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'Love' fan recap: Ground control to Major Gus

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “Party in the Hills” | Aired Feb 19, 2016

For the first time since Love threw them together for a raucous day trip around Los Angeles, Gus and Mickey share the screen and have yet another unforgettable encounter. Some key phrases to hook you: bad homemade tattoos, roof diving, and too much tequila.

“Party in the Hills” pushes Love into a tonal shift, infusing the series with the energy of an ensemble sitcom while retaining the character-study feel of the modern dry comedy. We get more from Gus and Mickey as they interact with each other and the people in the fringes of their lives. Rather than talking about and reacting to personal problems, they are actively creating new personal problems.

At first impression, Gus comes off as a sort of loner. We’ve only met two of his friends, but hold the phone—he’s got, like, 800. And his apartment is home base for group hangs, where they compose title songs for films that don’t have one. While they’re working on a track for The Perfect Storm, Gus receives a party invite from Mickey. He literally drops his bass guitar and flies out the door.

Mickey, meanwhile, is in no rush to get to her friend Shaun’s housewarming party. She helps Bertie tweeze rogue chin hairs and sacrifices herself as DD because she doesn’t “need to get sloppy drunk at every party.” Famous last words.

Gillian Jacobs as Mickey in Love

Gus shows up early for the 7 p.m. party. In fact, he’s the first to arrive, and ends up hosing off the patio furniture for Shaun and her husband. No matter how hard he tries, Gus can’t be anyone other than Gus. To bide time while anxiously awaiting Mickey’s arrival, he participates in a man’s open call for tattoos, because what better way to get to know people than to have them tattoo random things on your body? Gus permanently inscribes the word “sarcoma” with an arrow pointing at a questionable mole. Tattoo Guy doesn’t see the humor in Gus’s goofball joke.

Finally, Gus and Mickey unite. She calls his bluff on getting to the party early, but gets distracted straightaway when she spots her ex, Dustin. As quickly as Mickey blew into this party like a forceful wind, she blows right out of Gus’ reach to talk to Dustin. Gus retreats to the bathroom to call his friends. He’s all in his head about what people think of him and if Mickey actually likes him—a sad song we have all played on repeat in our minds at one point. After a hilariously self-deprecating pep talk, Gus reenters the party.

Mickey’s conversation with Dustin, while predictably contentious, opens up all kinds of questions into who Mickey really is. Dustin accuses her of stealing his laptop, riddling her couch with cigarette burns, and even cheating on him. She swears innocence on all counts, but is she telling the truth? The Mickey we know might have done these awful things, but do we side with her? Probably not, since she’s breaking her word and getting sloppy drunk.

Paul Rust as Gus in Love

Gus hits it off with the girl who tattooed Tattoo Guy before he did, reviving his confidence. He spots instruments in the corner of the room and decides to be that guy who starts a jam session. Before long, Gus has a full band going, and it catches Mickey’s eye. Her thirst for destruction tries to get Gus to abandon his bass-player duties, but he remains committed to the jams.

Down on her luck, Mickey has a smoke and more drinks, only to be faced with another ex. Now Eric and Dustin are coming at her with accusations and hate speech, none of which she can process with healthy emotional tools. As she is, Mickey numbs herself to a point of feeling very little. Throw in a few drinks, and her capacity for feeling anything but recklessness is diminished.

Soon, she’s in the midst of a drunk meltdown. Once again, she projects her arrested development onto others, scolding everyone for being content with a modest gathering and not raging like they did when they were younger. Mickey needs to be running on all cylinders to feel satiated, to feel anything at all. And she’s about to feel something, all right. “We’re not dead yet, f—ers!” she yells as she jumps into the pool from the roof.

Gillian Jacobs as Mickey in Love

Mickey makes a splash, but it’s not the one she anticipated. Even though a couple of free spirits have joined her in the pool, her literal flop into the water was a sobering wake-up call. Gus rushes to help her when she meets the water fully prostrate. “I just wanted to have fun,” she tells him as she dries up and dries off. There’s pain in her voice when she says “fun.” She wants to have fun to forget, to reclaim some part of her that she lost along the way.

But she’ll never get that part of herself back. Not now, at least. She and Gus have a moment … until Bertie barges in. Mickey must still be drunk, because she gets the great idea that Gus and Bertie should date. Isn’t love—and Love—unpredictable?


  • Mickey on the state of her friend’s breasts: “Legendary. But she has a kid now, so I don’t know what kind of condition they’re in.”
  • “She’s Australian. And yes, she has hugged a koala. It’s the first thing I asked her.” —Mickey introducing Bertie
  • “Everybody here at this party looks like a grown-up version of that movie Kids.” —Gus
  • Gus’s bathroom-mirror pep talk: “You can do this, Gus. You’re the man. You’re like a man. You’re close to being a man. F—k you, you piece of sh-t.”
  • “The night that f—in’ Elliot Smith died, Shaun and I did crack, and then we went and we banged on everybody’s doors and told them about it.” —Mickey trying to amp up the party-goers

All 10 season-one episodes of Love are available to stream on Netflix.

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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