Episode 20: Go, Gamblers!
By: Carlos Uribe
Suburgatory is a show about a teenage girl who is stuck in her version of hell, the suburbs.
How fast times goes by. It feels like only yesterday when I was trying to pick which college to go to. It wasn't a difficult choice as I quickly picked Boston University. A choice I have never regretted. I can relate to Ryan's dilemma. He has three schools to pick from. There is the North Las Vegas Institute for Casino Studies which his sister is pressuring him to pick. There is his dream school Mid-Florida Tech where he really wants to go but it would be far away from his girlfriend, Tessa. He's afraid that the distance would kill their relationship as they would be 'out-of-sight, out-of-mind'. The third choice Rutgers is good at sports and would allow him to be close to Tessa. He doesn't know which one to pick. He clearly wants to go to Mid-Florida tech but not if it means losing his girlfriend. The idea of going to Rutgers doesn't excite him but it might the way to save his relationship. The Casino Studies school is never really in contention. It's a choice that he can't make for himself. He tries to pass the buck to Tessa but she refuses to directly chose his college for him. It gets to the point where Ryan decides he will pick a name of the college out of his hat. The choice will be where he attends. Tessa realizes that she can't leave his college choice up to fate. She's going to have to suck it up and do the right thing by only writing down the name of the college that Ryan wants to go to. It's a moment of self-sacrifice where she is giving up her own happiness for his. It's a strong moment for Tessa but she does feel guilty for deceiving Ryan. She does get some comfort when Dallas is able to act as a maternal figure by telling Tessa that it was the right thing to do.
Only Tessa soon learns that she shouldn't have done it because it leads to her break-up with Ryan. The bad news for Tessa is that Dalia heard their conversation. The cliff-hanger ending where Jenna warns Tessa to watch out for Dalia and where Lisa is threatened to stay silent has it's resolution in this episode. It doesn't happen immediately but throughout the whole Tessa plot. Dalia is able to use what she knows to tell Ryan that Tessa had rigged the hat choice. She makes it look like Tessa was actually trying to get Ryan as far away as possible from her rather than the act of self-sacrifice that it is. Ryan feels betrayed and breaks up with Tessa. It's a really sad scene where Jane Levy gets to really sell the sadness of losing that relationship. I must admit that I'm sad as well. I've been a big fan of them being as a couple and it's sad to see them split up. It's a logical move since this basically allows the series to write Parker Young out of the show in case the pilot he's in gets picked up. This leads to it's own cliff-hanger when Tessa is able to figure out that it was Dalia who told Ryan the truth. She finally understood what Dalia meant when she said that she would get involved in Tessa's life in a way that Tessa wouldn't want. Tessa gets angry so she proclaims her desire to seek retribution over the end credits. The cliff-hanger is a bit sudden as if the writers couldn't fit it into the episode naturally but it still works to build up the momentum towards the one-hour season finale next week. This is not just because of what Dalia did but due to the George plot.
The feud between Tessa and Dalia is going to come out in play in the finale but the real casualty might be the relationship between George and Dallas. The two are happy together as they have gotten into a secure place in their relationship. Only George decides that it's inconvenient having to visit each other's homes and paying two separate bills when they're already together all the time. He asks her to move in together on the premise that it would be convenient. She promises to think about it but she can't help but be disappointed over the motive behind the request. She might love George but she wanted them to move together out of love not due to fiscal reasons. She does decide to accept even as she jokes about her concerns that they're moving into a stage of their relationship that they're aren't ready for. They might appear like they're in a good place, they might even love each other, but the reason George gave for moving in with Dallas highlighted that there is a small weakness in their relationship. They might not be on the same page-and with the feud between Dallas and Tessa that might very well threaten their relationship. I'm not saying their doomed but I wouldn’t be surprised if it strains it to the breaking point.
The good news is that they do love each other. While Dallas might be worried about them moving in together, George struggles with letting go of his past. Moving in with her means having to sell his house. Sheila figures this out quickly and is able to land a buyer pretty quickly. This is partially because Sheila is good at her job but it's really due to Ryan. Since Ryan is soon moving away from home, she is focusing on her work rather than having to emotionally deal with her son leaving the nest. Sheila might be trying to avoid reality but George is forced to confront it. When he's cleaning out the attic to convert it to a crafts station, he comes across some of Alex's stuff. He doesn't want to dump because that seems rude, he can't put it in storage because it feels disrespectful, but he can't keep it. He has to create a whole special category for Alex: letting it go by driving all the way to the city to leave it with Alex's mom. It's a sign that he's let go of Alex completely and is ready to move into the future. So their relationship might be tested by the feud between Dalia and Tessa. It might break them apart but their love might prevail.
Go, Gamblers! Is a pretty good episode of Suburgatory. The episode is simply hysterical from the moment it begins to the moment it ends. There are some significant plot developments as well: Ryan picks a college, he breaks up with Tessa, and George and Dallas decide to move in together. The cliff-hanger at the end was a bit sudden but it did work to make me excited for the finale because of what could be at stake.