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Warning: spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Mom.
Mom has been bringing the laughs on CBS for four seasons now, and Anna Faris has been able to show off her comedic chops in a lead role from the very beginning. In the latest episode, however, Faris was called upon for a story that wasn't at all funny. In "A Cricket and a Hedge Made of Gold," Christy was forced to face a tragedy from her past when a man who raped her walked into her AA meeting.
When Christy was attending an AA meeting -- in what was supposed to be a safe zone -- she found herself in the same room as her rapist from 16 years earlier. She didn't know his name or where he came from, remembering him as "Viceroy Lights" for the cigarettes he smoked. She revealed to fellow attendees Jill and Wendy that she'd been assaulted while drunk at a party. The man lured her into a bedroom with the promise of cocaine, and he forced himself on her while she was in no state to defend herself. Christy didn't report the rape because she didn't think anybody would believe such a story coming from a stripper with a drinking problem.
It became clear that Christy hadn't faced this memory for quite a long time, and she was very much not prepared to meet the man again while at an AA meeting. When Bonnie realized how upset her daughter was, she tried to help, but Christy couldn't stand to be touched in what was an absolutely heartbreaking moment. Luckily, Christy's sponsor Marjorie was able to give the support that Christy needed, telling Christy that the rape was in no way, shape, or form her fault. Even if she was drunk and in a dangerous situation, she was not to blame for what Viceroy Lights did to her.
The pep talk proved to be what Christy needed to begin to heal, and she bravely attended the next AA meeting. She looked her rapist straight in the eye and began to speak about her experience, saying this:
Sixteen years ago, I was sexually assaulted. You know what? Forget 'sexually assaulted.' I was raped. That's the first time I've ever called it what it really was. Mugging victims aren't ashamed they were robbed. Why should I be ashamed that I was raped? What I am ashamed of is that I kept it a secret. This guy counted on me being too embarrassed and afraid to come forward, and you know what? He was right. And so tonight, I would like to make amends to any woman that might have been hurt because I was too scared to say anything. If my silence encouraged him to believe that he could attack, or intimidate, or even grab another woman without consequences, then I am so, so sorry.
Viceroy Lights wasn't present to hear the end of her speech; he ran away before she could finish what she had to say, but it was clear that she got the catharsis she needed from speaking out. "A Cricket and a Hedge Made of Gold" was a devastating half hour of television that put a very funny woman through a very tragic wringer. Still, she came out all the stronger for facing what had been done to her, and I give Anna Faris all the credit for her performance in the episode.
Not every sitcom can pull off a very serious episode without becoming preachy or directly addressing viewers about a hot topic; Mom kept the story about Christy as a character, and it worked quite well. I haven't been so moved by an episode of Mom since Jodi's death and the aftermath. Kudos to the entire team for pulling it off.
You can catch new episodes of Mom on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. Don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations as well.