S2E15: I Can’t Even

“Well dang, Jim, those ARE some natural-looking eyebrows! The things you can do with computers these days!”

Previously: nothing but loud screeching inside my brain.

Ugh, fine: Ally liked dating Butters, Billy was jealous and said he still loved Ally, Ally loved both dudes, apparently all that gross kissing was real.

Ally walks down the rainy Boston sidewalks at night, and I guess it’s the same night we ended on last time, because she gets home and argues with Renee about what she’s done. Renee thinks it’s fine since it was only a kiss, but Ally disagrees. For her, a kiss is the biggest betrayal, because while sex is primal and includes a “raging penis”, in this case they didn’t take their clothes off, and it was probably because there’s more intimacy in just kissing. We get faded-tone flashbacks to the sloppy makeouts, and the doorbell rings.

Butters is at the door, glaring. He says he sat at the restaurant for over an hour, and Ally stutters about how she wasn’t feeling well. She tells him there’s a reason she wasted one of his few nights off, but Renee interrupts to blather about how women are beyond reason, and hey, Ally’s ploy must have worked because it got him here. She sends him into the other room and tells Ally not to update Butters on all the kissing. Ally says he knows her history with Billy anyway, and Renee ups the ante on that objectionable point with the claim that every relationship begins with dishonesty, since it sets the stage for marriage. They’re interrupted by Billy suddenly standing in the foyer, appearing like something out of a horror movie, and Renee leads him into a lie that they’re planning Ally’s birthday party. Billy glares at Ally and says “Surprise.” What does he have to be pissed about?

Post-credits, we find out that Billy’s mad because Ally told Renee about their illicit activities. They argue about how she couldn’t tell anyone else, then Renee interjects to say that if they’re not careful, she’ll get going with Butters, and it’s her New Year’s resolution “not to mess with somebody else’s other”. Cut to Billy and Ally, whose eyebrows have been whimsied into something nightmarish, which I guess is supposed to imply disbelief. Ally tells everyone the party planning is done and shoves the men out, claiming cramps. She says, “Billy, I’ll kiss you later,” then stammers about Midol going to her head. Once they’re gone, she asks Renee to call Tracey for her (she has her on speed dial), since this is an emergency.

I guess that Bruce Willis cameo a few episodes back was a one-off, because Tracey is back! She thinks that Ally kissing Billy is “fabulous”, but Ally feels guilty for committing adultery and betraying a friend. Tracey muses that everyone comes in thinking they’re the world’s biggest loser, but this time she agrees, and I have so missed her Ally-dissing lately. She asks if Butters is good in bed, but we learn that Ally hasn’t actually slept with him yet. Tracey hits her laugh-track button, and characterizes Ally as “I’m looking for a soul mate who can read Dickens to me over the phone”. I’m on board, until she says that deep down they both know Ally’s a slut, adding that the way to her heart is through her Fallopian tubes, which I don’t think is biologically accurate.

And she loses ground quickly, as when Ally rightfully objects, Tracey makes what I think is a blow-job joke about her getting aroused by watching boa constrictors swallow things, but then also implies that Ally finds sex meaningful. At any rate, she thinks Ally is afraid of falling in love again, so she’s using Billy as a guardrail to keep her distance from Butters. Tracey instructs her to sleep with Butters tonight, to figure out if they’re right for each other, and call tomorrow. Oh, and “if you see a blimp, ignore it.” Okay, have a couple points back for that.

Back at the apartment, Ally has started questioning the people who are helping her fix her problems. Renee says Tracey has a point about sleeping with Butters, and Ally is disbelieving that she should “audition the guy in bed”. She asks Renee if she would marry a guy without sleeping with him, to which Renee replies, “Abso-you-know-what-lutely not”, so good job keeping the language clean, writers. Ally refuses to sleep with Butters “just” to see how good he is, plus she thinks she knows already because– just then BILLY WALKS IN, letting them know that the door was open, and he and Ally need to talk. I was going to make a point about how you should only have sex with someone if you both want to, and how it’s weird that Ally is all coy about it now after previous boyfriends, but now I’m just focused on how Billy is like the epitome of an abusive creeper, so that’s fun.

Billy follows Ally into her bedroom, even though the way he’s acting I wouldn’t want to be alone with him, and they look around awkwardly. Ally suggests that there’s too much in her head right now to think clearly, and they should talk later: “Right now I think you should leave Georgia– leave here.” Billy thinks that they have to confront the truth of what happened, and why. Ally asks if he wants to tell her something, or whether he wants her to tell him something, and he’s not sure, because “what happened was the most wonderfully worst thing I ever did,” and ick gross barf ew gag. They agree that maybe it was a mistake and maybe not, but tomorrow it will be clear, and he finally leaves.

The next day Ally leaves for work, and starts hearing music only when she moves. (The song is “Last Night” by the Mar Keys, for those interested in the half-assed thematic scoring.) She experiments with the stop-start thing, and ends up stopping in the middle of the street and shaking her head around crazily. The song is still playing when she gets off the elevator at work, so she whips her head around some more, and of course Georgia is there when she opens her eyes. Georgia asks accusatorily if she’s just going to say hi, but of course she’s annoyed about a work thing that Ally dumped on her. Ally stammers about Georgia having deposed one of the witnesses, which calms her down.

Ally enters her office and bangs her head on the closed door, repeating “It was only a kiss.” Elaine opens the door into her and asks if she’s free to meet with Billy, since he’s been waiting at her desk this whole time because OF COURSE. Billy closes the door on Elaine and asks if things are any clearer, and when Ally doesn’t respond, says “I see”. He guesses that she thinks this is wrong, and that even if he were interested, it’s not a path that’s open. Ally stops him and argues that he’s trying to get her to reject him, so that he can say he tried to follow his heart but she blocked it. They accuse each other of needing the other to say no, and they start making declarations of love while arguing– I’ve never loved anyone but you, You’re the only one I see myself growing old with, Kiss me… it ends in a prolonged silence, and they call each other liars. There’s a bit more yelling, and Ally shouts that she’s falling for him more every second, so he better nip this in the bud. He says they should meet at her apartment at lunch, and when she asks why (um, so you guys can start an affair? Why else?), he replies, “I can’t stop thinking about you, and I can’t go another day without making love to you.” Blarrghhhhhhh.

Ally’s in another session with Tracey, and rants that she thinks Billy is bluffing. Tracey is confused, since she had instructed Ally to have sex with Butters, and Ally babbles about how obviously Billy wants to live out his life with Georgia, and just be able to say he tried. Tracey asks what would happen if Billy really does want to sleep with her, and Ally claims that she won’t. Tracey asks why she’s afraid to tell him that, wondering if she’s afraid she might say yes instead. No, Ally is sure she wouldn’t.

I guess this was a mid-morning appointment, as Ally and Georgia ride in the C&F elevator together. Georgia apologizes for being irritated earlier, admitting that things aren’t going great, and Ally asks if she can help. Georgia declines, and the elevator walls beat with Ally’s heart until they reach their floor, at which point she sees a knife in Georgia’s exiting back. Since she’s busy imagining things, Ally has neglected to get off the elevator, and Richard has to prompt her to do so. The song starts up again as she walks to her office. She asks Elaine if Billy’s in there, which he’s not, but Butters sure is. Butters asks Ally if she’s going through some kind of crisis and she says it’s personal, and she knows it’s frustrating, but can he “understand without understanding?” He says sure, but he’s here to help, and what a cool dude compared to the creeper with the anger issues that she’s currently obsessed with. He reminds her that you can’t go through life alone, and she nervously says that that’s not the problem at the moment. They kiss goodbye.

Elaine was spying, so when Butters leaves, she asks Ally what’s wrong. Ally gets all wistful about how Butters is wonderful, but “I don’t want what I want, and I want what I don’t want” and you know, women, amirite? Elaine says she should see a therapist, and Ally confirms that she is, and that said therapist wants her to sleep with Butters. Elaine is also surprised that she hasn’t yet, but Ally thinks “sex is sex”, and doesn’t see the big deal. Richard comes in looking for Billy, and Elaine says he left for lunch, so of course Ally is like “Lunch?!” She gets panicky and runs out of the office for the second time today before noon, all the way to her apartment. She stops in front of her building, in time to see Billy get out of his car. He half-smiles at her creepily.

Billy and Ally wander in to her apartment, and they make small talk until she says she’s imagined this for the last two years. In her imagination it seemed romantic, but now it’s terrifying. They tentatively ask if the other came to do the sexing, and they both need to shit or get off the pot, all this shuffling around is exhausting. She thinks he wants to, since he took the dare, and he walks towards her as he says that if he wanted to take a chance he wouldn’t accept no for an answer, which is just SUPER reassuring. He asks her how the scene she played out ends, and she touches his lips before they start kissing. Ally suddenly pulls away, crying, and says this is exactly what happened when she imagined it. I think these kids are gonna make it!

Ally has another session with Tracey, where she recaps the lunch encounter. Tracey tells her to break up with Butters, because now they have to clear the deck to see what’s up with Billy. Ally asks about the theory she had that Billy was a guardrail to keep herself from falling for Butters, and Tracey admits she forgot about that, adding that she should take notes. Ally asks if Tracey even gets the concept of love, and Tracey gets all somber, recounting that she sent the greatest love of her life away over ten years ago. Ally apologizes, and Tracey continues, reciting the last thing the guy told her, which Ally quickly recognizes as a quote from a movie. She shouts that this is the biggest crisis of her life, and Tracey needs to take this seriously. Tracey demurs, telling Ally that she needs to see her and Billy together, so she can also hear his side.

Back at C&F, Elaine has flowers for Ally from Butters, but suspects that something’s going on. Ally wonders why she would think that, and Ling pops up, reminding Ally that she’s “penile psychic” and she can tell that something’s up in the office. Elaine asks if everything is okay, and Ally answers that it never is. Peppy music plays as she looks at the flower card, then looks over at Billy. He’s having a friendly chat with Nelle, and Georgia also stares at him until he comes over so they can have an awkward “Everything okay?” “Fine” conversation. Georgia looks over at Ally, who quickly turns away. Georgia proceeds into the Unisex, where she asks Cage how things are with him and Nelle. He confirms that they’re not dating, and he doesn’t know if she’s seeing anyone, why? Before things can get more complicated, Ling exits a stall, followed by Richard from the same one, and Georgia looks grossed out.

Okay, buckle in. Billy and Ally are at Tracey’s office, which I think makes the third session Ally has had with her today, four if you count the emergency midnight one. Does she even have any other clients? Billy is all defensive about his private life, and pissed off that Ally came to Tracey about this whole mess. Tracey muses, “Such anger. Is it rage, passion, guilt?”, and frankly I’m relieved that someone else has acknowledged Dick Mode. Billy says that it’s all of those, but she redirects that at least he’s here, and asks how things are with Georgia. He argues that this has nothing to do with her, but Ally thinks it does, and asks if their kiss was a symptom of problems in his marriage. Billy wants more credit than that.

Tracey interrupts: “Let’s skip ahead a little, and not just because I’m bored,” and asks to see how Billy kissed Ally. This will be helpful, she thinks, because there’s a difference between lust and love kissing, and Billy jumps up to yell “IT WASN’T LUST!”, then goes to leave. Tracey makes a comment about how he always runs, which gets him real riled up. He asks what makes her equipped to handle this, and “I don’t care how many damn books you’ve read… I want to know when EVER you were in the middle of anything like this!” Being angry and defensive is definitely a great way to approach therapy you were already forced into, don’t you think? Basically he wants her human credentials, and she levels with them. She says she’s not happy, so when she sees people with a chance at it, she gets impatient when they lie to themselves. She tells them that once she didn’t run when she should have, and Billy, even though this is exactly what he requested, accuses her of letting her personal history affect her job. She snaps that he asked for it, and laments that they all think she’s so silly with her theme songs, but she used to sing “Tainted Love” to herself. To emphasize this point, she starts singing it now, then turns on background music, a spotlight, and grabs a mic, making a big show of it.

Billy shakes his head at the performance and turns off the music, and her singing trails off. He’s annoyed at her levity, since he thinks his infidelity is a big deal. Tracey says that his values are unproductive and forcing him to attach meaning to the kiss. He’s denying be able to see it as betraying Georgia just because he wanted to, because horniness and loneliness collided. Then everyone’s reasoning gets really hard to follow, since she accuses Billy of not being able to trivialize the kiss because it means too much. Ally argues that they both believe in monogamy (didn’t Billy admit to sleeping with a stripper at his bachelor party?), so for them to betray that, it really has to be love. Tracy asks Billy if he loves Ally or if he’s looking for justification, and thinks that they have to forget guilt if they want to figure out if they’re right for each other. She joins their hands together and asks, “Is this the picture, or not?”

We get a commercial break, but if you thought we were getting out of this clusterfuck, you were wrong, because they’re still with Tracey. She has them envisioning the future with their eyes closed, and they agree they have seven grandkids. She asks Billy what future Ally looks like, and he says she’s had work done on her face and lips. Ally gets pissed because what the hell, dude, and he says that she’s vain, which she argues is not a personality flaw. He tries to demur, but she won’t let him “turtle” and demands that he elaborate. He asks about when she wanted a boob job, and she says that it was a long time ago, when it was trendy. Tracey tries to interrupt but they steamroll her, continuing into a circular argument about why he would be attracted to Ally the Narcissist, and Ally asks why he even fell in love with her. “It happened when I was eight,” BIlly replies, “I was too young to know better.” Ouch.

Ally spits, “I guess you know better now,” and tries to storm out, but accidentally goes into the closet instead. Tracey points out that they haven’t solved anything yet. She asks what the point of this fight is, why is Billy threatened by vanity? He says that Ally is never satisfied with herself or anything else, and he worries that although she believes in monogamy, she won’t be able to stay monogamous; she has self-esteem issues, and if her husband doesn’t affirm her, she might look for it someplace else. Ally says that if he’d told her that before, she would have blown him off before he left for Michigan, and Tracey asks for a timeout/pee break.

Another commercial break, and some establishing shots of Boston get my hopes up before I realize that we’re still in Tracey’s office, and I guess this is just my life now. Billy and Ally are still fighting, and she calls him a cheater, saying that it’s actually him who has a problem. Why wouldn’t she be getting affirmation from him if they were married? She’s not sure Billy knows love, since it’s about respect, which was not implied in the way he just described her, and that’s why he left her for Georgia. He yells that she’s always the victim, and she calls herself stupid for thinking that he loved her. “LOVE IS WASTED ON YOU ALLY, CAUSE YOU’LL ALWAYS BE UNHAPPY. THAT’S WHY I LEFT!” he shouts. Jesus Christ.

Ally is taken aback, and he repeats his thesis: she may go through her good times, but she doesn’t know how strong she is. I guess this isn’t a compliment, as he means that she would have pulled him into her crazy world, rather than him pulling her out. Ally is crying, and he admits that the kiss happened because he loves her. “You just don’t want to waste it,” she finishes for him. Billy is teary, and says “I don’t know,” and she tells him he’s wrong. She’s gaining on happiness, and she’ll get there one day. Billy tells her that he hopes he’ll be there to see it, but she replies that if he is, it will be from a distance. “I love you, good bye,” she says, and leaves the office. FIN.

Can we be done with this storyline now? I don’t think I can survive another round in this fight. Billy is clearly not fit to be in a relationship with any other human given his unstable emotions, and they’re clearly not good together. And that’s ignoring the fact that the second half of this episode never should have happened, as decent husbands don’t go to secret therapy with their ex-girlfriends. I don’t care, bring Oren back, but this better be the end of the UST with these two.



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