Welcome back to my reviews of Flaked, as we watch Chip tumble further and further into melancholy and poor decision making. On today’s episode, Chip and Kara get back together in the wake of Dennis’ semi-successful date with London. And in an attempt to save his store, Chip goes to visit his ex-wife, Tilly, who’s father is Jerry, Chip’s landlord. It was a bummer of an episode as we watch Chip continue to fuck up his life.
Here are some thoughts.
1. Chip has jumped headfirst into a relationship he’s not prepared for
The episode begins with a kiss between Chip and Kara, signaling a shift in priorities from our main character. While it’s been clear he has an interest in London, he’s taken a conscious step to let Dennis attempt to woo her. It’s a relatively grown-up move for the perpetually childish Chip, and it makes sense he would follow up this move by getting back together with Kara, something he’s in no position to be doing. Their relationship has been toxic in the past, but Chip needs a rebound.
2. The bike riding gag is lovely
There’s a scene where Dennis has to ride on the back of Chip’s bike. Watching them ride around Venice Beach, almost getting hit by cars, is a charming little moment for the characters. It also shows what courses through the DNA of Flaked, which is an affection for classic slapstick comedy.
Tilly, played by Heather Graham, is Chip’s ex-wife. She also happens to be the daughter of Jerry, Chip’s landlord. So Chip goes to her house to try and get her to convince Jerry not to sell the building. It turns out Tilly is a very, very successful actress and lives in a jaw-droppingly beautiful house filled with her “friends” who suspiciously seem like they work for Tilly. During his visit, it is revealed that Chip never actually signed the divorce papers because he couldn’t afford to pay his lawyers. Later, Tilly makes an offer: she’ll talk to Jerry and Chip will sign the divorce papers, making it final. They agree. And then have sex.
Oh, shit. You see what I mean about Chip fucking up?
4. Poor stupid Cooler
Cooler is the stoner dude with the big bushy hair and beard. His only purpose seems to be the butt of every joke on the show. One scene where he tries to strike up a conversation with a photographer is particularly painful. Oof. Here’s hoping the writers give him something better to do than just be a stupid side character.
5. There are some great sight gags this episode
The bike scene was one. Another is watching Chip try to get Tilly’s front gate open. He just stands in front of it, awkwardly waving his arms, trying to get out. It’s an example of the silliness that lies just beneath the surface of the show, but never truly shows itself except in flashes like this one.
6. We got a peek into Chip’s former “glory”
Chip comes back to the store to find London waiting. They make awkward small talk and eventually Chip brings out a magazine which is open to a page showing a stool he built. “2008 SoCal Design Awards: Honorable Mention.” “You just keep that lying around?” She asks playfully. “Usually I pretend to look for it,” he replies. So now we know that Chip once had a promising career as a designer. But that was eight years ago, and it would appear that’s his high water mark. It’s a special moment for us a viewers. It shows us that Chip was once passionate enough to be recognized. And London can see that, too.
7. The rivalry between Chip and Dennis is getting sharper
Immediately after the above scene, Dennis enters from the back room, wary of Chip and London conversing. He sees the open magazine and smirks. “Did he pretend to look for it this time?” he asks, clearly attempting to undercut Chip. But Chip’s instinct to be self-effacing pays off and he’s able to parry Dennis’ attempt to make him look small. It’s indicative of the direction their relationship is heading. Dennis can sense that London isn’t that into him and will block any inkling whatsoever that she might be interested in Chip. It could lead to some interesting stories down the line.
8. It’s hard to watch Chip fuck up so badly
He has sex with Tilly, cheating on Kara. He misses Kara’s birthday, then shows up at her door with a battered cake. He seems unable to fully withdraw from his self destructive behavior. We’re only three episodes in and it’s already getting hard to watch.
9. It’s become clear London is interested in Chip
Chip, in a gracious move, lets Dennis use his house to woo London. He attempts to make Chip look small at every turn, but it just results in making him look like a fool. And London asks about Chip every other sentence, making it increasingly obvious that she is interested in him. If they haven’t slept together by the end of the season, I’ll eat my hat.
10. Well, that was a short relationship
By the end of the episode, Chip’s failings have led Kara to break up with him. Can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Although I would have thought maybe they’d last more than one episode.
+ The show is exploring its comedic roots
+ We got some elegantly conveyed backstory for Chip
+ Chip and Dennis’ rivalry is getting interesting
– It’s getting hard to watch Chip fuck up
– Cooler remains underdeveloped and uniteresting
– What was the point of Kara and Chip getting together?
Check out my review for the pilot below!
Flaked – Westminster
Flaked – Horizon
Tags: flaked, Netflix, Netflix Original, Will Arnett