It's the eve of Moira Rose's movie debut on Interflix, and Alexis is pulling out all the stops as Moira's publicist, planning a full red carpet premiere that she can use as a press angle to promote the film. But between her mother's impulsiveness and the limited resources of their small town, she's about to push her PR skills to the limit.
Meanwhile Patrick gets dental surgery and makes a startling announcement about his future with David while he's high on painkillers, and Stevie has a big decision to make now that her plans to travel the world as a flight attendant are over before they even began.
I'll say right now, this season keeps getting better with each episode — and it started out pretty strong. How long can they keep it up?
Alexis is ready to go Hollywood with her PR career, using the Interflix release of the Crows movie to plan a local premiere complete with media buzzwords, a red carpet and a flock of trained birds. Moira acts like she's too big a name for such a rustic event ("What's next, I sign my name in the pavement outside Bob's Garage?"), though she's really worried the B-list film will get terrible reviews, and she'll only agree to a small viewing party.
But when Ornothology Today writes that the movie highlights "the emotional depth and intellectual capacity of our oft-maligned friend, the crow" — basically a positive version of The Discourse™ that happens every time a shark movie drops — she bounces right back to overconfidence and decides they may have a hit on their hands. Suddenly the big event is back on, with Moira planning to spin it as "a terrifying tale premiering in an equally spine-chilling town" (oh, that’ll go over well), and Alexis only has four hours to pull everything together.
We rarely get to see Alexis this flustered over her work; even the misadventure with Moira's social media takeover and David's "incident" was mostly a joke to her. It's fun to see how she handles things when she's really under pressure.
David spends most of the day taking care of Patrick after he gets his wisdom teeth removed, and that means it's time for the classic viral-video comedy of Patrick talking nonsense while the anesthetic wears off. I was a little worried that Patrick was going to be the "crying because they stole my teeth" kind of high, which always stresses me out; but he ends up being the cuddly, "why are you SO HANDSOME" kind of high, which is freaking delightful. I must have replayed the "no shhh c'mere, I got a secret" part at least eight times.
But David's preening over his skincare regimen gets cut short when Patrick announces he wants them to have a baby together. "You would make such a good dad!" he says, as David starts to panic. "I wish you were my dad!"
This right here? This is the kind of TV drama I live for.
After the Larry Air debacle, Stevie is sheepish but a bit relieved when Johnny asks to come over to her apartment for a business meeting. At first she assumes he's going to offer her old job back, but then he says he wants to buy out her ownership of the Rosebud Motel, taking the business off her hands and giving her the money and freedom to keep exploring other career options.
He marks the occasion with a copy of his book Fast Forward to Success (and I just put together that the Rose family's lost fortune began with a video rental business and now may return thanks to a streaming service, oh my god), and the title page is signed, "Wishing you happiness in your bright future. Your partner, Johnny Rose."
A few seasons ago, Stevie might have jumped at an opportunity like this. A lot has changed since then.
The Crows premiere is becoming a hassle for the town council as Alexis hurries to set up chairs for the screening, wrangles local news stations that want to cover the event, and pesters Ronnie and Roland to organize the red carpet experience that she cancelled earlier. "If it's a premiere we're all in trouble, because my skinny jeans are in the wash!" says Roland, and dammit, that's two episodes in a row I've had to eat my words about Roland, this was my biggest laugh of the night.
In the end Alexis has to put her foot down. "We have a situation on our hands that needs to be solved now," she says. "Either you can help me out, or I pull the plug now and nobody wins." She reminds me a lot of Moira crashing a council meeting to demand a town cleanup project back in Season 2, and I'm so proud of her that I almost missed her describing Moira as a "12-time Emmy Award-attending actress."
Ronnie and Roland finally agree to help, but only if they get to walk the carpet themselves. This is gonna be good.
Finally, Johnny gets a truly heartwarming moment after weeks of mixed feelings about Moira and Stevie and the motel expansion. Stevie pays him a visit in the lobby, where he's trying to remember her instructions on how to open a file on the computer, and tells him she's read some of his book and done a lot of thinking. "Chapter 1 is all about trusting your instincts, and I haven't been doing that," she says, explaining that she'd been taking for granted that Johnny was supporting her and letting her run her business on her own terms. Now she wants back in — only this time she wants to help him build something, instead of viewing the motel as a dead end that she needs to escape from. The relief and pride on Johnny's face is enough to choke me up a little.
Of course, now Stevie's future and Roland and Jocelyn's financial stability are dependent on Johnny being able to make this business venture work. No pressure.
Things are kind of tense when Patrick wakes up from his nap and an anxious David fills him in on all the talking he was doing. Describing the baby conversation as "triggering" is pretty on point, because you don't have to go very far back in TV history to find a gay couple whose long-awaited wedding was called off over exactly this issue. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, Supergirl.)
But instead of letting the miscommunication go unresolved for half the season like most shows would do, David and Patrick actually talk things out like healthy adults, and Patrick assures his fiancé that he may have once pictured himself having kids, but he's happy with the life he has now. David asks if he's 100% sure he's not giving up his dream for David's sake, which is sweet because he knows Patrick loves him enough to do something like that — but he also knows Patrick spent most of his life in the closet, repressing his own needs to make other people happy. It's a subtle detail that gets more profound the more you think about it.
The Crows premiere arrives, and for a while it really looks like Alexis pulled it off — the glamorous red carpet, the crowds of yelling photographers, and Moira's triumphant return to show business. She gets to wear her gold designer dress from Season 5! Ronnie looks amazing! David and Patrick are now both high after David swipes one of Patrick's painkillers, and I don't condone prescription drug misuse but I love these dorks so much!
The red carpet scene is also a big shameless wink at the audience, who spent the last several months cheering Schitt's Creek from the Emmys to the SAG Awards. (Fleabag basically won everything, but we're not bitter.)
Tragically, Alexis' big win gets ruined when the flock of crows they release before the screening attacks the crowd, and David later finds a video clip from the news coverage that's been shared 32,000 times. Now Moira and Alexis need to find out if they can spin this disaster to their advantage, or if the whole Crows movie is done for.