Michael Cera is terrific in the episode titled “Homegoing.” It’s Life & Beth’s finest episode, and Schumer’s most personal.
This recap of Hulu’s Life & Beth season 1, episode 8, “Homegoing,” contains spoilers.
Life & Beth season 1, episode 8 recap
It is time we talk about John. This is an episode that highlights Michael Cera’s take on the blunt, straightforward, socially awkward, yet remarkably confident farmer. Take, for instance, when Beth tries to help sell his crops at the farmer’s market. We can forget about him being mad at her because Beth kept ripping off his customers for leaks and swiss chard five times what he would typically charge. It is the same traits he has shown the entire series, and up to this point, we found it quirky and refreshing.
Here, when Beth’s friends, Jen and Jess, show up taking pictures of her and teasing her. John approaches their comments on how there are too many J’s, in which he may or not be joking. He then bluntly asks one of them if she has a perm because her hair is curly. Then, bluntly, if they are going to buy anything? Beth then adds, “How about just nice to meet you?”
Beth then finds out from Jess and Jen that Maya’s grandfather has passed on. She feels awful because she has her issues and missed a call this week. When she and John head to the funeral, he is worried about his boat. He also is wearing a wrinkled white dress shirt that he failed to tuck into his slacks. They are late, but he keeps, again, talking about wanting to check on his boat. When they sit in the church behind Maya, John is on his cell phone and again asks something loudly to Beth without the way Beth wants to whisper.
After the service and Beth introduces John to Maya for the first time, his awkwardness is even more apparent. When Maya comments that he is a farmer that is so interesting, he stops the conversation in its tracks by saying, “Why?” He then makes it uncomfortable by insisting they go and argue with Beth in front of Maya. When they get to the boat and find it is tied correctly, she is upset. She tells him that sometimes John is excellent and feels “completely” alone when she is with him. It is something John cannot explain.
The parallels between John and Beth to Schumer’s life are apparent. She is married to Chris Fischer, a renowned chef who has a family farm on Martha’s Vineyard. Per Schumer, which she revealed on her Netflix special, Fischer has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that can cause social, communication, and behavioral challenges. If you look back at the series, and this episode, some behaviors John exhibits that are common with ASD are repeated actions and having trouble adapting when a routine changes. You will also notice he has a problem relating to people or showing interest to others outside his circle. He may even avoid eye contact randomly and may have trouble understanding others’ feelings.
There is so much misunderstanding and assumption about ASD. If you watched Schumer and Fischer’s cooking show during the pandemic, first, they are adorable together. And while Fischer’s case is mild, he is high functioning, and most live their everyday daily lives. This is a beautiful and deeply personal insight into Schumer’s life.
As John drives Beth home, she begins to think about some of her memories from childhood. She thinks of when her father arrives for her volleyball match after it ends. There is a montage of Beth and Liz hanging out and laughing together. Then, it cuts to a scene where Liz walks by Beth without acknowledging her. She remembers her mother brushing her hair and her father explaining that they are getting divorced (or that is my assumption).
John then drops her off at her house. They don’t say anything, and he looks through his windshield like he is disconnected from the situation. Beth gets out, walks to her door, picks up a package, and unlocks her mom’s front door.
What did you think of Hulu’s Life & Beth season 1, episode 8? Let us know in the comments below!