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This Close: The Chances

This Close meets The Family Stone when Kate goes wild for Thanksgiving dinner, inviting Michael's family in the process. But will Danny's secret ruin her perfect meal?

In this episode we meet Michael's mother and brother: Annie and Jacob, played respectively by Marlee Maitlin and Moshe Kasher, are really well cast for these roles. Annie has this intimate connection with Michael which rivals even what he has with Kate, and Jacob and he have a great humorous playoff. The jealousy between Jacob and Danny is well set up and the stage-manipulated move by Jacob at the end really pays off.

Michael's happy to have his family around but worried about his mother. As well he might: his mother's a sassy, direct woman with a lot to say about family – Marlee Matlin is perfect in the role.

Kate seems to be moving towards reconciliation with Danny; when he's around in the beginning of this episode, she's stuffing turkeys and giving him the happy eyeball. Maybe that's why the inevitable letdown hurts her so much that she characteristically can do nothing except hold her face in her hands. It's painful to watch as the knowledge of the secret Danny's holding floats from one person to everyone–except Kate herself. By the end of the episode you begin to realize how much fear Kate has of not knowing what's going on with Danny. Danny is Kate's space.

Seen in the Scene

When Michael and Annie have a heated discussion about Kate while Jacob is clogging up and destroying the apartment bathroom-hilarious!

The dinner scene itself was peppered with traditions from Deaf history, including the performed signed story.

At one point Danny's passing someone the potatoes and then asks for clarification on what people are saying; this echoes a similar scene in the show "Love Is Never Silent." Danny's definitely got to improve his signing.


An enthralling episode. Five out of five passed potatoes.

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