” executive producer Todd Kessler has said that “family” is one of the big themes for this season of the FX show.
So far, we’ve seen glimpses of the theme with the Tobin mystery, Patty’s divorce and Tom’s discovery that he has led his immediate and extended family right into Louis Tobin’s Ponzi scheme.
This week’s episode, though, really drove the “family” theme home.
Tom loves the chase
After discovering that Tobin’s mistress, Danielle, may be on the run and leaving the country, Tom spent most of the episode trying to track her down. Meanwhile, his wife and in-laws were waiting at a restaurant for him. Though it was obvious that Tom wanted to make sure the job was done right, it was also obvious to me that he was taking any opportunity he could not to actually tell his in-laws that he led them right into Tobin’s clutches and lost all their money. I don’t blame him, do you?
Ellen is back on
Meanwhile, Ellen went home to Jersey to see her parents and her visiting sister. It soon became clear that something was going on when Ellen’s sister explained why her husband couldn’t come for the visit. Her story about him staying home for a bowling league tournament didn’t exactly mesh with Ellen’s mother saying that he had to stay home for work. After she caught her sister and mother crying in the living room, Ellen had to find out what was up. Turns out her sister’s husband left her. Ellen decided to stay, especially because it seemed that she was a good buffer between her sister and their verbally abusive dad. Later that night, though, Ellen discovered a pipe and, I’m thinking, crack cocaine in her sister’s bag. Her reaction after that was very similar to Tom’s: escaping into work. She excused herself to call Patty about whether they had been able to track down Danielle.
Joe's true colors
The biggest surprise of the episode was just how clearly the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to the Tobins. Last episode, we discovered Joe Tobin is an alcoholic. Though I didn’t consider that a sign of faulty character last week, I believe the writers planted that detail to prepare us for the character flaws we’d discover in Joe this week. They’re major. The good guy we’ve known thus far was effectively erased from my mind when his reaction to hitting Danielle with his car resulted in Joe effectively making Danielle a hostage. She obviously needed medical attention, but the first person he contacted was his lawyer, Leonard (played to the hilt by Martin Short).