Remember in the pilot episode of "Go On" where Ryan King (Matthew Perry) complained about how much he hated his support group? Well guess what – he totally loves them now. That’s right, it’s only been two weeks at Transitions, but Ryan is finally opening up and expressing his emotions in sessions. How ‘bout that!
He doesn’t even need to be prompted to tell everyone a really personal story about his dead ex-wife, Janie. You see, every night she used to roll over in her sleep at 1:23 a.m. and slap Ryan King in the face. So every night at 1:23am, Ryan would wake up at the exact moment to brace himself. And he still does that, only she’s not there. And then he realizes she’s gone and feels lonely, and it’s 1:23 a.m. and no one is there to call so he feels even more lonely.
“That was very good, Ryan,” group-leader Lauren (Laura Benanti) tells King. “I didn’t think I’d get much out of this, but you guys make it easy and I appreciate you,” he tells the group.
But once he steps foot out of Transitions, the old Ryan King quickly returns. You know, the egotistical, sarcastic jerk that refuses to talk to his friends about his feelings? Like his boss Steven (John Cho) who tries to reach out and gets mocked by King for caring? Yes that King: the emotionally constipated putz who is so afraid of conflict he hasn’t even told his gardener his wife died. That’s him! Ryan King! The stubborn jerk who not only refuses to introduce his Transitions friends to his work friends, but also pretends to not know his ‘Transitions’ group in public. What a guy!
As you can imagine, this Ryan King’s actions aren’t going over too well with everyone.
The Transitions group takes it the hardest. They feel judged by King and his superiority complex. For what it’s worth, King isn’t doing a good job of showing his Transitions friends otherwise. He refuses to join them for group bowling in favor of driving around in his Porsche, blasting Huey Lewis and The News. (Cue “The Heart of Rock & Roll.”) “Bottom line – I love you guys in here,” he tells them. “It’s very valuable. I’m just not looking for more.”
When you’re in a group therapy session with eight really lonely, sad people though, there’s bound to be some hanger-oners. (Well, except for the poor black guy who hasn’t been in group since the pilot.) Avoid them as he might wish he could, King eventually shows up to see them at bowling night and asks for forgiveness. They agree to forgive him, but only if he lets them all drive his Porsche one by one. Yay jokes about the blind guy not driving! Woohoo!
Forgiveness has more pros than cons, of course. That morning at 1:23 a.m. when King wakes up, guess who are at the door? The entire group! They know that’s when King gets lonely, and they’re here to help. Steven also shows up to check on King, and finally gets the recognition he’s wanted. Oh, and King finally introduces Steven to the group – all while hanging with the gardener in the backyard and singing Spanish songs by some weird memorial fountain said gardener built. (Yeah… that was weird for me too.)
But SURPRISE! This outpouring of love and support and odd behavior Ryan was trying to avoid is just what he needed! “I didn’t see that coming,” said no one.
Lines of the Night
Here are some of the best lines from Episode 3:
“I have some issues to discuss. Shall I just go down to the DMV?” – Ann (Julie White), after the group gets off on a license plate tangent.
“I lost my wife. People aren’t calling me on things. It would be silly not to take advantage.” – Ryan, as he throws oranges at his staff.
“Life: Some assembly acquired. Am I right?” – Steven, trying so desperately to comfort Ryan.
“Well look what the cat dragged in.” “Cat’s don’t do that! It’s a stereotype perpetuated by dog people.” - Ann and Sonia (Sarah Baker), at bowling.
“They showed up in my house and told me they were coming here. I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart, that I took a prescription sleeping pill and I have no idea what’s happening here.” – Lauren, at King’s house.
Follow Dave Quinn on Twitter @NineDaves