Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce: Rule 21 Review

Girlfriends Guide Lisa Edelstein

In the latest episode of Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, Abby McCarthy (Lisa Edelstein) explores her options, by dating a younger man. Lyla’s (Janeane Garofalo) mother comes to visit, in order to give the caseworker a good showing. Meanwhile, Phoebe (Beau Garrett) exposes the truth about her polyamorous relationship.

When the show opens, Abby is forced to juggle responsibilities. The most difficult is getting her kids, Lilly (Conner Dwelly) and Charlie (Dylan Schombing), to school on time. While out shopping, she runs into Will (Warren Christie), who Abby exchanges phone numbers with, while Will insists age doesn’t matter. Next, the girls get together and Lyla explains the caseworker is coming and she needs to put up a good front. Phoebe and Lyla have finally gotten over their spat in the previous episode.

During the meeting, Phoebe reveals the truth about her relationship. Before the women split up, Lyla’s mother, Annie (Bernadette Peters, Mozart in the Jungle), arrives. She is obviously just as eccentric, as her daughter. Next, Lyla is belittled at work for receiving another grievance complaint. Her boss suggests taking a leave of absence, until she can clear her head.

Meanwhile, Jake (Paul Adelstein) and Abby begin sorting out their belongings using post-it notes. Lilly interrupts and complains about their choices. Eventually, Jake takes the kids and leaves, which leaves Abby alone to talk to Will. When the show returns, Lyla returns home to find her mother has turned the kitchen into an oriental paradise. The caseworker arrives and is introduced to Lyla and Annie, before they all enjoy dinner. The meeting seems to be going well so far.

Abby attends an art show, where she runs into Delia (Necar Zadegan). They run into Phoebe and her two lovers, which is definitely awkward. Things begin to fall apart at Lyla’s, while Jake’s neighbor throws a wrench into his plans to hang out with the kids. He discovers that Lilly has escaped the house.

When the show returns, Jake and Becca Riley (Julianna Guill) search social media for traces of Lilly. Becca insists Jake call Abby, but he knows better. Abby hits the club, with Will. Will reveals he set up the earlier meeting, in hopes of getting to see Will. Of course, their date is thrown into a whirlwind, when one of Will’s ex-girlfriends, Rachel, shows up and calls Abby dirty names repeatedly, before throwing a drink on her. Thankfully, the situation doesn’t escalate.

Next, Phoebe visits a swingers party. Back at the club, Will and Abby begin making up, before Abby spots Lilly. Abby and Lilly instantly begin to argue, as Lilly is introduced to Will and Abby is introduced to Kyle (Jesse Platt), who happens to be Lilly’s boyfriend. Meanwhile, Phoebe causes a mess at the party, when she tries to kiss Kath (Tammy Gillis), who is in a committed relationship.As it turns out, Phoebe is only being introduced to the polyamorous community.

Jake and Abby argue over Lilly. The argument quickly turns to Will, who watches and intervenes. Jake and Abby drag Becca into their fight. The fight finally concludes, when Lilly steps in and tells her parents to grow up. When the show returns, Lyla has burnt her cookies to a crisp. She argues with her mother for making the family look like idiots. And out the door she went.

Will and Abby have a serious chat. Despite Will’s urges, the pair agree their relationship isn’t going to work, as they go their separate ways. Lyla and Annie continue to argue, as Lyla goes on a rant about losing everything. Mother and daughter finally begin to explore their flaws, especially those in Annie’s past.

Abby wakes up alone. Phoebe wakes up with her lovers, but seems to be questioning the situation. She leaves their expensive gift, before sneaking out. Lyla replaces her burnt cookies with the ones her mother made. Lilly and Abby have a chat outside of the school. Abby insists she is going to get her act together for Lilly, who tells her mother Will is simply too young for her. Before the show ends, the girls watch a video of a new self help author, who is taking the world by storm. The author badmouths Abby and insists she is no longer relevant.


All in all, there was quite a bit going on in this episode of Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. However, many of the scenes were irrelevant and unnecessary. With Will and Abby’s relationship, it felt like a repeat of the previous episode and the relationship between Abby and Nate. Honestly, the whole date and confrontation with the scorned ex-girlfriend felt like a moot point.

On the other hand, Phoebe’s character, while fun, is beginning to get ridiculous and pointless. She is beginning to feel like a cheap, easy way for the writers to throw a little shock factor into the show. Truthfully, the show would be better, without the shock and constant sex scenes.

Lyla’s moments were a little better this week and brought some real character development. Still, it is hard to look past the other forty minutes of the show. The show would be wise to take itself more seriously and focus on the drama, while relying on the emotions of a split. The episode deserves a 5.5 out of 10.

Catch up with more Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce.

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