With a Little Help From My Friends

raylan-and-rachel

TV and friendship are two of my favorite things. Friendship on TV is pretty much the best thing ever. Last week, in particular, TV offered up some amazing moments of TV friendship. 

Girls Season 3, Episode 7 “Beach House”: In an episode primarily concerned with the deterioration of the friendship of its four leads, “Beach House” also effectively showcases the friendship between Hannah and Elijah. They haven’t spoken in over a year but their reconnection is understated and hopeful in one of the sadder episodes Girls has endeavored. The two meet up again after a surprise encounter in North Fork. Elijah and his group of artist friends have just mocked Hannah’s bathing suit choice (before he realizes who she is) and even though they start off on the wrong foot they share a beat of silence that wonderfully communicates the longing of two friends who miss each other terribly. Elijah’s apology speaks volumes to how well he knows Hannah as he admits, “I think about you all the time and what you are doing and what’s wrong with her and what is she eating and who is she mad at?” These are all the things Hannah would hope someone would wonder about her. Elijah understands her better than any of her other friends and knows what she needs to hear. After hitting him with all the saved-up love she’s been storing away for him, Hannah grabs both Elijah’s hands and begs him to just, “forget everything and come over and save me.”  Compared to the friendship of Hannah, Shoshanna, Marnie and Jessa, this is a friendship that works. The ladies are friends, mostly because they’ve always been friends. They don’t know who they are without each other and are afraid to find out. That would mean growing up. Hannah and Elijah encourage growth in each other, even when their friendship takes a break.

Justified Season 6, Episode 5 “Kill the Messenger”: This week’s Justified also deals with the deterioration of friendship while at the same time highlighting a friendship that often gets overlooked in the show’s writing.  Raylan spends the episode sporting a shiner delivered from Art after he learns the extent of Raylan’s involvement in the death of Nicky Augustine. Their relationship can never be the same and this is not lost on Tim and Rachel at Monday morning’s staff meeting. Tim asks if Raylan got his shiner, “in Arts shower, ‘cause that’s where Art hurt his hand.” Rachel chooses not to press the issue. She instead offers to help Raylan do inventory, relying on her connection with Raylan to get answers. Of course this being Justified, the pair get sidetracked from inventory and end up in Harlan County. It is after their adventure getting revenge on the Crows that their friendship is beautifully featured. On the drive home (after what I’m sure is more than a few moments of silence) the two share an awkward laugh before Raylan accuses Rachel of tagging along so she could report back to the boss that she kept him in check. She comes back with, “You might see it that way if you were a son of a bitch. The other way you could see it is after all we’ve been through, the trust we’ve built, I came with you in case you opened up a crack and wanted to talk about how bad you coulda messed up, that Art has a swell fist and you got a black eye.”  Of course he can’t open up, even a crack about why he has a black eye, but he does apologize. He also admits that he thinks the world of her and trusts her with his life. This is a giant crack opening from the worlds most distant deputy and unlike any admission I’ve heard from Raylan before. I don’t imagine there are many people Raylan trusts with his life. Rachel knows this too, and the smile that she tries to stop from spreading across her face indicates how much she values this admission. Raylan cracks a smile too and I found myself wishing we could spend more time in the car with these two, even if were a silent ride home.

True Detective Season 1, Episode 4 “Who Goes There?” This one is a bit of a cheat. Rust and Marty are not friends. They respect each other sure, but they don’t really like each other. In fact most of “Who Goes There?” goes out of its way to remind us of that. In the last 10 minutes of the episode we are treated to the most intense action sequence on TV since The Wire. Kerri sums it up best by calling it magical. With the camera tightly focused on Rust (and the biker he is dragging along with him) we are treated to a tracking shot (lasting almost 6 minutes) showing the fallout of the drug raid gone wrong. Rust up to this point has been slowly calculating and methodical and the change in tone that follows is unnerving. As we plunge head first into chaos, I have no idea what’s going on and it’s terrifying. The tension builds to an almost unbearable level until Marty pulls up to the meeting spot to save Rust from the mayhem and us viewers from the edge of our seats. There is no exchange between the partners. It’s the act of Marty being where Rust needs him to be when he needs him to be there that expertly conveys the difficult relationship between the two. They may not like each other but they can trust each other to be there when it counts.

So thank you, TV, for offering up three delicious morsels of friendship last week. You’re the best!

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