Modern Love 2×04 “A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One” is a story about friendship, first and foremost. It is, however, not a story about settling for friendship, even if, for a while, it seems like it might be. Instead, it’s a story about the importance of friendship, a declaration that romantic love isn’t the only love that matters, that sometimes the people that hold us up along the way, even if they’re not our chosen loves, can still be our partners for life.
It’s not an easy episode, though. Watching Dominique Fishback pining over Isaac Powell, who clearly loves her, just not in the same ways he loves him, is more than a little frustrating, particularly when it feels like Lil is just sitting around waiting for Vince to wise up and love her back, and that means that, at times, she misses out on what makes her so damn amazing. But the fact that the story never compromises, never outright turns into a romance, when so many rom-coms have been written with this same plot, it’s actually what makes it work.
Modern Love is built upon the concept that there’s no one kind of love, and not one more important type of love and Modern Love 2×04 “A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One” hammers on this notion with a vengeance. A part of you, the part that has been brought up with rom-coms, truly believes they’re meant to be together. And yet, there’s also a little voice that says …but does that mean that if they remain friends, that won’t be good enough?
That same little voice reminds you of how much you love your friends, and what you would give for them. So, how can friendship be, on TV, so often downgraded to the second, worst choice. And though it’s clear friendship is not what Lil wants, that, at the end, she recognizes that friendship isn’t inherently less, just different, is a great message for an episode that could have just done what we all expected.
Gone for the romance.
Modern Love 2×04 “A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One” is still more of a sobering episode, in a different way, than any of the previous ones. There doesn’t feel like there’s a happy ending, not that Modern Love 2×01 “On A Serpentine Road, with the Top Down” had a particularly happy ending, either. But that’s, perhaps on our expectations more than anything. In the end, Lil and Vince still had each other. She didn’t lose him. She couldn’t.
Both Dominique Fishback and Isaac Powell do a tremendous job at navigating this uncomfortable situation, and if the two of them make it work, it’s because Milan Ray and Pierson Salvador set them up perfectly as the younger versions of their characters. By the time we see them as adults, we’re already invested not just in the relationship, but in each of them as individuals.
However, for me, it was Fishback who shined. Vince might not have fallen for her, as she dreamed, but I kinda did as I saw her trying to navigate the line between her expectations and the world – and relationships – available to her. It’s not easy to be that age, and to have feelings, and to own them, put yourself out there, ask for what you want. It’s even harder to not get it, to get your heart broken, and to then pick yourself up and try to come to terms with the fact that some things might not turn out the way you dreamed them, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth salvaging.
There are many kinds of love. Modern Love attempts to go into each one, with varying degrees of success. But even if there are different kinds of love, there are not two stories alike. Every love, even within the context of romantic love, friendship, familial love, or any other kind …is different. Because there are no two people that are alike. And in that sense, this celebration of a love that doesn’t have to look like once you and I have felt to be great, to be valid, is a good reminder that we don’t control other people’s feelings.
And we shouldn’t really try.
Sometimes love works out just the way we want it to. Sometimes it doesn’t. That doesn’t mean it’s not love, though. It’s good to remember that.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Modern Love 2×04 “A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One”? Share with us in the comments below!