The second season of HBO’s Togetherness began last Sunday night, and undercurrent #1 was Michelle’s (Melanie Lynskey‘s) recent infidelity with silver-haired David (John Ortiz) and whether or not she should tell her husband Brett (Mark Duplass). I don’t know where this is going but co-creators Mark and Jay Duplass are obviously invested in the concepts of marriage and stability and are looking for ways to keep things together between Brett and Michelle. I can’t say I’m happy about that.
Near the close of season #1 I wrote about the best episode yet — “Party Time” — and what a glorious possibility it was that Brett and Michelle might amicably separate and agree to be friendly and cooperative co-parents of their kids. Please! So I was hoping that things would continue to gradually move in that direction.
Because Michelle, bless her, lives to drag everyone down into the hole that she lives in, and which she probably couldn’t climb out of if she wanted to. Because Brett and Michelle are in a San Quentin marriage with occasional furloughs. Because everything that draggy, down-headed Michelle touches turns to glum. And because I, the viewer, felt the clouds begin to part at the end of “Party Time.”
I, the jury would love to see Brett discover a better, more tingly and euphoric life. Escape from the Lynskey…I’m sorry, the Michelle!
“Yes, I realize Brett might turn around and mesh together with Michelle for the sake of the kids, and that’ll be too bad but on the other hand…well, okay. I understand the impulse,” I wrote on 3.5.15. “I was more than willing to stay in my bad marriage for the sake of the kids so I wouldn’t blame anyone if this happens. But Brett and Michelle would be so much happier if they could drop the idea of making each other miserable and just forget about sex and just be with people they want to be with when there’s time.”
But Michelle…God, what a gloom pill. And she isn’t even smart about the cheating. Never, ever confess to infidelity for any reason at any time…ever. The mere lure of infidelity is obviously a symptom of trouble, but it always becomes a live ingredient once it’s acted upon. It always makes things worse for a relationship that isn’t working all that well to begin with. However enticing it might seem, it’s really better to not go there. But if you do, take it fucking seriously.
Being honest with a wife/husband about cheating is like shoving a knife in their ribs, and if you love your partner/spouse you should never, ever do that. Unless you’re a sadist of some kind. You cheated once or twice? Hold that shit in and keep it there. Live with it.
You’re engaged in a full-on, emotionally entangled affair? Sooner or later your relationship will suffer as a result, but if you’re going to climb up on that high board and do that swan dive, do it like a fucking pro. Become an East German double agent in the early ’60s or don’t go there at all. Man up and show consideration for the feelings of your significant other by — hello? — protecting them from the hurt. Or, you know, from your selfishness or whatever the hell you want to call it. It’s your problem. Don’t lay it on them.
Lynskey’s Michelle: “Oohh, I can’t help being honest about what happened because I’m such an honest person”…fuck you. Never. Admit. Anything.