'Camping' Episode 3 review: The men talk relationships, while the women bond over Cher
A lot of bonding happened in Episode 3, but not for Kathryn who is still too uptight to even let her husband in.
Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's HBO comedy series, 'Camping', released its third episode on Wednesday and it indicated just how brilliant Dunham can be when it comes to dialogue writing. While the second episode had chiefly focused on Kathryn's (played by Jennifer Garner) paranoia regarding her son, Orvis', health it also revealed Jandice's (played by Juliette Lewis) grip over the gang which is far more effective than Kathryn's snaring dictatorship.
In the third episode, the men go out fishing with Walt (played by David Tennant) but what was supposed to be a recreational union of old-time pals, soon became a revealing account for the men who are struggling to keep their marriage intact. While the second episode had revealed the affectionate side of some relationships, such as Joe and Nina- Joy, the third episode was a coming about for the men and their relationships with their wives. However, Dunham's subtle trick to make the men play the second hand in the relationship brought out a very different feature of their characters.
All of these men, which includes Walt, Joe, George, and Miguel have been loyal to their partners since the beginning, and although the women do not seem to find a common ground with Kathryn, the men completely adore Walt. In fact, in the last episode, we had seen Joe ask Walt to consider Kathryn's authority over him. Episode 3, however, revealed a weaker side to Kathryn and Walt's relationship. When out on fishing, Walt reveals to his mates that he has not been able to be intimate with Kathryn for the last two years. As the other three try to comfort Walt, Joe and George get into a brief feud where George seems to still consider Joe an intolerant individual.
Throughout the exchange between the four men, Joe seemed to be the odd crack on the wall as he was continuously criticized by George and Miguel. While George has already been skeptical about Joe ever since he called his wife, Nina-Joy, "little chocolates" Miguel found a reason to dislike Joe just as much when Joe threw the fact on his face that Jandice was "way out of your league". What could have been a fun day out, soon turned out bleak as the men realize that they have revealed to each other way more than they should have done in the first place. On the other hand, the women seem to be trying to mend some unresolved issues between them.
On discovering the ring in Miguel's bag, Jandice is immediately excited by the idea of finally getting to do something ordinary. However, before breaking the news to anyone else she joins Carleen (Ione Skye). In spite of being completely different from each other, the two women immediately hit it off. The conversations between Jandice and Carleen indicate a possible bond between the two characters in the future, as both seemed to be equally comfortable in each other's company. It's one of those friendships who do not really fit in together but somehow make sense.
Being on the complete opposite sides of the spectrum the two can offer a lot to each other. Jandice has been looking for attention ever since she has entered the camp, but although everyone has welcomed her like their own, she somehow realizes that she is an outsider. It is only Carleen who will have the time and patience to listen to Jandice who does not mind speaking her mind out. In the conversation, Carleen tells Jandice that she kept her hair long because she wanted to be like Cher. She stated that while she knew she could never be as bold and outspoken as Cher, at least her hair could be as long as hers.
Jandice, who would clearly opt to speak her mind out than keeping her hair long, immediately offers Carleen a haircut to introduce her to the changes in life. This is exactly how the two characters will always have something to offer to each other. Jandice needs a place where she can give and be needed, on the other hand, Carleen takes it all in and considers people for whoever they are. The 'Girls' co-creator has always projected women's friendship under an extremely raw light, and this time, too, in 'Camping' she has taken the similar path to focus on the nitty-gritty involved in the bond between two women.
The bond seems to have taken a toll upon the uptight, obsessively compulsive Kathryn too, who has been trying to regain the trust of her friend, Nina -Joy. While it is not yet clear what the feud between these two women is actually about, Kathryn spends some time making a gift for Joy hoping that she would forgive her. However, unfortunately, Jandice was way too excited about her engagement to Miguel and immediately broke out the news just when Kathryn was about to announce her gift for Joy. While the focus on Kathryn was less on this episode, it managed to highlight a very important doubt regarding Kathryn...is she just being arrogant now?
Following his conversation about not being able to be intimate with Kathryn for over two years, Walt has been a little frustrated about their relationship but he keeps defending Kathryn claiming that it was the pain from the surgery that kept her away. Walt's frustration about their relationship is evident when he claims that the days of pinning down a woman are over. On returning to the camp he, however, forgets his words and pounces on Kathryn the moment he sees her removing her blouse. Unfortunately, Walt read the signal wrong and Kathryn snaps back at him considering the act to be offensive.
This strange exchange between Walt and Kathryn almost leaves a note of doubt- is Kathryn really suffering or is she just dragging things now? While it seems that she truly is suffering, probably a lot of it what she is doing is only a result of habitual practice. She has been so comfortable in driving Walt around for the past two years and not feeling him physically, that she is comfortable in driving him around. She almost cannot seem to bear the fact that Walt could actually pin her down if he wishes to but she is also inconsiderate about him feeling left out in their relationship.