S01xE003 – During his opening monologue, Ryan King is showing sneaking out of his house when he sees the gardener. Why? He can’t deliver bad news. I wasn’t sure what this meant but then I realized he hasn’t told his gardener that his wife has died. SOB. Back to reality in therapy he discusses this with the group. It is suggested that sharing the news could be healing? It is also suggested to get vanity license plates that say “Ded Wyf”. Oy. He also thinks the dead wife card gives him jurisdiction to pelt people with oranges since people aren’t calling him on things. His boss Steven tries to tell him he’s there for him, they discuss his new car that will be arriving and he asks him about therapy in which Ryan is finally opening up in. He talks about the things he is missing about his wife, specifically 1:23am she slaps him. AHA A BREAKTHROUGH! But that all goes out the window when he as they are leaving, Ryan sees some old friends and pretends he does not know the support group. Finally Steven gets the opportunity to take Ryan out for a beer and discuss the heavy stuff, he now seems determined to do this. They talk, it’s awkward, they hold hands, still awkward.
In another run in with his gardener he finally admits that Janie is dead, actually he says “muerto” which I guess is Spanish for dead? But the gardener looks terribly confused… Back at therapy the group calls him out that he is ashamed of them for not introducing them to his basketball friends so they all (meaning George, the blind guy) dress up to play. And then they tell him that they go out together once a month as friends. It’s more than just a support group to them. Aw. He admits to them he thinks of them as only a group. It sounds like he’s giving the “It’s not you, it’s me” speech. Breaking up with a whole group? Good job Chandler Bing. When he arrives home, his gardener has brought in a giant…thing…in his backyard. I’m assuming it is for mourning, they do not say.
Ryan’s new Porsche arrives for his work, blaring Huey Lewis and the News he drives around town, meets Steven who is intoxicated. He feels that is the only way they can open up to each other. He feels jealous of the support group. Maybe Steven needs a group too, he seems alone. Steven pushes Ryan to go to bowling. And he does. AHA A BREAKTHROUGH. The group isn’t very welcoming at first but after driving around the new car for a bit they seem to come around. They like blackmail. Even George gets to drive a few feet.
He gets home, falls asleep and awakes again at 1:23am. The doorbell rings and the group is there. TENDER FEELS. Outside at this hour is also the gardener, playing some mariachi music and honoring Janie. Ryan actually seems grateful. He opens up some more. Then Steven walks into the backyard as well and Ryan introduces the group as his friends, and Ryan as his best friend and all is right with the world.
Best of the episode: I loved seeing Ryan finally start to open up in the group, hence the BREAKTHROUGHS.
Worst of the episode: I always feel bad when Ryan is mean to the group. Even if it isn’t outwardly mean, I still always feel bad.
Where did this episode leave us: Ryan seems open about the death of his wife, lots of BREAKTHROUGHS.
Best one-liner: Ryan- “I’m going to drive around and crank some 80’s tunes, Huey Lewis may be involved, and possibly The News.”
What the episode ruined for us: Huey Lewis and the News. I don’t know why, I never really liked them anyway.