There’s another flashback period in this episode, going back to the brief period when Thomas and Dominick were college roommates, and I must say…the actor cast as a younger version of Mark Ruffalo sure does look the part. My God, he looks like he could be Ruffalo’s son or kid brother or something.
That said, the actress cast as young Dessa, while an attractive young woman, doesn’t look that much like a young Katheryn Hahn, but nothing’s ever perfect.
One thing I like about this series, and the novel it was based on, is how it tells the story. This isn’t really a mystery as far as Dominick is concerned. He knows, or believes he does, how he ended up where he is and what Thomas’s whole deal is. Getting Lisa Sheffer on board to help get Thomas back to his regular hospital is proof of some kind of progress, but the overall series isn’t playing it that way as it only gradually reveals what happened to get Dominick where he is today.
Part of that is a college flashback, one where Thomas guilted him into becoming his roommate and then Thomas just lay in bed all day doing nothing with Dominick sweated academically to pass his classes. That included meeting Dessa one night, and it was a nice meeting scene.
Dominick’s temper flared back then, too, when he tried to defend her honor at a bar where she was waiting tables. She didn’t want that, but they got to talking later. Like I said, it was a nice meeting scene.
We also learn more about a character Dominick spotted briefly before, Ralph Drinkwater, a mixed race former classmate who is mostly Native American. Ralph also had a twin, a sister named Penny Ann who disappeared rather permanently after Dominick, as a child, told a lie about her because she was always making things up. Thomas seemed sweet on her for what it was worth.
So, there’s that. Dominick had hurt people in the past, and Ralph wants very little to do with him for reasons as yet unrevealed.
But then there’s Dominick’s reaction to how his live-in girlfriend Joy is pregnant. He asks if it’s his baby.
Seems kinda rude…
Then we learn why: losing the baby isn’t what ruined his marriage to Dessa. Not going with her to Greece isn’t what ruined his marriage to Dessa. Getting a vesectomy while she was in Greece and not telling her is what ruined his marriage to Dessa. She wanted to try again, and he, well, couldn’t.
That…that will do it. One big mistake, and he’s regretting it still.
This is, ultimately, a story of hope and the like, but it needs to go through a lot of misery to get there. And right now, the audience doesn’t know all of it yet. Then again, there’s a good chance Dominick doesn’t either.