Season 1 Episode 2 Recap and Review
Suzanne begins her belated recollection of when she saw Colin near the High Line at the start of Episode 2 of Uncoupled. She goes on and on about the frivolous details and finally reveals the identity of the person: Tyler.
Michael is in shock. As he frantically begins to think back to when Colin and Tyler might have first met, he remembers it might have been at their company’s Christmas party. He was the one who introduced them and they even looked at Tyler’s Instagram that night. Michael has a screening tomorrow – an important one – but has trouble falling asleep as he finds more and more of Colin’s fingerprints in his apartment. He has a nightmare about Colin and Tyler, together, making love against the window that opens to the street. When he wakes up, Michael realizes that he is late.
Through unsent texts that Michael keeps writing and erasing, we see how much he misses Colin. He must put his pain aside and help sell the apartment to the couple. They move together to different cities to start a new family and Michael is moved to see them together.
He remembers when he and Colin first moved in together and saw the new space. His friends and people in the building – including Jack (Andre De Shields) – comfort him. At a charity event, Michael is forced to confront Tyler. But the young real estate agent reveals that he is not in a relationship with Colin. The only communication he had with him was to find him an apartment and what Suzanne saw through the windows was just a courtesy he extends to all of his clients.
He reiterates again that Michael should stay away from Claire because Tyler is the only one in the running. He even sits next to Claire at the party.
Tyler’s prophecy comes true as Suzanne receives a message from Claire’s assistant that she will not consider her and Michael for the apartment. Michael, already heartbroken and slightly drunk, follows Claire in a taxi to her apartment building. He shouts for her from the back, breaking the “no shouting in the lobby” rule. But Claire asks Freddy the receptionist to calm down. Michael begs Claire not to list her apartment with Tyler and explains how he can figure out what Claire is going through.
The sudden disruption of domestic life by the other partner when there was no indication also happened with him. Claire is impressed and agrees to wait and consider Michael. He promises to do everything possible to get him the best price and also to have fun in the process. As he walks past his mailbox in the apartment building, Michael scratches Colin’s last name, “McKenna”, from it, possibly envisioning a new chapter in his life.
The episode review
The parallel collapse of lives is a nice touch in Episode 2 that becomes the focal point. Michael recovers from the heartbreaking separation as Colin’s remains threaten to haunt him for some time. We always knew somewhere that Tyler couldn’t have been the partner Colin left Michael for. The show would have become too superficial if that were the case.
Why Colin left Michael remains the burning question which is somehow sidestepped so far. A better contextualization of the current circumstances would have been preferable. We’re really on the wrong foot considering the broken relationship. Maybe the show focuses more on “what next” than “why before”. And that’s fine for me. It would be a unique experience to see something along those lines.
But creators must be careful not to mix the two. They can quickly lose focus, as they did a few times in Episode 2, and the project can derail into mediocrity. So far he has stayed away from the territory, defining himself with new archetypes around the queer community. Just seeing the path ahead and how it’s sculpted seems like the right move for Uncoupled to make at this point. The breakup on the phone was probably a bit hijacked by Colin. He’d better have an explanation for that if not!