Difficult People, Episode 306 "Bernie & Blythe"

Difficult People, Episode 306 "Bernie & Blythe"

Released by Hulu: August 29, 2017


**This recap contains spoilers so read at your own peril. Your best bet is to watch the episode first, then come back here.*

Episode 306 opens on Julie and Billy back at our favorite recurring character’s office, Tracy the Casting Director (Christina Gausas). They’re there to audition for Jennifer? Ginnifer? Bennifer? from OpenTable because “now they’re doing original content.” Jennifer? Ginnifer? Bennifer? is the VP of Development and Brunch Reservations For Parties Over 4. She's barely awake for any of this. 

The fine folks at OpenTable are looking for Julie and Billy to be “bubbly and perky on various topics” for their New Year’s Eve show, just like Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin on CNN’s New Year’s Eve show.

At Julie and Arthur’s, he comes home from Florida, suitcase in tow. It was a “swampy hellscape out of a dystopic crime novel.” Speaking from personal experience, I 100% agree with Arthur. 

Arthur wants to know if the pizza he asked her to order when he landed is on its way.

She says he didn’t ask her to order a pizza. They decide not to argue. 

The bro-boy dog walker, Dave, brings the dogs home, high-fives Arthur on his way out.

On the street, Hot Toddy (John Cho) wants Billy to come with him to… the three most dreaded words in the English language: “a work thing.” Billy’s never gone to a work thing with a guy before.

At the café, Nate tells Billy and Matthew that he and Denise are going to a parenting retreat in Scarsdale, “so our baby grows up knowing nothing practical, but is pressured to succeed.” 

In his place, Matthew is named manager.

Matthew recounts to Nate how he just watched Undercover Boss because he mistakenly thought it was about bossy bottoms. He announces he’s “a top” more than once. Which no one believes.

Nate asks him to please not dress in a disguise to try to make the business better while he’s gone. Clearly, that’s exactly what Matthew is going to do.

At Veronica’s (Lucy Liu) office, Marilyn gets some notes on her manuscript.

Veronica suggests they swap Chapters 2 and 3. Marilyn does not take this well at all, “Great idea, Dr. Mengele, if you don’t want the book to make any f*cking sense.”

Marilyn pulls a copy of The Joy of Sex off the shelf next to her, flips to a page depicting a woman receiving oral sex and claims that it’s her. “Bulls*it,” Veronica declares.

But after looking closer, she realizes it IS Marilyn.

At the café, Billy tells Julie he really doesn’t want to go to Hot Toddy’s work thing. But he’s going to. 
Julie tells him she and Arthur have only been having “get it out of the way sex” because they’re just trying to avoid fighting.

Matthew comes in, dressed as an old woman, and introduces himself as “the new employee here,” Marionette.

Billy tells Marionette that Denise said, “You have to cover my shift.” Since he’s undercover-bossing, he has to agree.

On the street, Julie walks Greg and Jellybeans when suddenly a group of jersey-wearing college-aged boys race up to her, “Back off, Brock Turners!” she yells at them.  

One of them tells her they just wanted “a photo of Football and Touchdown,” because they’re the “two coolest Instagram dog celebrities in the sports world.” She has no idea what he’s talking about. 

Side note: Football_n_Touchdown is a real Instagram handle and, as of publication, has exactly 1 follower: @NachoMother (aka ME).

When one of the Brock’s tries to high-five Julie, she pepper-sprays his hand. “That piece of sh*t dog walker. He must’ve rebranded my pets without my consent.”

In one of my favorite line of this season thus far, the lead Brock wonders aloud, “Consent? There’s that word again, dude. Like, why do chicks keep using that?” Indeed, Brock-bro. Indeed.

At his work thing, Hot Toddy and Billy arrive at the restaurant (I use that word loosely) called Boobies, standing in for Hooters. Billy tells Hot Toddy, “I’m in every way uncomfortable.”

 At home, Julie rants about the dog walker rebranding the dogs.

She finds some books Arthur brought home from work, “We’re doing a 38-part Nova on the effects of planetary alignment on human sexuality.” She responds, “Kudos to PBS for making sex boring.”

He tells her there’s a suggestion on role-play that seems interesting. “It’s just improv naked,” she tells him.

Julie talks to the dogs and uses a Katherine Hepburn-esque voice for their imagined response.

Arthur’s low-grade cold causes him to cough and make his voice sound distorted. She tells him, “With that cold, you sound like Bernie Sanders.” He tells her, “Your Jellybeans voice sounds like Blythe Danner.” She disagrees, “I was hoping it was a bit more Kate Hepburn.”

At Boobies, Billy wants to know why “all these waitresses are walking around with their tits out like Helen Mirren?” 

The get-together is Karen’s retirement party, and they’re at Boobies, because this is "her favorite restaurant," though it clearly is not.

One of Hot Toddy’s co-workers, David? or Bruce? (doesn't matter much because he's a douche-bro) mistakenly thinks Billy is Sam, Hot Toddy’s ex who apparently ruined the office Christmas party. 

Douche-bro's wife (Jamie Gertz) joins them, only introducing herself as “David’s wife,” and never asking Billy his name. She’s content to just call him “Todd’s boyfriend.” 

She drags him over to meet “the other wives.”

And that’s what happens, he meets “Lance’s wife,” and “Andrew’s wife” and “Adam’s boyfriend.” Billy addresses the boyfriend, “Lyle, right? We met.” Lyle corrects him – “Adam’s boyfriend’s fine.” Très Stepford

When he gets up to leave, one of the wives tells him it’s better if he stay there, so as not to “Sam this up.” David’s wife explains that Sam “didn’t really know his place.”

At Julie’s apartment, Billy tells her how the work thing went and how he now feels pressure to be a supportive spouse. “I’ve been miscast,” he worries.

In a discussion about where rich Instagram-famous pet owners live, they wonder where Oprah lives, and then this happened:

Julie and Billy break out into the song “Easy Street” from Annie. WITH CHOREOGRAPHY TO BOOT. 

I wanted Billy to sing more after last week, and my wish has come true. THIS IS GIVING ME LIFE. It’s over way too soon.

Billy shows up at Hot Toddy’s office with a “hot-wing chicken casserole.” Billy wants Julie’s Insta-famous dogs to be in ads. Douche-bro recognizes them as Touchdown and Football. If Billy can “make them more than internet-famous,” Douche-bro can get them into some ads, which will make a lot of $$$.

At Marilyn’s, she shows Julie the image of her in The Joy of Sex, horrifying her entirely.

“I just miss the free spirit I was before your birth stopped it dead in its tracks.” She explains that Dusty was her cohort in the book’s illustrations. “I wonder where he is,” she muses.

At home, Julie recounts to Billy on the phone how there’s a show on ESPN about sports that’s on after the sports where people talk about sports, “like Watch What Happens Live for straight people.”

Arthur wants to know what they’re going to do for his last night in town. Julie puts on her “Blythe” voice again and Arthur puts on his “Bernie” voice and they begin arguing. They decide to retire Bernie and Blythe and to go back to the way things were.

Nate returns to the café, which is a disaster zone. Marionette greets him and asks, “How many are in your party?

Marionette goes into a long, convoluted backstory, prompting Nate to declare, “From now on, we’re just gonna close the café instead of leaving you in charge.”

Billy’s back at another Hot Toddy work thing at Boobies. “I can’t believe Karen killed herself,” he says to the other work wives. “Happy Funeral, Karen.”

The work wives and boyfriends recount what they believe are amazing ad campaigns written by their significant others which are ALL sexist and highly offensive. Billy can’t take it anymore. 

“Todd, If I have to spend one more second at the f*cking wifey table, I’m gonna lose my mind. It’s like gay Get Out.

Hot Toddy chases Billy down the street. They argue because Billy thinks Hot Toddy wants him to the play the role of supportive boyfriend. But Hot Toddy insists that isn’t what he wants from Billy at all, “I like you for the asshole you are.”  They kiss and make up.

Marilyn meets up with Dusty (John Torturro) to reminisce about the good old days.

He’s still a free spirit. He gets his mail at a juice bar and has no phone. She asks him if he ever misses their “wild, crazy youth.” He doesn’t, because he’s “unburdened.”

He wants to crash at her place if it snows. “Get a job,” she tells him. I kind of wanted this scene to go on and on, to be honest. Sigh, cut down in its prime.

Julie and Billy are about to go on ESPN to plug her dogs. Billy literally drags the dogs out of the green room onto the set. 

The hosts of the show make chit-chat with Billy on set while Julie is in the ladies’ room. Julie’s wearing a hot mic, obviously doesn’t know it, and mutters to herself in the bathroom.

“Of course I hate sports. I hate them all. We both do. Oh, those stupid hosts, Rape Rapely and She Was Asking For It Jones. God, I wish I could kill them all.” She burps profusely, “Ugh, and the burping.” 

The hosts kick Billy and the dogs off the set because of Julie. She’s not that surprised, “You wanna do wings at Boobies?” and that is exactly what they decide to do.

Awesome nicknames Arthur calls Julie in this episode:

Loose Change
Credit Sequence
Page View

Throwaway jokes I loved:

- Billy re: new Wes Anderson movie: I heard that a tumbleweed just blows past a frame full of Lego people in a shoe box for three hours.

- Hot Toddy re: Karen retiring: It’s not her choice. She turned 40. That’s the mandatory retirement age for women in advertising.

- Billy: If any internet celebrity can get a TV show that easily, Miranda Sings would have her own series on Netflix. 

Did I leave anything out? Let me know. Until next week....


Speaking of next week, per Hulu, here's what we can look forward to in Episode 307, "Fuzz Buddies":
Lifelong dreams come true when Julie gets hired to write on a TV show, Micky Dolenz answers Billy’s childhood fan letter, and Marilyn throws herself a Bat Mitzvah.

*All photos courtesy of Hulu, unless otherwise noted.

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