The boundaries of a no-strings-attached relationship get blurry in “Caroline, No”, and Wade can’t deal with it.
This recap of The Unicorn Season 1, Episode 17, “Caroline, No”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Wade’s (Walton Goggins) relationship with Caroline (Betsy Brandt) gets complicated in The Unicorn Episode 17, and not necessarily in a way that he can deal with. Like most things, though, it starts out pretty fun — Caroline keeps calling him for booty calls in the various empty houses she’s trying to sell to prospective buyers, which seems exactly the kind of laidback fling they’re both looking for. Until it isn’t, obviously.
Grace (Ruby Jay), meanwhile, is in a mysterious mood which Natalie (Makenzie Moss) claims is related in some way to a boy. Wade, out of his depth on the matter, turns to Michelle (Maya Lynne Robinson) and Delia (Michaela Watkins), who don’t seem much more qualified than he does. This forms the B-plot of “Caroline, No”, while Wade busies himself wondering if he’s going to have to actually tell Caroline no or not.
The problems begin to arise at the widow’s group, where Caroline starts sending Wade filthy texts while he’s attempting to befriend a new arrival, Judy (Deanne Jacobs). He assumes she’s getting jealous and says as much to Forrest (Rob Corddry) and Ben (Omar Benson Miller); even though the women think he’s making a mistake, he resolves to talk to Caroline about it anyway, while Delia and Michelle’s attempts to talk to Grace fall extremely flat.
When Wade asks Caroline if they’re still on the same page and explains that he thought she was jealous of Judy, she thinks he’s sweet, which is never a good sign. She sets his mind at ease, or so she thinks, by admitting that she’s actually dating — Wade, being, Wade, has no idea how to take this.
Delia and Michelle fail in their second attempt to get Grace to confide in them, but they at least admit what they’re up to. Wade, meanwhile, starts getting passive-aggressive about Caroline at the next widows’ meeting, which results in a full-blown bust-up and everyone deducing what they’ve been up to. As it turns out, Wade was much more jealous of Caroline’s date than he thought.
Luckily, Delia and Michelle’s honesty prompts Grace to listen to their conversation about various embarrassments in middle school. Eventually, she gets involved enough to share her own, which… doesn’t seem that embarrassing, really, but you know how young girls are. The conclusion is that eighth grade sucks for everyone, which Elsie Fisher could have told you anyway.
Wade and Caroline are also able to make amends in The Unicorn Episode 17. He apologizes and admits he isn’t cut out for the casual life, and she says that’s what makes him such a catch — for someone who’s looking for one, at least. Ben and Forrest might never forgive him for cutting off a seemingly endless supply of filth, but at least he’s happy. When he confides in Grace about embarrassing himself, not making clear this happened earlier today and not, say, thirty years ago, she puts things into perspective for him: “I guess everyone’s kinda dumb when they’re young.”
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.