Reboot (Season 1) Episodes 1, 2 & 3: Recap & Ending, Explained
Reboot (Season 1) Episodes 1, 2 & 3, Recap & Ending, Explained: Created by Steven Levitan, Reboot is a new comedy series streaming on Hulu. With a great cast filled with comedic talents like Keagan-Michael Key, Rachel Bloom and Judy Greer, the first season begins on a promising note. While it’s too early to speak about the depth of its characters, they certainly charm you within the first three episodes. The spin on the old set-up and punch-line type of comedy filled with skepticism is brought by the writing that is more than welcome. And with the competent performers, the comic punches are hitting just right.
Reboot (Season 1) Episodes 1, 2 & 3 Recap
Episode 1 – Step Right Up
The 1st episode, titled ‘Step Right Up’ begins with Hannah (Rachel Bloom), a writer sitting outside the Hulu executive’s room with a pitch for a new show. An actress who has come for an audition for an acting role mentions how writers don’t need to be presentable in the way someone like her does. After that needless remark, she is asked to join a room full of executives, where she pitches an old show called ‘Step Right Up’ to be rebooted. At first, the head does not recall the show, but when he sees a clip from it, he finds it amusing and shares its fond memories. The plot revolves around a stepfather trying to adjust to his new family and his wife’s ex-husband in the mix.
Hannah’s idea was to take this traditional sitcom and infuse some different kinds of humour. His juniors, especially Elaine (Krista Marie Yu), share all the stats that would be of his interest to pick this show for production. We get a glimpse into the lives of the actors after over 15 years of the show. Reed Sterling (Keegan-Michael Key), who played the stepfather, lives with his committed partner from New York and has tried to break into a serious film career over the years. Bree Marie Jensen (Judy Greer), who played the wife, is now a Nordic duchess whose only known role was as an alien in a sci-fi show. Clay Barber (Johnny Knoxville), who played the divorced father, has a felony record. And Zack Jackson (Calum Worthy), who played their kid, is now a z-lister teen actor.
When they reunite on the set, their interactions don’t go smoothly. None of them recognizes Zack, who has now been diagnosed with ADHD. Reed and Bree have an awkwardly sexual first interaction, where Bree makes fun of their old, real-life relationship. While all of them get on the set together, they are asked to take a group photo, and Reed cringes at the strange position he is asked to pose in. Meanwhile, an assistant informs them to go to the program creator’s room. When they reach there, they find Hannah storming out, and they meet Gordon (Paul Reiser), the original writer-creator of the show. He roasts the new script written by Hannah, which he finds devoid of humor, and plans to infuse it by making jokes about Reed’s baldness, Bree’s age, and Zack’s weirdness.
Reed disapproves of his notes, stating how it is better for the show being evolve the way Hannah has written. Bree disapproves of these notes since she doesn’t want to play a grandmother. As a result, all of them leave the room. They discuss their current living conditions, which none of them shares with the news about them. Bree is not a duchess anymore and is broke, so she needs the job. Reed hasn’t gotten an acting gig and is struggling to find one. Zack and Clay do not want to let go of a paid acting gig. During their conversation, they also recall the old times when they were happy getting the job in the first place. So, they decide to be a part of the reboot.
Since Reed’s departure to pursue a career in serious films was the reason why the show got canceled before, he took the initiative to make things right. Later, they all show up at Hannah’s house and ask her to rethink coming back as the show’s writer. Reed professes his love for the depth in her work and its different approach. She gets emotional at his appreciation, along with all the cast wanting her back as the creator. That’s when she reveals that Gordon is none other than her father and the original show was about him trying to adjust to his new family while leaving Hannah and her mother with no presence in their lives. The reason why she wanted to work on it is precisely that – to switch the perspective from her father to her.
Episode 2 – New Girl
In the 2nd episode, titled ‘New Girl,’ we see Hannah going back into her office and confronting Gordon about the terrible past he made her experience while ghosting for the entire duration. The whole cast supports her script and mentions that they won’t work if she’s not creating the show, which leaves him with no option but to try to find a way to make it work. He agrees to the table reading, after which they will make further decisions. During the reading session, Clay sees Zack’s mother present on the set and learns that this kid doesn’t seem to have matured not to let her interfere in his daily work.
Meanwhile, Reed, Bree, and Hannah see an attractive young woman named Timberly approaching them and learn her to be the actor playing their daughter. Casting her is Gordon’s plan to stay in control and since Timberly attracts specific demographics, the higher executives love the decision to bring her in. The cast learns that Timberly has become popular because of a reality dating show called Fuck Buddy Mountain. Besides that, she is a terrible actor and acting partner, which frustrates Reed. Since Bree gets upset thinking this young and attractive girl would steal her thunder, she sees her lousy acting as a boon, which is why she becomes ready to sabotage the show. Reed, being a Yale school of drama student, doesn’t want to ruin a good show and goes on to speak with Gordon about it.
Gordon advises him to teach her the acting chops as he taught Bree. So, he introduces her to think about the intent behind what she’s saying and to act from the inside. When a trailer of fans on a set tour reaches their stage, they get smitten by Timberly but do not even register who Reed is. This makes her realize she’s now a has-been (!) and tries to sabotage the show to get her spotlight again. She teaches her some stupid acting techniques and tries to make Reed the story’s villain. Her effort works out in her favour since haven’t worked as an actor before.
Meanwhile, Clay tells Zack to act like a grown-up and tells his mother to not interfere with his work anymore. Since he’s too afraid to say his divorced, lonely mother about it, he asks Clay to do so. Clay attempts to make her realize this but gets attracted to her. Later when he reveals this to Reed, he hints it probably being related to his issues with his mother. While that happens, the father-daughter duel continues since Hannah and Gordon don’t have the same idea about what is comic and what is not. In her absence, he inserts some jokes in his style and takes out all the serious parts.
When she confronts him about it, he goes on and on about how the show needs actual laughs, not people pondering about the relevance of its humor. He also doesn’t want to show himself as the ‘bad guy’ through the father-daughter confrontation scene in the script, which was in fact true from Bree’s perspective. On the day of their pilot episode shoot, Reed confronts Bree about her interference. Her insecurity seems to stem from her past acting gigs where she was sidelined by her female co-stars. However, when she finds Timberly crying on the day, being confused by the opposing advice of her and Reed, she tells her not to follow hers. She mentions the jealousy that led her to advise her like that. Timberly goes on the stage and gives a grounded performance with Reed,, after which Clay comes out from the toilet to lighten up the mood.
The scene works out the Marvel studios formula that always makes them water down the seriousness of a serious scene with some silly comic relief. While Hannah realizes that it was Gordon’s idea, she thanks him for having added the confrontation scene. He finds it hard to process guilt and says that it would take more time for the characters to reach that maturity level that early, which also reflects his own stage of self-acceptance. Their interaction ends with a silly trick that he considered to be funny while she thought it to be too broad for the show’s tonality. In the end, he agrees with her.
Episode 3 – Growing Pains
With the 3rd episode titled ‘Growing Pains’, the reboot show enters the stage of trying to sustain its tonality. Clay and Zack’s mother seem to be getting closer and closer. When Zack hears about it, he mentions his mother’s antics including having damaged the windshield of a car of one of her exes. This scares him off and he decides to stay away from her to not get caught up in another felony. He also brings in an unemployed actor friend roaming around their sets, as the HR representative for the show, to scare her away from possible legal implications of pursuing a sexual relationship. Meanwhile, Hannah brings her writers (Benny, Jenae & Azmina) from diverse backgrounds to the table to bring a different perspective to comic writing. Being an old, straight, white man doesn’t sit well with Gordon.
So, he brings in an old batch of comedy writers – Alan, Bob & Selma that he considers hilarious. That creates a conflict between the father and daughter, who have different ideas about comedy. While Hannah shares the evolved nature of humor, Gordon keeps defending his kind of comedy writers. He also feels that none of the writers she has brought to the table is funny. On the other side, Bree and Timberly seem to be bonding for the better. Seeing Bree anxious about making an impression as a female actor of her age, Timberly decides to take her to drink with her. Even when in a live Instagram video, Bree embarrasses herself, they seem to be getting along well by now.
There’s a racy scene that is to be filmed between Reed and Bree. So, he goes to her as a way to politely ask her if she’s comfortable doing it. She seems game for it since it’s her job as an actor. But during the rehearsal, he gets aroused while on top of her. That brings a complaint against him, which later results in him being required to use a protective cushion next time they shoot, which Bree finds hilarious since it affirms her theory that Reed still has feelings for her. However, during this rehearsal, she ends up crying and leaving the stage. He keeps mentioning it is not his fault, and there’s no chance that arousal could have caused her to leave.
Reboot (Season 1) Episodes 1, 2, and 3 Ending Explained
Zack’s mother realizes that Zack may have told Clay about her accident and decides to keep them apart. Later, she informs Clay about it and shares how a child such as Zack wouldn’t understand her sexual desires. She mentions how Clay is the perfect guy for her since he won’t be romantically involved, which is the last thing she wants. They rejoice, thinking theirs to be a great pair of oddballs, and then she leaves. Seeing this interaction, Zack thinks that Clay has successfully solved his problem.
Meanwhile, Bree and Timberly go to a bar, where Bree mentions being overwhelmed by the scene. Timberly empathizes with her and makes her feel confident about herself. On the writer’s table, there is still a conflict between old and new-age writers, who don’t find each other’s humor funny. The younger generation finds most of what the oldies say offensive and unfunny. Hannah decides to leave, considering it is Gordon’s idea to sabotage her idea of the show. On the contrary, Gordon feels that it would take some time for all the writers to be on the same page, as per his experience, but she still leaves.
On her way out, she falls down and every single one starts laughing. That brings a spark to the table, and both generations pitch in to write a script with both perspectives. On the other hand, when Reed calls Bree to apologize for not understanding her discomfort, she seems content with where she’s at. After their conversation, we find her on a bed, sleeping with her on-screen daughter, Timberly! The episode ends on this note, while smartly trying to showcase the difference between the old and the new.