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'Mom' fan react: If I'm angry I won't be afraid

Season 2 | Episode 20 | “Sick Popes and a Red Ferrari” | Aired Apr 16, 2015

EW Community contributors are chatting about each new episode of Mom. Here are Tamar Barbash and Sundi Rose Holt‘s thoughts about this week’s well-balanced, “Sick Popes and a Red Ferrari.”

Sundi: Bonnie’s relapse was waaaay too short for me. Was tonight a magic wand?

Tamar: I don’t think so. I think Bonnie has the kind of support network that knows relapses are a part of the deal but that they need to be nipped in the bud.

SRH: I am totally siding with Christy on this one. It was too much. I feel like Bonnie needs a little tough love. Frankly, I’m disappointed with how soft Marjorie was on her.

TB: I’m the opposite. I was going to say I think Christy represented the audience in a way, because I think that it’s natural to be angry and disappointed. I loved that Marjorie led the group from another place.

SRH: Well, I think it bears mentioning that you have training in this area, so we might need to take my opinion with a grain of salt.

TB: Christy’s point of view is extremely valid and the way that we often respond to relapse, especially when it’s our loved one and we’ve been let down. Marjorie and the group were in a different position. Bonnie’s relapse wasn’t something they took personally, so they were able to just be there for her.

SRH: That’s it exactly. I felt like her relapse was almost a personal attack on Christy. Like she did it TO her. Which I know is irrational, but it just felt so pointed.

TB: Yes, and Christy felt that way too. I was surprised Marjorie didn’t take some of the blame—I was SHOCKED she ok’d the drug use in the first place.

SRH: Anna Faris took Christy to some fun and interesting places tonight. The actors’ comedic timing is immaculate. The scene in the car with the synchronous yelling. So funny.

TB: It’s really amazing how well this show manages to get the laughs in even with such painful arcs. To that end, Jaime Pressly is just tremendous.

SRH: I was just typing that. The bit about the Ferrari gave me a chuckle AND a bit of whiplash. I like that her backstory includes a really dark origin story about a suicidal mom and gun ownership. I love when shows throw curveballs like that. Like making Mindy Lahiri a Republican.

TB: It reminds me of Phoebe on Friends. So quirky, so funny, but with such dark baggage.

SRH: Some of the gags in this episode were well played. Shooting the rat. The comically large scissors Christy uses to cut Bonnie’s hair, the Steel Magnolias. The writers brought the funny. I guess they had to, to take on detox and withdrawal.

TB: Exactly. This was one of the best-balanced episodes yet.

SRH: Christy’s meltdown in the supermarket was an example of that balance, too. I enjoyed her rant at Kathy—it got a little existential and reliably predicted HER relapse.

TB: It’s so interesting you mention her relapse because I think it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that gambling is a relapse for Christy. In a way it sort of feels like Christy avoided relapsing because she passed on the cocktails, but the gambling is the exact same behavior and is equally dangerous.

SRH: Mom has been pretty respectful about treating it as such. They gave her some dire consequences the last time. I wonder if they want us to believe she’s “alright” because she went to a meeting. She didn’t mention her relapse in her share, though.

TB: I’m not sure how the audience will experience it. To me, Christy has suffered the same setback as Bonnie, she just recognized it and got to a meeting on her own, which is pretty incredible.

SRH: I agree with you. I feel like we need to talk about that scene with Bonnie and her conscience. And Jesus. I’ve had beef with the writers using Jesus as a Band-Aid, and this felt like we were doubling back to that.

TB: Yeah, the devil/angel thing is a bit trite for me. But Allison Janney’s arms need their own mention here.

SRH: Right? Shout out to Allison Janney, who is in amazing shape. Even though that trope has been used to death—it was a novelty to see Janney actually play them out like that. A little cliché, sure, but Janney injected the humor.

TB: 100 percent. And the truth is, in this particular case, I do think there is a major inner struggle.

SRH: Agreed. But in terms of trite … Jesus literally saved her. Forgive me, but … COME ON!!!

TB: I actually thought Alvin was going to walk out of the bathroom.

SRH: I could’ve stomached that a little better. I’m probably gonna get in a lot of trouble for this, but it rang inauthentic to me. Will she be up and at ’em next week?

TB: I’m not sure. AA and recovery programs are definitely very much about giving yourself up to a higher power. So, though Bonnie doesn’t seem the type, I see how it fits.

SRH: That factors into my connection too. I’m not coming down too hard because I get it … a little. But it felt a little cheap.

TB: I don’t disagree with that assessment. I also just want to point out that three episodes ago Violet moved in with her 42-year-old boyfriend and we haven’t seen her since.

SRH: That was one of my rants last week. How come we aren’t getting all kinds of super funny, inappropriate scenes from their life together? We are being robbed! I do like the addition of more scenes with the ladies’ group.

TB: Agreed. It’s only a 30-minute show and it’s tough to get it all in, but I like when the kids round out the show.

SRH: Eh … I’m not a giant fan of Roscoe, but I’ll take him if he comes with a helping of Baxter!

TB: There are only two more episodes this season. What are you hoping to see?

SRH: I would like to see Christy and Bonnie have some honest exchanges about their past. I want more of Christy’s dramatic yelling and irrational meanness. I’d like Bonnie to try her hand at seeking forgiveness. Probably like you, I’d like a progress report on Violet and her middle-aged lover.

TB: I like all of those ideas. I really loved when Christy said that if she’s angry she can’t be afraid. I’d love to see her say some of that to Bonnie. They are so sarcastic with each other, they rarely say what they mean.

SRH: I want more of that.

TB: Okay, so on the wishlist we have: more heart-to-hearts, more Violet, and more Baxter.

SRH: Lookin’ at you, Writer’s Room.

Mom airs Thursdays at 9:30/8:30C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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