United States of Al Season 2 Episode 6 Review

USofAL regains its comic footing in this touching episode honoring Veteran's Day. Addressing old wounds, Riley (Parker Young) isn't sure how to react when he receives his first disability check that comes along with a 70 rating - is he now, he wonders, only 30% of a man?

Riley and Al (Adhir Kalyan) meet up with a couple friends from their old Marine unit to do a "food crawl" - hitting all the restaurants that offer free food to veterans on Veterans Day. Riley listens to his buddies talk about how they're each dealing with post-Marine life.

Meanwhile Al also plays double duty as chaperon when Riley's daughter, Hazel (Farrah Mackenize) hangs out with a boy.

In her best performance in the series to date, Lizzie (Elizabeth Alderfer) rips open a box of belongings as she goes down memory lane with her father (Dean Norris) at her side reflecting on her late husband, a Marine lost in Afghanistan. Her dad gently tells her that she can deal with her grief at her own pace in her own way. By the time a favorite song begins to play at restaurant, Alderfer's face is a turbulent contortion of all that they've lost.

USofAL is at its best when it's centered on emotional truths.


Harrison Cheung is the author of the award-winning biography of Christian Bale (BenBella Books) and a contributor to Brave New Hollywood and The TV Ratings Guide.

@harrisonic (Twitter)

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