Warning: Spoiler Alert
Thirteen-year-olds are the meanest people in the world. They terrify me to this day, because 8th graders will make fun of you but in an accurate way. They will get to the thing that you don’t like about you. They don’t even have to look at you for long. They’ll just be like, ‘Ha, ha, ha, ha, hey, look at that high wasted man. He got feminine hips.’ And I’m like, ‘No! That’s the thing I’m sensitive about.’
That’s not a direct quote from tonight’s episode but is a quote from his standup special, “New In Town”. No doubt this sentiment that has come up before, may have something to do with tonight’s episode. Also, did anyone else notice that in the opening credits sequence, they now have Ice T announcing himself before saying the “Mulaney is taped before a live studio audience” bit? Another reference to a classic John Mulaney standup bit. If you’re interested, Google “John Mulaney Law and Order SVU”.
John enters the living room looking for a jacket with ‘lots of zippers’ (one can only guess Michael Jackson Bad kind of jacket). John has a date with a woman we are as of now not familiar with, and who has a teen-aged daughter. All indications should point to a 13-year-old girl who is wrapped up in her own angst. John tells a story where “Paul” (a friend of his from childhood) and Paul was not very popular. They shared an affection for Gene Wilder and a number of other comedic actors of the day.
John had previously set up a lunch date with Lou and Mario Cantone, who backed out at the last-minute. John urgently needs someone to step in and have lunch with Lou. Or more accurately, listen to Lou blab on and on about whatever he chooses while someone of relative importance listens. And enjoys a very nice meal. My only issue with any of this thus far is that this is now the second time Jane (at least) will be spending time with Lou. yet, there is zero familiarity. Not a big deal just an observation. Add the element of Jane listening to Lou for a free lunch with Motif channeling his former ‘hype man’ period, and this should be fun.
No one comedian or style of comedy is equally great for everyone. But seriously, who wouldn’t love the visual of Motif sitting in the middle of a curved booth seat in a swanky restaurant listening to someone else speak, eating his lunch, never looking up until the storyteller says something that Motif feels needs repeating and shouts loud enough for everyone to hear. Thus, ‘hype man’.
“Ruby” the title of tonight’s episode walks through the door of the girlfriend’s apartment. Ruby is a thirteen year old girl in typical catholic dress code attire. John is visibly nervous. He tries to connect with her and fails as expected. Mom is more than overbearing and that will probably become an issue with John.
Girlfriend: Ruby, smile when you speak. Winners always smile. You look so much more attractive when you smile. Isn’t that right, John?
John (stares at both women before speaking): Pass.
Then John attempts to connect with her on a level he is quite skilled at (the person as well as the character I’d imagine), Television. Ruby isn’t into television, but she is into movies. Blazing Saddles to be specific. Blazing Saddles-Gene Wilder, we have a connection. Right about the time John is discovering that he probably has more in common with the daughter than the girlfriend, the girlfriend asks him a huge favor. To help out with Ruby for a couple of days. How could this possibly end badly.
John: It turns out that she’s (Ruby) great. She’s like me but in a thirteen year old girl’s body.
Jane and Motif in unison: So…just like you? Jinx!
Then we have a montage of John walking with Ruby all over the streets of New York. For those of us familiar with the standup material, this is a great sort of rapid fire of shorter unrelated bits. Suffice it to say it feels like they are connecting even if she isn’t saying much. Jane even contributes, “boys you like now are just little rats”. Then the wheels fall off. Ruby mentions that she doesn’t always like her mother. And John basically agrees. Which will end badly.
John and Ruby talk about the talent show she is expected to do. Her mother wants her to do something that her mother would do. John agrees that an adult pushing their dreams on a kid is unfair. Then he suggests that Ruby and her friends do the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” dance number from Young Frankenstein. A number that John and his friend Paul were supposed to do, but John chickened out of. Talk about the pot and the kettle. Then Ruby suggests that ‘this’ looks like Woody Allen. A reference that John would run from, if it wouldn’t be awkward or damaging in some way.
Ruby: This reminds me of Woody Allen…
(John pulls his arm back and scoots to the right creating more space between the two)
John: Ohhh. Cinematically. (John scoots further) That’s how I like to think of him too.
At another luncheon with Lou, they have finally had enough. Renting Andre out to a Saudi was the last straw. If these lunches are to continue, Motif and Jane will need to speak too. Lou almost sounds sincere, until you realize its just another ploy to segue into another story about him. And even when he seems to stomach they’re boring stories, its only to transition into splitting the bill. When he turns around, there is no sign of Jane or Motif.
John accidentally bumps into ‘ole Paul. Who as it turns out, was not brave or had an inflated sense of confidence. He was a legitimate sociopath. John urgently needs to put a stop to Ruby’s talent show. When he arrives, Ruby is on stage and they announce the ‘monster’ which is John’s queue. Then the boos start and John is out of there.
Later, John attempts to answer the questions from Jane and Motif about the talent show. He is a bad liar. Then there is a pounding on the door. He pleads with his roommates to not open the door. Its Ruby dressed as Gene Wilder, tux and all. To make matters worse, Mom is not that far behind. Then Ruby does what John fears most. A thirteen year old about to insult him.
Ruby: What’s wrong with you isn’t your shoes. What’s wrong with you is this. Next year I’m going to be fourteen, but you’re going to be thirteen. For. The. Rest. Of. Your. Life.