Breeders season 1, episode 8 recap – “No Honeymoon”

April 21, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV, TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

Paul has to make the hardest compromise of his life as his marriage to Ally looms ever-closer, and nobody seems to be as interested in it as he is.

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3.5

Summary

Paul has to make the hardest compromise of his life as his marriage to Ally looms ever-closer, and nobody seems to be as interested in it as he is.

This recap of Breeders Season 1, Episode 8, “No Honeymoon”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


Martin Freeman has long-since mastered the put-upon everyman, but rarely since The Office has a show asked as much of that persona as Breeders does. In “No Honeymoon”, Paul (Freeman) is under more pressure than ever, finally having a wedding on the horizon that everyone from his kids to his parents to his fiancé seem much less interested in than he does. Breeders Episode 8 positions him at the forefront of the episode, yes to wring comedy out of his misfortune, but also so that he can show there are ways beyond marrying Ally (Daisy Haggard) that’ll prove how much he loves her.

This is a slightly atypical characterization of a patriarch. The anger, foul-mouthed bluster and inch-long fuse are common, stereotypically male traits, but his willingness to compromise even to his own detriment is what defines him most. He swears at his kids and tells white lies to them constantly, but when it matters he’s there; he can’t stress enough how important marrying Ally is to him, but he’ll settle for an ad-hoc ceremony just so they can get it done before she heads to Berlin for a potentially lucrative business development, leaving him and the kids behind.

Why is he willing to do this? Because he loves his family, and while Ally is the more pragmatic of the two, barely paying attention to the wedding plans in the first place because she’s preoccupied with work and has been through it all before anyway, Paul can still see what’s best. He kicks up a fuss about it because that’s his way of making things easier on himself, but when the chips are down he does what’s right. He rejects a promotion at work because taking it would result in two juniors being fired, and neither can afford to lose their jobs. He knows that doing so will mean that Ally, who initially turned down the Berlin offer, will have to go in order to make up the difference – as it turns out she wanted to anyway but was willing to pretend otherwise for the sake of their wedding, honeymoon, and Paul’s happiness.

Breeders Episode 8 is the clearest example of why these two are believable as a couple, and why, despite their flaws, they’re so easy to root for. Their relationship is built on compromise. It’s far from perfect, which is entirely the point – relationships tend not to be. And it’s that warts-and-all portrayal of relationships and parenting that make this such a great show. “No Honeymoon” might not have had the biggest laughs or the most touching moments, but it was easily the best representation of what a real life actually looks like.


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