“Ders Come In Handy” S3 / E9
- B+ Community Grade
One of the best scenes Workaholics has ever produced arrives halfway through tonight’s episode. Blake and Adam sit in a tree with harnesses on (due to Adam’s unsurprising experience falling out of trees as a kid), ostensibly on a stakeout to catch whoever is having an affair with Montez’s wife. But they also have steaks out as snacks, and only obliquely reference that connection. The whole sequence—from that opening riff through to Anders rescuing Adam—is such an affably moronic sequence that escalates to hilarity, pauses in the right places, and encapsulates precisely the unique strain of goofball slapstick this trio can offer.
One of the unlikely strengths of Workaholics is how it turns the minimalist aspects of some episodes—very few shooting locations, simple premises, and only a few elongated scenes—into opportunities to constantly feed off the energy of a scene to fill out its run-time. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but when it does, it’s a unique blend of nostalgic pop culture references and slapstick.
Let’s back up a little bit. This week, the guys are going to an Xzibit concert, because of course they are. In preparation, they head to a store to stock up on camping supplies—Blake gets sidetracked by ninja stuff, while Adam wants a shower radio so he can literally “rock out with his cock out.” As Anders looks for items on the list, a visibly pregnant Alex Borstein walks up to him out of nowhere, and gives him an OTPHJ right in the aisle, before walking away and leaving Anders to slip on a pair of ski pants to hide the evidence. Unfortunately, when he meets back up with Blake and Adam, they see Montez, who’s at the store with his wife Colleen—the same woman who just gave Anders a handy.
Anders nervously tries to keep a handle on his guilt, but clearly has to do something. After Montez tells the guys they can take his RV to the show, he shows up at work living out of the thing in the parking lot, distraught that Colleen is cheating on him. Oh, and Karl wants to go to the concert too, but the trio has had enough of his incessant desires to start fights at shows—and after biting through a girl’s ear in a mosh pit at 311 and throwing a rock at Reba McEntire, who could blame them? Montez is normally so aggressively confident about his sexual prowess and the strength of his marriage that he does actually seem shaken—but the guys only care about getting the RV for the show, so they have to find a way to bring the two back together. Anders sets off to get Colleen to delete a photo of him off her phone, while Adam and Blake offer to search for the cheater.
Which leads us back to the middle sequence of the episode, which has some of the same unstoppable pacing that made last week’s episode so fantastic. When a hooded Anders shows up to talk to Montez’s wife, Adam and Blake correctly assume he’s the cheater, but fight over a slingshot and Adam falls out of the tree, semi-hanging himself. Blake rushes to the house and finds Anders, and instead of berating him for causing Montez’s pain, immediately congratulates him for the hand job, and asks whether the ejaculation was the size of a Gusher more like a Capri Sun, tainting all memories of post-soccer game snacks. But Adam is still choking outside, and when Anders cuts him down (after a failed attempt with scissors and returning to the house with a big knife), Adam is surprisingly introspective after facing death. His buffoonish regrets include that he’s never waterskied off a waterfall or traveled around the world in a hot air balloon, but it’s a nice, darkly comic moment.
Then Montez shows up ready to confront the man having an affair with his wife, and the guys cover it up. Anders has the perfect solution, and it’s a completely natural progression. First, Karl espouses his desire to fight at concerts. Then, Montez is incredibly angry and wants to fight whomever his wife is cheating with, so Anders finds a way to keep himself from harm by setting their anger against each other. But he didn’t count on exactly what Montez is angry about. Though Karl goads him with taunts about a small penis and some standard puns about giving it to Colleen better, Montez is wrapped up in Colleen having unsatisfied emotional needs. This is all peppered by outrageous physical comedy, like Montez beating Karl with a double-ended black dildo while screaming “I wish I was dead!” and Karl’s homeless buddy Mike digging through a bag of Montez’s sex toys (hey there’s an Evan Stone DVD!).
The fight causes Anders to admit his guilt, but everything is cool. He didn’t know Colleen was Montez’s wife, but for their ninth wedding anniversary Montez gave her permission to give OTPHJs to people. They have a disgustingly perfect marriage, and it makes the guys really jealous. Colleen also got Montez a mold of her nethers for their tenth anniversary, in case giving birth irrevocably changes it. This is about as romantic as Workaholics can possibly get, so Montez’s declaration that he doesn’t need the mold, but only wants Colleen, is sweet. It’s really funny too, especially given Adam’s reaction when Montez gifts him the mold of his wife. Nobody will ever want to know what happens to that thing. “Anders Comes In Handy” is another fast-paced, simple, and riff-heavy episode of Workaholics that finds a groove with the trio and two well-developed side characters. It’s nice to see that after a rocky start to the extended third season the show has settled into a goofy, raunchy sweet spot.
- Other things Karl has done at concerts: hit Tré Cool in the head with a rock; made Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots so angry he took off his shoe and threatened to use it to fuck Karl; punched someone in the face at a performance of Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity. Hysterical.
- Karl also decides to start giving massages to the homeless, because in his mind it’s a void that soup kitchens don’t fill.
- Anders distracts Adam in the store by saying he saw O.J. Simpson—Adam’s favorite murderer, of course.
- Anders gets all worked up over what he perceives as a great hand job, but the guys do have a bit of an argument as to whether an OTPHJ is as good as a UTPHJ, but neither is as hilarious as a UTPHJOTDF (on the dance floor).
- Alex Borstein is having a pretty good summer. In addition to playing Montez’s wife, she has a cameo as the hooker at Sutton Foster’s apartment complex in the pilot of Bunheads.