Please Like Me, Season 3 Episode 8: “Amoxicillin”

After a few weeks of sad stories, Please Like Me decides to have fun in the eighth episode of the season. I thoroughly enjoyed “Amoxicillin”, but this show is at its best when it mixes the comedy and the drama. Another thing: I don’t think that this show is at its best when it focuses on Tom. I still haven’t seen the second season of the show (thank you iview for “Binge on the Best” this summer), so I don’t really know what was going on with Tom, but there has apparently been an effort to rehabilitate his character this season. In “Amoxicillin,” Tom realises he has chlamydia, and this is something that’s happened before. Instead of going ahead and telling his girlfriend, he gets Josh involved and there’s a ridiculous scheme.

The first season of New Girl wasn’t great for its first half. One of the reasons was that Jess came across as a fifteen year old rather than someone in her late twenties, which was a big problem for “Bad in Bed” the series’ eighth episode. “Amoxicillin” is Tom’s “Bad in Bed”, but it’s worse, because the audience has known Tom for a while now. Tom gets chlamydia, and instead of doing the reponsible thing and telling Ella, he gets Josh to come with him to see two doctors, and they’re going to sneak the second tablet into Ella’s food. It’s a horrible plan which requires a cover story, and Josh decides to tell everyone that he has worms. To make things worse, Josh is babysitting Grace so that Mei can try and work things out (the current nature of this relationship is slightly confusing) with Alan. So, when Josh announces he has worms, Tom immediately lets Claire in on the truth, at which point she announces that Josh and Tom should just be together, because they’re as hopeless as each other. I would watch that show. What was unanticipated is that Ella would freak out as much as Arnold, who learns the truth from Claire and feels like he should have been let in on the secret rather than think he has worms.

The reason Tom doesn’t tell Ella about his chlamydia, is because he thinks she’ll break up with him for lying to her. Yes his behaviour is childish, but he has good reason to worry about it: he lied to Ella about having had a sexual health check because he was too lazy to buy condoms. The truth eventually comes out when Ella wants to have sex but Tom can’t because he needs to wait 7 days for the medication to work. Ella is annoyed, but she doesn’t break up with Tom because she knows she’s lied for similar purposes. She doesn’t want Tom to think that she’s not independent though. At this point in time Ella is the most problematic character in Please Like Me. At one minute, she’s threatening to break the legs of Tom’s giraffe if they don’t have sex, and then she’s somewhat annoyed and entirely reasonable about the chlamydia thing. Your boyfriend not wanting to have sex is okay, and why would your reaction to that be more extreme than learning that your boyfriend has chlamydia? Please Like Me has already done the terrible girlfriend thing with Niamh, we don’t need to go there again. I think we need a little more depth to Ella’s character. It’s okay to be insecure, everyone on this show is, but we know a bit about why. Ella’s unknown.

In the other main storyline this week, Bob Franklin stages a sit in at Rose and Hannah’s. He explained what happened with his ex-wife, and refused to leave until Rose forgives him. She offers to forgive him if he cleans the kitchen (guesses as to when the last time anything in there was cleaned?), but no go. So, she calls Alan, and he and Mae go along to try and stop the situation. Bob Franklin jumps on the hood of Alan’s car, and so he just drives up the street until he falls off, then Rose and Hannah jump in and they all drive off. It was a fun storyline, especially given that we haven’t seen these characters for a couple of weeks, but it was a little weird.

The weirdest thing that happened this week is that Ben called Josh from the hospital. Ben’s about to have surgery on his aneurysm, he’s scared, and Josh is probably the only non-family member to know about it (I don’t know if that’s a medical condition you have to disclose to your employer, but it seems like one – then again he’s a journalist, which can get quite solitary). Of all the storylines this week, this is probably my least favourite. Like Josh, I assumed that Ben was only going to be there for the one week, and I htink it would have been more interesting if that’s the way it had stayed – just a moment in two people’s lives before they go their separate ways. There’s obviously a plan here, but I like Josh being happy with Arnold, and I’m not ready for them to break up yet. Even though “Amoxycillin” wasn’t as great as previous episodes in the season, Please Like Me is always a pleasure to watch.

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