“No Body” continues to change around the usual dynamics to impressive effect.
This recap of Breeders season 3, episode 4, “No Body”, contains spoilers.
It’s the waiting that gets you. An MRI scan is one thing, but that time between having one and finding out the results is the real torture. Is Paul, as Ally suggests, making his predicament worse than he needs to? Is he heading more towards Robocop or the Tinman? These are serious, worrying questions for a guy who wasn’t level-headed, to begin with.
Breeders season 3, episode 4 recap
As it turns out, Paul has been diagnosed with a condition that he can barely say, that nobody has ever heard of and that nobody quite understands. Either way, he’s out of action. And in the meantime, Luke continues to be deeply sympathetic and understanding towards him, while Ava can barely stand to hug Ally. She wants to spend more time with Susi, who is trying to keep her distance after her conversation with Ally last week, and Ava is also moving schools as if to complicate matters deliberately.
Ally is struggling, then, which is only being compounded by the absence of medication to lessen the symptoms of her menopause, which is sending her anxiety into overdrive and keeping her up at night, and the imminent prospect of losing her job. And Luke is struggling with his friend Jacob, who is now in a relationship with a girl called Ruby, but because he’s Paul’s biggest fan now it’s him he goes to with this problem, and Paul understandably doesn’t want to hear it. Instead, he wants to focus on keeping his back issue under control, which involves quitting smoking and attending the gym with a caricature of a personal trainer.
His solution for Luke’s issue, by the way, is to push him to play bass in a band called the Nomads of Chaos with the school’s Warhammer contingent. That’s much more than he can offer Ally since he doesn’t really have an answer for her “menopause monologue”, which she feels she has to indulge in just to get anyone to listen to her. This is a smart pivot for the show to make, I think, since it has historically been so focused on Paul’s anger and instability. Here, we see Ally becoming quietly disconnected from her own family, even as she strives to remain connected. And at the same time we see Paul, forever the meaner, less reasonable parent, become not only Luke’s father but his friend — there’s a nice scene when Luke attends the gym with Paul to push him into going, and Paul looks across at him on the treadmill and sees, for the first time, a man. So much of parenting is about preparing your children not to need you anymore, but so little media about parenting ever focuses on that sudden feeling of loss you feel when they really do become independent. Luke isn’t there yet, and Ava certainly isn’t, but both Paul and Ally are beginning to see a world in which their children are all grown up, and you can tell they’ve never spared much of a thought for it before.