The jokes in The Other Two are the sort of hyper-pop-culture-literate material that recalls 30 Rock with a distinctly queer bent. References range from Andy Cohen's Bravoverse, to the Broadway musical Fun Home, to Call Me By Your Name. Schneider and Kelly find an inherent ridiculousness in the kind of adolescent stardom Chase is enduring, but never make fun of Chase himself. Similarly, Pat is daffy and ambitious, but not some evil caricature of a stage mom. In fact, there's an undercurrent of sadness that courses through every episode, a feeling that crystalizes in the aforementioned scene from "Chase Drops His First Album," the debut season's ninth episode.
The entire Dubek family boards a plane to celebrate the release of Chase's first album (three songs, nine remixes) with an entourage of his screaming fans. The whole event will be live-streamed; Streeter has brought along a comfort pig. One missing piece that's been threaded throughout the entire season is Cary, Brooke, and Pat's father. He's dead, that's for sure, and it's not from cancer, even though that's what Chase has been told. With the festivities fully underway and the plane 30,000 feet in the air, Chase reveals that he's donating proceeds from his album and tour to the American Cancer Society in honor of his dad. The Dubeks start to panic, getting sweatier and sweatier -- quite literally, given that the air conditioning isn't working. Streeter suspects they all have diarrhea. Finally, the sunny, everything's-OK facade Pat has been maintaining breaks.
She unleashes a manic, cathartic tirade that's heartbreaking even as it's grimly hilarious: Her husband didn't die of cancer. He was an alcoholic who froze to death on top of their house because she wouldn't let him drink in front of Chase, and when he died, his dick froze to the roof because he had peed himself. Yes, it's outlandish, but the deft writing manages to find it both laughable and utterly brutal, while Shannon's performance is brilliantly full of pathos.