Another Period, Season 3 Premiere, “Congress”

One of Comedy Central’s more enjoyable shows of the last few years is finally back! Another Period, the parody that’s equal parts Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Downton Abbey, wrapped up season 2 in 2016, without a clear indicator of when or if the show would return, but Tuesday night, the season 3 premiere aired, picking right up from the events of season two.

At the end of season two, the Commodore (David Koechner) discovered that he was broke; Lillian (Natasha Leggero) and Beatrice (Riki Lindhome) went on a bar-smashing fit of temperance that earned them headlines; the abbey where Beatrice and Dodo (Paget Brewster) had been sent turns out to be the benefactor of Bellacourt Manor’s largesse; Hortense and her suitor die in a car crash that, I presume, parodies the way Downton Abbey sent off Matthew Crawley.

Season three opens with the Commodore grabbing his shotgun and preparing for a frontal assault from the bank, alongside Garfield (Armen Weitzman), telling him “We die tonight!” The front door bursts open and in walks… Dodo, who’s bought back the manor with the money donated to the Abbey, bringing back unfailingly loyal servant Mr. Peepers (Michael Ian Black) and Father Black, her new lover (guest star Jemaine Clement). She kicks the Commodore out and restores some sense of order to Bellacourt Manor.

At Hortense’s funeral, the Bellacourts mostly reminisce about how none of them liked her… until a huge wave of suffragettes crests over the hill to join the funeral, and Lillian and Beatrice realize, to their disbelief, that Hortense is famous. They decide to co-opt her movement to make themselves famous, but also genuinely bring something to the table: Being attractive. As silly as it sounds (and possibly ahistorical or sexist), the sisters first try to “ugly themselves up” to fit in with the suffragettes (see the above photo), but once they realize the women aren’t doing it on purpose, they recoil (“I wore brown!”) and decide to take the honey-vs.-vinegar approach to attracting male support. Their methods drawing attention to the cause works much better than the suffragettes’ previous approach of “berating men, screaming at them, emasculating them…” This all eventually gets Lillian and Beatrice a chance to testify before Congress about women’s suffrage.

Meantime, Father Black reveals his lifelong dream is to be a musician, and he displays increasingly entitled and even abusive behavior over the course of the episode, spending all of Dodo’s money on musical instruments (“How can I follow my dream if I don’t own every instrument?”), but the final straw for Dodo is that they’re not having sex. (“If I wanted a man who spent all my money and didn’t fuck me, I would have been content keeping things as they were with the Commodore.”) Father Black tries to get himself out of this first by saying “At your age you should be grateful,” which Dodo rightly and righteously smacks down, and then by proposing to her, which immediately doesn’t work. (“Oh, and give it back, I know you took that ring from my dresser.” “I was going to get a real one.”)

Oh, and Frederick (Jason Ritter) has apparently had some sort of previous sexual experience with a priest, so he spends most of the episode trying to seduce Father Black, and gets very hurt when he doesn’t reciprocate. (So far, Frederick’s preference in sexual partners seems to boil down to 1)His sister 2)Any priest.) The first scene is a little cringeworthy but once it becomes clear that Frederick is openly (and poorly) trying to get laid, it’s hilarious.

We gradually see indicators that Hortense isn’t dead, but recovering from her injuries in a hospital. She spots a headline about her sisters heading to Congress, and she finds the strength to head there herself and challenge them. Also, Hortense is now played by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Donna Lynne Champlin, making her the fourth actress to portray Hortense in just three seasons.

Lillian and Beatrice arrive at Congress not really understanding their purpose there; Lillian stumbles through an argument as to why women should have the vote (because she herself doesn’t believe it), but then Beatrice has one of her idiot-savant moments: “They’re going to get it eventually, and if you give it to them, they’ll vote for you forever, and you’ll get what you want: To remain in power.” It looks like that turns the tide, but then Hortense bursts in declaring “DO NOT LISTEN TO THESE TWO!” The three sisters fight on the Congressional floor, while the panel of Congressmen discloses that they already struck down the idea. Better luck next time.

Also, Blanche (Beth Dover) swaps Chair’s baby with her own in hopes of giving it a better life. (Speaking of, no sign of Chair this episode, and I don’t recall seeing her in the credits, either. Christina Hendricks might be off the show.)

I really liked this episode and it was a great reminder of why I enjoyed the show so much. I don’t have too many stray observations, or a good title for the stray observations section, so I’m listening on that front. (One stray observation: Good on Garfield for surviving that cyanide capsule!)

I don’t know if I’ll get to this every week, so if someone else wants to take the reins, I’m happy to hand them over. I’m a bit swamped with writing work as it is already.

What did everyone else think?