'Men of a Certain Age' - 'Back in the S#!t' Recap (Season Finale)
by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 23rd 2010 2:25AM
(S01E10) A lot of things have changed for our favorite trio of men over the past nine episodes, and yet this tenth and final episode of the season managed to push each of them boldly into even bigger moments in their lives. For one, the change is definitely good. For another, it certainly has the potential for greatness. The third is completely up in the air.
Everything that's great about this show was on display in this installment. There is not a member of this cast who isn't knocking their performances out of the park on this show. Just as I was about to write that Scott Bakula was particularly impressive this week, I remembered a couple of scenes between Andre Braugher and Richard Gant (as his father) that were simply awe-inspiring. And then there's Ray Romano in the car with his son Albert, played by Braeden Lemasters. With very little dialogue, that moment was just oozing with emotion.
In a word (and I'll use it to sum up this entire season): amazing!
I laughed out loud when Annie's co-worker started shouting out that coffee was ready for "Dick." I guess I picked up on the fact that it was Terry's a bit before he did. Yes, it was a childish thing for her to do, but in a way she is still a child. And I think that incident was one of the motivating factors for Terry to finally realize that he's been trying to live like a child himself for years now. Definitely throughout this season.
I can't count the number of times I shook my head in disappointment and frustration when he would again try to shirk his new responsibilities as the building superintendent. Here he is living for free on the property, and he still doesn't want to accept the responsibilities that go with the position.
Apparently, it took the slamming of an acting door in his face for it to finally sink in that his life is at a crossroads. I would imagine there does come a time when you reach "a certain age," that you do start to look back on your life and assess the accomplishments you've had, evaluating the worth of your years on this planet. When looking at the careers and families of Joe and Owen, one can't blame Terry for feeling like he's not measuring up.
That conversation on the hike between the guys was another fine example of how accurately this show portrays men's relationships. There's a lot of ribbing and giving one another shit going on, but when it comes down to it, there is also genuine compassion and support.
Joe had me ready to give him a good wallup when he decided to fire Carlos instead of quitting gambling. I'm encouraged that he was scared enough by the situation with Albert at the theater to try and quit again, but I have a feeling it's not going to be so easy to walk away. Especially with his friendly bookie living just down the street now.
The anxiety issues with Albert are incredibly interesting, and I'll give credit to Lemasters for portraying them so realistically. It's a largely misunderstood condition, which makes it even more difficult to watch play out on television week after week. That discomfort works, though, as it enables the audience to feel as confused and helpless as Joe does.
Owen really surprised me this week, leading the pack at the rival dealership. I guess his frustrations were affecting his performance more than we realized. As it turns out, he's a helluva salesman. Maybe that's what it took for his father to realize what a commodity he'd lost by promoting Marcus (and I do agree that spite had a lot to do with Owen's performance). What impressed me was Owen Sr. realizing that it didn't feel right not having his son by his side running the dealership, and being man enough to not only admit it, but go down to Owen's new job and talk to him about it.
The women are right. Retirement is suiting him very well. It's not likely to be all roses and petals from here on out. The Owens are both rather bull-headed and stubborn, and Marcus is very capable of anything and now he's pissed. But it will make for an amazing second season. We'll have to see if Terry's billing as a professional charmer translates to success as a car salesman.
As disappointed as I am to see 'Men of a Certain Age' end after only ten episodes, I am absolutely thrilled to know that there's more yet to come.