“The Baptism” – Crashing Review

Chad White

“The Baptism”
Season 1, Episode 8

We all need redemption. We all need forgiveness. We all need to come home.

“My name’s Peter. Short for Pete.” This is what the comedian says to a dancer when Artie pays to have Pete experience his first strip club. Even after seven episodes of ups and (mostly) downs, Pete is still the God fearing, chubby, innocent newcomer. When praying with his pastor, rumors swirl that the comedian has been an arsonist criminal and a lowly panhandler. The people outside of his situation see a degenerate but Pete sees a comedian. When pressed on his career after offending the dancer, Pete says he’s a comedian. By the end of the episode and this season, he’s reached his goal but lost out on something else entirely.

At the start of the episode, Artie takes Pete to a strip club to cheer him up. The breakfast scene there is lively and Artie goes so far to buy Pete a dance. It’s always down right adorable to see how Pete’s innocence reacts to the situations around him. The dance makes him visibly uncomfortable to a point where he tries to converse with the stripper. He begins listing things that he likes (free wifi, Matt Damon, and breakfast for dinner) but his mouth gets him in trouble. The stripper stops – responding to Pete’s accusation that her grinding was degrading her. But she’s quick to clap back with the reasons why her job is better than being a comedian. She soon becomes yet another strong female voice in Pete’s life. To add to that, it’s the second time in two episodes that Pete has been told he’s not anything. The booker of The Brooklyn Comedy Club helped Pete keep his feet on the ground and now this stripper is getting him to not look down on others.

When Pete and Artie attend a baptism at Pete’s church, the strange tension of the season that’s been building up between Jess, Pete and Leif comes to a head. Jess, after being dumped by Leif, is questioning everything she’s done for the past (what we find out later is) seven months. She and Pete talk about it – Pete clearly ready to fall back in love. But she’s not wanting a relationship. During the actual baptism, the pastor’s words speak to her. He talks about everyone needing a fresh start. After two major break ups, it’s exactly what Jess needs. But does it count? Does it matter? If Jess is a major part of next season, then we’ll see. Otherwise, she went out with neither a whimper nor a bang.

Where does that leave Pete? In the end scene, he’s sleeping with Leif in a crappy motel. Both are without love, money and dignity. Leif is content; Pete, not so much. On a side note, Pete Holmes deserves an award for his facial work alone. Tonight’s episode is filled with many interesting expressions.

Should you watch “The Baptism?”

Before we get to the answer of whether or not you should watch this episode, let’s look at Crashing’s first season as a whole. It started as a show about Pete Holmes being cheated on and his goal of becoming a comedian. He’s achieved said goal (and lost it) but is nowhere near finding another chance for love. Behind the scenes, the writing for the first six episodes was astounding. Directing was nothing short of great.

It did hit a point in episode six where things were exactly ironed out. All in all, Crashing’s freshman season was a solid effort that really excelled in a lot of areas. As for this episode, there’s a lot of good areas coupled with great euphemisms. While it’s not as memorable as the first six episodes, “The Baptism” is a welcome close. Let’s hope they change things up for season 2.