I’ve gotta admit, I’m sincerely impressed by just how much happens in this episode. Max and Caroline actually have two separate plots, and while one appears to exist for the sole reason of having Beth Behrs show off her legs [which are admittedly pretty great] while giving birth to a fish baby, the other appears to be propelling this season forward to actually introducing Max’s mother.
The Season 3 finale was a pretty big disappointment to me in that they built up to finally showing a character referenced in pretty much every other episode, only to have it be a total fake out that fell back on this whole “diner family” we’re supposed to love. In this episode, however, we return to Max’s earlier days with a Teddy Ruxpin doll named T-Rux, which now that I type it out realize might be a reference to the dinosaur and not some sort of gangster moniker. Having received it in the mail from her mother Max’s immediate reaction is to send it right back. This helps her to very easily fall back into waxing poetic about her horrific upbringing, but it’s not until a snobby little gay boy [and over half of this review could be dedicated to his character, I swear] wants to buy her stuffed animal that the real feelings come out.
Look, it’s a trope we’ve all seen a million times before. Person is going to sell item of sentimental value for a lot of money, then realizes how much it means to them and doesn’t. In this case Max still doesn’t surrender T-Rux, but her primary motivation appears to be Elliott [really, more on him in a bit] not being grateful for his mother who waits on him hand and foot. He actually outright says to her that “everyone has a mother,” when as far as she’s concerned all she had growing up was this bear. While she may make light of how she was raised the truth seems to be a good amount bleaker, and she’s not about to give the toy up to a kid who has never faced any hardship in his life [and owns a My Size Barbie].
Really quickly, I’m not sure where the whole “young child is flamboyantly gay” thing came from, or why it’s funny, but I’m not really a fan of it. Brian Falduto as “Billy ‘Fancy Pants'” in School of Rock is probably the best example in recent memory, and thinking back I can’t remember if I even found it amusing. Things definitely go a lot further with Elliott, with Max saying that he’s been out since he was out [of the womb] and calling him “baby Anderson Cooper”, which I find particularly bizarre since the journalist doesn’t act particularly flamboyant at all. Consider me very put off by her also telling him that “[he’ll] have a bear in [his] life.” Orientation aside, he’s still a 9-year-old child, I mean, come on. All in all there’s a lot more to be said about our perspectives on children and sexual orientation and while I’m not going to get into it now it’s something we should all be thinking about.
Elsewhere Han brings his fishtank to the diner, though it’s really Chekhov’s, because we all know that the second someone brings a beloved aquatic creature onscreen it will die. Caroline murders it, they buy a new one, and then she gives birth to it from underneath her skirt, as I mentioned above when commenting about her legs. The only reason I give it a pass is because it is an additional plot, which is a true rarity, and it gives Han some great material that Matthew Moy delivers masterfully.
Lastly, and least importantly to yours truly, Sophie and Oleg and breaking up with their multitude of respective lovers. It’s not even a great source of humour for the most part, though it does serve to show us how serious the two plan on being with one another. As far as continuity is concerned there is literally no sign or word of Sebastian, and I have no idea of Jesse Metcalfe is ever showing up again to reprise the role. Has the DJ face truly disappeared for good?
Current Total: $2,300.
New Total: $2,285. This is one of those weeks where I really can’t be bothered to figure out this amount. Max and Caroline somehow bought a new fish, but there was talk about giving Oleg a massage to get it, and it was never clear on whether he paid or not prior to receiving the services [which he didn’t]. If anyone wants to help me out here, by all means, but I can’t account for the $15 lost.
The Title Refers To: Max’s childhood, or complete lack thereof. Ties into batteries, which T-Rux didn’t come with.
- A cheap prostitute named “Hoba” is apparently what keeps Earl looking so young. Weakest cold open in a long time, honestly.
- “I remember a time before mail. You just didn’t get stuff.”
- “I’ve got an aunt who drinks like a fish, maybe she’s in there. Oh no, she’s in jail for vehicular manslaughter.”
- “Please enjoy my ecosystem of love. DON’T TAP ON THE GLASS!“
- Oleg on the Ukrainian word for “monogamy”: “There isn’t one, you’re either ugly or you’re sleeping with everyone.”
- Beth Behrs and her physical comedy are a treasure-
- “I just dumped a guy with multiple personalities, and he took it okay, and not great, and pretty bad.”
- Max’s mom bit their dog.
- I was going to include some lines about [not from] Elliott here, but that whole thing actually does make me pretty uncomfortable.
- “Han, you’re kind of a baller around your fish.”
- “Frozen? Who am I, me, a year ago?”
- “Can it wait? I want to put in a new condo so Max will stop calling me a slumlord.”
- “Over the clothes, above the waist, and I don’t know why but you have to wear a condom.”
- I am tired of Caroline bemoaning how low she’s fallen every episode. We get it, you were once rich and now you are poor.
- Maybe It’s Maxoline: I thought they were going somewhere with the fish caught in Caroline’s bra, but Max didn’t reach in. Nothing here.
- 2 Broke Girls Cheesecake Menu: Caroline’s legs up on that counter. That is all.