"Where Todd and Brent Misjudge the Mood of a Solemn Day" S1 / E5
- B+ Community Grade
I personally loved tonight’s episode of Todd Margaret but the person with whom I watched it felt the extreme opposite, so either one of us is wrong or this was an episode that will divide the audience in general. I just liked seeing some of the various storylines start to come together--it heightened the ridiculousness of this series and that’s what I like about it, its occasional giddy all-out unsubtlety.
The episode opens with Todd being awakened by his phone again. Brent is on the other line, demanding his money and to know whether Todd’s been with Alice. When Todd confesses that he hasn’t, Brent asks “You wanna plug that weeping hole?” and then advises him to “be her type.” I think we were all expecting some sort of creepy blackface thing to follow, right? Todd gets up and leaves Dave a voicemail letting him know he’s called the police on him.
Then we cut to a scene 18 days earlier, where we see Brent halfheartedly listening to “Unleash Your Inner Asshole” tapes--it turns out that he was a weak loser, just like Todd! Instead of a power-douche, he’s in plaid shirtsleeves, a failing temp telemarketer with a gambling problem getting verbally castrated by his boss Janine Garofalo, who vows to make a pile of torn-off balls, and then flatten the pile, and then hover over it and defecate on it. I love it.
Todd leaves the house with his briefcase full of counterfeit money, and on the way to the cafe the show indulged in a stupid (and I mean that in a good way) gag where Todd tries to kick a ball back to a kid and accidentally ends up kicking the ball right into his face. Where you’d expect the kid’s dad to be enraged, he’s understanding, but then another ball comes by and Todd kicks that one right into the kid’s face, this time eliciting the father’s rage. It was an old-timey silly kind of gag and it works for me on this show.
Todd passes a woman sitting in front of a bucket for donations and she explains to him that it’s Remembrance Sunday. “Ohh, Memorial Day,” he says and she says no, Remembrance Day. Once again Todd vies to be the most Despicable Person on TV when he puts some fake money in the bucket and takes out some real change. I loved the way he carefully thought it over when the woman explained to him that the money went to injured soldiers and war heroes, and then put MORE fake money into the bucket to take out more real money “for old times’ sake.” I couldn’t tell if he actually thought that more fake money meant he cared more, or if he’s just an awful person.
So Todd shows up at the diner dressed like Hudson but instead of pulling some awkward shit he’s dressed “Canadian,” in a Maple Leafs jersey and hunting jacket and cap, which of course only perplexes Alice and irritates Hudson.
Todd goes to meet Brent at a bar, but before he arrives sees a news story about how the decaying animals in his apartment back home have caused a stench that’s visible from outer space, which means Todd can never return to the States again. Then the TV coverage switches to Remembrance Day celebrations, which is live on all stations. Brent arrives and Todd gives him the money and admits that it’s counterfeit, but when Brent fires him (you’d think Todd would be relieved to be out of this pickle by now) he says that it’s the briefcase that’s counterfeit, not the money. Since this show is a giant cartoon, Brent believes him. Todd advises Brent to get lawyers (specifically, from Young and Not Legal) on retainer, and says he has a plan for a way to get Thunder Muscle great TV coverage.
Spike Jonze’s character then tries to report Brent to Global National Solutions, but encounters some trouble when information can only find a listing on Brent Wiltz the telemarketer, not any sort of big fancy company president. I am sure there are some people out there who are over Spike Jonze playing a squeaky-voiced dork but I’m not one of them. Then we cut to a scene, obviously, where Dave is ushering in two men to have sex on the desk at Thunder Muscle HQ.
So, then we came to one of the most awkward/awful/horribly entertaining scenes of the series, where Todd and Brent, dressed in London tourist garb, attend the Remembrance Day festivities and try to sell Thunder Muscle to veterans and those who support them. Todd still keeps up his pretense of being from Leeds by weeping when thinking about how much his father loved Remembrance Day. To market the drink further, Brent commandeers a camera while Todd stands in the middle of the parade and peevishly tries to get the military band to stop playing so everyone can hear his pitch. I sort of loved this scene for how bizarre and awkward it was. Someone tells Todd to shush and Brent notes that if the British had had Thunder Muscle in World War II, we wouldn’t have had to bail out their faggot asses. Todd, discouraged, stares at the ground while his can of Thunder Muscle leaks out, which gives the impression of him peeing on the war memorial.
Cut to the local news, which features Todd being tackled after his protest for Britain’s cowardice in “all wars ever.” Alice runs out to help Todd, Pam’s laughing her arse off in the bathtub, the Turks are watching as they make a bomb, and Dave’s laughing at the TV with his hot porny girlfriend. Someone, who we don’t know yet, watches and calls to his wife, “Honey?” Is this Todd’s father, of Leeds?
The button of the episode featured a couple walking out of a movie theater complaining about what they had just seen: I assume they were talking about Hudson’s movie about the priests and the boat, unless someone else knows the reference to “Dusk in the Belly of God”?
Next and final week: Todd finally gets charged with everything.
--Unfortunately, Pam informing Todd that she used his razor to shave her vagina is the second TV scene I’ve seen this week that involves a woman using another person’s razor to shave her vagina. (See: The Big C where the “C” does not stand for what it might in this context.)
--Also The Big C lately also had a reference, only not in so many words, to “there’s a negro in my wife.” Not in the can though.
--“What are you, a nurse? Hopefully of the wet variety.”
--“Just some kid with AIDS.” “I don’t have AIDS!” “OR cancer.”