Michael flipping through the years in a photograph album of his son’s life, starting with baby pictures. When he reaches the preteen years, he starts to wonder. Granted, he didn’t see Gavin during those years, but the boy in the photos has absolutely no resemblance to the man sitting next to him.
The man he knows as Gavin is sweating it. He knows for sure the next pages, the adult Gavin, will give the game away. Behind them, Gail desperately seeks some way to stop Michael from looking at the pictures or somehow make what he’s seeing seem to fit the story she has helped spin about son Gavin.
They change so!
Michael says it’s hard to believe how much kids can change. Gail seizes the opportunity. She grabs a photo of young David and shows it to Michael: “This is David when he was 9 or 10. He’s completely unrecognizable.” Michael looks and says “that looks exactly like David.” Gail studies it, as if she’s trying to see it through Michael’s eyes, “Give over, they’re like two completely different people.”
It was a good payoff for a long wait. The Gavin identity story has been going on for a long time and it’s strained the limits of credibility. It’s hard to believe that they managed to keep the real Gavin’s death a secret from Michael. It was in the newspaper – didn’t someone besides Gail see it? How could Michael not wonder about the secretive talks between Gail and Gavin/Andy and Steph? The man is not obtuse, but somehow he’s missed tension snapping around that household like lightning.
An audience will suspend disbelief, even to an extreme degree, in order to get caught up in a good juicy story. But it was hard to picture big dramatic fireworks happening with Michael and Gavin/Andy. They’re just too nice, too ordinary.
It’s not over yet so maybe the big drama is yet to come. But, for me, Gail’s attempt to save the situation with David’s photo was very funny. The joke also worked at a meta level of television construction. Hey Gail, you should have grabbed a photo of Nick when he was young, I thought. Then she could have proven that someone can grow up to look like a totally different person.