Spoilers ahead for Better Things Season 3, Episode 3, "Nesting." Sunny’s ex-husband, Jeff (Greg Cromer), has been unlucky in love, between his divorce and brief flirtation with Sam (Pamela Adlon). And he doesn’t exactly have the best reputation — back in Season 1, he joined Tinder while he and Sunny were still married. As a result, everyone is surprised to learn of Jeff’s new girlfriend, Reiki — played by the acclaimed Sharon Stone on Better Things. The Basic Instinct actor plays an interior decorator who’s infatuated with Jeff, much to everyone’s surprise.
Like many of Sam’s soirées, the dinner party she throws in Episode 3 is impromptu. Jeff and Reiki swing by to pick up his daughter, but Sam invites them to stay over for risotto. Her mother Phil (Celia Imrie), on the other hand, shows up uninvited, alongside her new boyfriend, Walter. Also on the premises are Rich (Diedrich Bader), Tressa (Rebecca Metz), Sam’s brother Marion (Kevin Pollak), and, of course, her three daughters.
Then there’s the monkey, which Jeff has rented for Reiki’s birthday. Although it’s a weird gesture, she seems thrilled with the gift — she likes monkeys, as Jeff explains to the room. And of course the kids are over-the-moon — well, except for Duke, who comments that it’s "very intense to have a primate in the house."
In true Phil fashion, Sam’s mother is amazed that Reiki is dating Jeff, whom she calls "Sunny’s bum-of-a-husband." When Reiki calmly retorts that she finds Jeff "charming in every way," Phil says, defeatedly, "Well, there’s a lid for every pot." Even Marion and Rich can’t believe Jeff’s good luck, speculating about Reiki’s age and whether her face is "real or worked-on."
And while things get a bit tense when Sunny and her new boyfriend, Mark, show up, everyone stays civil. In fact, the estranged couple explain their parenting situation: They’re nesting, which means that both Sunny and Jeff share the house, alternating days, so the kids can stay put. Phil is the only one who seems entirely unaware of the situation, commenting, "In our day, we just stayed married and had affairs!" Everyone else, however, seems on board with how the exes are maneuvering a tricky situation.
This is a far cry from the depressed Jeff we saw in Season 2 — the one who came onto Sam in his pickup truck, which prompted her to clamp her hand over his mouth and yell, "No!" at him for a straight minute.
Nesting seems to be a mature — if not inconvenient — way for Sunny and Jeff ensure their children’s stability. While it’s unclear how long this alternation will continue, it seems to be going well for now. And although it does make it difficult for everyone in Sam’s social circle to hang out together, that Sunny and Jeff aren’t avoiding each other anymore is a huge step.
Plus, Reiki is a huge catch, and not only does Jeff seem aware of that fact, but his clean-shaven face and monkey-related gesture suggest that he’s not going to make the same mistake twice. But it remains to be seen whether his girlfriend will stick around or not — after all, it can’t be cheap for Better Things to employ a star like Sharon Stone longterm. But whether she’ll appear in an occasional guest star role or if their relationship is finite, it seems like Jeff is finally getting his act together.
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