“Pete and Leif”
Season 2, Episode 2
You need to lose yourself to find out who you are.
Pete Holmes is a schlubby, giddy, and well-meaning idiot. Any fan would say that. But there’s something about him – whether it be his innocence or awareness for others – that attracts so many people to his world. Holmes in rea life is every bit his character in Crashing and vice versa. The first season did a good job of establishing who he is. Now it’s up to season two to explore who he’s going to be. And yet there’s always fits and stops leading to Pete reverting to his pre-explorative state.
When the episode begins, Pete is slumped over Ali after their drunken hook up in the premiere. She hints oh so harshly that he should leave but, in true Pete fashion, he doesn’t. He spends all day in her apartment. Baking a pasta dish (that should not have come out fine in the end because he didn’t cook the pasta); breaking a table; watching HGTV. Pete makes the apartment his home. This is the “crashing” Pete unseen since partway through the first season. He reverts to a childlike state when there’s nothing pushing him. Worse yet, the discussion with Penn Jillette still sits heavy on his mind.
“Pete and Leif” is an explorative episode where two characters who should not be friends (let alone living together) spend an entire day together. George Basil’s Leif is such a good character due to his good nature. He only wants the best for the man’s life he ruined. It doesn’t seem like a version of guilt either. Leif really cares for Pete. He sees his friend suffering and offers to calm his nerves, slipping the comedian into an unwanted trippy state thanks to weed oil. What does Pete do with this new information? He freaks. He laments how he’s got nothing in his life and that his recent romp with Ali was only a fling in her eyes when he sees the evening as non-"secular," admitting to like being with her (this after he blurts out "Okay, I love you" before he’s kicked out). When Leif suggests Pete remove his wedding ring prior to playing Frisbee in the park with a couple of girls, life becomes that much better for the comedian.
As much as this change and new way of thinking scares him, Pete needs this. Real life Holmes is a spiritual person who went through years of second guessing his Christian up bringing only to land on a version that mixes itself with Buddhism and philosophy – both with an open heart to any other belief. Pete’s conversation with Jillette is a step in the right direction. His directionless day with Leif furthers the notion. His admission ("I feel like I sinned... I feel like a different person") is his mind finally succumbing to New York and the melting pot it offers.
Where else does all of this not worrying and mind expanding lead but to a gig. Pete is offered a warm up set for Dr. Oz making him a master of the day time circuit. It pays half of what Rachel Ray does but at least he did well. Also, Pete can’t seem to escape his mistake of accidentally telling Ray’s mom to suck a dick. In the end, Pete loses the one thing that tied him to his previous life. His wedding ring is blown up in a bomb scare thanks to Leif, who suggests this be a new beginning of sorts for Pete.
Should you watch “Pete and Leif?”
This was such a good episode that paints a picture of who Pete was and who he’s bound to be. Leif is a delight too.