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October 7, 2015

Huff: A Cornfield Grows in L.A.

by Jonathan Toomey, posted May 15th 2006 7:10AM

Huff; Showtime; Oliver Platt; Faith Prince

(S02E08) I hate how this show makes me want to cry every five minutes. A dramedy with so many depressing topics (drug use, alcoholism, cancer, divorce) shouldn't be this good. But it is.

Beth and Huff are still going to couples therapy but it doesn't seem to be working. They argue just as much with the therapist as they do with themselves. The episode opened with them at their session and it was interesting that it started off that way because it led to both of them seeking therapy on their own terms later.

Huff retreats to Dr. Lena's estate. She has a cornfield in her front yard, hence the episode's title. Huff decided that he's finally ready for the ecstasy treatment. Dr. Lena is convinced that she can achieve the same results with a drugged up patient in 3 to 4 hours that she normally achieves with patients over months worth of regular therapy. So Huff pops the pill and out come the emotions. We find out he's incredibly worried about Russell's drug problem. Also, he learns that he needs to start being his mother's adult son and not her "twelve-year old surrogate husband." Huff felt a great need as a child to try and fill the shoes of his absent father, who coincidentally wasn't around in this episode. So it seems Ben is gone again. Huff didn't reach too many conclusions about his marriage other than he needs to stop beating people (especially Beth) into the ground with his incessant questions. No revelations were reached about Byrd, which I found odd.

Meanwhile, Beth goes out for a night on the town with one of her old friends. Natalie is a free spirit. She's single and loves younger guys. So when two twenty-something studs approach the two ladies at the bar, Natalie is all over it. The four of them get drunk, play pool, and Beth makes-out with Natalie in the restroom while one of the guys watches. It was at this point that she came to her senses. I think Beth, despite how rough things are right now, has finally realized that what she has with Craig is a good thing.

Russell seems to be making some progress too. He finds his meth-addict client and reunites the poor kid with his father. The whole time he kept standing up for this kid but I think it was ultimately a plea for himself. Russell needs help too and he's the only one who can do it. That evening, after helping Kelly assemble the crib he bought for the baby, Russell spends the night with her when he easily could have gone home and done a few lines of coke. So it seems like he's making an effort to rehabilitate himself.

Teddy is continuing his charade with Alyssa. She now thinks he's a budding novelist whose family is independently rich from owning a chain of flower stores. Regardless, the lies are working because she visits him at the flower store that night and they have sex on a pile of peat-moss bags... or maybe it was fertilizer. Whatever, they were really going at it. I can only imagine what's going to happen when she finds out the truth and it looks like it may be happening soon because Teddy's voices are back. Remember his notebook? He busted it out in the middle of the night and started scribbling in it.

Byrd is still grounded so he has dinner with Izzy that evening. She's still drunk almost all the time, but she's good at hiding it. Byrd seems to be the only one who can tell. Maybe because he frequently drinks with her? This night was different though. Izzy has jumped on the bandwagon and reprimands Byrd for what he did. Now everyone has yelled at him except his father. I think that'll be a real turning point this season. The moment when Huff finally realizes that he needs to yell at his son, punish him, and not always "try to be his friend" is going to be a pretty powerful moment. I'll be curious to see which happens first though: Byrd breaking into more houses or Huff stepping up?

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This episode is great I was wondering if someone knows the name of the song that´s playing while Beth and Natalie kiss.

July 14 2006 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great episode indeed. Was that a Van Morrison's song playing at the end of the show? Wonder if anyone knows the name of it?

May 19 2006 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

one of the top 5, definitely. how come SHO gets no respect? And where is Weeds?

May 19 2006 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vivica Rand

For me, this is easily the best show on television right now. Angelica Houston is terrific as the earth mother Huff so desperately needs. The addition of her character, which she plays SO WELL, has exposed a dimension of Huff that we all suspected but haven't seen clearly until now. Houston's character is the perfect vehicle to expose the more vulnerable side of Huff, who tries so desperately to keep his world together with analytical rationality. One hopes that she (Lena) can awaken him to what is going on with Bird before it is too late. That kid is into something really deep and weird. Love Beth, too. She is like a worm wriggling on the end of hook. She is awakening, too, but has chosen a different route, which Huff is already ridculing because it is so outside his own paradigm. Wonderful cast all around!

May 16 2006 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great episode. Easily one of the best shows on TV right now. (Great summary too, Jonathan)

I thought the MDMA therapy session was a little low-key. I was expecting something really deep and emotional to come out, but Huff is so rational maybe Dr. Lena needed to up the dosage.

I loved the scene with Teddy and Alyssa. It's good to see that charactor develop and makes you wonder if his so-called mental illness is real or if it is just because of all the family pressure. Sometimes it seems like he is the most sane one of the bunch. (And, for the record, Teddy and Alyssa did it on bags of manure).

Next week looks to be pretty good with the father coming back again.

May 15 2006 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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