My expectations of this episode turned out to be pretty high, and so maybe it is unfair to give it a slightly lower rating. There is nothing wrong with the comedy, and the various episodes are starting to join up nicely as more is revealed. This one goes by rather fast, which is usually a sign to me that I am really engaged and it is successful TV. By the end, however, I want to ask “Wait, that’s it?” in an unfulfilled way rather than say “Aw, I wish that wasn’t it.” I want more because I don’t see Maeybe’s growth, not because I just want to indulge in more tomfoolery.
Something that makes Maeybe a strong character is her savant-like nature. She is effectively as devoid of practical knowledge as the rest of her family, but she can at least see through the pretense to some point. She also can manipulate at a Lucille Bluth level (if not better), and she somehow tolerates two of the most uninvolved parents ever to be invented. It’s Maeybe’s fixation with her parents that gives her these strengths, but it also stunts her growth (which in turn makes her like a more daring and assertive Uncle Michael).
Maeybe’s struggle with her upbringing is another example of a prevalent theme in this season; regardless of how well one’s survival tactics work in childhood or in dysfunctional environments, the world is often unkind to the maladjusted. I never saw Maeybe as a model child or a martyr, but she seems to be on the relentless receiving end of her family’s selfishness. A part of me feels she deserves a chance at stability so that she doesn’t feel the need to swindle, pimp, and maneuver. What would she have left without constant change, though? She lacks education, and she doesn’t have many friends or family who want her around. I’m starting to think that every time she jokes “Marry me” to whoever she’s influencing, she sort of means it.
I’m not sure what I was hoping for in realistic terms; it’s not like she was given the tools to become a functioning person. I suppose it was her original rebellious spark that made me think there was something better waiting for her in season four. If not a crazy-random and successful career at least a greater realization about her life. Though I was given more insight into her character, I felt like she could still give more to the show, as she was revealed as having a larger hand than anyone could have expected. Maeybe is a force to be reckoned with, and if given any guidance or proper direction, she could easily become a proverbial Lucille 3—finally making her incompetent mother as obsolete as she has always been to her neglected daughter.