High Maintenance: M.A.S.H
January 23, 2019 6:01 PM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

While spending time away from the city in his RV, the Guy gets upsetting news but makes an intriguing new connection; Cori tries to adjust to a new reality without her friend.
posted by bleep (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought this episode was just great. I love a show that's just like, ok sit down and I'll tell you a story. I just love watching a story unfold, and as it does so, thinking about the characters and what they're thinking and going through, and how what's going on might fit into the context of what their life has been like up to now.

I really liked how they subtly implied that Cori was some kind of sex worker, in a way that is kind of saying "You know Cori. Cori is our friend. You know what's going." It's, inviting.
posted by bleep at 6:03 PM on January 23, 2019

It was also like a beautiful, tragic, delicate dance watching Cori and the guy just breeze past each other in their own lonely bubbles.
posted by bleep at 6:07 PM on January 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

I agree, this was lovely and poignant in the ways the show does so well. It's so good at exposition without a ton of explicit dialogue. The moment when the man in the bar recognizes her and does a double-take remains mysterious until she gets that "in-call or out-call?" text much later in the episode.

Another mystery for me: whether Berg was *actually* the guy's father or merely a father figure. Some clues that would be consistent with either:

- The bathroom where Berg died is decorated with kinda standard pothead/hippie stuff, with one personal exception: a framed note from a little kid that starts "Dear Daddy" and has some hearts on it. When the guy is in that bathroom, he looks at it and smiles. (In recognition? Approval?)

- After Cori's speech at the wake--explaining that Berg was much more like family than her own birth family had been--the guy wipes a tear from his eye, takes a breath and starts to say his own piece, "okay, well *I'll* go," but is cut off by the annoying dude who yells, "Let's jam!!" and the guy backs away, pretending he hasn't said anything at all. (Anyone who's ever been ignored by noisy hippie parents / cut off by selfish partygoers can vouch for the painful familiarity of this moment.) Was the guy merely trying to fill an awkward silence? Or was his own eulogy going to continue from Cori's thoughts about Berg as a father figure? Unclear.

- At the end, Cori and the guy are both listening to the same song--Cori from a "birthday mix" CD that Berg made for her (I think?), and the guy in his RV from a CD labeled "Baba." Baba, an affectionate word for father in some languages & cultures, is what Cori calls Berg early in the episode, when she comes into the house looking for him. I think no one else in the episode calls him Baba. They all call him Berg.

The show generally isn't a mystery with directly solvable clues (though there are usually some funny & subtle reveal-moments that reward close attention), so maybe it doesn't matter if Berg was his dad or not? Probably overthinking it all, but I do think it's fair to chew on this stuff given that he may be embarking on a new relationship with a woman who's pregnant. Parent-type questions may ensue.
posted by miles per flower at 7:52 PM on January 29, 2019 [6 favorites]

Oh gosh, that thought had not occurred to me but I LOVE it, especially the guy’s surprised look at the drawing in the bathroom. I also noticed that Berg called the guy Baba when they were talking on the phone in the very first scene, which I didn’t even realize til I watched it again.
posted by bleep at 8:03 PM on January 29, 2019

Some of the guests at the funeral were talking about Vassar, which is where The Guy went. So I thought maybe there was some kind of college connection.
posted by middlethird at 8:41 PM on December 28, 2019

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