“The Family” recap (1.12): I Come to Bury The Family, Not to Praise It

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Well, this is it. The Family has been canceled, so anything that doesn’t get wrapped up tonight doesn’t get wrapped up ever. If we leave Clements down in that basement, I’m going to be pissed.

Ben has the opening voiceover convention that we have only sometimes followed. He says to picture your life like a series of moments stacked up like a house of cards. Is there one you’d try to do differently? I don’t want to tell you how to live your life, Ben, but I’d go with the moment when you followed Doug to his truck.

Ten years ago in the bunker, Young Ben tries to get a game of Connect Four started as Young Adam tries to get out and screams for rescue. Young Ben says it won’t work, and that it’s been too long—Adam’s family thinks he’s dead by now and has stopped looking. Young Adam breaks the game. That’s apparently the moment that gives Young Ben the inspiration to start digging out the mortar between the bricks. Did we need that bit tied up? I feel like there are so many other details we could be tending to. I don’t really need an explanation as to why two boys tried to get out of the hole where they were being held captive.

In the present, Willa calls Claire down to get some pictures. She says the press knows something’s up because Claire didn’t give a speech last night. (In another 180 of her feelings about Ben, Claire is not happy that her fake son might have killed her real son. In fairness, it has been a hell of stressful few months for Claire.)

Claire angry tie’s Ben’s tie for him and says she knows what he did to her son. Then Tim Burton’s Emo Claire goes down for press photos and looks like a hung-over ghost. Why isn’t Willa managing this, curating Claire’s outfit and demeanor? We saw her do that very thing just a few episodes ago. It’s what Willa does, for chrissakes. Willa finally tries, asking Claire to sit down and Claire just goes outside.

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Meyer got scarlet oak off the floor last week. Turns out that only grows in a very small part of the woods. How fortunate! On the downside, the FBI agent who thinks Clements is just on a bender plays a message from Clements to his husband telling him that, yeah, he’s just going to lay low for a bit. Meyer, though it must be admitted that her gut has not served her well in the past, knows this feels wrong.

Jane brings Clements ravioli, corn, and protein shakes, all opened so Clements can get to it. Well, that sounds sanitary. And will he be picking up his food with the hand that’s shackled behind him or with the heavily bandaged hand with no thumb? Jane says she and Doug are going to Canada, but she’ll be real sure to call the police when she gets there. Clements tries to talk her out of it by appealing to her protective instincts about her baby–he says that kids become their parents. Or, Clements, you could bring up the more immediate risk that the baby’s father may try to rape it in a few years. That might be the one to go with in the clutch, don’t you think? Nobody on this show makes any goddamned sense anymore.

Emo Claire goes to the bunker where Adam and Ben were kept, blithely throwing aside police tape indicating that it’s an active crime scene. She looks at all the taped-off and numbered segments and hallucinates Young Adam waiting for her. She clarifies out loud to Young Adam that he’s not real even though it’s just her talking to him in her mind. Thanks, show.

Three months ago, Ben tells Adam that it doesn’t matter about their one dead-end tunnel. He says they’ll start a new tunnel. But Adam wants to go up.

Hank, sitting in a parking lot where he knows he shouldn’t be, helps a kid who fell off his bike. The kid says he’s Devin, and he’s in sixth grade. Devin asks Hank for a ride home. Hank agrees and says his name is Jim.

Bad Reporter negotiates with Gus to run the story that “Adam” is really Ben. You know, the story that Gus was all on board with last week. That’s the one. He says legal is all freaked out, and she says she has Ben’s biological mom and birth certificate. Gus says the new governor will rain down hell on the Red Pines Tribune, but Bad Reporter insists that he run it, because that is a thing a reporter can do to an editor, sure. Gus says he wants 2,000 words and all her research “on his desk” by 5:00. The Tribune has blogs and a Twitter account but not e-mail? And why are they having this argument when she hasn’t even written this story yet? Because plot plot plotty McPlot, that’s why. This show has given up having reasons for things. Gus says Bad Reporter will have the whole front page.

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