The second episode of any show is the one that'll either make it or break it.
A show can survive with a bad pilot, but if the second episode is no improvement, the audience will call it quits.
Luckily, Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 2 was even better than its pilot.
The main issue with Council of Dads Season 1 Episode 1 was that it felt like both a beginning and an ending. The story could've been easily finished with the first episode. There was a hopeful resolution to the death of the patriarch of the family.
We got to know and love Scott, and we felt confident that the back-up plan he assembled would help his family process his death.
But, we should've known it wouldn't be that easy.
Three men with three separate lives aren't going to be able to suddenly put another family first. They'll have to make adjustments and switch their priorities.
A big complaint I've seen about the pilot was how cookie-cutter it felt. Everything seemed to work out perfectly, and it was, frankly, pretty cheesy.
But this episode subverted that expectation, and it did it very well. It's still an NBC family drama, so there will always be some level of cheesiness throughout, but the Perry family felt very realistic this time around.
Robin is struggling to cope with the loss of her life partner. Scott was supposed to be here to help her raise their five children. Her arc from a mother who's willing to ask for help to a woman who refuses to accept anything less than what she used to have felt very natural.
Larry was overstepping his boundaries, and Oliver and Anthony weren't showing up the way they were supposed to. If I were Robin, I'd fire them too.
But, with a bit of guidance, the council will function as intended. It'd be remiss to think that all three of these men will suddenly start to be perfect father figures to the Perry children, but at least now they seem willing to learn.
Watching Anthony cancel on Charlotte for the second time was incredibly frustrating. He was Scott's best friend, so you'd expect him to be the most involved out of the council. Hopefully, he had his wake-up call when he drove Charlotte and Tess home from Atlanta, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's the least reliable "dad" going forward.
It's a shame, especially considering that he is likely biologically related to one of the Perry children. Who saw that coming?
It wasn't even on my radar that Scott might not be Luly's biological father, let alone that Anthony would be. Just because he intends to keep that a secret from her for the rest of her life, doesn't mean he'll be able to.
I'm expecting Michelle to spill the beans sometime this season. There's a lot to explore in that storyline, especially since Luly's staying in town.
It's for the best that she decided not to move to New York because it would've been too difficult to include her in the family storylines from such a distance.
It'll be interesting to see how she chooses to tell the story of the past year through her writing. I was expecting her to continue to narrate the episodes, but Larry took on that responsibility this time. Maybe it'll switch off between characters every episode, but if not, it would be an excellent opportunity to incorporate Luly's writing.
It has been done before, but having the narration be from the book she's writing about their lives would be a good way to tie everything together.
But then again, Larry does have a way with words. His closing monologue about how the council needs Robin and the kids as much as they need them nearly brought out the waterworks.
He went too far contacting Theo's teachers, but it's admirable how hard he's trying to be there for the Perrys. His need to overcompensate for the failure of his relationships with his children makes him a very sympathetic character.
Michael O'Neill does a fantastic job portraying him, and hopefully, we'll get to learn even more about Larry as the show progresses.
His relationship with Theo seems to be the one to watch, but you can tell he cares for all of the kids as if they were his own.
Another relationship that shined in this installment was the friendship between Robin and Oliver. It's hard when your best friend's husband dies, but it's much worse when you were his doctor.
It's been four months since Scott's death, but Oliver has not stopped beating himself up over it. The medical staff at the hospital confirmed that he did everything he could for Scott, but he doesn't believe it until Robin tells him.
He was walking around with that debilitating feeling of guilt while trying to be there for his best friend and her family to make up for the loss for which he feels responsible. He's a strong man.
The only flaw he had was not being able to ride a bike, but now he can do that too!
It's a nice touch that his daughter is best friends with Charlotte, and it helps bring the council into the family. Hopefully, we'll get to see more of his home life, on top of his relationship with the Perrys.
Going forward, Council of Dads has a lot of opportunities to grow.
They have a big cast of characters, all with unique attributes and potential plotlines to explore.
If you're not watching Council of Dads, here is my formal endorsement.
Give it a try!
We're only two episodes in, and I'm dying for more.
You can watch Council of Dads online here at TV Fanatic anytime.
Jillian Pugliese is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.