This episode deals with the second wave of Tom and Maya. They’re the first couple that we explored and I’m pretty stuck on them. They don’t make sense on paper, but they have undeniable chemistry. She’s way too cool for him and he’s way too sweet for her but somehow, improbably, they feel right together. But based on the previews we see the return of Tom’s ex, Laura, so that may complicate things. We begin where we left off last week, as usual…
Liz and Maya are now the sole occupants of The Booth, a place so important in the bar that I’ve decided to recognize it as a proper noun. They have a brief moment of calm before the human hat trick that is Cal, Bruce, and Tom show up again. Tom reintroduces himself and Maya pretends she doesn’t recognize him. Tom is momentarily terrified. This poor guy just cannot keep with up with Maya. I would like to see a scenario where she can’t keep up with him for a change. I bet it will come around sometime.
Now we’re at the bar with Ron and Kacey. I forgot that they were a potential couple I needed to consider. I don’t like them together. Ron and Liz have the butterflies for one another, and we saw that Cal and Kacey are basically soul mates. So obviously Ron and Kacey are a no go at this point. But that doesn’t stop Ron from flirting, and inviting Kacey to rendezvous on the roof. She agrees, but then becomes distracted by an all-powerful force: firemen. Ron’s British charm is no match for that of a red-blooded, red-hot American, New York City fireman. I’m a little flustered just typing that sentence and there aren’t even any firemen in my proximity (unfortunately).
Ron tries to commiserate with Dom, but he’s barking up the wrong tree. Dom possesses near NYFD levels of hotness himself, so he’s never had to worry much about competition. Ron says that he gets the whole national hero, 9/11, hurricane Sandy thing, but in England the firemen are just guys who do their job. Welcome to America, buddy. He doesn’t intend to take this laying down, and we move on to Tom and Maya while Ron simmers…
Tom and Maya are talking about how gross Blue Hawaiian drinks actually are, but he lowers his voice to ask Maya if it’s weird that his friends are staring at them. Cal and Bruce are on the other side of the table, watching and commenting like two proud papas. Cal even points out that Tom has Bruce’s smile! They are hopeful about Tom’s chances to somehow score with this woman who is way out of his league. But then, Bruce notices someone. “It’s the bitch that broke Tom’s heart! It’s Laura”. Uh-oh.
Tom hasn’t since her since she broke of the engagement, so Bruce and Cal aim to get Tom out of there before he spots Laura. They shuffle into action, and the camera jumps over to Fab and Jessica closing a deal. They got numbers from some guys and then shooed them away, playfully explaining that maybe they will call, maybe they won’t. Liz, watching from nearby, is amazed. Liz has no game, so this level of game is pretty shocking to her. She must have seen Maya clean up like that before, but Maya doesn’t seem like the playful, teasing type. I feel like Maya usually locks in a deal and then goes for it with a minimum of verbal foreplay.
Liz explains that she’s looking to make some big life changes, but her lack of game is making that pretty difficult. Jess and Fab tell her that they’ve been perfecting their game since high school.
I don’t know, I just feel like I don’t have the 411 on what gets you down in the groove and I feel like maybe my milkshake never will bring all the boys to the yard, and I’ll never be able to drop it like it’s hot.
So Liz is even worse off than we realized. Her most modern lingo is referencing songs from 5-10 years ago, and that’s not good. Jess suggests that she hang with them for a while, and pick up some tips. Fab is clearly looking to get rid of Liz, but Jess has a soft heart. Now we’re back with Tom and Maya! This show moves fast. Tom is telling Maya that whenever he goes through airport security he can’t help but take his belt off real slow and sexy. Maya is laughing – Tom is doing well! I like his brand of sexy dorkiness. But then Bruce and Cal show up to haul him away before he spots Laura the Ex. “Why? Because Tom never gives up on relationships”.
We see more flashbacks of Tom’s life. If you missed any earlier episodes, the most important thing is that Tom’s dad left when he was six and he didn’t even realize it until he was nine. Even then, he didn’t give up on his dad. We see that Tom has a history of sticking with relationships even when they reach the point when he clearly needs to let go. His dad barely acknowledged his presence, but Tom stayed loyal. The barber gave him a Greg Brady inspired hairdo, but Tom stayed loyal. Tom came home to Laura spooning on the couch with another dude, but he still didn’t accept that things were over.
Now we’re back to the present, and Tom spots Laura despite Cal and Bruce’s best efforts. Tom has a sense of childlike excitement as he declares that he’s going to go talk to her. They manage to delay him, and Tom explains the he plans to just say hi and move along. The guys try to dissuade him, but Maya says to man up and just talk to his ex. Yes, Laura looks amazing and she’s with a new guy. But girls are all smoke and mirrors, and Maya knows that with just a little effort they can ruin Laura. I like how Maya’s brain works. Bruce and Cal leave to do recon, and Maya sits Tom down to teach him how to destroy a woman. I think it’s okay that she is teaching him this sort of thing, because he’s the type of guy to use his powers for good, not evil. But an exception could be made for mean Laura that cheated and broke his heart. I’m just saying.
When we jump back to Liz and Fab and Jessica, the game lesson is in full swing. They explain:
Okay, bars are filled with two types of men. We have creeps and nice guys.
Your job is to repel the creeps while drawing in the nice guys.
Creeps come in several types. We have Hair Gel, Scary Beard, The Watcher, Lacrosse, and Thick Framed Glasses.
The nice guys also come in different flavors. You have Adorably Bad Shoes, Genuine Smile, The Listener, Cool Job, Jimmy Fallon, and Thick Framed Glasses.
It’s not an exact science.
Liz likes the Jimmy Fallon type, and wants to go talk to him. Jessica and Fab quickly stop her.
A girl can never approach a guy.
Yeah, no, see guys still think that girls who approach them are crazy.
And there is nothing worse for a girl than being labeled crazy.
Sadly this is still true these days, for the most part. Liz wonders how she’s supposed to talk to guys if she can’t approach them. They tell her she can give any guy “the four second look”. It’s guaranteed to pull in even the stupidest of men, so Fab says.
Did you forget about the firemen? I didn’t. Now we’re back over with them, and they’re showing that they’re not just hot, but also sensitive. Ron horns his way into the conversation and makes things awkward for everyone. He implies that firemen don’t work much, because the number of fires has decreased drastically over the past forty years. They question if he thinks he could do their job, and he actually has a pretty good response:
Well I’m NOT putting out a fire right now, so, I’m doing your job as we speak.
Kacey is impressed with how Ron just took the firemen down a notch, and he confesses that he’s got a vicious grudge against the Red Cross, too. This Brit is pretty funny.
Okay, we’re back to the Tom and Maya of it all. Bruce and Cal run into Laura and say that Tom isn’t there. I don’t know why they went that route, but now they’re stuck with it. Meanwhile, Maya is teaching Tom how to destroy Laura with words. She suggests a backhanded compliment. Her example is “You look great – I’m so glad you’re eating again”. But Tom wants to know what to do if he doesn’t want to hurt Laura. Oh dear. Maya doesn’t comprehend what he’s even talking about. Tom thinks you if you work hard enough on any relationship you can mend it. Maya thinks if something is broken, ditch it, don’t fix it.
Another flashback shows that Maya has broken up with every guy she’s ever dated. One time as a kid this guy Jimmy told her he wasn’t into her, and that was the last time she wanted to feel like that. She returned the pain by beating the crap out of him. Makes sense. So now she runs at the first sign of trouble. Sometimes she even enjoys it…like when she legally emancipated herself from her parents at age sixteen. She never got hurt again, but she also lacked any meaningful relationships. Tom shouldn’t have even had a shot at her, but his odd vulnerability actually appealed to her. Liz observes that Maya seems pretty into Tom – she’s never seen Maya not hate somebody so much before! She convinces Maya to just give him a chance.
Now we’re back to Tom and Maya’s conversation, and he’s asking her how you can tell if a relationship is dead, or if it just needs more work.
I don’t know, you just…you just feel it. If you’re talking with someone, and you like talking with them, like this, then that relationship is good, it’s still alive. But if you’re talking to someone and all you can think is ‘Oh my God, how can I fake a seizure to get out of this situation right now”, then that relationship is dead, and you have to walk away.
Turns out Tom has never ended anything before – he’s not an ender. Maya explains that she has, and it’s fun. Then we jump on back to Liz, who is still taking instruction from Jess and Fab. They try to teach Liz new tricks – like tossing her hair over her shoulder, shampoo commercial style – but the guys she’s targeting aren’t responding. The ladies are all totally confused. Then suddenly we’re with Kacey and Ron, and they’ve made it up to the roof. Kacey notes it is beautiful up there – “like a movie about a roof”! But then the door clicks shut, and they’re locked outside.
We skip back over to Tom and Maya now. Bruce and Cal have returned and their recon results aren’t good. Laura is doing amazing, the guy she’s with is her boyfriend, she’s lost nine pounds and just been promoted. Even Maya thinks Tom should throw in the towel and head home. He says his goodbyes, and promises to call her. They attempt a smooth getaway, but they run into a table and drinks spill and there’s a big ol’ mess that ends with Tom being very clearly noticed by everyone in the immediate vicinity, Laura included. In a way this is good, because it means Tom isn’t leaving and he will have more time Maya (hopefully).
Bruce and Cal try to come up with some extreme measures to get Tom out of there (like pulling the fire alarm) but Maya intercedes and says, nope, now that you’ve been spotted you have to talk to her. Tom tries to gird his loins, so to speak, but he’s scared. Then we have a quick moment with Kacey and Ron, who are still trapped on the roof. A second later we’re at the table with Fab, Jessica, and Liz. Nothing they’re doing is attracting the favor of the men at the nearby table, and Fab is sick of it. She storms over and demands an explanation. Liz is confused, because they told her to never approach the guy, but Fab explains that sometimes you have to break the rules, “because men are dumb”.
The confrontation doesn’t go great, though, because these nice guys are actually really nice. So nice that they’re all there to celebrate a friend’s first night out since the accident that put him in a wheelchair. They didn’t want to chase girls that night; they just wanted to be there for their friend Clark. The girls retreat in shame.
I guess Kacey called 911 for assistance, because the next thing we see are the firemen carrying Ron down a ladder off the roof. They could have just unlocked the door from the inside, but they enjoyed seeing him be put in his place after his crap talking. Kacey is totally enchanted by the fireman that is carrying her, and he seems similarly interested. Will we be adding another viable candidate to the mix at Mix? I don’t know! Kacey asks for his number, and the firemen responded “Yeah. It’s 911”. Kacey squeaks out an inaudible response that is exactly how many of us women would react if a delicious firemen had us in his arms while he delivered a line like that. Yowza.
More Tom time now! He gets his last minute pep talks from Maya and the boys, and then heads off to confront the demon (aka Laura). He’s moving in slow motion to badass music, and it seems like things might go in his favor. Maya is right behind him, though, so hopefully she’s on hand to save him if he messes up.
Oops, he messed up immediately. The first words out of his mouth are “I miss you so much Laura you’re still pretty”. He confesses to thinking about her every day, and asks if she does too. She doesn’t think of him at all. Tom explains that he doesn’t like giving up on things. People change everyday and what if you miss out on an awesome version of them? This is a pretty good point that I actually had not considered like that before. Maya seems to be taking his point to heart as well.
Tom continues extolling Laura’s virtues, pointing out that she’s so smart and funny and good at planning trips. He even starts to cry. Laura rolls her eyes and says “Typical Tom, always making a scene”. Then she tells him not to cry for her, and he says he isn’t doing that. Wait, are things going to turn around to Tom’s favor? I would really like to see that.
I’m not crying for you. I’m crying because our relationship is dead and that’s really sad to me.
What was that?
(Cal, Bruce, and Maya perk up, as things seem to change direction)
Thanks for being my girlfriend for eight years. That was really cool.
But…I thought we were still gonna be friends?
(Cal, Bruce, and Maya are mouthing, “No, say no”!)
No, we’re not. We’re not. Goodbye Laura.
(Cal, Bruce, and Maya cheer and celebrate. They’re so happy! Tom kisses Laura on the cheek)
I’m so glad you’re eating again.
OH SNAP! Tom took control of that and it was a TKO! I am hearing Street Fighter music in the background.
Tom returns and thinks he did poorly, but Maya is totally impressed. She even agrees to get another drink with Tom, but this time without his friends watching. As they leave, Cal tells Bruce that Tom even has his walk.
The last scene begins with Bruce running into Fab. She bitches at him for being an idiot, but he tries to play it off as destiny that they stumbled onto one another again. He reminds her that they met at the bar, and Fab points out that he hit on her friend Jessica and said she had ratty hair. She says no way, no how, but upcoming episodes indicate there’s more between these two. Then we jump back to Liz, who is trying to remain optimistic despite her recent mishaps in the man department. A fireman comes up to her, says he noticed her suggestive mouth movements earlier, and gives her his number. Ooh la la.