Episode 15: Leaving Chatswin
By: Carlos Uribe
Suburgatory is a show about a teenage girl who is stuck in her version of hell, the suburbs.
The good news is that Ryan and Tessa are still together. It turns out that the reason Ryan had lied to Tessa about going on an away game was because he was visiting colleges. His football skills have attracted the attention of college recruiters and he's planning to leave Chatswin soon. The reason that he lied to Tessa was because he wasn't sure how she was going to take the idea of him leaving her behind. It makes sense and it basically throws the whole relationship into question simply because the future is in doubt. Tessa isn't sure if a long distance relationship can work but she doesn't wan to hold Ryan back. Ryan decides that he loves Tessa so much that he would be willing to sacrifice his perfect body so he doesn't have to go away to college. It's a plan that Tessa is able to talk him out of as the two decide that they're going to concentrate on the present. It might not work out in the future but they don't have to worry about that until Ryan actually goes to college. It's a nice plot that basically does three things. The first is that it strengthens the Tessa-Ryan relationship in the short-term because they remain dedicated to each other. The second is that it basically dooms them in the long-term because they aren't going to be able to deal with this issue. They might not break up when he goes to college but there's very little chance of their long-distance relationship. The third is that it establishes Ryan is going to college. This might not seem important but it provides a way for the show to easily write out the character if necessary. Which it very well might be as Parker Young, who plays Ryan, has been casted in a potential new series. Potential being the key-word here-he might or might not come back to Suburgatory next season. I knew the series should have promoted him to series regular status along with Chris Parnell.
The bad news is that Marty is no longer a party of the show. He really wasn't a major character as he has only made a few appearances. He was an old fart who liked to use the steam room a lot. He was in that room more than he slept. He has a heart attack just as George is connecting with him. There's a memorial where everyone basically realizes that the closest person to Marty was George. This leaves George with Marty's urn. The rest of the episode basically becomes about what to do with Marty's ashes before they decide to spread them right outside the border of Chatswin. It makes sense since that's all that Marty wanted to do right before he died: to leave the town and travel. The problem with this plot is that I didn't care about Marty. The only time I remember him is when he denied Dallas the request to rezone her property until he was blackmailed into reversing his decision. To have an entire episode dedicated around him would have made more sense if he was alive but he wasn't. It all felt rather pointless because we had no real reason to care about Marty. The only real development in this plot came at the very end when Noah announces that he's in love with Carmen. This actually helps explain why he's been so vengeful when he lost her services but the revelation came out of nowhere. I'm not against it just yet because this could be promising but the journey (what to do with Marty's ashes) wasn't strong enough to justify the destination (Noah proclaiming his love for Carmen) to really work.
Leaving Chatswin had a good main plot that was setting up the eventual end of Ryan and Tessa's relationship. The sub-plot felt pointless and it was dull but it did lead to a startling revelation that might pay dividends in the future. Also: Dalia finally kissed that Jewish kid she learned Hebrew for. So there's that. Overall, a mixed episode but an essential one none-the-less.