“No Connection” finds Paul fretting over his kids aging out of their relationship with him.
This recap of Breeders season 2, episode 3, “No Connection”, contains spoilers.
The point of parenting, in general terms, is to raise your kids well enough that they can survive without you. But there’s nothing in the handbook that explains how to handle the crushing feeling you get when they’re young enough to still need you but old enough to think you and your interests are utterly embarrassing. Every parent goes through the realization that family movie night or some such has become more of a punishment for your little ones than a reward, and “No Connection” is about that. But it’s also about aging on the other end of the spectrum, realizing that most of your life is in the rear-view mirror and that change can be a terrifying thing.
Paul, Ally, and the kids used to sit down and watch Dancing on Ice together, but now Luke and Ava have better things to do, which is the trigger for all this existential panic. It throws Paul for a loop, especially when he also starts to worry about the distance between him and Ally after seeing an example of “loving” parents at a taekwondo class. Is the entire family unit coming apart at the seams?
What Breeders season 2, episode 3 gets about all this is that kids will claim to have grown out of something before they really have. As with previous episodes of this second season, all of which have been really well-observed, the point is the process, learning to understand and accept these behaviours without behaving like a psychopath about it. Paul’s efforts to force the kids to watch the show obviously backfire, but that only makes the payoff, when he catches them privately watching a re-run and doing the dance themselves, all the sweeter.
The B-plot of “No Connection” involves Jim and Jackie having to say goodbye to their long-time neighbors, Lyn (Yvonne D’Alpra) and Bob (Roger Sloman). They’ve lived next door to them for so long that it’s basically like losing a part of their own lives — or, I suppose, like their friends are dying. Lyn’s parting wish that Jackie looks after her roses causes issues with the new “young professionals” who move in next door, proving that you can’t just maintain old habits because you’d like to. Sometimes, you just have to let go. It’s a fairly morbid realization for Breeders season 2, episode 3, but it’s also true, as so much of the show tends to be.