As we come to the final episodes of Bored to Death’s third (and possibly last, given its anemic ratings) season, we’re finally digging into the season’s overarching plot of Jonathan’s donor dad, with a Sopranos-spoofing opening sequence where Jonathan drives into New Jersey and investigates the sperm bank that went up in flames. And by “investigates,” I mean he talks to a cranky furrier, gets decked out in a nice mink himself, and then embarks on an unrelated adventure with guest star Casey Wilson before someone calls with info on his dad at the end of the episode. Ah, the classic Ames sleuthing method!
It was nice to see the lovely Ms. Wilson, who I so enjoy on Happy Endings, although she was handed quite a silly character in the sex-crazed Patty, Jonathan’s college paramour who took his virginity and made a sex pact with him to consummate before their wedding night. Wilson’s really good at playing “hot messes” (she’s good at basically everything) but the whole plot came out of nowhere and wasn’t really treated as such, to the point that I had to check Wilson’s credits to make sure she hadn’t been on the show before (she hadn’t).
I guess it’s just annoying when Jonathan’s main problem in an episode is that women are throwing themselves at him. He has to deal with the humiliation of not being able to perform (because of the pressure and because George told him about his similar issue with Josephine the singing teacher), but then he gets to redeem himself in a somewhat epic fencing battle with a masked thief, who turns out to be Rene Auberjonois who actually staged the whole thing for insurance money and…it’s not important, really. In the end, Patty goes off to get married, Jonathan gets his call about the sperm bank and the whole thing feels like a pleasant, but non-essential diversion.
Also, Ray’s May-December romance ends abruptly after he’s caught in the bathtub with Belinda by Leah. He gets kicked out, she gets sent to a convent and honestly, I’d be happy if that was the last of it. The show had gotten everything it could out of the very shallow well of sex-with-an-old-lady humor and Leah is the worst-written character they have, especially since she’s defined only by her dysfunctional relationship with Ray. But while that’s probably the last we’ve seen of Belinda, I’m sure Leah will be back soon enough because she and Ray are like the Ross and Rachel of this show for whatever reason.
There was good fun to be had on the sidelines of this episode, though. Ray flees to George’s house after being kicked out by Leah (he also gets to run down the street covered only in bubble bath) and their relationship, the least explored of all the central trio’s bromances, gets some touchingly pathetic moments like George massaging Ray’s back in the bathtub with an electric toothbrush. George also gives him some roast beef sandwiches from his restaurant, assuring him that he can eat and sleep for free for as long as he likes, and although there are hints that Ray may be pushing his luck, I hope that doesn’t turn out to be the case, since George’s more tender fatherly qualities are always a joy to behold.
Plus, this was the episode to watch if you wanted to see Jonathan, Ray and George dressed in matching khakis, blue shirts and beanie hats, getting high and drunk in a fabulous hotel room. Honestly, I could have done with more of that and less of the actual plot. Jonathan hanging out with those two discussing inadequacy would have been a lot more fun than him trying and failing to fend off Patty in another room. But as a mildly amusing caper, this week pretty much fit the bill.
The furrier says he’s a survivor, although not of anything in particular. “I haven’t had it easy,” he insists.
Ray’s explanation for being caught in flagrante delicto: “I can explain, I was taking a bath, and the window was open…”
The title refers to Belinda’s euphemism for Ray’s genitals, a fine one if I say so myself.
Jonathan knows how to sell himself. “Jewel-guarding shouldn't be a problem. I never lose my sunglasses…most people do.”
George designed the guard outfits at J. Crew. “George likes to play dress-up, but only in men's clothing, which is positive,” Ray says.
“A black man can't catch a cab in this town, but a guy with a sword, no problem.”