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S02.E18: Divorce/Talaq

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Riley and Vanessa decide to officially file for divorce, but the process stirs up old feelings. Also, Al dates both Cindy (Jayma Mays)
and Ariana (Azita Ghanizada) in the hopes of figuring out which woman is the better fit for him, on the CBS Original series UNITED STATES OF AL, Thursday, April 14 (8:31-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+

 

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Well. That's an interesting development with Riley and Vanessa. I was wondering at first how Holly might react, because yeah, she'd definitely be pissed, and rightly so, but it also seemed early on like their relationship was just kinda more of a, "We'll go with this as long as it lasts" sort of thing, so I wondered if that would affect her reaction, too. 

But I'm not surprised she's angry, and again, she's got every right to be. I do appreciate that Riley ultimately decided to be straight up honest with her, though, and they didn't drag out him not telling her about this. How Freddy will find out, now that's going to be an interesting question. As is the question of whether or not Riley and Vanessa will ultimately get back together. Which, as of now, seems a distinct possibility. 

As for Al and Cindy and Ariana, I can see why he'd feel torn between them, given they both appeal to him in different ways. Personally, I think he should stick with Ariana - I can totally see why Cindy would be fun for him, but if he's looking for stability and something long-term, I don't think she's it. I think Al and Ariana have more potential. Plus, I loved them bonding over their love of soccer, and Ariana giving him that shirt with his name on it :D. I will say that Al interacting with that penguin at the aquarium was super cute, though. 

(This whole thing with Al trying to choose between the two women is giving me total flashbacks to a "Frasier" episode where Frasier is trying to decide between Faye and Cassandra. Let's just hope Al's situation ends better than Frasier's did.)

And here I was thinking that Lizzie's relationship with the professor might be the one that fell apart first. Interesting that she's got the most stable relationship of herself, Riley, and Al at the moment. 

Edited by Annber03
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I really don't like Cindy anymore. She has no concept of the position she put Al in, she didn't even care he could lose everything. I have thoughts on Riley and Vanessa but those will have to wait.

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1 hour ago, theredhead77 said:

I really don't like Cindy anymore. She has no concept of the position she put Al in, she didn't even care he could lose everything.

Not so sure Cindy isn't bipolar and off her meds. Just a thought. Al playing two women at once? A very good way to lose both!

I'll be taking bets on whether Vanessa is pregnant or not. Also taking bets on "Who's the dad?"

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Did anyone else think Cindy was going to walk in while Al and Ariana was watching the game?

And Riley told Holly even though both swore what happened wouldn’t leave the bedroom, so does Vanessa plan on telling Freddy? 

Edited by nelroy78
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Both women know Al's not being exclusive, right? I hope so. If they do, then I actually think it's perfectly fine. If not? Yikes. 

In all honestly, I don't get the fetishization of total monogamy. The nostalgia sex with Riley and Vanessa would certainly be something to seriously look at, and figure out if that's all it was or if there really is more to it. But if it really was a one and done, kind of a good-bye, then fine. I think it's get-over-able. But clearly Holly didn't feel that way. No idea how Freddy will feel, but since it's TV, he'll probably be crushed and the show will try to get Vanessa and Riley back together, which I think is the more predictable and boring story, but it certainly fits with every TV trope. 

I love the relationship between Riley and Al, and how they are truly best buds and brothers, and not just kind of stuck with each other out of obligation.

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6 hours ago, Ms Lark said:

I'll be taking bets on whether Vanessa is pregnant or not. Also taking bets on "Who's the dad?"

I'm definitely feeling a pregnancy's looming on the horizon, too, yeah. Hopefully without the "Who's the dad?" thing, just 'cause it'd be a little less messy that way, but I won't be surprised if that happens, too.

4 hours ago, possibilities said:

Both women know Al's not being exclusive, right? I hope so. If they do, then I actually think it's perfectly fine. If not? Yikes. 

Ariana does, 'cause Al talked about that with her when he went to her apartment. And she still seems to be seeing other men as well, so yeah, luckily they're on the same page with all of that. I don't know if Cindy knows that Al's still dating Ariana, but given her general way of doing things, I feel like she'd be fine with that setup, too.

It's definitely going to be tougher for Vanessa to deal with the fallout of her and Riley hooking up. Riley has a history of not being faithful, so him doing something like this isn't surprising. And Riley and Holly weren't together long enough to where they were living together and making a serious life together. At most, there's just going to be some REALLY awkward interactions between them at the bar for a while.

Vanessa's not one to do things like that, however, and she and Freddy have been together for a pretty long time, so that whole situation is definitely going to be a lot tougher to deal with. Whatever happens with Riley and Vanessa going forward, I do like Freddy and Holly themselves, so I do hope that they're still able to play a role in the group dynamics going forward somehow and still have a place on the show. 

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11 hours ago, possibilities said:

In all honestly, I don't get the fetishization of total monogamy. The nostalgia sex with Riley and Vanessa would certainly be something to seriously look at, and figure out if that's all it was or if there really is more to it. But if it really was a one and done, kind of a good-bye, then fine. I think it's get-over-able. But clearly Holly didn't feel that way. 

The final scene had Riley sneaking out the window without a shirt on and implied to be the next day (or at least some period of time after the divorce sex).

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18 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

I really don't like Cindy anymore. She has no concept of the position she put Al in, she didn't even care he could lose everything. I have thoughts on Riley and Vanessa but those will have to wait.

 

17 hours ago, Ms Lark said:

Not so sure Cindy isn't bipolar and off her meds. Just a thought. Al playing two women at once? A very good way to lose both!

I sure hope not. She can be professional at work and reckless in her personal life without having a mental illness. I don't want to see Al have another person he thinks he needs to "fix" with the addition of a mental illness, though it would tie in to his psychology classes. After not giving a crap about the repercussions Al could have faced with her Canadian adventure, I just want her gone.

15 hours ago, nelroy78 said:

Did anyone else think Cindy was going to walk in while Al and Ariana was watching the game?

I did and I was stressed out about what sort of scene Cindy may have caused, even knowing they aren't exclusive. I really like Ariana and I like her with Al. She's stable, she knows what she wants and she respects Al's boundaries.

I'm disappointed in Riley and Vanessa but I'm not surprised they started hooking up. They always cared for each other, and the catalyst for their divorce was Riley not seeking help for his PTSD or working through his issues. If I recall, Freddy was friends with them and Riley always assumed (incorrectly, we've been told) that he and Vanessa were hooking up when Riley was away. 

I feel bad for Holly, she was really letting her guard down. At least Riley came clean to her. I hope Vanessa comes clean with Freddy, soon, and that there is no pregnancy scare for added drama. This show has done so well without unnecessary drama so far.

What has been missing is what is happening with Al and his family in Afghanistan. How is Hasina doing in her new home? Is Al still trying to get everyone to the states? That storyline all needs to come back. More Al's family, less Cindy.

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I hate Al with Cindy. He can find a fun and adventurous girl who doesn't want to break every law on the books. If she were the marine biologist who let Al pet a penguin (super cute) all the time, I would like her.

I'm pissed that Riley ruined things with Holly by hooking up with Vanessa. Can this man not keep it in his pants? This is what he should be working on in therapy. Why is he a serial cheater? His parents had a stable relationship. Does Freddy live with Vanessa because unless she's changing the sheets, he's going to figure it out.

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I think Al’s been torn between two women has a lot to do with his upbringing. He grew up in a very different culture where interactions with the opposite sex were very different.

Now he’s experiencing a whole new world and new experiences- which are all new and I think romanticized by Al (he is quite a romantic).

I hope he figures out before it’s too late that Cindy may be a shiny new object but not a stable one.

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The last few weeks I have wondered am I watching the United States of Al or Love Connection? 

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