It’s a cliché to say that “the quickest way to a man’s heart
is through his stomach,” but Josh Thomas is living proof that some clichés
still hold true. This week’s episode uses the titular dish – truffled mac and
cheese – as a metaphor for the emotional heartache of rejection. The story also
shows the ramifications when baked emotions are eaten without consent.
Mac and Cheese” opens with Patrick moving out of the apartment. Josh doesn’t
want to speak to Patrick (much to Patrick’s chagrin), but Patrick still tries
to say goodbye. Josh avoids the interaction by using John as a middleman (he
pretends to speak for John and uses his paw to wave goodbye). Annoyed that
their final interaction is through a household pet, Patrick leaves the
song plays against a montage of Josh’s lackluster dance moves and intense
cooking skills. He bakes truffled mac and cheese using the white truffle oil
that Patrick bought (the mac and cheese has a lot more significance than just
being a delicious meal). At some point
in the night, Tom (high off of pot) stumbles into the kitchen and starts eating
Josh’s food. Later that night, Josh walks into the living room and not only sees
Tom lighting a joint, but he also finds the empty tray. Enraged that his baked
emotions are gone, Josh swears vengeance against Tom.
morning, Tom discovers that a man-made barricade is blocking his door. Unable
to move the barricade of chairs and furniture (not only due to the weight, but due
to the fact that his phone, which is sitting on top of the pile, will smash
down if he moves the furniture), Tom slowly accepts that he will be trapped in
the room. Josh adds another bit of news: he turned off the wifi. Though Josh’s
punishment may seem extreme, Claire puts it into perspective: Tom “ate the last
of Patrick’s affection.”
hospital, Hannah slowly starts opening up and turning her introverted nature
into sarcastic humor. She cracks jokes with Josh and Rose about how she can’t
jog because her skin isn’t attached to her bones, how Ginger stole her argyle
socks, and how her mother used VapoRub to cure all ailments. Hannah’s new
demeanor helps her build a better relationship with Rose, who remarks that
Hannah is a funny person.
Arnold in his room, but their chemistry seems to have dwindled. Arnold
questions whether or not Josh really likes him, but Josh confesses that he
doesn’t know if patients are allowed to date.
Their awkward banter dwindles again when Josh asks Arnold on a date, but
Josh tries to make up for the awkwardness by kissing Arnold. This passionate make
out session, though adorable, still has an undercurrent of pessimism. This
isn’t the first time Josh has used physicality as a replacement for an
emotional connection, and that defense mechanism usually ends in disaster.
Back at the
apartment, Josh works on his resume and calls his father in order to get money
to pay for new printer ink (his ink mysteriously ran out). Alan tells Josh that
he has some great news that must be delivered in person. In the meantime, Josh
bargains with Tom that he will let him out if he writes a good cover letter.
This bargain backfires as Tom writes a cover letter as though Josh is applying
to be a plus-sized supermodel. Due to this hilarious joke, Tom’s parole is
denied and he is forced to stay in his room.
hospital, Hannah and Rose lie on their backs and stare at trees. Their bonding
session is interrupted by Stuart, who lays his head on top of Rose’s lap.
Disgusted by this public display of affection (not simply because of Stuart’s
marital status), Hannah leaves the two lovers to quietly bond.
Alan comes over to the apartment
and delivers some unexpected news: he still isn’t financing Josh’s expenses,
but he got a coffee cart so Josh can make a living selling caffeinated
beverages. I don’t know that many children who actively want their fathers to
buy them coffee carts, so Josh’s ungrateful demeanor is pretty warranted. Claire
and Josh soon convince one another that this may be a good opportunity for
Josh, even if it makes absolutely no sense.
The rest of the episode focuses
on the roommates bonding with one another over relationships and friendships.
Josh discovers that Arnold is being released from the hospital, Claire admits
that she dated an older German man, and Tom discovers that his relationship
with Claire wasn’t as romantic as he imagined. Suddenly, a dejected Tom comes
into the apartment through the front door (he found a way to get out). He tells
Josh to look at the prank they left for him in his bedroom (the printer ink ran
out because Tom and Claire printed raunchy pictures of themselves with the
Heartbroken by the harsh reality
of his relationship with Claire, Tom soaks in the tub and listens to “Higher
Love.” Once out of the bathroom, Josh tries to cheer Tom up by initiating a
group hug. The three friends embrace in spite of Tom’s reluctance, and they all
fall on top of Tom’s bed.
“Truffled Mac and Cheese” uses
visual/figurative metaphors of partitions (the barricade, Stuart’s marriage,
Alan cutting off his financial responsibilities, Hannah’s introversion, the
awkwardness between Josh and Arnold, Josh using John as a substitute for saying
goodbye to Patrick, etc.) to show how the characters find escape routes, even
if the barriers/defenses are still in place (Tom literally goes around the
barricade). These characters are forging stronger relationships with one
another, and Josh actually shows some semblance of affection that isn’t based
on sexual desire (he initiates the group hug).
I always write this, but Josh
Thomas and Matthew Saville do a great job of depicting character emotions.
Whether it is by having characters suppress their feelings, or having the
characters endure emotional outbursts, Thomas and Saville construct complex
characters whose emotional states are constantly in flux. We are down to the
wire with two episodes left, and I am still waiting for the moment when Josh
completely abandons his defenses.