MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE “And Then the Bill Comes” Review

MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE (TNT) "And Then the Bill Comes"

MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE “And Then the Bill Comes” Season 2 Episode 5 – Everyone must pay, one way or another, in the “And Then the Bill Comes” episode of MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE that shows us the guys’ potential paths and their dangers.

Terry’s making good money selling cars and he decides to enjoy it. Huge TV, huge candy bars for trick or treaters–you name it. Unfortunately, money can’t buy his brother’s respect or a reprieve from self-doubt, two things Terry needs much more than new sneakers. On the surface, Terry’s storyline seems to have lower stakes than Joe’s gambling addiction or Owen’s attempt to wrest full control of Thoreau from his father, but there is so much emotional weight here. Is being a salesman and dating Erin (more Melinda McGraw, please) just another phase for Terry or is it the real? Will his brother’s casual dismissal shred his ego enough to send Terry back to auditions and younger women or is Terry stronger than that? His brother has every right to doubt and he clearly doesn’t need Terry’s money, but I wish he had looked closer and seen how much Terry needed to give it to him. Scott Bakula does so much with a single look or gesture. His acting is subtle but powerful, much like the writing for his character.

It’s a razor-thin line between a mind bet and a real one, and Joe is dangerously close to crossing it as we see when he’s sitting next to Manfro predicting the game’s line. I didn’t see that Manfro has cancer twist coming, but it`s a good one. Joe does a good deed by visiting, but I’m afraid we’ll learn that no good deed goes unpunished because Joe is barely clinging to his “I’m not doing that anymore” stance as it is (“If you say so, Joe.”), and Manfro is not exactly a good influence when it comes to gambling. That said, I’m glad to see Manfro back and Ray Romano and Jon Mafrelotti are both outstanding in their highly-charged, emotionally resonant scene. Someone get Joe some tweezers, though, because he needs to learn to pluck his odd hairs, not talk about them.

Poor Owen 2.0. He has the terrific idea to add a body shop, giving the restless service guys more work and the hungry salesmen referral fees, he gets everyone to dance to his jazz and then OT pulls the rug out from under him. “Well, there’s books and there’s books.” Not words you want to hear, and while I knew something had to be wrong at the dealership because things were a bit too smooth, I wasn’t expecting a bad land deal (shades of Parenthood) and unpaid payroll taxes. I’m intrigued by Owen visiting said land at the end of the episode. Maybe Owen really will take control and kick some ass. I hope so because my heart breaks for him when tells Jesse he made a mistake, and it’s good to see Owen get riled up and Andre Braugher let loose a bit as he does with his “We’re at war with everyone else, but not ourselves speech.”

Favorite lines:

“It doesn’t suck.” I love Terry’s baffled joy at making money for something he’s beginning to enjoy and I want him to hold onto that. I’m just not sure he can.

“Breakfast is on me.” Hee to Joe trying to take a picture of this momentous occasion and launching a game instead.

“I guess that’s what happens when you’re old and you don’t have a family. Oh, I’m sorry, Mr. T.” I love the party store scenes so much. I would totally work there.

“What do you prefer? Little person?” Hmm. Hobbit, maybe. I can’t believe the service guys threw him in the dumpster, but of course it happens under the watchful eye of Glee‘s Coach Tanaka (Patrick Gallagher) who saw plenty of that at McKinley High.

“I don’t think Captain America ever pulled a hamstring getting into his costume.” How adorable are Terry and Erin? Sigh. I think they’re doomed and that makes me sad.

Another strong episode of Men of a Certain Age, with so much being set in motion. I only wish we had more scenes of the guys together because that diner scene with Terry picking up the check is pure gold, but the three storylines are all strong, so it’s hard to complain that the time is going to their development.

Next week is the midseason finale already (Road trip!). TNT billed it as a season finale in the ad tonight, but it will only be the sixth episode out of twelve. One great thing about this show–it always leaves me wanting more.

What did you think of the episode? Should Joe have stayed away from Manfro? Will Owen find a way out of OT’s mess? Who is the real Terry? Please post your thoughts in the comments.

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