Warning: Spoiler Alert
The World Series preempted last week’s Mulaney episode. This week Mulaney is restored to it place in the Sunday lineup. Based on the stand up cold open, I must assume this episode will be about how girlfriends and friends that are girls don’t always get along. Meaning Jane vs the new girlfriend.
John trying to equate his journey through puberty to his experience with the show Friends to Motif, just may be one of the best comedic devices I’ve seen in a while. Motif of course has never even heard of friends. His reaction to it is great.
Motif: Why are they in a fountain? … Oh, they have umbrellas.
Lou plugs in John’s laptop charger and there are sparks. Lou yells out, “I did it for the laughs” in an attempt to control the way he dies. He’s just practicing.
Motif miraculously is on season three of Friends 7 minutes (of real time) after discovering Friends. And like a man trying to predict the Sopranos or the Walking Dead Motif asks, “Joey’s gonna die isn’t he?” This is also the part in the episode where John puts together an opportunity for Kristin and Jane to meet. Going back to the cold open, this scenario is destined to fail miserably.
Anyone married, about to be married or in a long term (common law long) relationship is very familiar with what happens next. Clearly both of these women hate each other on sight. But, it’s critical that they maintain that friendly smile and high pitched voice thing even though one would literally stab the other in the back with a knife if the opportunity presented itself. Jane even referred to Kristin as a “Ha-Ha Ho”, insinuating that she’s nothing more than a comedian groupie.
Motif’s theory about what just went down is that Jane is jealous of this and pretty much every other girl John has dated. Jealous to the point of sabotage. And when John reject’s Motif’s premise, Motif fires back with, “just like Ross and Rachel”.
John drops by to see Oscar, who has two faces you should recognize in his apartment. Penny Marshall (Laverne and Shirley) and Lorainne Bracco (The Sopranos and Goodfellas). Tutti and Vaughn (Marshall and Bracco) indirectly convince John that if two women have a common hatred in something, that factor can turn them into friends. So, off the Andre’s Blues show, something everyone can dislike equally.
Jane shows up to give this forced female friendship another chance. And even hearing as bad as Andre’s Blues show is, when Kristin criticizes it, Jane defends Andre. It goes exactly not to plan. Eventually John tries to get Jane to give it a chance. And that’s when Kristin decides to not only leave, but claim that she defends him when others call him a “Seinfeld rip off”.
I’d love to think that this was thrown in as a shot to the critics who have said the same thing just because the show is about a stand up comic that shows him performing stand up each week. However, considering that most of the footage from the “Mulaney: Opening Act” special that preceded the start of the series came from this episode, I’m assuming it was already in the can. Which may prove even more impressive. If this episode had been in the can, on could deduce that they knew critics would get lazy call him a Seinfeld rip off. Either way, it’s good to be self deprecating. Especially when the ratings aren’t what they should be.
Then John, frustrated, accuses Jane of being jealous. Which prompts Jane to go into a very detailed version of what she thinks her experience would be (sexually) if she were to image herself with John. It is alarmingly detailed. So while the picture she paints is not flattering, clearly this is not the first time she’s imagined herself with John.
Sometime following that moment, John gets a text to come over to Lou’s apartment. They are doing a ‘trial run’. Lou is in the bathroom. Afraid of how things will play out if he were to die on the toilet like Elvis, Lou wants to test it out. While this scene is slight awkward, there is something comedic-ly beautiful about a tall slender subordinate carrying a short instructing superior. Lou insists he needs to be wearing pants before he is announced dead to the public. And naturally, they are skinny jeans that don’t fit and need to be ‘shimmied’.
Just then Kristin shows up at Lou’s apartment while John is trying to Lou’s pants on Lou. Lou, noticing a woman entered frantically attempts to get his skinny jeans on. Unsuccessfully. He eventually notices that Kristin does not care in the least. She’s over the moon excited that it’s really Lou Cannon. Then right in front of John with no hesitation, she figuratively throws her wares at Lou.
Kristin: I say this all the time but you’re my favorite comedian.
Lou: That’s sweet.
Kristin: I love those jeans.
Lou: Well thank you.
Kristin: I wonder what you’d look like out of them?
John: He looks like that because he’s not in them. Hey Kristin, you need to leave.
Lou: Yes, and tell the doorman that let you up, he’s fired.
Kristin(flirtatiously): Bye… (then deadpan) See you later John.
Lou: I don’t know how to break this to you, but I’m not convinced you two are going to make the journey.
John returns to his apartment where Jane is waiting patiently. Then all Mulaney shippers sit forward in their seats hoping this is the moment when John and Jane (which would make for an interesting spin off-if Fox didn’t put it in a terrible time slot on a day it had no hope of competing) accept their fate and get the romantic ball rolling. Pump the brakes kids. The closest thing you’re going to get is Jane admitting that John is her backup plan.
Out comes Motif wearing a black bomber jacket trudging through the kitchen and looking very depressed. He just saw the last episode of Friends. Then just before he walks out looking very sad. He asks John, “Do you think that Friends were actually friends in real life?” John replies with a simple “I do Motif, I do”, which seems to make Motif’s day and turn around his depression about the end of Friends.
Presumably the next day, John asks Lou to plug in his laptop charger. This time the outlet electrocutes Lou. Then we see a news report that not only has Lou pre-written obituary, but also includes a quote that Donna must have given.
Lou: Oh, and Donna…Get me some more of those diet chocolate puddings. I’m such a chubby little baby.
Famous last words. Maybe, but probably not.