You want somebody in your life, but what’s the price?
So, here’s a really prestigious get for guest director with acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Demme. Of course, it isn’t quite as good a get as it would have been in the mid-nineties or anything, but still, kinda cool. In this episode, Amy is initially thrilled when a woman from the retreat, Sandy, passes through the area, allowing them a few days to reconnect. However, she quickly begins to feel threatened by Sandy who seems to be much more at peace and able to live out the retreat’s principles than Amy herself is. When Amy’s ex, Levi, seems to be attracted to Sandy, Amy falls into serious self-doubt about whether or not she’ll ever be able to really succeed at her quest for a balanced and happy life. The real treasure of this episode is Robin Wright, who plays Sandy; the episode obviously rises or falls based on the performance of this particular character who motivates everything in this episode. Wright is able to really embody everything the character needs to be. She’s sometimes sweet and loving to the point of being cloying and at other times very ambiguous and even a little creepy. And I really loved the character issues this raised in Dern’s character. This is a really good episode. 3 ½ stars.
tl;dr – a great guest appearance by Robin Wright anchors this episode in strong emotional ground with this nuanced take on friendship and competition. 3 ½ stars.