I hope we've all had time to process our feelings after the previous episode of Schitt's Creek, because now it's time to Talk About Things and it's even more of an emotional roller coaster.
Less than a week after that heartwrenching breakup with Ted, Alexis throws herself back into the dating scene, which Johnny is not at all comfortable with. Moira's publicity tour for the Crows movie gets her in trouble with some of her neighbors, and Jocelyn has an interesting pitch for David and Patrick about Rose Apothecary.
Breakups are hard, and people deal with them in different ways. In Alexis's case, that means putting on her tiniest sparkly dress and going on dates with a man old enough to be her dad who calls her "Lexi" for some reason.
As David frets that her rebound is "alarmingly manic and regressive," an overprotective Johnny tries to find out more about this guy and talk to Alexis about him. She waves his concerns aside, saying the expensive steakhouse dinners and planned weekend getaways are just casual. "Artie's an old soul, and you know how I'm an old soul, so we're just like two old souls having fun together."
It almost seems like she's being flippant about the breakup, giggling over Artie's texts as if nothing happened. But she has a tell, if you've watched her closely throughout the show: she pulls at her ears when she's upset about something. The more I notice her fidgeting with her big gold earrings, the more I suspect it's an intentional acting choice and the wardrobe department might have designed her entire outfit around it. Or I'm just reading into things too much because I like to suffer, who knows.
David and Patrick are at the cafe going over the wedding budget when David notices Jocelyn smiling and winking at them from across the room — and the moment he notices, she takes that as an invitation to hurry over to their table. It turns out she's looking for work after taking out a second mortgage on her house to help pay for the new Rosebud Motel. She asked Patrick about potentially working at Rose Apothecary, and knowing how David feels about the store's brand, Patrick decided to casually drop this into David's lap over brunch.
The fun thing about negotiating with Jocelyn is that she has this adorable "flustered mom" thing going for her, so it can be a bit startling when she backs you into a corner and refuses to be brushed off. "You let me know when you’re done assessing!" she tells David. "I'll be the mother with the baby at home, looking for some extra cash after I invested in your father's business." Damn, Jocelyn.
Still riding high on the success of the Crows movie, Moira immediately suspects deranged stalkers when she walks outside and discovers somebody egged the family car. She drags Stevie to the town council as her witness, only to find out the townspeople are angry because her recent People Magazine interview describes Schitt's Creek as "the last place you'd ever want to end up." A small crowd gathers outside the council building holding protest signs that say things like "WE ARE NOT ANGRY — we are disappointed" and "THAT WASN’T VERY NICE :( " which is the only political backlash I feel like paying attention to today.
Moira falls back on the classic "they didn't include my entire quote" excuse (entertainment reporters are the worst, am I right?) and promises the crowd that she "commended your ever-beating heart and your elephantine generosity." But it's going to take a bit more than that to get herself back on their good side.
Jocelyn shows up for a trial run in her kitschiest sweatshirt (which Schitt's Creek should add to the merch line), and David does his best to teach her about the carefully curated retail experience that is Rose Apothecary. "I like to approach the customer as if we don't need their business," he says — but Jocelyn prefers to jump right in and tell customers the body milk is great for stretch marks and diaper rash and yell "Have a rosy day!" as they walk out the door, which is annoyingly effective. "You guys make it look so much harder!" she says.
Patrick is happy for the extra sales — and after the disaster of their engagement photos last week, he seems to be enjoying the affront to David's aesthetic and using it to teach him a lesson, as he did in Season 4 by selling plungers at the front of the store. "I didn’t expect this from Jocelyn either," he says, "but clearly she has a connection to the people of this community, and I say we make the most of it."
There are emotional scenes on television, and then there are moments that make you cry every time, no matter how many times you rewatch them. This is one of those moments.
After Johnny manages to talk to Artie alone about Alexis and Ted, Artie immediately breaks things off, which is probably to his credit but makes Alexis fall apart. "I'm just looking for any distraction from the fact that my heart's shattered into a million pieces," she tells Johnny tearfully. "I don't even know what I'm doing anymore."
Trying to comfort her, Johnny admits that he interfered because he hadn't been there for her when she was growing up. "I wasn't there to protect you, and I guess I was just being a bit overzealous and trying to make up for lost time."
Once again, give Annie Murphy all the awards and acting jobs — but this show only has five episodes left to make us feel much, much better about her, and it better deliver.
After a busy day at the store where half the town shows up to buy things from Jocelyn, Patrick is ready to give her the job and makes David tell her for good measure — but then it all backfires when Jocelyn cheerfully turns them down, saying Rose Apothecary is "just not for me" and setting off Patrick's hyper-competitive side. "Not that what you two do here isn't fulfilling, for you," she says, as he contemplates murder for just a quick sec and David enjoys himself a bit too much.
First of all, Bitchy Patrick is one of my favorite things and I really needed that laugh, but this also means he and David still haven't addressed the tension that's been lurking between them for the last few episodes and it's starting to get to me. Use your words, Patrick.
Second, Rose Apothecary must be doing pretty well if they can afford to hire a new salesperson — but it could be doing better, if Jocelyn can make more sales in one day than they have all week. What does that mean for the future of the store?
To make up for her media gaffe, Moira films a cheesy, 1950s-style promotional video for a Schitt's Creek tourism campaign, while wearing one of the most startling wig/outfit combinations we've seen yet. "Oh, hello you! I'm film and television's Moira Rose. Won't you join me for a little stroll through the slice of paradise I like to call... the town where I currently am?" (She's never actually said the name "Schitt's Creek" out loud before, and she isn't about to start now.)
We get a tour of all our favorite locations while Twyla, David, Patrick, Johnny and Stevie pose awkwardly in the background — "Did someone say fine dining? The Cafe Tropical has certainly been described as 'fine'" — and it shouldn't really make you want to visit the place, but it does. Or maybe it's just the underlying feeling of this episode that the different storylines are beginning to weave together as the finale gets closer, and we're not ready to leave.