TV Club: Divorce gets even uglier, but its cast steps up, in “Mediation”

On a stress test, divorce is ranked higher than the death of a spouse. That’s because with divorce comes the stigma of failure. If you spouse gets cancer, there’s not a lot you can do about that. But if your marriage breaks up, there’s always the nagging thought of, “If only we’d tried a little harder.”

I think that helps explain Robert’s downward spiral this episode. The breakup of his marriage, spurred by the discovery that his wife is having an affair, has taken its toll over the past few weeks. Now he realizes that his business is failing as well, and it’s enough to make a man leave a store with a Power Bar display, or send menacing voicemails to his wife’s lover. It’s hard to explain how much Thomas Haden Church is bringing to this every week, creating a character …

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