By Stacey Harrison
The mystery of Ray’s missing wallet deepens when he and Tanya head over to the house where he and Lenore conducted their transaction only to find she doesn’t live there. In fact, the elderly gentleman who answers the door has no idea who she is. Tanya tries to soothe Ray’s nerves, assuring him she’ll get to the bottom of it. She finally tracks down Lenore, who thinks Tanya has come to her apartment to attend brunch. After getting all huffy and indignant, Lenore returns Ray’s wallet but without any cash. Then she refuses to pay for his night of services and pretty much slams the door in poor T-Brain’s face.
Being the good pimp (friend) she is, Tanya puts $300 in the wallet and tells Ray that Lenore had a great time and would be recommending him to all her rich, lonely clients. That puts a smile on his face and a spring in his step until he gets to the gas station and realizes his credit card has been maxed out. Because someone put $400 on it. As if that’s not enough to sour Ray’s day, his jerky neighbor Koontz is hassling him for every little thing. The latest is filing indecency complaints for Ray’s habit of urinating into the lake. The cops show up and tell Ray he also needs to inform the city about his tent, which after having been up more than a week, needs to be in compliance with a city ordinance. Well, at least he’s got someone coming to fix the house, right? Um, not anymore. His former Wolfpack teammate/contractor begs off and takes another job, so Ray summons up some courage and — while defiantly relieving himself into the lake and giving Koontz the one-finger salute — he decides to fix the house himself.
In a profoundly uninteresting side story, Jessica decides to adopt a pet in need in order to make herself feel better. She picks the oldest, mangiest dog they have available apparently, a former service dog with arthritis and incontinence. She encourages a creeped-out Darby and Damon to pet the critter, which they do with morbid fascination. So far, Jessica is a shrill, materialistic, overbearing mother with no clue as to how to communicate with her kids. Her nuance seems to have dwindled considerably since the pilot when she at least seemed sane. Hopefully there’s a greater story at play, and she will start to make sense.
The maxed-out credit card sends Ray over the edge and he breaks free of Tanya’s pimphood. He crashes a date Tanya has with Floyd the money-seminar guy and calls it quits. Ray says it’s either Lenore or Tanya who maxed out his cards, and that’s when Tanya reveals she was the one who gave him the $300, and that Lenore betrayed them. Floyd interprets Ray’s presence as a lover’s quarrel, and he leaves quickly, but previews for next week show he’ll be back, trying to put distance between Ray and Tanya. This is great news. As far as character actors go, Steve Hytner is among the best. The best, Jerry!
Later, Ray finds a mysterious package among the ruins of his house. It’s full of cookies, and inside the cookies are laminated messages, a la Tanya’s Lyric Bread. One says, “I’m sorry.” The other says, “I’m very sorry.” They meet up and conclude that they are “strange friends” but stop short of resuming their professional relationship. But things start to look up when Lenore calls Tanya and offers up some of her clients for appointments with Ray. She also says the $400 she took from Ray — which she can’t believe maxed him out — was an advance on a commission. Tanya tells Lenore what she thinks of her, but takes the clients’ phone numbers.
Ray gets another visit from the police, who this time have photographic evidence of his public indecency. This prompts Ray to ring Koontz’s doorbell. After the man’s wife answers, he asks her if she knows what her husband has been doing at night. She stammers a bit, but you get the idea that no, she has no idea, before Koontz himself steps in. Ray assures them he’s not there to start trouble, but to try to make peace. He gives them a box, which they insist he open, only to find out that it’s cookies. Ray even takes a bite to assure them they’re not poisoned.
Later, when Mrs. Koontz bites into one, she finds one of those laminated messages, this one saying, “The truth is, you’re sexy.” Ray’s revenge — unwitting though it may be — starts to take shape.
Credit: © 2008 HOME BOX OFFICE Credit: Chuck Hodes