We all want comfort. A little love to get us through the long nights. Nobody wants to sleep alone. Everyone’s afraid of the dark. But I will not be afraid. The light is always there.
So, this is, for my money, the best episode of the first season. It unfolds Amy’s character in a really odd and fascinating way by showing her trying to really slip back into some rhythms of her old life and revealing that before her breakdown, she was a real party girl, something we’ve seen no real indication of to this point. And Timm Sharp really nails Doug in this episode; he’s been a character mostly played ineffectually and for laughs, but you get to see a surprisingly dark side to him here, finally catching him in the kinds of things he does when he’s off the clock. Demme’s direction is stark but gorgeous. Mike White is the real MVP here; his performance is easily his best. He takes his character in an interesting direction and lets us really see the genuine sorrow behind his awkwardness. This show is about loneliness in a really powerful way, about isolation in all its forms and the real pain that flows from it. The final montage/voice over in this episode is nothing short of devastating. Even at its most emotionally raw and powerful, the show had never moved me as viscerally as the final minute or two of this episode. This one’s a full-on masterpiece. 4 stars.
tl;dr – brilliant performances, especially from Mike White, artful guest direction and a sharp, painful script that explores loneliness in a powerful way; the first season’s finest episode. 4 stars.