Better Late Than Never: 10 Random Thoughts on Studio 60 Episode 20

Credit: NBC

We are only three episodes away from the series finale of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and thank goodness this episode gave me a bit of a reprieve from the emotions I was feeling from the first part. I was wrong when I imagined that the second part was going to be worse. Since I’m wrong about that, I’m imagining that the third part and the series finale aren’t going to be so pretty. Especially since, as per Sorkin, the finale is titled “What Kind of Day It’s Been.” Anyone who knows Sorkin knows that title usually means there’s trouble afoot. As a viewer, I’m decidedly not ready.

But again, at least I got a reprieve here.

We left off last episode with Jordan heading into an emergency C-section because she was suffering the effects of preeclampsia. Tom’s brother is still being held by insurgents. The captain assigned to Tom to give him “comfort” can’t tell him anything and he’s not really much of a comfort. Matt and Danny and the rest of the cast keep remembering what happened when the war first broke out and Matt and Harriet seem to be on the road to reconciliation. Oh, also, Danny and Jordan got engaged in a last-minute attempt for Danny to have control of affairs if something happens to Jordan (and also because they’re totally and wholly in love and are the most adorable couple ever). As we learn in this episode, he doesn’t know that an engagement doesn’t make him suddenly have custody of the baby. cue worry

So, without further ado, here are my thoughts and my review of “K&R Pt. II.”

  1. Oh my gosh. Okay, first off, Danny learning that Jordan’s baby has been delivered is the cutest thing known to man and beast. Seriously. This doctor can take a hike but Danny is just adorable and so excited to meet his baby girl, it’s obvious. 
  2. “I’m afraid that Doogie Howser is working on my friend and her baby.” Had the season not had to rush forward toward its inevitable conclusion, I would’ve loved to have seen more of Harriet and Jordan together as besties. Paulson and Peet are best friends in real life and I need to see more of them together on my screen, but I would’ve preferred more Harriet and Jordan. 
  3. “Women and weddings.” to Matt “How would you know?” If Harriet and Matt don’t end up together together by the end of this season I’m going to riot.
  4. Oh my god, Nate Corddry. Where is his Emmy? Where is his Golden Globe? Does he have any awards? I need to know because if he doesn’t, that’s a crime against humanity and against his skills as an actor. 
  5. I like these flashbacks, but I also don’t like these flashbacks. They feel weird to me and I’m not sure why they feel weird to me. I think tonally they make sense to the story and narratively they’re needed to fill gaps the audience might have with the past and how the war affected this family of writers and creators. 
  6. “There’s something they’re not telling Danny. Something’s going wrong.” No. No, no, no, no. Nope. I’m not okay. Flashbacks to ER. I’m having intense flashbacks. I’m not okay. This is not good. I’m not ready for what will eventually fall out. I’m not. 
  7. Oh, this dude again. The same dude who made Wes go crazy. He’s like a discount Joaquin Phoenix. I don’t like him. On that note, I think I understand now. This is how Matt and Danny got fired originally. That’s exactly what these flashbacks are.
  8. “If anything happens with Jordan, an engagement ring doesn’t give Danny any rights with the baby.” I am having massive anxiety here. Someone make it stop. I don’t like it. One hour of this stuff in ER was bad enough. Now it’s been two hours with the possibility of another two. I’m not prepared and I don’t want it.
  9. God, I hate people who get on the news for their 15 minutes of fame because they can’t get their fame anywhere else. Those types of people are absolutely despicable and this so-called “segment producer” is the worst of the worst. Lying and saying that he knows the situation. He doesn’t know the situation at all and he needs to shut up. 
  10. They’re not going to cut the sketch and that’s the reason they were fired four years ago. Because they lied, said one thing, then Wes threw them under the bus. Okay. I understand it all now. 
  11. BONUS: Simon. What in the sam *hell* did you just do on live television? Oh, this is not going to be good.

I don’t have much to say about this episode. It was a solid episode as most of the other episodes before this one was, but it’s still obviously a connector between the first part and the second part. And, because nothing major happens in this episode, it’s upped my anxiety for the final two episodes. I say nothing major happened, but it did. Kind of. Not to ER levels of pain but my worries haven’t exactly been assuaged here. Jordan remains in the operating room after the c-section because doctors found internal bleeding with the placenta. However, an operation like that doesn’t take two hours. Come to find out she’s not clotting her blood. Danny’s assured everything is fine, but my writer senses are tingling and I can almost guarantee that nothing is fine.

Another thing I imagine not going well in the final two episodes is the situation with Tom’s brother. Once again, though, I have to give a hand to Nate Corddry for his portrayal of Tom. The fact that he doesn’t have an award for something is criminal in my mind. This is an actor who has been delivering solid performances in every single episode and he’s only upped the ante in these last few episodes. His dramatic range is stunning. He’s delivering a nuanced performance that could slip into melodrama if he isn’t careful, but nothing about this performance is melodramatic. It feels raw and emotional and genuine. Sometimes going from comedic to dramatic in the span of a TV series is hard to juggle but there’s no doubt that Corddry is juggling it and then some.

Also wowing me this time around is D. L. Hughley. I don’t talk about him much. I know that, but Simon’s breakdown on live TV over reporters and the manipulation of the media and public perception was just as powerful as Wes’s speech in the first episode. Granted Wes’s speech was a little less violent, but the same sentiments were there and Hughley knocks it out of the park. Comedians who get to portray dramatic characters and deliver dramatic monologues always seem to kill it when given the opportunity and I always eat it up when I see it. I’m not familiar with any of Hughley’s work outside of this, but if it’s all as good as this performance was in this episode, and in the series, then I need to rectify that and soon.

Overall, the performances are what really make this episode. It’s a connector episode but it’s important even if it does generally play it safe.

Shelby Arnold
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