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Recap: ‘Please Like Me’ Season 2, Episode 4: ‘Gang Keow Wan’

Recap: 'Please Like Me' Season 2, Episode 4: 'Gang Keow Wan'

The following recap contains spoiler for the most recent episode of “Please Like Me,” as one would suspect.

I would say that “Gang Keow Wan” is one of the more
depressing/sinister episodes of the season, thus far. That’s not to say that it
is a bad episode, but it does explore Josh, Tom, Rose, and Hannah’s emotional
distance from the surrounding characters and situations. Josh Thomas and Thomas
Ward wove these melancholic themes into another well-structured script, while
Matthew Saville brilliantly reflected them in the visuals.

The episode
opens at a restaurant where Josh is on a date with a longhaired
vegetarian/dancer named Cosmo (Josh Schmidt). Cosmo recounts his day, including
his Reiki session (a Japanese healing technique in which a person has their
energy realigned through non-tactile methods). Josh starts a long diatribe
about Cosmo paying for a masseuse to not touch him, ending with Cosmo telling
him that he is looking for someone “kind and gentle, friendly,” but that Josh
is clearly not that person. After Cosmo storms off, Josh calls Tom (who had
earlier received a call from Niamh about sucking him off while he plays Grand
Theft Auto) and invites him to eat vegetarian food. Tom declines the
invitation, leaving Josh to face an endless parade of food (the opening theme
song plays as the waiters serve the trays).

The next
morning, Josh receives a Skype call from Claire. Their interaction focuses on
Josh’s self-image, but Claire returns the conversation back to her main point:
her sustainable forestry project was axed and she wants to know if she can stay
with Josh. Josh agrees and makes a tentative date with Claire to cook pulled
pork with homemade BBQ sauce. The scene intercuts with a therapy session at the
hospital in which a therapist has all the patients touch/smell/see/listen/taste
raisins. Ginger fools around with the raisins (sticking them in her nose and
ears) while her friends laugh.

Josh goes
into the kitchen where Tom briefly recounts the previous night: Niamh stayed
over and he never told her about Jenny. Niamh (clad in a towel) comes into the
kitchen and makes breakfast for Josh. Due to Tom’s cowardice/inability to take
responsibility for his actions, Josh tells Niamh that Tom has a girlfriend. Emotionally
distraught, Niamh criticizes Tom for treating her like a “flesh shag” and a
non-human. In the middle of the fight, Josh receives a call from Arnold asking
if he is coming to the therapy choir concert (Hannah is performing). Josh
agrees to come with Patrick, and returns to the fight in time to hear Tom utter
a phrase that he will repeat throughout the episode: “I know I stuffed up…” Fed
up with his cowardice, Niamh calls Jenny and (again due to Tom’s inability to
confess his misdeeds) tells Jenny that they had sex, twice. Tom tries to win
Jenny back by saying that there is nothing between him and Niamh, but Niamh
throws the phone into a vase of water. Josh takes the opportunity to tell Tom
that Claire is returning, and Tom storms out of the kitchen. Niamh pours her
heart out to Josh, but Josh tells Niamh that she should leave because he needs
to get dressed.

While Josh and Patrick make their
way to the hospital, Ginger tries to ignite an interaction between Rose and the
shirtless Stewart. Meanwhile, Tom goes to Jenny’s apartment to win her back. He
is on the lawn while she is at her balcony (a great visual metaphor for Tom’s
emotional distance from the women in his life). Jenny walks away from the
conversation, leaving their relationship in a state of limbo.

On their way to the hospital,
Josh and Patrick order some food (Josh only orders a drink because he is
“sticking it to the man”) and they get stuck in traffic. Annoyed with the
countless cars in the street, Josh creates an imaginary relationship/marriage
between Patrick and a blonde pedestrian. Josh criticizes Patrick for his failed
(imaginary) marriage, but Patrick says Josh’s marriage will be worse because he
is uninterested in connecting with other people. Josh is offended by Patrick’s
comments and tries to ignore him. In an attempt to mend their rift, Patrick kisses
Josh. Josh goes back to his drink in order to avoid discussing the kiss.

Further along the drive, Josh is
visibly agitated. Patrick believes it is because of the kiss, but it is
actually because Josh just needs to pee. Realizing he has only one option, Josh
pees into his cup. Patrick looks away and giggles, until Josh’s cup starts
filling up too fast. Patrick tries to find another cup, but it is too late:
Josh pees on himself. Josh immediately calls Rose and tells her that he can’t
come due to an accident. As she hangs up the phone, Stewart confesses to Rose
that he has a wife. Rose suggests that they don’t mention their indiscretion,
and the two take their seats for the concert.

The episode ends with a terrific,
if not emotional, montage: Rose sits dejected while everyone around her dances
to “Blame It On The Boogie”; Hannah, although singing with the choir, is off in
her own world; Tom wins Jenny back with a bunny named Gavin, but stares off into
the distance as Jenny hugs him/tells him that they will make great parents; and
Josh, who tries and failes to make out with Patrick again, stands emotionally
dejected in the shower. In spite of everyone getting what they want (Rose had a
love interest, Tom got Jenny, Josh got to kiss Patrick), these achievements
didn’t seem to satiate their desires. The emotional ties between the characters
are becoming increasingly more complex and strained, leading me to believe that
things won’t end on the best terms for anyone at the end of the season.


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