“The Family” recap (1.7): Willa Fixes Everything

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This show has been quiet on whether Willa ever went off to college. There are reasons to think she didn’t, and this episode is a case in point. It’s not just that she would have met some strangely intriguing women. It’s that, at some point, she would have made a few friends who would have taken her out and tried to benevolently shake some perspective into her. “Willa,” they would have said, “GIRL. You need to relax your grip on this and do you for a while. Also, Cindy is totally checking you out.” But I don’t think she did, because they definitely didn’t.

We pick right back up where we left off last week, with the rainy night and Claire confronting Willa about Ben. Willa goes Full Lunatic, saying she hoped she could make everything OK again if she only brought Adam back. Claire grabs her keys to leave, and Willa urges her not to, because what if someone sees Claire so upset? Claire whirls and accuses Willa of doing it all for name recognition to win the election, which, let’s be honest, is not a terribly farfetched thought. Willa swears that she just wanted to put their family all back together.

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Claire doesn’t believe that Willa just wanted to make things the way they were again. Willa sobs “I love you, Mom,” and Claire screams that she doesn’t believe that either. Here we go.

Willa chases after Claire says Ben was with Adam for 10 years and knew him and helped him. Claire brings up the trenchant point that Ben is not her son. Willa says that Adam is dead, which is a tad harsh, since Claire has essentially had her youngest child resurrected and then re-murdered again today. Willa says Ben isn’t Adam, but he’s the closest thing they’ll ever have. Claire leaves.

Ten years ago, in the bunker, Young Ben chatters at Young Adam, talking about an imaginary brunch as he splits a donut for them. Adam wants to know what happens in the bunker. Ben says eating, playing, school, and then he can’t quite bring himself to say what Craggy Doug, who Ben refers to as “Our Friend,” does when he comes down there. We have a montage of the boys eating cereal, reading the same old comics and newspapers over and over, and singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” as they work to chisel away the mortar between the bunker bricks with their spoons.

We get a montage of the family moving forward without Adam. Claire swears in as mayor under the Colossal American Flag of Red Pines. I would like to know what budget items were nixed in favor of the basketball-court-sized flag. John has his book published; Claire announces Red Pines’ zero tolerance policy for sex offenders. 

The boys get bigger, and so does their tunnel behind the bricks… 3xcept for the steel wall they find that’s blocking any way out. (This is where you wonder if they can’t just overpower Doug at this point, but the show will take care of that.) Adam is not as good at playing happy and pretending everything is fine as Ben is. He flips out and yells that Doug is not their friend.

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