So things don’t exactly start well, with Patrick admitting that he doesn’t want to have sex with Josh – not that they ever have – and Gavin The Rabbit passing away, in an episode that begins and ends with death.
Please Like Me is really kind of masterful at linking themes throughout its episodes – or maybe it’s just really obvious about it – and so while Tom’s life is shaken up by the death of an animal, Josh takes his mother and some of the other patients Hannah and Arnold- out to the zoo, returning from visiting animals to find that someone has died.
But first, Josh mopes about Patrick’s rejection – and how he would have much preferred not having heard the truth behind why it happened. He wishes it could have been because he was unlikable, or mean, or unfunny – all things that, clearly, he’s already accepted may be true about himself. But being physically and sexually unappealing? That’s the one thing, out of the lot, that he wishes weren’t true. Call him rude or humorless, because he can move on from that… But Josh is clearly very sensitive about his physical appearance.
But it’s hard to mope for too long when Arnold’s around to keep Josh company, kissing him after a visit to feed the meerkats – “I just really think that if I go to sing Hakuna Matata to a real meerkat then that would cheer me up” – the two bonding over their terrible, shared schooling experiences. Where Patrick was a gymnastics champion at school, Arnold was bullied because of his love for butterflies. In the scheme of things, Arnold seems to share more similarities with Josh… But is this necessarily good? And will his hospitalization get in the way of things?
Meanwhile, Tom has to break the news to Jenny that their rabbit is dead, something that ends with an emotionally violent round of floor-sex minus a condom – a fact that was either made clear by Tom to address that aspect of the act head on (most media skips the un-sexiness of protection, but Please Like Me isn’t most media), or as foreshadowing to what Tom’s newest drama will consist of for the rest (only four more episodes! When did that happen?) of the season.
Death is never easy, but usually there’s usually a closeness that’s shared when dealing with it. Something that I’m sure will be explored next week when Josh and his mother go hiking in Tasmania, after the shocking events that close out “Lapin La Cocotte.” The group return to the hospital after their outing to the zoo to find that Ginger, who had refused to come out; citing a wish for some alone time, has killed herself.
We’re left with the image of Josh, Josh’s father, and Tom all crying – because each of them have finally reached their breaking points, be it through juggling work and family; rejection; or the loss of people in their lives (Neve and Jenny) respectively – and the chilling sensation that the news of Ginger’s death leaves us with.
Please Like Me isn’t afraid to deal with death… I just thought it would only be Gavin The Rabbit’s that we’d be looking at this week. Everything is linked, in Please Like Me, from beginning to end, a device that never fails to make me think long and hard about all of the big things that happen in this little show.