The end of The Other Two’s second season is serious business. The HBO Max comedy wraps up its sophomore run with two downright hilarious episodes that end with poignant confrontations. But first, in the penultimate half-hour titled “Chase And Pat Are Killing It,” siblings Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Heléne Yorke) take a trip to Los Angeles. Brooke just wants to relax for the day before work kicks in, while Cary is excited to hook up with someone he met on a dating app. He’s so thrilled that he sends the man a photo of his butthole he clicked on the plane. It quickly spreads around and Cary becomes—all puns intended—the butt of viral jokes. Busy Philipps, Patton Oswalt, and Julianne Moore come to his defense on Twitter, letting the show provide some scathing commentary on celebrity culture. Over the course of the ninth episode, this bizarre arc plucks Cary’s film Night Nurse off the shelf as the show parodies the rise of medical dramas. The Other Two co-creator Sarah Schneider tells The A.V. Club they had to choose which stories to flesh out because they had to juggle a lot in season two.
“We kept saying in the writers room, make sure The A.V. Club doesn’t say we’re overstuffed. I’m serious,” Schneider says. “We made huge list of funny things that could happen to our characters. We had another list of funny things going on in pop culture or on social media at the time. You sort of start seeing what pieces go together.” In Cary’s case, they liked the roundabout way of episode nine, in which Cary also becomes confident and comfortable in his sexuality. “It is the most Cary story that he finally gets to a point where he’s okay with sending this photo only for it to get disseminated throughout the universe. It gets him the ridiculous result of being in this movie.”
She adds: “His big thing is he just isn’t as successful as his brother ChaseDreams [Case Walker] or mother Pat [Molly Shannon] because he thinks he isn’t as confident as them. Season two has been about getting him there.” Cary achieves periodic career highs that begin with hosting The Gay Minute, but it’s his romantic life that takes center stage in the new season. He goes from being in an overly loving relationship to slowly discovering his independence outside of it. Episode nine ends with a shirtless Cary dancing joyously in the club. Tarver tells The A.V. Club his character struggles with a delayed adolescence. It’s also observed when he falls for yet another straight man (like he did in season one) in episode eight, “Pat Gets An Offer To Host Tic Tac Toe.” “It’s always two steps forward, one step back for him,” Schneider says. This sentiment could easily be described as The Other Two’s modus operandi.
Brooke and Cary just about taste success but it almost always gets snatched away from them. In her new role as Chase’s and Pat’s manager, Brooke eventually begins to find her space in the industry. So much so that in “Chase And Pat Are Killing It,” she finally gets the opportunity to possibly manage her favorite artist, Alessia Cara, after bumping into and bonding with her at the hotel spa. This happens around the time Cary also gets his movie back. What was it like to finally celebrate their triumphs after all these failures? Tarver says it was interesting to play out how this newfound success made them feel. “Were there more issues or did it make them happy? Were they fixed? That’s what we wanted to look at. Occasionally, when Cary is happy, it was fun to play those beats because I usually don’t get to smile often. I had to actually think about what his smile looks like. Cary is very stressed.” Schneider agrees, adding: “If something good has happened, we quickly show that, no, it actually has not.”
Episode ten, “Brooke And Cary Go To A Fashion Show,” is a great example. Chase and Pat are walking in a fashion show (the clothes are designed by Brooke’s ex Lance, played by Josh Segarra). Chase is disinterested because it doesn’t involve singing. Pat is clearly overworked with a talk show and a game show, and she falls mid-walk on stage. She is hospitalized due to dehydration. Her family and boyfriend/Brooke’s co-manager Streeter (Ken Marino) are by her side, but their discussion about her health soon spirals into a surprisingly emotional blame game. All five actors bounce off of each other like pros, delivering striking levels of drama on a show known for its wild, fast-paced jokes and heightened humor. Schneider says she and co-creator Chris Kelly, who wrote the episode together, wanted to spend time with these characters and just let them talk to each other. “We loved writing it because we know the actors can pull it off. It was like watching a play about the season’s worth of issues they didn’t even know they had with each other.”
Chase yells at Brooke for not paying enough attention to her clients’ needs, and chastises Cary for not being around enough. Pat essentially dumps Streeter for being incredibly needy. Brooke regrets not noticing just how much work she was laying on her own mother. It’s a heavy, poignant moment. “It’s nerve-wracking to be this dramatic but Sarah and Chris did such a good job of adding the jokes even within the scene. For performers like me wondering if I could do it, it helped keep me afloat,” Tarver says. The filming for this scene was unexpectedly pushed up a day because the coronavirus was just beginning to cause lockdowns. Schneider and Tarver say everyone was nervous about the crying, but director Charlie Gruet made it easier. “We practiced it a few times to get a feel for it, but we didn’t want to go overboard so it’s organic. If you’ve done it 20 times before, it feels very act-y.” Tarver adds: “It was very good to save the freshness of it and just genuinely take in the other actors performance in the moment. Wait, am I just explaining acting now?”
In an effort to calm everyone down, Streeter offers to send the Dubeks on a much-needed beach vacation so everyone can prove family is still a priority. Unfortunately, the timing coincides with the table read of Cary’s movie and Brooke going on tour with Alessia, and just as she realizes she still has feelings for Lance. That’s right, they believe their dreams are manifesting but another curveball is thrown, paving the way for some solid cliffhangers. It’s revealed that everyone except Cary goes on the vacation. An MCU-like mid-credits scene explains he is filming his big movie… on March 13, 2020, the onset of the pandemic. The show hasn’t been renewed yet but Schneider says they liked the freedom the ending provides. “Cary could finish his movie or not. We liked leaving it open-ended. If we’re lucky enough to come back, we want there to be a major change within the show, either between the characters’ dynamics or what they’re doing. It allows us to tell new stories while staying in our world.”