Besides Sean and Beverly, there are no “real” characters on Episodes. The supporting characters each have silly aspects about them that turn them into jokes rather than semi-realistic characters. This works, however, because either Sean or Beverly is on screen 99% of the time, and their reactions gauge against the overtly wacky behavior.
Take, for example, the scene where Beverly and Carol are smoking a joint and have a serious case of the munchies. Carol is clearly distressed about her affair with Merc, but for all the wrong reasons, wishing for Merc’s wife to be cured of blindness so Merc can finally leave her. Clearly, it’s a big farce. But Beverly is also there, evaluating her relationship with Sean and we learn that Sean was actually married when they met, and the situation turns into a sad reflection on what Los Angeles does to people.
Then there is the driving force behind the conflict, Morning, who makes more advances on Sean. He refuses her, going back to Beverly to show his love for her, but watches Morning’s sex tape per Matt’s advice, and is so enthralled he’s masturbating to it. Unfortunately, Beverly sees him do this, and her face tells everything.
“Episode Five” greatly expands the characters, and makes Matt a background character for once, allowing him to be funny without being too intrusive and overbearing. I can’t say I laughed much, but it was very solid from a character standpoint.