Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hung: “What’s Going On Downstairs?” Or “Don’t Eat Prince Eric”

Illustration for article titled Hung: “What’s Going On Downstairs?” Or “Don’t Eat Prince Eric”

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a sentimental fool or an unabashed Air Supply fan (some would say the two are inextricably linked), but even though the ending of tonight’s episode might have been somewhat saccharine by typical Hung standards, I’ll be damned if I didn’t find myself more emotionally drawn into the proceedings than in any episode that preceded it this season.

When we first see Ray this evening, he’s ice skating with Kyla, and for the first few moments, there’s no real way of determining if he’s learned her secret or not. Ah, but then we suddenly spot Tanya in typical freaking-the-fuck-out mode, and it becomes clear that she’s desperately trying to get the information to him. He’s skeptical, of course (“Are you out of your mind?”), but this is really just his inherent heterosexuality refusing to accept that he could possibly have enjoyed his hummer from the night before if it had been delivered by a dude.

It’s so very, very Ray that his opening salvo to try and determine if Kyla’s really a guy is to ask, “Do you like sports?” Finding it difficult to come right out and pose the question to her, he beats around the bush, asking why she spent her money on him if she wasn’t going to have sex, and Kyla teasingly explains that she wanted to wait. At this point, Ray’s twitching so much that he has to bail out, but she only looks bemused at his behavior, not insulted. Later, of course, we find out through Tanya, who calls Kyla and discusses the situation, that Kyla had no idea that Ray didn’t know anything about the Crying Game he was playing.

Let’s talk about the Jason and Sandee situation for a bit, shall we? I can’t get over just how much Sandee is willing to let Jason do to pull in cash, nor how quickly someone who originally appeared to be so sweet and innocent has transformed into such a sleazy little thing. Not only is she bringing in no end of clientele, but she gets into a surprisingly serious discussion with Tanya on the merits of porn, cheerily admitting that she already owns the domain name MyFianceIsAWhore.com for any future filmic endeavors they might wish to embark upon with Jason.

Any consideration Tanya might be giving to Sandee’s suggestions, however, quickly goes down the toilet when, while on the hunt for a fresh roll of bog paper, she accidentally stumbles upon a red shoe box filled with cash. Is it the one that’s gone missing from Ray’s pad? Whether it is or it isn’t, Charlie decides to help Tanya keep her new ho in check by dropping by their place, interrupting their evening delight, pouring Gatorade all over their electronic equipment, and unabashedly threatening the life of their pet turtle, Prince Eric. Unsurprisingly, this maneuver proves rather inspirational when it comes to setting up a re-payment plan, whether they really stole the money from Ray or not. (I wouldn’t put anything past Sandee at this point, but I really don’t believe Jason’s smart enough to have faked his shock and horror at Charlie’s actions.)

Let’s pause for a moment to talk yet again about what a bitch Lenore can be. We only see her twice this week, but it’s plenty long enough for her to keep her reputation intact, first calling Jason and pretending that she’s looking for him at his apartment when she’s really sitting outside the wellness center, then stopping by Jessica’s place and suggesting that she might want to stop by the wellness center herself. It’s about time Jessica found out what Ray was doing to earn his money. If Breaking Bad let Skyler in on Walt’s secret at the beginning of season three, surely Hung can do the same for Jessica and Ray by the end of this show’s third season.


Okay, time to jump back to Ray, who’s so grumpy about Jason’s popularity as “the new guy” that he backpedals on his dismissal of Kyla as a client and agrees to take her to her high school reunion. Granted, his reason for doing so is almost certainly because he knows he’s going to pull a cool grand just for playing the part of her escort, i.e. there’s no sex involved, but he clearly feels that he’s up to the task. It quickly becomes clear that he isn’t, however, as his anxiousness becomes palpable the moment Kyla blows into the event and has an awkward encounter with a former classmate who clearly doesn’t remember who she used to be back in the day. Then again, maybe Ray’s just antsy because they’re playing Loverboy’s “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” when he walks in. (That’d certainly do it for me.)

There was never any doubt that Kyla’s secret was going to get out by the end of the episode, but I was a little sketchy on how her classmates suddenly realized who she was, as their realization seemed terribly sudden. I’m willing to let it slide, however, as the quick spreading of the information around the reunion felt absolutely real. (If you doubt its accuracy, then you’ve clearly never been to one of your own high school reunions.) I loved the way Ray’s own reputation in high school and what he himself turned into after graduation came into play with his reaction to the situation at hand, providing him with the opportunity to delivery arguably my favorite line in the history of Hung to date:

“When you’re young, you get all worked up about what people think of you. But that’s the good thing about getting older. You realize, ‘Fuck that. It’s what you think of yourself.’”


As the episode wound to a close to the strains of Air Supply’s “All Out of Love,” we got one more surprise: the sight of Charlie packing his things and slipping out of Tanya’s apartment. He’s obviously been growing increasingly frustrated with her refusal to accept his advice as he’s doling it out. Is there really a family emergency? Will we see him again? Damn, I sure hope so. I love that guy.

Stray observations:

  • “It’s all in the ankles.”
  • “…and I met those two ladies at Arby’s…”
  • “There’s a room full of real women out there who’ve got real vaginas. Let’s go get ‘em!”
  • I feel like the phrase "bring me the Sampson file," followed by a wink, is destined to earn popularity amongst pop culture aficionados in the future. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.
  • “Sometimes hos steal. They’re not nuns. They hos.”
  • “Prince Eric, he really doesn’t have time for this shit.”
  • “Turn off that fucking music, or I will staple your dick to your face!”
  • I can't imagine it's even remotely coincidental that, during the climactic moments of Kyla's high school reunion, the song that begins to play is one by Cyndi Lauper, a notable supporter of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
  • “When you’re young, you get all worked up about what people think of you, but that’s the good thing about getting older. You realize, ‘Fuck that, it’s what you think of yourself.’” Truest dialogue ever spoken on the show, if you ask me.

Go on, you know you want to hear it one more time…