SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details on Mumseason 8 premiere.
When Anna Faris came out by surprise Mum in September, viewers wondered how the show would explain Christy’s absence. However, with tonight’s season 8 premiere, Mum he gave a clear but sudden answer.
The first episode of season 8, “Sex Bucket and the Grammar Police”, begins with Bonnie (Allison Janney) and Adam (William Fichtner) in the car, driving home from the airport. After some silence, Christy’s whereabouts are revealed.
“Every mom dreams of the day she’ll let her 42-year-old daughter go to school,” Bonnie cheers. “I did it all by myself.”
Finally ready to pursue her dreams of becoming a lawyer, Christy di Faris is on her way to Georgetown Law School on a full scholarship. While Bonnie is proud of her daughter’s accomplishments and what’s yet to come, she can’t help but think about what she’s missing: “the most beautiful girl a mother can have.” Although Bonnie and Adam decide to head back to the airport to watch Christy’s flight take off (as loving parents would do), references to the now-absent character remain somewhat limited.
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Without Farris, Mum season 8 continues with Bonnie, Jill (Jaime Pressly), Wendy (Beth Hall) and Marjorie (Mimi Kennedy) teaming up to plan a birthday surprise for Tammy (Kristen Johnston) and take her mind off her estranged father, who perhaps a call. With minimal references to Christy beyond her difficulty adjusting to time differences, the season premiere focuses primarily on connections and shared love among recovering addicts.
The AA team reunites for an alcohol-free night of “Never Had” and “Would You Rather” games and pillow fights. But when things get a little too boisterous for Marjorie, she threatens to leave the celebration.
“Don’t worry, it’s not a sleepover until someone cries,” Jill jokes.
As Bonnie tries to stop her from coming home for the night, Marjorie reveals that she needs a stent in her heart. She said the new diagnosis has made her fragile and she is afraid of what is to come. By agreeing to go back indoors, Marjorie reveals her fears, which inspires Jill to create one ultimate sleepover activity.
The party gathers around a small fire for “Fear Bucket,” a game in which women write down their biggest fears and set them on fire “so they lose their powers,” explains Jill. From fears of their intimate lives to fears of death, women set their worries on fire, turning them into nothing more than a pile of ash.
“I’m afraid the people in this group don’t know how much I love them,” Bonnie reads before burning off her fear.
After hoping to avoid him for her birthday, Tammy finally answers her father’s call and the two engage in a touching, but brief conversation about their sobriety. Realizing that reconnecting wasn’t the mess she thought it would be, Tammy and her close group of friends end the evening on a high note and retreat inside. They finally rest their heads, only to be interrupted by an inappropriate call from Christy, who gives her mother an update on life in Washington, DC
Of course, with season 8 continuing without one of the title characters, Mum makes a less than perfect return. Instead, highlighting Tammy’s parenting conflicts and Marjorie’s health problems, the new season allows viewers to feel even more involved in the complex and unexplored lives of the characters they have come to enjoy. Between the comeback of the TV sitcom in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the remedy for Faris’ release, it seems the adjustments will be a must for all members of Mum Community.