When we first see Ray this evening, he’s all spiffed up and ready to sing, but expectations of an easy night fall apart almost instantly with the arrival of Jason (Stephen Amell), Lenore’s new boy… not that Ray knows who Jason is when they share an elevator up to the ostensibly-rocking nightclub where his client, the young and perpetually orgasmic Christina, a.k.a. Birthday Girl, is waiting for him. All he knows is that Jason’s lips are where he usually parks his. But does he step in and say, “Hey, wait, I thought we had a date”? No, he does not. Instead, he goes and grumbles about the situation to Tanya, who suggests that it may have been a ploy by Christina to see two men fight over her affections, but the end result is a fight between Ray and Tanya over who’s in charge of their operation.
Give Ray credit for trying to defuse the situation with diplomacy, saying, “We’re partners,” but (shocker!) Tanya can’t just shrug and say, “You’re right.” She’s got to say, “Well, we’re partners, but, Ray, I call the shots.” After getting the shittiest of looks from Ray in return, she finally concedes the point (albeit begrudgingly) and says she’ll talk to Christina, leaving Ray to get a paltry few hours of sleep before taking on a client who sends him running through the woods before cuffing him and having her way with him… twice.
Ronnie’s busy boxing in the garage when Jessica swings by to pick up her check, but all he’s got to offer her is bitterness about Ray and the unpleasant reminder that he’s got himself a “sparring partner.” (Great euphemism. I’ll have to remember that one.) When Jessica storms out of the garage, Ronnie immediately shrugs off his annoyance in favor of a bit of freaking-out, but it’s too late to salvage the situation.
Lenore slips into the kitchen of Jason’s place of employment with her pug under her arm–oh, yeah, that’s hygienic–and hands him a bit of spending money as well as the news that he’s got a few more clients waiting in the wings. Funnily enough, when Jason seemed to feel guilty for a moment about stealing Ray’s customers, I thought, “Oh, hey, the kid’s got a conscience.” Seconds later, of course, he let it slip that he was engaged. Yeah, ‘cause fiancées love it when their future husbands turn out to be gigolos…
It would be an understatement to say that Tanya handles Christina’s revelation about how Jason’s claiming to work for her somewhat poorly. Who knew that Jane Adams could execute such a strong spit take? But at least she more or less keeps it together until she gets over to Ray’s place. At that point, though, she loses her shit… and, let’s be honest, it’s not entirely unwarranted. Nor, for that matter, is Ray’s suggestion that he confront Jason man to man. But, no, it’s time for another Ray-and-Tanya conversation to dissolve into a power struggle. This time, Ray is unquestionably the victor, declaring Tanya to be his back-up for this particular situation. (Tanya, of course, takes this about as well as one might expect.)
I’ve always thought Lenore was a bitch, mostly because the show has never made any effort to paint her otherwise, but, man, that trip to see Jason’s fiancée was harsh. I mean, I don’t even know what else to say about it, except that I still feel guilty that I started to laugh when I realized where she was going with her cake personalization. I don’t think they could’ve cast someone who looked more guileless and innocent to play Sandee than Analeigh Tipton (with whom I was unfamiliar until tonight), but I can’t imagine it being as effective with anyone else.
Can’t say as I expected the sudden development of Jessica’s mother heading to the hospital, let alone the incredible coincidence of Dr. Matt, a.k.a. the ex-husband of Ronnie’s “sparring partner,” being the attending physician, but the scene was pretty funny, mostly thanks to the way Matt Walsh delivered his lines with such inappropriate flirtatiousness. It was also awesome to see the return of Lennie James as Charlie the Pimp, who got a visit from Tanya during her hour of need. Alas, she didn’t agree to give him the bail money necessary to get him out of the clink, so it’s tough to say how much more we’re going to see him this season, but at least he helped build up her self-esteem enough to head over and take on Jason. Give her credit for starting the conversation strong, but as he piled on the flattery, there was never any question that she was going to end up in the bedroom, or the bathroom, as the case may be, with him before the night was over. The post-coital confrontation between Ray and Tanya was pretty hilarious, with Adams delivering some hysterical reactions to the accusations being leveled at her, but watching Ray clutch his back and concede that he was never going to catch up to Jason was pretty depressing. What a drag it is getting old, eh, Ray?
It looks as if things are going to end with Ray and Tanya refusing to give in to Lenore, but, no, there’s still enough time to see Tanya react with horror when Lenore turns up in her “Orgasmic Living” class. Just when you think she can’t be a bigger bitch, she manages to one-up her previous achievements in the field. But Tanya’s come a long way, baby, and she’s not going to let the flicking of toilet water and a punch in the face get her down. Long story short, Miz Lenore will not be attending class today…
But, wait, that’s not all! We also get one more confrontation between Ray and Jason. This time Ray gets the upper hand by using brains over brawn–funny stuff, that–and as Ray wanders down the hall whistling “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again,” the closing credits roll. I’ve got to say, for as pleasant as I’ve found the previous two seasons of the show, season three really seems to be starting out extraordinarily strong.
Random quotes and observations:
- “Thank you, Darwin.”
- “Ray, every ship has a captain. And I’m the pimp.”
- Ronnie’s workout regimen involves listening to MC Lars’ “UK Visa Versa.” Perfect.
- “You wanna have your cake and eat it, too…? I won’t be your baker.”
- Given that this is the first season I’ve actually blogged Hung, I honestly can’t recall how much Ray usually makes from his clients, but I want to say that Lenore’s seriously undercutting what Jason’s pulling in. Am I wrong about that?
- I want a “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster. Just sayin’.
- When Tanya confirmed that she was going to confront Jason herself, the way Jane Adams delivered the word “correct” had me on the floor.
- Thomas Jane’s pill pop got a laugh out of me, too.
- “I fucked your boyfriend.” “I have a fiancée.” “I fucked your fiancée.”
- “If you need anything… heart-related, Scrabble-related, or otherwise…”
- I can’t decide who Tanya was supposed to be channeling during the initial moments of her conversation with Jason. A little Joe Pesci (“Do I amuse you?”), maybe a little Samuel L. Jackson (“Does he look like a bitch? Then why’d you try to fuck him like a bitch, Brett?”)...
- “Oh, that was a business decision, fucking a stranger in a bathroom…?”
- “I think I made your pimp happy!”
- “Toilet water! Toilet water!”
- “Nobody said orgasmic living was easy, ladies…”