Bridge and Tunnel season 1, episode 5 recap – “Today Is Your Birthday”

February 21, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Epix, Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Today Is Your Birthday” is a bad episode for Pags, and the future of the other characters seems more uncertain than ever just in time for the finale.

3.5

Summary

“Today Is Your Birthday” is a bad episode for Pags, and the future of the other characters seems more uncertain than ever just in time for the finale.

This recap of Bridge and Tunnel season 1, episode 5, “Today Is Your Birthday”, contains spoilers.


Pags is in love! You’ll recall that in last week’s episode, he had a successful date with Juliana, and now he’s fretting about where to take her. As we’ll see throughout “Today Is Your Birthday”, that’s the least of his problems.

Stacey is also back in Bridge and Tunnel episode 5 and causes some problems of her own. Since she has broken up with her city boyfriend, she’s moving back home and wants to crash with Jill, who takes the opportunity to tell her that she got fired from her new job for finally following her mother’s advice and telling her bullying boss to f*ck herself. Good on her, if you ask me, but then again it leaves her a bit high and dry, career-wise. And right on the eve of her birthday! Speaking of which, Jimmy spends a good chunk of “Today Is Your Birthday” fretting about what to get her, eventually deciding against the traditional gifts like perfume and jewelry to take her a very personal photograph on the (for once earnest) advice of Genie.

The gradual downfall of Pags continues apace when Stacey joins her father, Mr. Ross, for dinner with him, his mother, and Lizzie. The conversation quickly turns to Pags’s new lady friend, and he inadvertently insults Lizzie’s band when he’s explaining what she does for a living. You can just tell things aren’t going to go well, and lo and behold, they don’t. But that comes later.

In the meantime, Mikey runs into Stacey, who naturally wants to resume her relationship with him now that she’s back. He rejects her advances, for once, and when she assumes it’s because of Tammy he doesn’t correct her. This leads Stacey straight to Tammy at the diner, where she makes a massive scene and berates her, scoffing when Tammy claims to be in love with Mikey. It’s very hard to see Stacey’s point of view here, which is a sentiment echoed by Mikey himself. He thinks that this is an opportunity to give them a chance, but Tammy can’t let go of her loyalty to one of her oldest friends, even if oldest and best aren’t necessarily the same thing. Tammy and Mikey are both clearly in love with each other — Mikey later confesses this to Pags — but they just can’t quite be open with one another about it. There’s a part of me that hopes they make it work, even if I’m not sure Mikey can be trusted.

Anyway, back to Pags. As he’s getting ready for his date, Mr. Ross takes him aside for a bizarre chat about Gina, who he claims makes him very happy. He’s planning to ask her to move in with him if things continue to go well, and since they’re going to be family, he simply can’t have Pags taking his lady to Beefsteak Charlie’s. He gives him some cash to take her somewhere fancy — Mr. Ross is such a Long Island stereotype that every second he spends on-screen is hilarious to me — which turns out to be a harbinger of doom. Pags finally gets the letter he has been waiting for from Brooklyn Law, and it turns out he didn’t get in. He’s devastated, and it was great to see a moment of genuine contrition from Lizzie when she sees how hurt he is. Nevertheless, when Juliana calls, he cancels their date, worried that she won’t like him if he isn’t going to law school. It’s a sad moment, especially since it comes right as something good was finally happening for Pags.

Bridge and Tunnel season 1, episode 5 ends by, as ever, raising some questions about what might happen with Jimmy and Jill going forwards. Naturally, she doesn’t like the photo very much, but she seems very into Jimmy so he hardly minds. Given her disillusionment with her career, and an offhanded remark she made to her mother about whether it wouldn’t be so bad to go to Alaska with him, are we potentially looking at a romantic elopement in the finale? Perhaps not, since Artie throws a last-minute spanner in the works. He snooped around Jimmy’s darkroom and was very impressed by the pictures he took of his friends and wants to show them to the guy whose house they painted in a previous episode. Perhaps nature photography isn’t his true calling after all? And, if so, perhaps his future isn’t in Alaska either?

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