Going To Frances' Home For The Holidays Brought Out The Best In Robert On 'Divorce'
While going through a divorce is hard enough, the holidays remind you just how tough it is. So it was pretty surprising that Robert went to Frances' parents' house on Divorce during the Nov. 13 episode, "Christmas." Frances made the right call in not alienating Robert from this family tradition and allowing him to spend Christmas with his kids. And in return, Robert actually did a fairly decent thing. Who knew that the spirit of the holidays could bring out the best in this estranged couple?
I think it's safe to say that the main characters of Divorce are all capabale of being pretty awful. Yet, "Christmas" gave the audience a glimmer of what domestic bliss had been like for Frances and Robert at some point. As Frances didn't want to tell her parents they were divorcing, Robert did an excellent job of pretending they were still a happily married couple — mostly for the reason that he genuinely likes his in-laws, which in itself is a pretty refreshing change of pace for a TV show since in-laws typically are given a bad rap.
During the big family Christmas party though, Frances mistakingly thought that Robert was going to make a speech about their divorce (it sure seemed that way) and she ended up coming clean to her parents — and all of their friends — about her current marital status. Of course, that meant that her parents wanted to know the reason for their divorce. As Frances struggled to admit that she had cheated on Robert, he stepped in and said he was the one who had broken their marriage vows. When Frances asked why he took the blame, he claimed she could consider it to be her Christmas present.
Even as Frances' dad scolded Robert for cheating on his daughter, he didn't break. Frances also wanted to tell her parents the truth (after her mom may have admitted to cheating herself?!), but Robert told her to let it go. This act of preserving Frances' reputation for her parents' sake was totally out of character for Robert and I nearly expected him to pull the rug out from under her. But these crazy kids really did love each other at some point and this act seems to prove it — even if it also helped Robert save face since he didn't have to deal with the shame of telling everyone that he had been cheated on.
Now before viewers think that Robert was simply being a saint, another scene in "Christmas" must be discussed — when Frances' "French" lover Julian was punched by a guy for sleeping with another man's wife. Although Robert was the good guy in this episode, I wouldn't be too shocked if Robert and his lawyer Tony Silvercreek had something to do with this. Still, while Robert may be taking out his frustration with Frances' cheating on Julian, he actually treated his soon-to-be ex with respect in "Christmas." Although this could mean a reconcilliation down the line, I just like to think it means there really is something special about the holidays.
Images: Craig Blankenhorn, Macall B. Polay/HBO