Photo: Lifetime

So Much Junk

Tori's hoarded storage space and Dean's cancelled vasectomy bring up a lot of stuff for everyone.

Tori makes whatever the opposite of a dent is -- a nipple? -- in her 127 crates of stored crapola from the past, but as she's going through it, she's, well, going through it, realizing she clings to things instead of dealing with feelings. (That wasn't intended to rhyme; let it stand.) She hasn't spoken truthfully to her mother. She ended her marriage to her previous husband, Charlie (on whom she cheated with Dean), in a therapy session (with Dr. Wexler, which is a gyre of weirdness all its own) and hasn't spoken to him since, which is why she's got boxes and bags full of stuffed animals, wedding bouquets, and whatnots that have nothing to do with anything.

A meet with Charlie is arranged -- to my annoyance, honestly; he got cheated on, then proxy-dumped by a shrink, so maybe just leave the guy alone instead of forcing him to participate in your contrived closure? -- but Tori stuffs her feelings of dread and shame and makes herself too sick to go. Tellingly, many of the conversations about her rescheduling make it clear that "no really, do you believe me?"s played a big part in the conversations, and that Tori's used to jumping from emotional frying pans into fires of illness and not being believed or empathized with on either side.

But this is a minor meltdown compared to an "agitated" Dean's decision to bag the vasectomy because he's afraid it will sunder the one reliable connection he and Tori share -- creating and glorying in their children -- and render him irrelevant. Why this nuclear option is the only one on the table is a mystery to me until late in the episode, when we find out that Tori got pregnant while on the pill, but I still don't understand why they can't use any of the other bazillion options more appropriate for a lady in her 40s.

Still, you should probably only have the procedure if you understand physiologically how it works, so it's just as well. Aside from the customary failure to comprehend reproductive processes, how True was this episode of True Tori?

True Tori-book Element Present?
Chopped Canada's importance is overemphasized to a peace-talks degree It's not even mentioned, halleloo.
A super-phony moment accidentally reveals a truth The idea to visit Tori's racks and racks of keepsakes is probably motivated by a desire to create conflict via Charlie. Instead, it leads to a sincere breakdown; Tori sobs about the "collections" equalling all her hard work, and the way people assume her parents handed her everything but really didn't.
Recovery-speak It's more like life-coaching speak -- Tori describing "the feeling of loss with it" as she tries to sell or get rid of old stuff; her friend Courtney asking, "What would it be like" to let go of certain ideas she used to have about her life -- but the two argots overlap enough that I'll count it.
Sure: horse around during sex ed instead of paying attention. That'll work out great For not the last time: if you pronounce it "pregnet," you shouldn't be permitted to get "pregnet." But that pales beside Tori and Dean not understanding that the pill failed on them because (in my unlicensed and non-expert opinion) Tori's body weight is a bit low to rely on a cycle-regulation method. And beside Dean thinking the vasectomy would lower his testosterone, which is probably desirable in the second place and is completely ignorant of the mechanics. Guys: Mirena.
Who's the boss Dean burbles in therapy about the "beautiful babies" they make together and not wanting to lose that. It's Tori who has to shut it down all "we can't afford it" and say in so many words -- rather rudely, which is great, though she soon qualifies that part, which isn't -- that she doesn't want more kids with him.
Spellings: they're not just like us, at all Well, there's the 127 pallets of storage. There's also wondering who's looking after the toddlers when Tori is swooning on a cold compress and Dean is talking her through it, since most moms don't have the luxury of letting every sad turn into a migraine.
Call me, Tori! Tori seriously tells Mehran she's going to throw away an empty cardboard box, then sighs that she's joking around because she's uncomfortable. Hee. Her studded grey high-tops are everything.
Preach, friend/outsider Everyone, nonstop, starting with Jess, who uses the word "hoarder" to her face and has this tactlessly awesome reaction to one keepsake: "A framed marriage certificate? Which marriage?" Hee. Mehran points out Tori's "history" of getting excited to confront emotional situations "until the day before, maybe," and then making herself sick. Courtney says that "all the reasons [she's] hearing" about Dean's change of heart about the vasectomy, "[she's] not buying," and pushes Tori on why she can't let go of things and the ideas they represent.
…Henh? Tori is sobbing about her hoard and how it makes her feel safe in a way nothing else can. Dean is listening somberly, but with a lizard on his shoulder.
8 / 9
Final Score
89%
True Tori
11%
Spelling: Buried Alive
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