“Widow’s Group” examines anger as a part of grief, as Wade discovers that none of his friends understand what he’s going through — and why that’s okay.
This recap of The Unicorn Season 1, Episode 3, “Widow’s Group”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Losing someone is hard — and not always in obvious ways. The Unicorn Episode 3 is about how sneaky grief can be; the empty chair at a restaurant, the envious look you find yourself giving those who you perceive to be happier, the inability of those who haven’t experienced the same thing to really empathize with your plight. “Widow’s Group” is still a very funny episode of The Unicorn, but it touches on something really truthful about loss and how we cope with it.
Wade (Walton Goggins), Ben (Omar Benson Miller), Forrest (Rob Corddry), Michelle (Maya Lynne Robinson) and Delia (Michaela Watkins) go out for dinner, where a chair once occupied by Wade’s wife sits empty. They’re all awkward about it, convinced he must be struggling not to notice it, but he insists he’s fine. To make matters worse, Grace (Ruby Jay) calls to complain about Natalie (Makenzie Moss) messing with her Snapchat, the group tries to insist the server is into Wade, and then they try not to let him pay. In a frantic outburst, he insists he’s not a charity case and can pay for himself, but he has left his wallet in his other pants. He’ll get the next one.
That’s if there is a next one. Everyone knows Wade freaked out at the restaurant, including Natalie and Grace, who’re still at each other’s throats. When Forrest and Delia run into an acquaintance of Delia’s, Caroline (Betsy Brandt), an opportunity presents itself. She hosts a support group to help people cope with life after loss. And it’s unanimously decided that Ben has to be the one to tell Wade to go.
Wade obviously doesn’t want to. But he reluctantly agrees and finds himself the only man there — the widow’s group is all-female because wives tend to outlive their husbands, and husbands who outlive their wives tend to get snapped up quickly. Wade is clearly uncomfortable, especially when the women quickly start talking about sex.
At a barbecue in The Unicorn Episode 3, Wade explains to Ben and Forrest about his experiences at the widow’s group, and their wives, watching through the window, believe he’s opening up. Beset on all sides by constant nagging, he once again loses his temper, only reinforcing the idea that he needs help with anger management.
The next morning, both Ben and Forrest have applied what Wade told them to their own sex lives, enjoying mixed results. As an apology for snapping at Delia, Wade decides to go to the widow’s group another time, as Natalie continues to be awkward. The breakthrough of The Unicorn Episode 5 comes when the widows tell Wade that he’s right to be angry. He lost his wife, and that isn’t fair. Nobody who hasn’t experienced that kind of loss really knows how he’s feeling. Wine is poured and eagerly consumed. Then the bourbon comes out.
Wade wakes up on his couch, late for Natalie’s soccer game — which he’s supposed to be refereeing — and missing his truck. They have to get an Uber there and find Forrest doing a terrible job officiating. At first, seeing him clearly hungover, Wade’s friends are angry that he went out rather than attend the widow’s group, but once he explains they get the message. He didn’t have an anger problem — he was ashamed of being angry and has realized now that there’s no shame in it, that he needs it. He lost his best friend, and while he explains that none of them know what he’s going through, he hopes they never have to find out for themselves. This is also the advice he gives to Grace and Natalie while they’re trying to figure out where he parked the truck. The latter opens up about how she feels now that they’ve gone from doing everything together to doing things separately. Wade and Grace help to set her mind at ease.
The Unicorn Season 1, Episode 3 ends how it began: with dinner. When the empty chair gets brought up again, Wade says he has brought a date. Natalie joins them for dinner.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.