This week, Crashing finally gets Artie back in the mix. The episode is literally titled “Artie” and focuses on the man himself. I’ve made it clear how much of an Artie fan I am, so I was pretty excited going into this week’s episode to say the least.
We begin with Artie at The Comedy Cellar with a fellow comic. Pete walks in and sits down with them, and they start to give him shit since you can’t just sit at the comic’s table at the cellar. He sits at the next table over until a couple of them leave and it’s just Wayne Federman left, who invites Pete over to eat some wings. They chat for a bit, and as Wayne is leaving he lets Pete know he has Hodgkin’s and he’ll be out of the scene for some time while trying to get better and find a way to pay for treatment. Pete feels terrible, finds Artie, and tells him they should do a benefit show for Wayne. Artie reluctantly agrees to headline.
The next day Ali comes to visit Pete at Cold Stone and they have a cute little ice cream date while Pete’s on break. Their “relationship” seems to be progressing nicely.
Pete goes to see Artie later at his apartment and a sketchy guy opens the door. He says Artie isn’t home and when Pete says he’s going to wait for him, the guy forces Pete to come inside to wait. There’s another person inside, and he looks like a drug addict. Pete clearly feels uncomfortable and finds an excuse to leave.
He does find Artie eventually and they have a somewhat heartfelt conversation. Artie tells Pete he’s not doing drugs again despite those other guys doing them, and that he does appreciate how much he cares about him. He tells him he’s probably the best friend he has at the moment. It’s a touching moment, because this all mimics Artie’s real-life on and off struggle with drug addiction. Pete says he wants to help and suggests they go do something to get Artie’s mind off it all.
They go grab a bite and talk about life. They each talk about their troubles with belief in God (Pete admits he’s been struggling lately) and get deep while still cracking jokes. Artie has a great day with Pete and then he takes off and tells him he’ll see him later that night. He even tells him he loves him. Aww.
Later that night, Artie is nowhere to be seen or heard from. Pete keeps trying to call him and has to stall by continually begging other comedians to go up and do a set. Eventually, he concedes he’s not going to reach Artie and he ends the show to a bunch of boos.
Artie is hanging out outside the Cellar shortly afterwards. Pete is upset and asks him where the hell he was and Artie tells him to get off his back. Artie admits he’s a piece of shit and he was out trying to score drugs. He tries to explain to Pete how it’s not just about doing well now. He’s given up on his addiction. Again, it’s imitating Artie’s life so closely that it’s heartbreaking. He tells Pete to “get the fuck away” from him. Pete is upset, obviously. One of the other comics tells him there’s no way to help Artie because he’s not ready to stop. Hard realizations for Pete. He goes to church, cries, and the episode ends.
It was a touching, sometimes funny, and heartbreaking episode of Crashing. It’s a great episode to add to this fantastic second season, and I’m excited to see what the final two episodes bring us.