Apr 18, 2024

Gemstones Episode 3.6, Continued: Kelvin and Keefe fight, Stephen and BJ fight, and no one likes hologram Aimee-Leigh


This is the censored version of the review, with no nude photos or explicit sex.  

In the earlier scenes of this episode, Kelvin attempts a reconciliation, but when he sees that Keefe is doing fine without him, he gets all bitchy and flubs it.  Later, he "works some things out," apparently decides to pursue the heterosexual trajectory, and prepares to ask Taryn for a date. As they are putting away gym mats and flirting....

The Second Reconciliation Attempt: 
Keefe enters with a rocking chair carved with Kelvin's name on a tree. This is way too much for a "let's stay friends" gift: he is attempting a reconciliation. You're the one who left, dude. You could just ask to get back together.

He is not wearing a sexy outfit; actually he is sweaty and rather disheveled, as if he rushed over the moment he finished the chair.  

Why a rocking chair for an athletic 34-year old?  "This is true love: we'll be together forever."  I am reminded of Robert Browning's famous lines from "Rabbi ben Ezra": "Grow old with me -- the best is yet to be."  But viewers may be more familiar with John Lennon's version:

Grow old along with me. Two branches of one tree.
Face the setting sun when the day is done

Keefe expected Kelvin to be alone to accept his gesture.  Nope, Taryn is there.  He knows that the youth group has just ended out, and that Taryn is the new assistant youth minister; why wouldn't she be there?

Kelvin looks nervous and decidedly guilty, as if he has been caught cheating; he pulls Keefe into a bro-hug, asks inane questions ("Is that chair made of wood?"), and stammers "We were just...um...we..." until Taryn takes over and explains that they are just working together.  

Platonic pal advocates, pay attention:  Taryn wouldn't think it necessary to inform Kelvin's buddy that he has nothing to worry about, they are not having an affair.  Either she has inferred that they are lovers, or one of the guys told her.   

Keefe turns on the jealousy, and asks if Taryn has replaced him. As assistant youth minister, of course. But he means as a romantic partner.

Angry at the implication, maybe feeling guilty because he was planning to start a relationship, Kelvin plays along: he asks Taryn to give them a moment alone, touching her affectionately on the back to usher her out, exactly as you would ask your girlfriend to give you a moment to talk to your ex.  

Keefe continues to lash out, demanding to know if Kelvin and Taryn have had a "physical connection."   Romantic but not sexual partner advocates, pay attention: Kelvin and Keefe must have had a sexual relationship, or Keefe wouldn't think to ask about sex with his "replicant."  

More fighting after the break

Kelvin goes on the defensive, denying that he has anything going on with Taryn, but quite accurately pointing out that "You left me."  They have broken up; he has every right to see other people.  

He tries to touch Keefe's shoulder, and upon being rebuffed, pulls back from the romantic partner term "left" to the good buddy "ditched": "You ditched me. If you had said yes to Immigrant Outreach, we could still be dudebros."  Keefe rolls his eyes; even after the break-up, Kelvin can't say what they were.  

He continues: "What was I supposed to do?  Just sit around, be lonely?  Wait for you to deliver some stupid rocking chair?"  He would be going to work regardless, so "sit around, be lonely" returns to the romantic relationship.  He's telling Keefe that it's too late; he's moved on, he is in fact with Taryn now.

The reconciliation attempt failed, Keefe starts to cry.  He says "I will not disrupt what you and Taryn are building together," referring to the heterosexual trajectory of marriage and family.  Kelvin grimaces in disgust at the thought of becoming Taryn's husband.  

Keefe runs out, doing a cartwheel on the way to demonstrate the hotness he's missing.  Kelvin kicks the chair and screams.

We fade out to a close-up of the Kelvin tree. 

In this scene Kelvin behaves like a husband who has been caught cheating, and Keefe, like the victim, de-manned, cuckolded.  This creates a parallel with the Judy-BJ relationship, and sets both couples up for retribution.  Remember, in the Gemstones universe, cheating on a "true love" is the worst sin imaginable.  It doesn't matter if you have broken up, or even if they have died: stray, and you will be punished. 

More Humiliation: 
We cut to Jesse and Amber arguing  over the Aimee-Leigh hologram plan.  He criticizes her marital counseling programs: she wants to feel important and powerful, so she pretends to be a therapist, "guiding fucking wild women and strangers," not helping the church.  Compare with Jesse criticizing Kelvin's God Squad and Smut Busters as selfish, for his own enjoyment.  She rushes away.  This is not really a betrayal, but it is a denial of Amber's knowledge and skill, diminishing her as a person.

Then to Judy issuing her apology -- and the $500,000 check -- to Stephen's wife.  Only Martin is present; he "accidentally" gave Kelvin and Jesse the wrong time, so they would miss out on her humiliation.  She is touched by the gesture; they hug.

At home, BJ is working out.  He reads on Judy's laptop that Stephen is asking for another hookup -- after everything that's happened!  His wife and kids are gone -- he's alone in the house, if she wants to stop by.  Pretending to be Judy, BJ responds "Coming." 

The Aimee-Leigh Hologram:  
Later that day, everyone -- except the partners, all in the midst of marital riffs --  gathers in one of the Gemstone theaters for Jesse and Baby Billy to unveil the hologram Aimee-Leigh.  

They hate the hologram: disrespecting the memory of their loved one, turning her into a carnival sideshow or a Sith Dark Lord. Eli starts to cry.  Judy and Kelvin rush up and destroy the hologram machine, and then quit their jobs as co-ministers.  Now it's Jesse by himself.

The nude fight: BJ goes to Stephen's house, sneaks inside, and finds him in the bedroom, masturbating. If he thinks Judy is coming over for a hookup, why isn't he waiting?  BJ attacks. They fight for three full minutes of screen time, through the house and out into the yard, with Stephen completely nude throughout, his cock fully visible. Actor Stephen Schneider was offered a prosthetic, but opted to go natural.  This is probably the most extensive scene of male frontal nudity in television history.

Stephen beats BJ into near-unconsciousness, but BJ triumphs by squeezing his testicles, de-manning him in retribution for his own cuckolding.  Fans wondered if there were consequences -- an arrest for aggravated assault?  But Stephen's story has ended; he is not mentioned again. 

BJ goes home, all banged up, and tells Judy: "I hope you like me now."  He's referring to a phrase that he was planning to use on Stephen, originally from a country-western song by Toby Keith:

Do you still think I'm crazy standing here today?
I couldn't make you love me but I always dreamed about livin' in your radio
How do you like me now?

Amber, BJ, and Keefe could all be asking that of their partners as we fade out. The end.

Stephen and random naked guys on RG Beefcake and Boyfriends

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