Men in Trees: The Caribou in the Room
(S01E06) I didn't like the first half of this episode, but then it got much better during the second half. It started out with storylines that I felt were tired, but I ended up liking where they went. Hopefully people stuck it out through the show because it really did get cute and sweet in the end.
But first: Is anybody else confused about the weather in Alaska? During the pilot, there was snow. Then there was cold weather and Marin had her 'cold weather clothes' sent to her from NYC. Then there was a heat wave. Now it's part snow and part green trees. I'm pretty sure the leaves die and fall off the trees in Alaska when it's freezing cold during the winter.
Initially, the storylines were pretty much the same as last week. Ben and Sara are sleeping together and Ben's ice queen wife, Teresa, knows. And she doesn't care. A caribou gets stuck in Ben's bar, a storyline which ends up mirroring his relationship with Teresa. He realizes he has to just set the caribou free- an obvious metaphor for his failing relationship with Teresa. In the end, he asks her to move out. It's nice to see this storyline make some progress. Ben is getting stronger every week. Now I'd like to see more about what drives Teresa to be so cold-hearted.
Meanwhile, Patrick and Annie once again are having issues in their relationship that involve lack of communication. Annie is embarrassed because she snores, so she kicks Patrick out of her apartment every time after they have sex. This one didn't interest me until its conclusion at the very end of the show when Patrick attempts to set Annie at ease by telling her he has to sleep with his headgear and retainer in every night. These two are precious.
Marin and Jack's story was more interesting than the others. I was a little annoyed in the beginning when Marin and Jack were "outside" (obviously a sound stage with fake snow), but I got over it. The show took a little Desperate Housewives-style moment there after Jack's asthma attack where we learn that he has a bullet in his chest. And the reason why is very sad: Jack's dad shot him to save him from a bear, and then the bear mauled and killed Jack's dad. The drama quickly ended though and turned into sibling rivalry, with Jack's brother hitting on Marin. It all culminates in a fistfight.
Even though I didn't dig the first half of this episode, I still really like the show. I like the Marin character and her willingness to try new things and I like how Patrick's mother has become a great source of comic relief. She's a mischievous sheriff... giving Ben and Sara a warning about making out in his truck and writing a ticket to Ben when he finds a caribou in his bar.