While we're anxiously staying at home and practicing social distancing for the sake of public health, what better time to curl up with the latest episode of Schitt's Creek. Which happens to be one of the most stressful episodes of the series.
This is fine.
Johnny, Stevie and Roland are flown to New York City by Johnny's old assistant Mike Morrison, now a venture capitalist who is interested in hearing a pitch for the Rosebud Motels expansion. While the Roses get ahead of themselves imagining their future if the deal goes through, Team Rosebud quickly runs into difficulties in the big city — and David and Patrick reach the final obstacle in their path to getting married.
It's not like we were expecting the Rose family to be measured and patient about this, right?
Moira is so determined that the deal will go through that she starts getting ready to move to New York — and when Alexis sees her packing, she's alarmed until she remembers the Interflix office is also in New York and they're interested in working with her again. "I know this technically isn't news yet," she says, "but this is really good news!"
By the time David stops by the motel on his work break, Alexis is already looking for apartments. At first he's worried about being left behind, but Alexis says she's looking for a two-bedroom that she can share with David and Patrick after they get married, and then he's quickly on board with the New York idea. "I have been looking forward to seeing Kerry Washington in that all-female revival of 12 Angry Men," he says, which startled a laugh out of me, but I would also 100% watch that.
It's not hard to understand the daydream that David gets swept up in, even when it's immediately obvious that he's overdoing it. All the glamorous memories of his old life (and none of the bad ones), combined with the newfound happiness of running Rose Apothecary and living with his husband and his sister — who wouldn't be drawn to that idea?
Things quickly get off track for Johnny and his team when they find out Mike Morrison is out of the country and their only ally for the meeting is his young assistant, Ruth Clancy. Even worse, it looks like the private jet was more about Mike feeling guilty about bailing on them.
They meet the senior partners of Advantage Capital Associates, Bryce Wilson and Tripp Campbell, and those names would make them extremely punchable even if we all weren't mad at rich venture capitalist types this week. "Hope the jet was Johnny Rose approved — although at this point, coach would be Johnny Rose approved," one of them smirks. Drop your office address, my good dude, I just want to talk.
Add to that Stevie's nerves, a computer freezing during her presentation, and Roland shattering a water pitcher and we've got the makings of a disaster on our hands.
At Jazzagals rehearsal, Moira walks in to a going away party and immediately assumes it's for her, getting as far as slicing into someone else's cake before Jocelyn manages to get her attention. And Jocelyn is getting increasingly worried, because Roland has been texting her exploding-head emojis from the meeting, a sure sign he's freaking out about something.
"No, listen to me, Jocelyn," Moira says, holding her arm in a death grip. "The deal has to happen, because it has to, because there is no alternative, okay? It's as simple as that." Later at the motel, she's so wound up that she drags David and Alexis into sending positive energy in Johnny's direction. "John, my macho man, you don’t deserve another failure!"
For just a second, it's almost tempting to imagine how hilarious Catherine O'Hara could make Moira's meltdown if everything fell through again. But she's done too good a job making Moira sympathetic as well as funny, worrying about her husband's self-worth as well as her own circumstances. And honestly, we're all just too tired right now. Get in the prayer circle, everybody.
David goes back to the store and fills Patrick in on the New York plan, expecting him to be just as excited as everyone else — but Patrick only seems shocked and worried at the idea. "David, our business is here," he says. "You're just telling me that you want to uproot our entire lives, and it's throwing me for a bit of a loop."
David quickly backtracks and says it's all just talk, but their conflict is out in the open now, regardless of how Johnny's meeting goes. David is clearly imagining a future that's very different from the one Patrick had in mind, and they'll have to work this out if they want their impending marriage to move forward. This is deeper than their previous bickering over the wedding; David is at least partially motivated by staying near his family, and Patrick has grown close to all of them as well. But after Patrick gave up on having children to build a life with David, how much more can he be asked to give up before it's too much?
This is very skilfully done, with no cheap drama or gratuitous plot twists, and I appreciate that so much. Now fix this soon before I have an emotional breakdown.
Johnny, Stevie and Roland regroup and go back into the board room, where Johnny resumes their pitch — and proceeds to knock it out of the park. Playing off his own initial misgivings about roadside motels (which are "like small hotels without the golf courses," for the rich jerks in the room), he outlines a vision of Rosebud Motel Group revitalizing a dying industry and providing a new generation of travelers with a window into small-town life.
"I'm not coming to for charity here, I'm coming to you with an opportunity," he says. "There is value in these motels. And if you're wondering how I'm so sure, my family and I have been staying in a motel for the past three years, and I wouldn't trade our stay there for anything."
It's an idealistic plan, but still a good one, tapping into Millennial nostalgia and a desire for escapism and personal connection — basically the same things that have made Schitt's Creek a success.
We're all going to have to take a deep breath and let go of our past annoyances with Roland, because this is truly a powerful moment. Realizing he forgot his briefcase, he goes back to get it and finds everyone laughing at Johnny behind his back. "First a video store and now a motel chain?" Bryce says. "What, he wants to reinvent the pager next?" (Kindly die in a fire, thanks.)
In a callback to Johnny defending him to his rich snobby friends at the end of Season 2, Roland squares up and calls out the entire board room. "Do you people know what it took for Johnny Rose to come back and do this, after being away for all that time? Shame on you — shame on all of you. Okay, I just realized you guys are flying us home, so I apologize for my outburst, but I don't regret it. The man's a legend."
Before Roland can break the bad news to Johnny and Stevie, Mike's assistant Ruth finds them in the lobby and personally thanks them for their pitch — but says the investors won't be moving ahead with it. "They've turned down a thousand good ideas," she says. "I was in the room when they passed on Uber."
We get just a second to process a stab of genuine disappointment before she continues: "I really shouldn't be saying this on company soil, but two of the junior partners and I are in the process of starting our own firm. We've got the team, we've secured the capital, and we're planning on launching next month. And this is exactly the kind of project we're hoping to get behind."
It's a difficult time to believe in a world where victories like this can happen, but I take comfort from it all the same, especially watching them all return home and embrace as a family outside the motel. David running to hug Stevie and saying "So you're like a businesswoman now!" is especially lovely, after all they've been through together. But from the wordless glance Patrick gives David right at the end, the most difficult decisions are still to come.
We're gonna be fine, though! Probably!