Divorce Episode 3 Recap: The Unraveling

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Episode 3 of Divorce brings us Robert and Frances' first post-blowup counseling sessions. As the The Yes Album plays throughout the half hour (which, SJP told us, is an intentional nod to '70s music), we finally start to get some insight into Frances and Robert's problems — and learn the five major threads that likely led to the unraveling of their relationship:

Frances's affair with Julian was not just a short fling.
We don't really know the timeline of her tryst, but when Robert asks for every detail about her relationship with Julian (Robert is still insisting that Julian is French, even though he is clearly British.), Frances reveals it was ongoing.

"How many times did you have intercourse with his French penis?" Robert asks, to which Frances admits: 32. (It's also pretty telling that she knows the exact number. I mean, who keeps track of that unless you are head over heels, right?!)

"Doesn't that sound like a shitload of fucking?" Robert asks the therapist. "Because that sounds like a shitload of fucking to me." Comedic relief for the viewers, but Frances isn't laughing.
Robert doesn't have any friends.
It's a pretty accepted relationship rule: Both parties in a pairing need someone to vent to outside of one another. But as his marriage falls apart, we realize that Robert is pretty lonely. He has no one to talk to, so he turns to his non-English speaking colleagues at work. He tells them his marriage is over because his wife was "making the fuck" with a "French pendejo." Okay, one more thing we learned: Robert's Spanish is pretty terrible.

Robert is so desperate for companionship that he even goes to visit Nick, who's still comatose, and unleashes the latest details of their therapy session on his unconscious friend. But he's so bothersome that Nick finally wakes up out of his coma to tell him to shut up.

Frances made some big sacrifices for her marriage.
In a frank conversation, France's friend, Dallas — who, as you may recall, is not Robert's biggest fan right now — reminds her that Robert was the one who made her move out of the city so he could start his construction business. And then, he made her take her "stupid" (Dallas' words, not mine) headhunter job to support the family while his business got off the ground. So Frances gave up her love of art and life in the city to move to suburbia, all for her husband. I'm not married, of course, but I imagine that when you lose your identity, it can also be easy to lose yourself in your marriage entirely...

Robert had an emotional affair.
We learn through the couple's therapy session that Robert isn't completely innocent of betrayal. He admits that he became close confidants with an old college friend who wanted to take things to the next level, but he resisted, driving to her hotel room to tell her they needed to break things off. Frances reminds him she once confronted him about his relationship with this woman, whom he spent time on the phone with and even went on a fishing trip with, but Robert managed to convince Frances she just had trust issues — so much so that she went to see a therapist because of it! Yikes. He also reveals a pretty big lie: The day he went to Kathy's hotel was September 11, when he'd told Frances he was handing out water bottles to Ground Zero first responders. Using 9/11 as a cover up? Wow, Robert. I didn't think you'd stoop that low!

They haven't been on the same page for a long time.
Frances is excited about finally doing something for herself: Opening the art gallery she's had her heart set on. But when Robert tries to hold her back, we can see in her eyes that she realizes this is never going to work; they both want different things. The duo finally agrees that there's really no point in counseling anymore. Clearly, their issues are beyond fixing. And so Robert packs up some belongings, but before he leaves, we see his softer side.

"Just remember something," he tells Frances. "I always loved you."

She responds, touched: "And I loved you." And then, in classic Robert fashion, he tells Frances he needs to use the bathroom before he leaves. The episode ends on Frances siting on her daughter's bed, watching her sleep as she hears the sound of Robert trying to unclog the toilet. This seems to be a pretty pointed metaphor for the state of their marriage.
Since the future looks pretty bleak for this couple, I'm interested to see what will happen the rest of this season. Is there a chance Frances and Robert will get back together? Will the season end with their divorce or will it happen sooner than that, if at all? I'll be back with you guys next week — hopefully, with more answers!

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