Queer as Folk

Season 2 Episode 16

You Say It's Your Birthday! I Couldn't Care Less!

0
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM May 12, 2002 on Showtime
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
61 votes
7

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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You Say It's Your Birthday! I Couldn't Care Less!
AIRED:

For his birthday, Melanie and Lindsay take Justin to a violin recital, where he meets a sexy new guy. Michael throws Ben a surprise party for his birthday, and when Ben shows up, he erupts in anger. Later, Michael finds out that Ben's upset about some news he'd received earlier in the day.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • I Hate Ethan

    9.5
    Great episode in terms of developing angst for the next few plot lines - I only say I hate Ethan because he comes in the way of Brian and Justin, the OTP. It's so sad to see Justin fail to get what he wants from Brian but hopefully the duo will overcome this; otherwise, I will cry my eyes out until I die. Can't wait to see what happens...
  • I Could Care A Little More...

    7.5
    This episode is definitely an upgrade from the previous one. Nonetheless, the show seems to be taking a "filler" route. The Luke/Ted relationship seems extremely tedious, but I feel sorry for Ted because it seems none of his relationships last longer than a female's period. Lindsay and Mel are doing well, but love to meddle in Brian and Justin's relationship as usual, though for a good reason. Michael throws Ben a surprise party against his dismay, and Ben yells at him and everyone at the party for it. Come to find out, Ben's T-cell count was low and he was at the doctor right before the party. So of course, Michael forgives him like the forgiving little person he is. I never believe Michael when he's mad; it's always a little melodramatic for my taste. I will say that Justin's new fascination with the violinist is definitely sparking my interest. I always love when new characters are introduced, especially those who you aren't sure if they're gay or straight (even though we do find out in this episode which one the violinist is). A step up from episode 15, but not by a huuuge amount.moreless
  • Ted's line of work brings relationship trouble, Ben's facade of perfection is broken, and Justin isn't getting everything he wants from Brian.

    9.0
    The three main storylines of the episode are Ted dealing with relationship fallout over his pornographic website, tension between Michael and Ben, and Brian not giving Justin everything that he wants out of their relationship.



    I love that Ted tried to hide what he does for a living and that his love interest couldn't be with him because of it. Emmett is such a proud, shameless man and he met George through his run as 'Fetch', but we never really saw any negative aspects of being such a big part of the porn industry. While QaF obviously puts forth the idea of freedom of sexual expression, this SL showed a new angle of such involvement and it was very realistic and in-character for Ted to be embarrassed of his career and for a factor like that to end up being a relationship deal-breaker.



    Meanwhile, Michael begins the episode completely in awe of Ben, idolizing him and even raving about him as being perfect. Obviously, such an idea can only last so long and Ben shows a new side of himself, lashing out at Michael and embarrassing him in front of their friends. This fight leads to a really great, defining conversation between Michael and Brian. Brian ultimately tells him that he needs to stop letting him expect anything from anyone, which is Brian's ultimate character flaw; his fear of letting people in and of being left behind. And then you have Michael, who's the opposite of that. He's ruled by his emotions, a passionate person who reacts strongly in most situations and who reaches out to others and lets people in easily, perhaps too easily. It's just a great scene showing the extreme contrast between these two best friends.



    However the third and final storyline is my favorite of the episode, as Brian and Justin's storylines tend to be. From the beginning of the episode, we start seeing Justin getting impatient with Brian's seeming indifference to him, growing tired of waiting for Brian to provide romantic gestures to him. This plays a role in the introduction of the widely disliked but hugely important character, Ethan Gold. Justin attends his recital at the IFA and is immediately infatuated. Once they meet, it becomes obvious that Ethan is a romantic, full of promises and grand gestures. Meanwhile, Mel and Linds both try to talk to Brian and get him to actually show his affection for Justin. They tell him that this is what Justin wants and we see that this is true as Justin's patience with Brian wears thin and he falls quickly for the romance that Ethan can seemingly provide.



    Great episode, as per usual.moreless
  • Mike and Justin find out that Ben and Justin have the same birthday. Justin hopes for something special from Brian while Mike plans something special for Ben. Ted tries to cheer Emmett up and meets someone in the process.moreless

    10
    So in an attempt to try to cheer up Emmett, Ted takes him to church; A comedian who sings tunes. While there Ted meets a man named Luke, and proceeds to be vague about his job so as not to scare this guy off. Later on Ted and Luke hook up and afterwards Ted tells him the truth about what he does for a living. Luke says he doesn't care and Ted is happy to be with someone. However, Luke later breaks things off because the porno business is too much for him to handle. For a minute there i thought Ted was either going to cry or freak out, but he didn't. In the meantime Mike steals Ben's palm so he can invite all of Ben's friends to the surprise party he wants to throw. Emmett helps with the theme and setting everything up. Brian and Justin show up as well as all of his other friends. Ben comes home and freaks out, throwing everyone out after acting like a monster. Amongst the people at the party was Deb, who finally gave in and showed up since Ben was supposedly such a good influence on her son. She wasn't very happy to see Ben's reaction. Later on when Ben shows up to see Mike, Mike goes off on him. We then find out that Ben was angry because his T-cells were down and his viral level was up. This is the first time we get a glimpse at the unperfect Ben as he starts to unravel a bit over this. Mike understands and forgives him. In the meantime Mel and Linze try to talk Brian into doing something to celebrate Justin's birthday, since Brian is pretty much ignoring it. Brian brings up roses and thinks it's a pathetic ritual that straight people do, but Mel says why not. Instead Brian gets Justin a hustler to sleep with. I think Justin was disappointed not to have a more thoughtful or romantic gift. Brian better be careful before he loses Justin, which is ultimately what he is afraid of. At the end of the episode we see Brian looking at roses, but he decides not to get them after all, which is part of Brian's fear of committing to Justin or anyway, because he is afraid of being left alone. However, Justin i think is a little lonely even though he loves Brian so much. Mel and Linze take Justin to a violin recital where Justin meets Ethen, who plays. Justin instantly becomes infatuated and meets Ethen, who gives Justin a cd of his as a birthday gift. Justin listens to the cd over six times. Justin later runs into Ethen at school and they have a moment where Ethen says it sucks that Justin has a boyfriend because he would have gave Justin breakfast in bed for his birthday, along with making love several times. Justin is basically in awe of this boy, who clearly likes him as well. Ethen is dangerously romantic and seductive, so Brian better have something up his sleeve. Since i've seen some of this show before i already know something happens between Justin and Ethen, i just don't know when. Great episode, i already can't wait for the next.moreless
  • Why did Mel and Linds have to take him to the concert?

    9.4
    This is the beginning of the end. The stupid concert where he met Ethan Gold. Of course Brian, being the unsentimental person that he is, doesn't get him a present, at least not yet. And when he does, he gets him a male hustler that looks like Justin's favorite underwear model. So romantic, Brian. You can tell it isn't something that Justin wants, though he accepts it gratefully without saying anything. Mel tells him that he wants something more romantic from him, but Brian refuses because that would go against everything that he believes in. At the end we see him contemplating whether or not to buy him roses, but he doesn't. Perhaps if he did, that would put Ethan out of his mind, and keep the two together. But no. So sad.moreless
Sharon Gless

Sharon Gless

Deborah 'Debbie' Jane Grassi Novotny

Robert Gant

Robert Gant

Professor Benjamin 'Ben' Bruckner

Michelle Clunie

Michelle Clunie

Melanie 'Mel' Marcus

Peter Paige

Peter Paige

Emmett "Em" Honeycutt

Scott Lowell

Scott Lowell

Theodore 'Ted' Schmidt

Gale Harold

Gale Harold

Brian Kinney

Dan Chameroy

Dan Chameroy

Reverend Brad

Guest Star

Jason Knight

Jason Knight

Luke

Guest Star

Aaron Bell

Aaron Bell

Naked Beauty

Guest Star

Jack Wetherall

Jack Wetherall

Vic Grassi

Recurring Role

Fab Filippo

Fab Filippo

Ethan Gold

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Michael is surprised to learn Justin's birthday is on the same as Ben's. However, as Justin's 18th birthday was celebrated in season 1, Michael should know when it is.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Brian: I didn't hear him complaining.
      Melanie: Of course not, he wouldn't dare.
      Brian: Then why are you?
      Melanie: Because I'm not in love with you.
      Brian: Finally, someone who isn't.

    • Brian: You want too much. You expect too much. And then when your hero disappoints you, your poor little heart gets crushed.
      Michael: So what's the alternative?! To expect nothing? To want nothing? Like you?!

    • Lindsay: I don't understand you!
      Brian: Few do.
      Lindsay: It's obvious how much you love him yet you won't celebrate his birthday because you don't consider it an accomplishment. Well, isn't it an accomplishment that he's alive and well? Isn't that enough reason to celebrate?

    • Brian: Didn't your daddy ever teach you how to tie a tie?
      Justin: No, he was too busy kicking me out and beating the shit out of you.
      Brian: Well, neither did mine. He was too busy regretting the day I was born.

    • Justin: You're incredible.
      Ethan: I know.

    • Ben: I don't want to celebrate my goddamned birthday.
      Brian
      : Finally, a man with the right attitude.

    • Lindsay: I think we're witnessing a conversion.
      Melanie
      : Another lesbian success story.

    • Emmett: You date your saints; I'll stick to the sinners.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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