Please Like Me, Season 3 Episode 5: “Coq au vin”

Goodbye Adele, everyone’s favourite transgender chicken. You lived a good life. Please Like Me isn’t really a show where things happen, but nothing really happened this week (except Claire’s back! Yay!). It was good, but it wasn’t at the level of “Croquembouche” or “Deep Spring Water“. Josh, Tom and Arnold are recovering from their drug trip, complete with Ella, and then Claire shows up! Adele also wakes all of them up with her crowing, and they can no longer ignore that she is in fact a rooster. As you’ve probably guessed from the titles of these episodes, Josh Thomas is a fan of food, and he’s also really interested in the ways in which we source our meat, so it was good that this episode dealt with that.

If you have chickens for the purpose of laying eggs, you can’t have a rooster, because she’ll fertilise all of them. I’m sure there are other reasons (my sister could tell me), but you don’t want a rooster if they’re not breeding. Anyway, Josh and Tom bought Adele under the assumption that she was female. So they can take her back to the place where she’ll be killed, get a $15 refund and buy a chicken for dinner, or they could kill her themselves. In my favourite Josh Thomas interview on Adam Hills Tonight, Thomas talks about his decision to get chickens because he wants to be a responsible meat eater. Hills asked him if he changed his mind about eating them, but he hadn’t. At that stage he didn’t have to actually kill them, so I don’t know if this change of heart was taken from real life, but it wouldn’t surprise me. How could you not form an attachment to your transgender chicken named Adele? As Josh points out, as sad as it is, Adele will die one day, and she’s probably had a better life than most of the chicken they’ve eaten throughout their lives. It’s a story with a bittersweet ending, but it wasn’t a decision that was made lightly, and everyone sang “Someone Like You” as a tribute to her before they ate.

Also Claire is back. Caitlin Stasey, like many attractive Australian actors, is working on a CW show so her time in Australia is limited. Having Claire go to Germany for work was a good solution to this problem, but I really love any scene with Claire and Josh. Their friendship is a nice counterbalance to Josh and Tom, which is probably why they made a good couple before Claire pushed Josh out of the closet at Madame Brussels in the series premiere. Anyway, Claire doesn’t really like Ella (Tom of course thinks it’s about him), and she killed Adele, because she was lonely in Germany, and she got pregnant, so she’s miserable. She needs Josh to come with her to the abortion clinic, and she doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it. She probably could have had an abortion in Germany, but she chose to come home. It’s hard to admit that you need help, but Claire asks for Josh’s, and she doesn’t ask for much – she just needs him to be there so she doesn’t have to go through this alone.

Women’s reproductive organs seemed to be a theme this week, between Adele’s gender issues, Claire’s pregnancy and Hannah’s desire not to have children. Hannah is currently looking after an orchid named Michael because her therapist told her it would be good for her. Rose is currently spending more and more time with Bob Franklin, who makes an offhand remark that it’s a shame Hannah doesn’t want children because she has the hips for it. It’s offhand, but it’s offensive, because it’s a comment on Hannah’s body, as well as a value judgement about her decision not to have children. Poor Hannah is also incredibly lonely, which isn’t helped by the constant presence of Bob Franklin. Maybe she should have gone over to Josh’s and sung some Adele and eaten coq au vin.

I’ve really loved how Please Like Me has used music this season. Arnold singing “Chandelier” as his coming out was beautiful, and I loved the use of the Backstreet Boys last week. “Someone Like You” is a great way to remember Adele the transgender chicken, both because of who she was named for, and to demonstrate the affection they felt for her. It’s also a really good song. As a fan of pop music, I’m happy to see the show use it well, because it’s a show about hipsters, but luckily these hipsters aren’t so pretentious as to not listen to pop music.

Other thoughts:

  • Josh and Arnold agree to an open relationship, because Arnold thinks monogamy will cause them to resent each other. Although as far as I can tell it’s an open realtionship for when Arnold goes to maths camp, which is adorable.
  • Ella wants to write Tom’s dreams on his cast, and Tom doesn’t have any. No one on this show if 100% happy all the time, but I think this points to Tom not knowing just how unhappy he really is.
  • RIP Adele and Michael. Although Michael’s not technically dead, all Hannah did was cut off the flowers.
  • I loved that Hannah poured some of her tea into Michael’s pot to make him feel better.
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