Better Things Season 1 Finale Recap: Gender Studies

Better Things‘ Sam spent the first season of her FX comedy putting out the small fires that go along with being the mother of three girls. But in Thursday’s finale, all of the arguments over school and boys and such paled in comparison to Sam’s realization that her middle child, Frankie, is likely transgender.

The bulk of the episode found Sam doing her usual juggling act. Rousing Max, Frankie and Duke from bed in time to go to school. Finding a moment to “dirty FaceTime” with her recent hook-up. Wriggling out of a birthday weekend in Santa Barbara with her mom.

But when Frankie’s school called and said there’d been an incident, Sam found herself sitting in an administrator’s office: Frankie wanted to use the boys’ bathroom, and the school said no way. “It’s not that I want to be a boy,” Frankie told her mom, adding that she was grossed out by some of the goings-on in the girls’ room.

And this explanation satisfied Sam… until Max raises the topic near the end of the episode. “Mom, c’mon,” the oldest sister said, with a knowing look. “Frankie’s a boy.” Sam laughed it off, but then quickly started putting the pieces together. “S–t,” she said as realization dawned.

The episode ended with a montage, set to Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed,” that included Sam climbing into bed with Frankie and hugging her close as well as all of the women singing along to the song while driving on the highway.

Now it’s your turn. Grade the season finale via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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14 Comments
  1. I love this show. It really shows life all of it and Pamela Adlon is great. There were so many things I totally related.

  2. Jenn Velasco-Cafagna says:

    This is the best show that nobody’s watching, save for us smart viewers who are in awe of the comedy genius that is Pamela Adlon. Here’s hoping that Emmy nom’s are in this show’s future, and I can’t wait for season two!

    • bostongreekgirl (@BostonGreekgirl) says:

      Couldn’t agree more! The reason no one is watching is because the big networks would never have the balls to put on a show like this. Thanks FX for being different

  3. I’ve been watching this show since the very first episode and it so beautifully portrays single motherhood and is surprisingly funny given its particular genre constraints….I really hope this gets renewed for a 2nd season

  4. APFW says:

    I like this show but I hate the way Hollywood portrays children and teenagers. If I spoke to my mother the way these kids do, there would be consequences to pay. I was raised to respect adults. I know there is humor to be mined there but to this extend?

  5. Nyah says:

    I love this show and Frankie is my favorite character. Kind of disappointed in the finale, I wanted more! Hopefully season 2 gives us more Frankie time, or maybe its filmed this way on purpose to emphasize the stereotype of middle children are ignored….

    • EmmyB says:

      She is my favorite too but I hate that she is being portrayed as trans-gender. She is so beautiful even though she dresses boyish. I just feel this is another attempt to normalize the gay agenda. God I hate that Frankie is being depicted as a boyyy.

  6. A says:

    Performer of the week

  7. Ally Oop says:

    Great show. Something about it just resonates with me. The characters and situations seem so real.

  8. Pam says:

    Finally a tv show that makes sense of life. Its so relatable …love the show and can’t wait for more.

  9. liquidassets says:

    If “Frankie is Transgender” is what you took away from this episode, you need to watch it again.