MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE “The Bad Guy” Review


MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE “The Bad Guy” Season 2 Episode 4 – It’s time for two of the guys to definitively let go of the past and one to grab the future in the “The Bad Guy” episode of MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE. Joe is forced to stop seeing Lucy as a little girl and Terry chooses to stop seeing himself as an actor while Owen learns his dad really does see him as the future of Thoreau Motors.

Joe gets a double whammy tonight: his divorce is about to be finalized and he catches Lucy’s boyfriend Sadir peeing naked in his house. Daddy’s little girl is suddenly a bit too grown up. He tells Sonia, “I feel like it’s all going away from me,” and you can see him aching to hold on to something familiar, but it’s not meant to be. The divorce, despite Joe’s occasional passive-aggressive comments, was getting a bit too amicable for me, so I love the raw and terrifically acted fight between Joe and Sonia, both for the issues raised and because it clears the air to allow for the more comfortable final scene between them. Sometimes divorce is the best thing to happen to a couple, and I think that will prove true for Joe and Sonia. Lucy and Sadir’s break-up, on the other hand, may be what gives Joe an aneurysm or heart attack. Nothing strikes fear into a dad’s heart like seeing his daughter drape herself over a tattooed guy, especially when he knows she’s already sexually active. How awesome are Ray Romano’s facial contortions there?

Owen and Melissa attend their first new car show with Owen feeling like the king of Thoreau Chevrolet–at least until his father shows up. At first it seems OT is up to his usual undermining (“You can`t be soft with stupid people”–ouch), but instead he’s passing the torch–legally, symbolically, and publicly, and I think Owen is up for the task. Yes his road so far has been bumpy, but like his initially hesitant then self-deprecatingly funny and sweetly touching toast, it will smooth out as he gains confidence. I was afraid Melissa and Owen would go through the entire weekend without connecting, but yay for tequila. I think this is the happiest we’ve seen Owen and I like it. Not for nothing, but Andre Braugher has one of the best smiles ever.

No matter how hard Terry has been trying at Thoreau or how well he has been doing, he’s kept acting in his back pocket. Owen’s “Oh, God, you’re totally going to screw me” isn’t far off the mark–up until the end of the episode, I absolutely would have expected Terry to drop Thoreau like a hot potato if an acting job came along. The hope on his face when he finds out his Arriba Arriba commercials with Erin might be revived is both frustrating and heartbreaking. To me, Terry is the most vulnerable of the men because he has the least support and he really has no idea what he wants to be when he grows up, so when he chooses Erin and her feelings over the job, I practically cheered. Let’s just hope it sticks.

Favorite lines:

“I’m embarrassed to be a salesman? He’s an agent.” Heh. Baby steps, Terry. Baby steps.

“50 pounds ago you were lukewarm.” I always love the diner scenes, but this one is the funniest so far. How these guys manage to prop each other while mocking them is bliss to watch.

“We’re cool with 20 years of marriage ending with a criminal record.” Joe’s obsession with being called the defendant despite its complete lack of legal meaning is both realistic and so very Joe. It’s easier to focus on a meaningless title than the actual divorce.

“I’ve never seen so much Botox and bling in my life. It’s like the Real Housewives of Chevrolet.” I’m glad the Melissa wants a job subplot continues, though I never would have expected Don Most (AKA Happy Days’ Ralph Malph) to be the one to give her a J-O-B. I hope she continues to find herself and doesn’t get sucked into the ladies who lunch vortex.

“Hey, dad–is this the blues?” It’s an Albert-light episode, but the time he has is great. Love the condom water balloons, and no, I don’t think he’s having sex. Heh.

This is (so far) my favorite episode of a very strong season of Men of a Certain Age. Decisions and changes are made with much forward progress and character development. The writing is tight and the acting strong while the entire episode flows beautifully. The show keeps getting better–an impressive feat.

What did you think of the episode? Did Terry mean it when he said, “I’m not an actor?” Will OT really leave Owen alone at the dealership? Please post your thoughts in the comments.

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