Schitt’s Creek Season 6, Episode 9
Posted by Gillian
Welcome back for another episode of “Gillian lamenting Alexis’ stalled progress but nevertheless remaining hopeful that next episode will be the one where she gets to move forward again.” There’s a sketchy bar full of randoms on the outskirts of town and Alexis is on the rebound, so let’s go!
Less than a week after ending things with Ted, Alexis has flung herself right back into the fray…ed scarves of a much older man named Arthur – but you can call him Artie – and her family members are, by turns, understanding and a little proud (Moira), bewildered and a little horrified (Johnny), and concerned but also a little amused (David).
Getting back out into the dating pool is a tried and true method of healing heartbreak, of course, but the way Alexis is going about it – immediately and single-mindedly and, as David rightfully points out, regressively – is serving as barely a bandaid when Alexis really needs stitches. At least she seems to know what she’s doing – or at least what she’s trying to do. She’s purposefully chosen someone who isn’t at all right for her because she knows this is solely about distraction.
An actually fun and casual fling with someone not at all right for you can definitely be the right thing sometimes. But despite Alexis’ insistence, it’s obviously not fun for her. And while whatever she and Artie have is definitely casual, the feelings she’s trying to bury are anything but. That’s why this rebound was never going to be enough.
The real problem isn’t the particulars of the rebound guy, it’s that she’s using the rebound to try to cover up her feelings rather than working through them. Unlike when she and Mutt broke up, when Alexis chose time with herself over going out to a bar with David and Stevie, this time she hasn’t been able to focus inward and just let herself feel her heartache, let alone start thinking about what she might want to do next to get her life back on a track she’s excited about. And perhaps that’s because it’s not just that her relationship ended. She’s also recently experienced the whiplash of an unexpected and promising career boost that seems to have immediately dried up.
Everything was coming up Alexis and suddenly nothing is. It’s no wonder she’s seeking solace in the kind of thing that always made Past!Alexis happy – a whirlwind “romance” with a man excited and able to spend lots of money wining and dining and entertaining her. Except this time, despite her best efforts to slip back into her old ways, it’s so clear she’s faking it.
There’s no lightness to the laughter she offers at every lame anecdote Artie tells. No truth behind the cute pout she makes over every reminder that he’s two generations removed from her. She may know exactly what she’s doing – or trying to do at least – but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch.
Here’s hoping she takes some time to nurse her wounds, let her family support her, and then gets back to figuring out what she actually wants.
Not that having your life figured out isn’t without its pitfalls. Moira’s back to being so comfortable in her renewed fame it didn’t occur to her that badmouthing Schitt’s Creek to People Magazine might have some pesky repercussions. Having told the magazine the town is the last place she’d want to end up, she finds her car egged and a handful of townspeople protesting outside Town Hall (Bob was so upset he had to go home!) And it’s come at the worst possible time – the town was just about to launch a tourism campaign. Faced with her blunder and those who’ve been hurt by it, Moira makes a valiant (for her) effort to set things right. But David and Alexis clearly learned how to apologize from their mother (“You know what’s often more potent than an apology? An explanation!”), so of course someone else is going to have to figure out a way to fix things.
And speaking of trying (and failing) to figure out ways to fix things, Jocelyn’s on the hunt for a way to supplement her income. The Schitts’ investment in the Rosebud Motel empire continues to strain their finances so, despite what’s sure to be a wonderful opportunity at Bazongas Gentlemen’s Club, she asks Patrick and David for a job at the Apothecary. After making clear to Patrick he has no interest in hiring her, of course David ultimately agrees, because he’s a big softie who will always agree to help someone, no matter how bad a fit it is for his brand identity. He seems to have a particularly soft spot for Jocelyn, too. At her request, he’s agreed to talk to a gay teen Jocelyn thought was having a hard time adjusting, plan her baby sprinkle with only several hours’ notice, and now this. Maybe Jocelyn’s stellar salesmanship has been right in front of us this whole time.
Which rolls us right into this week’s superlatives…
Love That Journey For Her: Jocelyn
Honestly, I found it quite presumptuous and a little off-putting that Jocelyn felt so entitled to pressure David into giving her a job. Guilt tripping him about the financial pickle she’s in after investing in his father’s business is pretty bogus. It’s not like she and Roland swooped in to save Johnny from financial ruin. He just wanted to expand the business. He would have been disappointed to lose out on the new motel, sure, but he also would have been fine. The truth is, the Schitts invested in Johnny and Stevie’s business because they wanted to…and are gullible enough to believe Bill Gates was interested. Johnny didn’t need them to take out a second mortgage on their house, and he sure didn’t ask them to. But I digress.
I may be judging Jocelyn for the way she maneuvered her way into a job at Rose Apothecary, but I can’t deny how amusing it is to watch her sell circles around David and Patrick in their own store. I can’t deny how much it actually makes sense that she’d be so good at selling things to her fellow community members, although, like Patrick, I’ll admit I didn’t see it coming. And I certainly can’t deny how incredible(y off-brand for the store) her owl sweatshirt is and thus how much I love it.
But mostly I love that, despite how successful Jocelyn was at moving product, and despite how much fun she seemed to be having, she ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it for her to stick with something that didn’t feel right to her.
I’m still not sure if Jocelyn is meant to be on parental leave still, if school’s out for summer (with the exception of the one Christmas special, I’ve literally never had any idea what time of year it is on this show), or she’s just looking for weekend work to supplement her teacher salary, but I’m glad – for both her sake and David’s – that she recognized a bad fit despite the outward signs it might be a good one. And I hope she finds a more fulfilling way to make the extra cash she and Roland need. Alexis Rose Communications could probably use an intern – wrangling Moira seems to be more than a one-person job.
Moira’s Rose’s Garden’s Honorary Rose of the Week 4856: Artie
I usually reserve this one for a regular cast member, but Artie made himself so immediately so at home with the Roses, I figured I could get away with it. And yes, at first glance, he seems like he’s basically the worst – dating a woman far too young for him, happily going along with her vapid hanging on his every lame anecdote, calling her possibly-younger-than-he-is father “dad” and, possibly worst of all, wearing that scarf – but hear me out.
There’s something endearing about how relaxed he is about meeting Alexis’ family unexpectedly and all at once when he comes to her door to return her purse. And, in a much more significant tell of his character, he immediately listens to, understands, and acts upon Johnny’s concerns over Alexis’ fragile state. Despite the fact that he’s obviously enjoying dating her, and probably would have been happy to have her on his arm at a birthday weekend hosted by his ex-wife. We can definitely talk about whether it was actually Johnny’s place to tell Artie those things about Alexis (it’ll be a quick talk: it absolutely wasn’t) but that doesn’t change the fact that Artie ending things with Alexis after finding out she’s only a week out of a very serious relationship was undoubtedly the right, and very decent, thing to do.
“Roland in the Bedroom” Funniest Bit: The Schitt’s Creek Tourism Video
Ronnie’s brilliant idea to kill two birds (poor birds, they aren’t even the ones who dropped their ova mid-flight on Moira’s car!) with one stone by having Moira star in the town’s tourism campaign commercial didn’t quite manifest the way she’d probably intended. But it did provide the densest laughs of the episode. The way Moira manages to insult not just the town itself (how can an actress of television and film be so bad at fake smiles?) but also the one eatery (it’s “certainly been described as ‘fine!’”) and the primary retail option (“it’s always nice and quiet”) is quite a feat. She doesn’t even say the name of the town! In an advertisement for the town! Amazing.
Speaking of which…
The “David Plucking at the Plastic Sheet” Funniest Moment: “Won’t you join me for a little stroll through the slice of paradise I like to call…the town where I currently am?”
Aw, David! Sweetest Moment: Alexis and Johnny’s Heart-To-Heart
We know Johnny doesn’t really know what he’s doing when it comes to being a hands-on parent. Even when the context seems like something within his expertise – like helping Alexis with an economics paper – he doesn’t quite get it right. But his heart is always in the right place.
And this week is no exception. Should he have taken Alexis’ word for it when she said her ridiculous rebound relationship was under control? Maybe. Should he have stayed out of said relationship rather than sharing private, personal information about Alexis to the random guy she’s dating? Most definitely. But, although his lack of practice throughout her life make him ill-equipped to actually know the right thing to do when something’s wrong, he’s just not the kind of dad who can do nothing. Not when he thinks his daughter is making rash, harmful decisions. And he may not consciously realize the real reason he’s so uncomfortable with her decisions is that they’re coming from a place of hurt. He just knows she needs something, and he wants to help. For once. And while the actual tears that result from their heart to heart yank him right back out of his comfort zone, his willingness to offer his daughter honesty and accept hers in return is important and lovely and so incredibly relatable to daughters of fathers who have so much love to give and just have never quite figured out how to proffer it with ease.
Their conversation is a beautiful reminder that smoothness isn’t a prerequisite for genuine connection. And it’s never too late to try to do better by the ones you love.
Blouse Barn Durability Award for Best Look of the Episode: Moira’s Tourism Video LOOK
I love everything Alexis wore this week – the sequin! backless! MINI! dress; the off the shoulder casual look with tiered, flared sleeves! and giant, boho earrings! – and David’s eye-patterned shirt was very great. And I’ve already mentioned how amazing I think Jocelyn’s choice of sweatshirt was this week.
But come on.
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This Moira look was, as is so often the case, on an entirely other level. Anytime I feel anything other than purely righteous in my decision to so often award this superlative to Moira, the costume department serves up a look to smack me straight across the face and bring me back to my senses.
Ok and FINE, if you insist, have this as an honorable mention. I mean, if Alexis can bust this out just to eat steak in Elmdale with someone who wears three medical alert bracelets, the least we can do is appreciate it.
A Vocabulary Lesson from Schitt’s Creek’s Resident Sesquipedalian
cogitation [koj-i-tey-shuh n], n. concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation. As in, “No noisy customers or busy cash registers here to intrude upon your inner cogitations.”
elephantine [el-uh-fuh n-teen, -tahyn], adj. huge, ponderous, or clumsy. As in, “I specifically commended your ever-beating heart, and your elephantine generosity. ‘A slice of heaven,’ is what I recall myself saying!”
ova [oh-vuh], n. plural of ovum, the female reproductive cell or gamete of animals, which is capable of developing, usually only after fertilization, into a new individual. As in, “Either a flock of poultry has delivered its ova mid-flight above our car, or I’ve become the victim of a vandalization!”
repute [ri-pyoot ], n. favorable reputation; good name; public respect. As in, “Stevie you are blessed with anonymity and thus will never have to know the crippling fear that accompanies global repute.”
thorax [thohr-aks], n. the part of the trunk in humans and higher vertebrates between the neck and the abdomen, containing the cavity, enclosed by the ribs, sternum, and certain vertebrae, in which the heart, lungs, etc., are situated; chest. As in, “After my first centerfold with Soap Opera Digest, a deranged fan deposited locks of hair into my glove compartment. And now my return to prominence has painted another giant bullseye on my thorax!”
A Lotta Bit Alexis
Ok, so we’re back to only getting one tidbit, but it’s almost like multiple facts rolled into one: Apparently Alexis dated half the cast of White Squall. This joke is way funnier when you realize it must have happened a decade or more after the movie came out, since Alexis was probably about ten years old at most in 1996. So, either she dated half the cast simultaneously but nowhere near the time of its release, or she’s happened to date half the cast members at various times and for some reason that’s just how she categorizes them. Regardless, the writers are officially forgiven for offering only one historical fact.
Plus, getting a Tiny Bit of Twyla is alway a nice bonus: She’s pretty sure Ol’ Artie dated her aunt when Twyla was a baby, because there’s a photo of him holding Twyla at Christmas…the year Santa brought her a lighter. Sarah Levy continues to amaze with her ability to reveal horrifically sad bits about Twyla’s childhood without sinking me into a depression.
Estate Sale Auction Items
- Annie Murphy continues to be utter perfection in this role, and these past two episodes have made clear it’s not just comedy she excels at.
- “Okay, so what’s the total for the floral arrangement?” “Um, I mean, it’s hard to get an exact total at the moment, because there are so many variables still in play.” “Like you calling the florist, and getting a quote?” “That might be one of them.”
- I’m going to need the new Rosebud Motel to start making money soon, y’all. I can’t take many more storylines centering around Roland and Jocelyn being hard up for cash since taking out a second mortgage.
- Johnny trying to sound casual is always one of my favorite things. And a great reminder that the many stones he threw at Artie over his age were coming from a glass house.
- Moira asking, “Has it hit the stands? My publicist is off today!” when Roland and Ronnie mention her People interview is perfect.
- The fact that Patrick and David can’t fathom tutoring children might be more rewarding than working retail is incredible. Those dummies sure do love that store.
- The Moira Protest signs are so hilariously reasonable. Is this what all those white people mean when they demand that marginalized and oppressed people keep their protests “civil?”
- Walking into a casino and winning big on my first pull of a Basic Instinct slot machine would be one of the highlights of my life too, Patrick.
- This week in consistency: Johnny and Stevie are so wonderfully stiff in the tourism video – in precisely the same ways they were when Ray and Alexis tried to take photos for the hotel back in Season 4’s “Open Mic.”
- On the subject of consistency, Dan Levy’s FACE, everyone:
- I’m lowkey obsessed with the fact that this episode is called “Rebound” rather than “The Rebound.” Not every Schitt’s Creek episode title starts with the English language’s hardest working article, but a lot of them do. And given that using it this time around certainly would have made sense, I have to believe it was intentional not to. I like that it puts the emphasis on Alexis, rather than the random guy she decided to distract herself with. And I especially like that it implies this episode is a true turning point for her. Finally. And yes, I know the scenes for next time make it seem like she’ll still be fully in post-break up depressed mode, but as I acknowledged at the very start of this recap, I’m always hopeful.
Only five episodes left! What did you think of this one? Will David ever call the florist or will they end up with poison-oak bouquets courtesy of Johnny? Which half of the White Squall cast do you think Alexis dated? How long will it take hipster tourists to find Moira’s tourism video and flood the town? Let us hear from you in the comments!
Featured Image Source: CBC/Pop