Jason, what are you doing up at 4 in the morning, calling my house?
Episode 204: Business & Pleasure

Cast:
Brendon Small – Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Erik – Jonathan Katz

Synopsis: Brendon finds himself at the mercy of Jason's bizarre need for friendship after he casts him in a small role. Paula looks to Erik to help with her job-hunting. McGuirk takes care of a friend's dog, Mr. Freckles.

He who comes late, cleans Mr. Freckles crap.

History:
· This episode is the first time we get to see Jason’s weird home life.
· This is the only episode in season two where Erik appears. As I understand, Jonathan Katz was unavailable for a long period of time. But hey, at least he got one in.

Lawn Gnomes: (Click for picture)
· Bed Shot during 4 A.M. phone call
· The cookies that Melissa gives to Paula are shaped like Lawn Gnomes

I'm really enjoying this chicken...

Brendon’s Filmography:
· “The Blind Date” Version 1 – Romantic comedy about two people out on a blind date. Starring Brendon and Melissa, co-starring Jason.
· “Waiter Minute” – After his parole officer leaves, a man and a waiter go rob a bank. Starring Jason and Brendon, co-starring Melissa.
· “The Blind Date” Version 2 – Romantic comedy about two people out on a blind date who rob a bank. Starring Jason and Melissa, co-starring Brendon.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· Well, the movie has nothing to do with the episode, just the cast. Whoever is not in the movie changes the course of the episode.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· I don't really see a connection. The McGuirk storylines involve Brendon (Brendon on drugs, and Brendon having to clean Mr. (or Mrs....hah) Freckles' crap) so thats kind of a connection. In a way, Paula and Brendon connect with the title: Jason mixes business with pleasure, while Paula is enjoying a nice Cobb Salad with a bloody mary and discussing business. That's kind of a connection.

This is George...

Random Observations & Facts:
· The movie at the beginning starts out on take 1, then goes to take 2, 4, 15, and 31.
· The restaurant in “The Blind Date” is called “La More Restaurant”.
· The table in “The Blind Date” is actually a box with a tablecloth.
· Melissa blushes slightly when she says the chicken is “really funny”.
· After Erik says, “Finding smells?” on the phone, he likes his finger a sticks it out. I have no idea why he does this.
· Jason wears flippers when sitting next to the kiddy pool.
· Jason tan lines around his butt seem to indicate that he wears a thong.
· The phone-clock says 4:09 AM when Jason calls, and it is 4:13 AM by the time Paula hangs up the phone.
· Movie posters in Jason’s room include: “Madagascar”, “Teeth”, “The Hunt For Red Oktoberfest”, “Space Rumble”, “Pulp Free”, and “My Clock is Orange”. Though the name isn’t seen, you can also see a parody of “The Usual Suspects” movie poster. Most of these posters have a picture of Jason’s face taped on.
· There is a skull on Jason’s bookshelf.
· Jason’s closet is full of a bunch of orange outfits like the one he wears.
· When Jason holds the picture of him, Melissa and Brendon as mobsters, he covers up Melissa’s face with his thumb.
· Sign in the lunchroom: “Potatoes Yum!”
· When Brendon uses a hand motion to show he will expand Jason’s role “a little bit”, Jason pushes Brendon’s hands farther apart.
· "Jason" can be seen on the lower right corner of one of the blocks. (Thanks to TheJazzFighter for this one)
· It is never explained who Mr. Freckles is, exactly. He isn’t McGuirk’s dog, because we’ve seen his apartment before and haven’t seen him. Freckles never appears after this episode either.
· The people in the back of the restaurant where Paula and Erik meet look highly distorted.
· Brendon is holding Mr. Freckles on a leash right before he runs away.
· In the background when Melissa talks about “Mr. Freckles going all over the place”, you can see one of the soccer players sliding. She is sliding on, well, Mr. Freckle’s crap.
· Sign in the office of the second place Paula applies for a job: “Rock the Fishy”.
· At Paula’s workstation: An old man and a monkey are hooked up to each other. A clock says Meltdown in: 3:49. The guy who gave her the job is one of the guys in the radiation suits.
· This is the only episode (I can remember) that ends with the Paula storyline.

Hey, little early for a Cobb Salad!

Movie & Other References:
· Jason’s posters in his room:
Madagascar = Casablanca
Teeth = Jaws
The Hunt For Red Oktoberfest = The Hunt For Red October
Space Rumble = Star Wars
Pulp Free = Pulp Fiction
My Clock Is Orange = A Clockwork Orange
· Jason points out to Melissa that "The romantic comedy is dead, Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts KILLED IT!" This is a reference to the really bad movie starring them, entitled "I Love Trouble". Jason did his homework. (thanks to Stewie for getting specifics on the movie)

End Credits: “Season Two Theme”

Brendon Small is a drug addict, and this is your intervention.

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

Spectre: This episode is simply the best episode from the second season as of yet. It's nearly flawless; not a moment wasted. Where the past three episodes failed this one succeeded; "Hiatus" had many funny moments, the best one being the Jazz sequences, but there were also some stale, unfunny moments. This episode was entirely funny.

Best of the best moments: Jason talking to Brendon at his house; Paula's conversations with Erik; any scene involving Melissa - especially when we catch her talking with Paula; the misunderstood conversation between Brendon and McGuirk about Brendon being a drug user; etc, etc, etc.

This episode works because it doesn't seem to try too hard. It doesn't have to introduce numerous characters to go for laughs -- it sticks with the main characters and succeeds.

It is also the first episode in the second season where Jason and Erik had more than three minutes of screen time. A great, great episode. A+

J-Chan: I'd seen it before so it doesn't really matter.. I think it was a good one, the whole jealousy thing with Jason and Melissa, it's great. And that dog, oh that dog.

Randomguy: By and large, I agree with most of what's been said already. I loved the return of Erik (he's one of my favorites), and his interactions with Paula were great (Although they could have covered more story if they were dating... THAT would be interesting). McGuirk was McGuirk as always, truly hilarious. The intervention was the crowning touch. Melissa got a bit more screen time, which was good, and she was funny too. The conversation she and Brendan had over dinner on their filmed blind date, using the chicken as a metaphor for everything from living prospects to sex, was pretty funny as well. The only bad part about this episode? I never thought I'd say this, but Jason was just.... weird. I mean, Jason's always weird, but this time, calling at 4 in the morning and obsessively giving Brendan his animal blocks was almost Hitchcockian in its creepiness. One of the charming parts about Jason so far has been that, despite first impressions, he's more or less the sanest, most reasonable character in the show (save the parents). This kind of seemed to break with that. Maybe I'm just being too observant there though. Anyway, great episode.

The Condiment King: This is a fun episode because after a break hiatus (no pun intended), we see Melissa and Jason in a spotlight plot again without the guest stars. There's really less jokes in this one but its interesting to see Melissa and Jason fight for their roles in the movie to be enlarged, more bickering between them.

The best part of this episode is the McGuirk subplot with Mr. Freckles. I love that McGuirk asks Brendon at first if he's trading online and then moves on to drugs. "Mr. Freckles." "The janitor?" "No, not Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Freckles." And then of course, Mr. Freckles turns out to be a she, which makes absolutely no sense. McGuirk failing once again at absolving Brendon of his "drug problems" and getting his team motivated.

We also have Paula trying to get a new job since Arnold Lindenson fired her last episode, more of the continuity that we've come to expect since "Brendon's Choice". Paula's plot is pretty basic with her faking computer skills and then bailing out as soon as it looks bad. The plot has been done plenty of times before. I think its kinda bizarre that a gorilla and a man were hooked up to what looked like electric chairs there. Who knows just what they were doing? I wonder where SQL comes in with that. I like Erik's ill-timed lines like that he's feeling lucky for her and that he's going to "let her go" but in a good way. There's another literal Airplane!-like joke here when McGuirk tells Brendon to humor him and Brendon tells a joke. Its a classic device that Home Movies uses from time to time.

Of course, in the end, Brendon ends up compromising to both Jason and Melissa by sacrificing himself from the plot. I like how all the changes that Brendon does are so radical, like his first rewriting is a complete non-sequitur with Melissa leaving and Jason and Brendon ready to rob a bank. Not a hilarious episode, but a thorougly enjoyable one. ****

StrangerAtaru: As we have seen throughout the show's run up to this point, Jason is one of those characters who is somewhat normal, yet is deranged to the point where he is funny. This episode is purely one of those episodes where Jason stands out no matter what else goes on. (well, a lot of the other stuff was funny too, but I will get to it) From the opening sequence where he tries to insert himself into the movie after being given a tiny part ("SIZZZZZLING FAJITAS!" is just one of those onomotopeatic lines that only he could do), he starts obsessively and comedically trying to influence Brendon to give him a bigger part. From the scene with the "pool party" (which is a whole lot funnier than the "pool" he will later have access to in "Impressions") to the now classic 4 AM phone call to Brendon (which starts the running gag of Jason replacing movie poster faces with his own) to the gift of the blocks, Jason just steals every scene he is in and makes it his own. Of course, Melissa's influence on Brendon is funny as well, even though it seemed like the writers were intentionally or subliminally trying to prevent this from exploding too far. And then there was McGurk's entry to the main story, where he comedically thinks that Brendon's lack of sleep has to do with a drug problem. (the best part being his tale about the "gang" and when he tries to run an intervention via a pamphlet) At the same time, we have this funny little vignette involving Paula asking Erik for help in searching for a job. This bit, which was not only funny (especially since this is Erik's only appearance this season), sort of emphasized how much this show gets its humor from common human problems, yet still is able to invert them for its own purposes. (such as the now classic ending where Paula gets hired to run a weird brain transplant operation!) As for the whole "Mr. Freckles" bit, OK maybe it isn't that funny, but at least it is funnier than a similar plot coming up soon.

The Landstander: The tug of war between Jason and Melissa was always fun in season one, and here we have an episode based around it. While ties in nicely to Paula's new jobhunt, and Erik's involvement in it. Finally, there's McGuirk's newfound dog, Mr. Freckles. Of these plotlines, two work very well, and one falters.

First, there is the tug of war. Jason has always been a bit weird; here, we find out he just might be demented. His multiple personalities, obsession over his part and attempts at winning over Brendon are as creepy as they are funny. Melissa actually has a similar reaction to a re-casting, but while Jason reacted with straight-forward insistance, Melissa goes for the low-blow: Paula. I also liked the fact that Brendon (who is rarely this flexible on his creative endeavors) puts himself to the side, to make a solution that everyone is happy with. How Madagascar of him.

Paula is similarly good, in the season's only run in with Erik. It's a shame Jon Katz didn't do more material, as his sense of humor always worked perfectly with the show. Luckily, he gives his all here, and works off Paula nicely. It's also nice to see Paula doing something without Lindenson; the end gag is a bit much, but the jobhunt was pretty funny. The only negative aspect here is Coach McGuirk's Mr. Freckles plotline, which feels too poop joke to be effective. But even McGuirk isn't wasted, as his material with Brendon being a drug addict is very good. They should've just left that part in. Recommended.

.I thought you'd like them because they have animals on them...