Satisfaction Review: Finding a New Rhythm

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A security breach at Neil's office caused a cavalcade of interesting circumstances, but not the ones I was expecting. 

As soon as it happened, I thought for sure someone would read a text or see an email or some trace of Neil's double life. After all he never knew he had a tail taking photographic evidence on his date with Jennifer in Satisfaction Season 1 Episode 4.

But Satisfaction Season 1 Episode 5 was instead about finding your footing again even when the rhythm is off. At least for Neil and Grace. For Adriana, it was more about skipping a beat.

I know I rave each week about how intelligently this show is written, but it's stepping up its game rather than losing ground as the season progresses. This still isn't a show about affairs, but about the emotions that drive them and the changes in life that make you rethink who you are.

We're born solitary, and even though we can pick a partner for life, the growth we encounter together still affects us individually. I think that's what Neil and Grace have run into. Somewhere along the way they started going through the motions and lost sight of their combined path as a couple. The journey of Satisfaction is in determining if it they can correct course.

The dance instructor sure had wise words, didn't he? "It happens," he tells them," you get out of sync, loose each other's rhythm." He then tore them apart because he has discovered it's easier to find it again when you practice with new partners. Isn't that exactly what Neil and Grace are doing with their extracurricular activities?

I don't think I'm crazy when I suggest that Adriana has fallen for Neil. I don't know if it's because he isn't available (she doesn't seem the type who has to ask) or because he really is the the kind of guy that gets under your skin -- even if you're a pro.

Adriana: I know what you're looking for. A connection. You can find that in so many places, Neil. See?
Neil: What you're feeling is my phone.

Either way, I like it. It adds a delicious dimension to Adriana that was missing. She's not the cool cucumber any longer, but letting her emotions influence her decisions. She wants to know what Grace has that she doesn't. Why is Neil so hell bent on reclaiming what he had with his wife when he can sample many others? After all, Adriana doesn't consider herself clingy.

Adriana: I guess I'm not the kind of person who finds value in holding onto something after it's been used.
Simon: If something's good, why not enjoy it more than once?
Adriana: Because you miss out what's great when you settle for good.

That exchange between Simon and Adriana was also telling, as was Simon's question to Grace in the flashback, "If you're so happy when you're here, why am I the mistake?" The two professionals, who do their work for different reasons, are jealous of what Grace and Neil share, or what they did and likely will again.

It's absolutely fascinating to watch all of these characters grapple with feelings they are so unused to experiencing. At first I thought Michael Vartan's Dylan might be another fly in the ointment of the Truman's marriage, but instead his introduction gave Grace a different perspective of herself and that really worked. She really is so lovely, and yet (for lack of a better phrase) she's lost that loving feeling.

The disconnect between Neil and Grace has been jarring to them both, and they're being shaken into perspective. I still don't like that Neil has information on Grace that she doesn't have on him. I kind of wish they would level the playing field just a bit, but she did start matters -- in their own home no less.

Any other husband might have ripped the rug out from under Grace and her affair, but Neil continues to take setbacks and turn them into successful schemes to help him win back the woman he once loved, and who he still finds damned attractive standing across from him, lying next to him and everywhere else.

I also have no idea where they're going to go with the "happy app" idea, but I really liked that Neil took note of what made the man at work happy. He's using everything he's learning through this adventure with Grace and it's changing his entire life. I think it's up to USA Network to make good on this app. 

It's your turn! Do you agree or disagree with my assessment of things in the Truman marriage? I'm sorry I didn't hit on Anika, but something tells me there will be more to this part of her story soon, so I'm not worried about missing her this week. I really want to hear what you have to say! Don't forget, you can always watch Satisfaction online via TV Fanatic if you want more (and who doesn't?)!

Here's the poll question -- don't just stop at an answer. Use the comments to explain your reasoning!

Which character most fascinates you?

Satisfaction...Through Partnership Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Satisfaction Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Adriana: I know what you're looking for. A connection. You can find that in so many places, Neil. See?
Neil: What you're feeling is my phone.

Neil: I will say. The dancing left an impression. On me, anyway.
Adriana: The dancing. Really. Why?
Neil: It took me back. Made me remember.