After last week’s exhilarating trip to New Orleans, Better Things returns to familiar, rainy territory in California with “High Man, Bye Man.” As was often the case with Louie, Better Things can fly by in a half-hour with seemingly not a lot happening. You can boil this episode down to two main things happening: Sam visits Marion, and then she gets high afterward. In the grand scheme of things, that’s it. There are things that happen in between, sure, so let’s get to that.
I assume that Sam has listened to the voicemail she got at the end of “New Orleans,” though there’s no need for her to bring it up to everyone else just yet. Either way, after picking up Frankie and Duke, Sam heads off to visit Marion and Caroline at their fancy-ass new house. Phil and Max are accompanying Sam because, well, you got me.
While Sam and Max are enjoying themselves, Phil is icy to Caroline because, best guess, she’s not family. She even requests that one of the family photos taken only include blood relatives. Again, the subject of parentage and lineage keep coming up this season and it makes me curious what the results of that DNA test will be.
Despite the frostiness from Phil, we do get a nice, quiet moment between Sam and Marion, with Sam asking Marion how he’s doing. Sure, Sam doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to dating, but she still cares about the well-being of her brother. Not that Sam expects everyone to go through what she’s experienced in regards to matters of the heart, but Marion is her brother and she still cares for him.
Though, as Marion points out, not everyone needs to be divorced and some couples do want to try and work through their shit. A fair point. Not everyone who experiences heartbreak or issues in their relationship just ends it right off the bat. At the same time, not everyone wants to go through the trouble of working through things either. This doesn’t feel like a confrontation or Sam attempting to give her brother an intervention.
It’s a genuine talk between brother and sister and while Marion may think that Sam is coming off as condescending, he doesn’t just block her out or ignore what she has to say.
The second half of this episode involves Sam going to a weed store and picking up some goods. She has a nice chat with the merchant about how scarier it used to be when trying to acquire some green, but now? Not so much. Sadly, it’s vaping and not something like edibles. Ah well. Can’t start getting picky. It’s not as festive as New Orleans, but Sam quickly gets very experienced. Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful.
Bad timing, as Duke is spending time at a friend’s and wants to come home. So with Sam blazed out of her mind, she calls Max- interrupting her in the middle of a bathroom break, mind you- and asks her to go get Duke. Admittedly, calling Max while at work to go get her sister isn’t exactly ideal, but Sam is so high that she can’t make sense of what’s what. Still, unlike someone who would be drunk, she’s able to have some semblance of a coherent conversation.
But at least Max points out that her mother might’ve gotten THC instead of CBD.
Either way, Max picks up Duke, who just didn’t like being at Elise’s house, and Duke is disappointed that her mother got high. Okay, Duke, no need to be the moral authority here. Frankie was the one earlier who talked about everyone dying from climate change anyway.
After the family has a relatively calm moment watching television, Frankie has a serious conversation with her mother, just as Sam gets the munchies. You never interrupt someone with the munchies. It’s not right. But we follow-up on that unexpected moment of Sam walking into Frankie’s room. Yes, Frankie comes clean and admits that she had sex. However, it wasn’t the magical moment that many make it out to be. In fact, she doesn’t want to do it again because of how clinical it felt.
What, is Frankie going to join a nunnery or something? Will she go celibate for life? Not that it matters right now, but very mature of her to come clean on her own accord when she didn’t have to. She even agrees with Sam’s decision to visit the doctor. She eventually agrees, I mean.
The episode comes to a close with, again, a calm moment between the two as Frankie makes some peppermint ice cream that looks so good I’m upset that she and Sam didn’t share any with me. As much as we’ve seen Sam cook, this season has shown that Frankie is no slouch when it comes to being in the kitchen. Perhaps she’s got a future in cooking as well.
After Sam’s wild antics in New Orleans, Better Things slows things down. Quite literally with Sam getting experienced. Still, there were plenty of great moments throughout and the moments with Sam and the girls were better than most, probably helped that none of them were being a major pain in the ass. All in all, while not as great as “New Orleans,” this was still a very good episode. See you all next time for more Better Things.