Photo: Lifetime

Teen Angle

As Dean's oldest son plays on his dad's guilt, Tori faces Dean's ex -- and the truth about her marriage. ...Just kidding! She dances around it some more. Zzz.

The central question of True Tori is whether Tori and Dean should stay together, but what's funny (peculiar more than ha-ha) is how often they answer it, quite plainly, and then just kind of go "huh" and wander off to find another angle from which to approach it. Every time, the answer is a variation on "probably not"; every time, they decline to engage with it, choosing instead to re-ask it.

And: look. They stay together, fine. It's not an affront to civilized society or anything; they have four kids together, and couples make that call according to their own metrics. But the heroic contrivances brought to bear so that Tori and Dean can interrogate their relationship every second they're awake just aren't interesting to watch when they already have all the evidence they need. Mary Jo seems like a good, snarky egg who knows Dean did her a favor of sorts, and she's also using the summit with Tori to promote herself/her own projects; that's all fine too. It's just dull.

Tori and Dean got married because they liked to fuck. Now they're fucked. So stipulated. Can we move on? And how True was this episode of True Tori?

True Tori-book Element Present?
Chopped Canada's importance is overemphasized to a peace-talks degree Dean's "chef dad" showing off for Jack's party notwithstanding, no.
A super-phony moment accidentally reveals a truth The text from Tori's agent notifying her that Mystery Girls is formally cancelled, which arrives during therapy, leads to a gentle reminder from Dr. Wexler that she's actually had some great successes career-wise and should probably not complain about her work adversity when she's turned her troubled personal life into a viable brand. (The last part was silent.)
Recovery-speak None that I noticed.
Sure: horse around during sex ed instead of paying attention. That'll work out great It's not the usual "control the birth in the what now?", but Tori musing that she and Dean may not have a connection "beyond sexual connection," then asking, "What's wrong? You look upset" is classic. Well, you basically just said it's possible your entire relationship is based on hormones. You can't really expect him to enjoy hearing that.
Who's the boss Dean's son with Mary Jo, Jack, is turning 16, so Tori kind of decides they'll have a party for him -- as long as it's okay with Mary Jo -- and then sits back and waits for Dean to set boundaries with the guest list or the theme, or to act like the party has anything to do with him beyond inconveniencing him with a gazillion teenagers on the property. Aaaaand she waits. Aaaaand she waits. And then, when "it's our house, it's not just your house" falls on deaf ears, Tori's finally like, fine, Mary Jo and I will figure out the rules, "DAD."
Spellings: they're not just like us, at all Tori and Dean both pay lip service to the idea that they don't have room for a hundred kids, what do we serve them, blah blah, but there's a red carpet, an event photographer, and valet parking.
Call me, Tori! When she met Mary Jo for the first time, she brought a kitchen knife along in her purse. What a weirdo. I also found the oh-shit leg-shaving in the sink quite relatable. Careful on the knees!
Preach, friend/outsider Dr. Wexler doesn't use the word "martyr," but is pretty direct (for her) about telling Tori to stop acting like one. Mary Jo's "you're both complicit in it; just own it!" is also a strong contender. But Jess wins Zinger Of The Week when, in a conversation about the next day's party and the awkwardness surrounding Mary Jo's attendance, she asks Tori, "Are you going to get sick tomorrow?"
…Henh? I mean, I guess I could express bafflement about checking one's texts during marital therapy, but in the context of TT, it's...not baffling.
6 / 9
Final Score
67%
True Tori
33%
The Starter Life
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