
  • Simone, Tess, Jake | The Mermaid, The Boy, And Tess
  • Tess, Simone, Howard, Jake, Scott | You Know This Means War?
Season 2, Episode 7 “Peach Treats”In the penultimate episode of the season, Tess’ fantasy becomes a reality and many start contemplating life after the Pink Chair.
Director(s) Stuart Zicherman
Writer(s) Lucy Thurber
Air Date 8/18/2019
Introduced This Episode
Layla Erica Pappas
  • Ari, Tess, Heather, Simone | You’re All Going To Leave Me
  • Layla, Simone, Tess, Will, Jake | One Dream Dies & The Next Becomes Reality
  • Jake, Simone, Tess | Can’t Have One Without The Other
Season 2, Episode 6 “Truffles and Champagne”Simone’s ex-husband, Etienne, shows up, giving her fresh optimism, as Tess gives will a look over after he treats her to truffles.
Director(s) Geeta V. Patel
Writer(s) Christopher Oscar Pena
Air Date 8/11/2019
Introduced This Episode
Etienne William Abadie
Eddie Eric D. Hill
  • The Boy I Should Like vs. The One Who Riles Me Up: Tess, Will, Jake
  • The Man I Left Behind & Look Back On Fondly:Simone, Etienne, Tess, Jake
Season 2, Episode 5 “Entropy”As the restaurant is thrown into disorder, the chaos coerces conversations between people who haven’t necessarily been on the best of terms lately.
Director(s) Geeta V. Patel
Writer(s) Sharr White
Air Date 8/4/2019
Introduced This Episode
Manny Gabriel Gutierrez
Martin Allen McCullough
  • Starting From The Bottom Shouldn’t Mean Life Will Be Hard: Howard, Santos
  • The Rebellion Begins: Sasha, Jake, Ari, Tess, Manny, Simone, Howard, Santos, Scott, Will
  • Peace Talks: Santos, Howard, Jake, Tess, Simone, Martin, Will
Season 2, Episode 2 “Equifax & Experian”Tess opens up about her mother, which concurrently happens as many let out their secrets.
Director(s) Augustine Frizzell
Writer(s) Stuart Zicherman
Air Date 7/14/2019
Introduced This Episode
Rosalyn Sadie Scott
  • Being A Family Is Exhausting: Rosalyn, Tess, Jake, Howard, Ari
  • While We Are Different, Alas, We Are Also The Same: Sasha, Santos, Tess
  • We Are One Of Many: Tess, Simone
Season 2, Episode 3 “Last of the Season”

As the owner of the restaurant appears, we’re reminded all who envy Tess’ brand new eyes to things still are capable of experiencing something new.

Director(s) Marta Cunningham
Writer(s) Kenneth Lin
Air Date 7/21/2019
Introduced This Episode
Maddie Sandra Bernhard
Omar Karim Saleh
Gabe Paul Anthony Stewart
Giselle Tiffan Borelli
  • Some People Are Meant To Change Your Life Just In Minor Ways: Tess, Simone, Omar
  • You Gotta Keep Stimulated: Maddie, Tess, Scott, Howard, Simone
  • Not All Growth Needs To Be Public: Tess, Will, Giselle, Gabe
Season 2, Episode 4 “Sec of Demi-Sec”As Sasha has a mental breakdown, Tess finds herself a pawn in Howard and Simone’s passive-aggressive chess game.
Director(s) Marta Cunningham
Writer(s) Charise Castro Smith
Air Date 7/28/2019
  • I Don’t Need A White Savior: Heather, Tess, Howard
  • What’s Left Behind In Old Country: Sasha, Tess, Jake
  • While You Talk Too Much, Keep Going: Tess, Howard, Becky, Simone
Season 1/ Episode 1 “Salt” [Series Premiere]There is a bit of a change in the usual girl from nowhere comes to the big apple, and with Ella Purnell at the helm, this could very well get interesting.
Director(s) Richard Shepard
Writer(s) Stephanie Danler
Air Date 5/6/2018
Noted Actors
Tess Ella Purnell
Howard Paul Sparks
Simone Caitlin FitzGerald
Will Evan Jonigkeit
Sasha Daniyar
Jake Tom Sturridge
Season 1/ Episode 2 “Now Your Tongue Is Coded”With Tess being alone in New York City, naturally she is seeking friendship. However, finding something, or someone, normal is becoming quite difficult.
Director(s) Cherien Dabis
Writer(s) Stuart Zicherman
Air Date 5/13/2018
Actors Introduced
Ari Eden Epstein
Sophia Meaghan Bloom Fluitt
Nicky Todd Gearhart
Heather Jasmine Mathews
Santos Rafa Beato
  • A Lonely Girl In The Big City: Tess, Jake, Simone, Howard
  • A Past (W/L)ife: Sasha, Tess
  • Though Things Might Be Bleak, The Future Looks Bright: Tess, Jake
Season 1/ Episode 3 “Everyone is Soigné”How one defines settling is pushed to the forefront as Tess starts something with Will and someone from Simone’s past comes to the restaurant.
Director(s) Adam Bernstein
Writer(s) Kenneth Lin
Air Date 5/20/2018
Actors Introduced
Serena Wrenn Schmidt
  • Settling For Will: Tess, Will, Ari, Heather, Simone, Jake
  • Settling vs. Stagnant: Simone, Tess, Jake
Season 1/ Episode 4 “Simone’s”Tess spends most of this episode with Simone and in doing so, some layers to this rather mysterious character are stripped away. But not so much you think you fully understand her.
Director(s) Shira Piven
Writer(s) Liz Tuccillo
Air Date 5/27/2018
Newly Noted Characters
Scott Jimmie Saito
  • Welcome to Simone’s: Simone, Tess
  • One of the Group: Tess, Ari, Jake
Season 1/ Episode 5 “Weird Night”Baby Monster spends some time with uncle Sasha to help her get through a bad day and make him feel less alone in the world.
Director(s) Ry Russo-Young
Writer(s) Stephanie Danler, Deborah Schoeneman
Air Date 6/3/2018
  • No Good Deed Left Unpunished: Santos, Howard, Becky, Tess, Will
  • Live Life With All The Regrets: Sasha, Tess, Will, Ari
  • I Don’t Want To Live Forever: Tess, Sasha
Season 1/ Episode 6 “It’s Mine” [Season Finale]As we learn why Simone was said to not be trusted, Tess takes her trials and learns her fate.
Director(s) Stuart Zicherman
Writer(s) Jaquén Castellanos, Azie Dungey
Air Date 6/10/2018
  • What Am I Getting Myself Into?: Tess, Jake, Simone, Will, Ari, Heather
  • Decision Time:  Tess, Howard, Will, Simone
  • The Peeling of the Mask: Tess, Simone
Season 2, Episode 1 "The Pork Special" [Season Premiere]Sweetbitter returns, picking up from where the finale left off, and Tess continues to push to be seen beyond everyone’s perceptions of her.
Director(s) Augustine Frizzell
Writer(s) Stephanie Danler
Air Date 7/14/2019
Introduced This Episode
Becky Katerina Tannenbaum
  • Some Pig: Simone, Will, Tess, Howard
  • The Return Of Sasha Fierce: Sasha, Tess, Jake, Sasha, Ari, Heather
  • We All Have Our Secrets: Becky, Howard
Will Challenging Himself - 89%
A Reminder To Not Let Your Passions Die On The Vine - 88%
Simone Gunning For Howard’s Job? - 85%


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I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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