Men of a Certain Age Review: "The Pickup"

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Owen Thoreau has his life together.  

After "The Pickup," though, the same cannot be said about either Joe Tranelli or Terry Elliott. At some points, the Big O was mostly laughing at the troubles of his employee, but at the end of the day he came through as a friend and helped pick Terry up by his boot straps.

Terry has never really handled adversity very well, but his antics here might have taken the cake. It's absolutely understandable to be in a funk after what Erin did to him. But going from melancholy, to adventurous, to stoned, to sexy time, to depressed, to mean and finally giving up... it sure isn't healthy.

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That's not to say it wasn't fun watching him pick up the 20-something caterer at his own 50th birthday party. Nor was it less than hilarious seeing him wake up in what was most likely her dorm room, and even if it wasn't, then the magazine cutouts on her wall sure made it seem like one.

Terry's antics at work were also some of the funniest of the episode; from blatantly stealing Marcus' client, to sleeping in one of the cars on the lot, and finally losing it by backing a show car up into Marcus while he was trying to make a sale. The reaction from Marcus - punching Terry in the face a few times - was fantastic. Nothing like a little workplace violence.

While Terry's ridiculous behavior cost Thoreau Chevrolet its best salesman, and many future customers, Owen was not going to give up on his friend. When Terry said that he would be better off quitting, I was half -expecting O to let him go through with it. Nope. Not today. Not on his watch. A solid move by a friend to keep one thing in Terry's life stable. Now is the time for him to step his game up, and, as Owen said, "grow up."

Joe is having a major problem of his own, and it's one that might have even scarier consequences. I don't know how his golf game got so bad so fast, but he's got a serious case of the shanks, and sometimes it's really difficult to get out of that. By the way, shouldn't his coach try to help him out a bit instead of telling Joe to find a cheap coach nearby?

Down in the dumps because he is quickly watching his Senior Tour dreams flush themselves down the toilet, Joe made the big mistake of helping out a friend. What kind of a friend is Manfro, though? He knows Joe's deal and yet he continues to put him in tough situations regarding gambling.

Bad move by Manfro or not, Joe took the bait and picked up the money, which lead to him taking a bet. Here is where the once underrated acting skills of Ray Romano shined through. He played Joe as scared and nervous about taking on the bet and did is so well. And then when Chicago missed that shot at the buzzer, the excitement and exuberance was just pouring off of his face. Just like Joe, Ray can switch the light on and off with the such ease.

That ending sequence does have me nervous for what path Joe is going to head down now that Manfro seems to be out of commission as a bookie. I'm excited to see what happens, but scared for the character that I want to see succeed.

As mentioned at the top, Owen seems to be doing just fine as of now. We all know that won't last, but for the time being it's nice to see him happy and telling jokes like he's George Carlin. 

What did you all think of "The Pickup?" And are you looking forward to the next episode to see what paths the three guys will go down?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (8 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I never expected to like this show because the ads looked so depressing and to be honest it's not light hearted at all but the performances are great. Owen is the stand out. He's the everyman trying to support his family. Terry and Joe are such screw ups in comparison but somehow you keep rooting for them that they'll figure it out. I felt for Terry but he can be such an idiot. Owen was right...grow up. Maybe if he pulls it together he can get Erin back at some point. I'd like to see that.

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I really enjoy this series. To be accurate, though, Joe doesn't have a case of the shanks, he comes 'over the top' and pulls his iron shots, just the way Ray Romano does in real life. Of course, in real life, Joe would have as much of a chance of making the Senior Tour with that golf game as Charlie Sheen does of being named 'father of the year' lol

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If I interpret it correctly, there's a great visual moment when Terry stares at the candle at the party. The candle is made to look somewhat like the silhouette of a woman. The candle is Erin, and simultaneously his 50th birthday. When he's staring at the candle he's looking at the arrival of his 50th birthday AND at a distant Erin who has departed, who would've made the 50th birthday have a purpose. Awesome.