Men of a Certain Age 1.05 “Powerless” Recap

‘Powerless’ is the word of the hour for the Men of a Certain Age as they come to terms of being just that in last week’s episode. The movie Rocky was also a recurring theme, which in some ways helped Owen and Joe overcome their issues, and in some respect, Terry, as well.

Setting Them Up…

Joe

Sonia informs Joe that their daughter Lucy is having problems with her boyfriend, who Lucy recently broke up with. Joe tries to get through to Lucy without letting her know that he knows about the situation, which Sonia asked Joe not to reveal. This ought to be fun…

Later while at the party store, Joe asks one of his teen female employees about her dating life since she just broke up with her ex. But the employee is a lesbian, which Joe doesn’t think factors as the same problem as Lucy’s. Then to make matters worse, the employee brings up her cousin who had a guy kill her guinea pig after breaking up with him. Joe tries to compare that story to Fatal Attraction, which goes over the employee’s head. Does he have ANY competent employees around?!?! When it comes to pop culture that is…

Terry

After being disturbed about waking up to an alarm clock, courtesy of Annie, Terry promises to pick Annie up for a date later that evening. Annie insinuates that she will be off at 6, throwing a hint at what time Terry should be there for the dinner date. But Terry, being Terry, mumbles “We’ll figure something out” before dozing back off to sleep; to a sounds of the Amazon CD, mind you…

Owen

Owen awakes to the power going out in his house, which cut off the breathing apparatus he has to wear on his face while he sleeps. Owen finds out from Melissa that the lack of power is due to the contractors trying to test power in the extension part of the house that is being built. The procedure also signifies that the work on their house is almost done. This calls for a resounding “YEAH!”, right?

Wrong.

While leaving for work, Owen and Melissa witness their contractors speeding away in a truck as the sheriff and a city official arrive to tell the Thoreaus’ that their house is a building code violation and work on it must be stopped and torn down immediately. Owen and Melissa don’t recall getting any red tags, which they find out that the contractors, who weren’t licensed, tore down the tags to prevent the Thoreaus’ from seeing it and to hike up more charges. I don’t know about you all, but that is beyond wrong. It’s f’d up…

Then to make matters worse, Melissa shows up later at the dealership to tell Owen that the power is still not on. Owen tries to comfort Melissa by telling her that he will make some more calls and if things don’t work out then they can get a hotel. Melissa has other things in mind, which their kids spill to Owen Sr., which is that they will stay with Owen’s parents for the time being…

Interlude: Knocking Them Down…

At Norm’s Diner, Terry and Joe watch Owen have a meltdown while on the phone with the city officials. Terry bets that Owen will blame him since it was Terry who recommended the guys to Owen in the first place. It is then revealed that Terry has slept with one of the waitresses at Norm’s and is still bedding Annie, to Joe and Owen’s dismay. Joe claims he gets Terry’s whorish ways by using a scene from Rocky, which consists of Rocky explaining the concept of “gaps”, as a template. Remember that scene? The other guys didn’t think it was as prominent as the famous steps or the “cut me, Mick” scenes. But Joe thinks it resonates since Terry has “gaps” and Annie has gaps” so they fill gaps… Hmmm…

Anyway, Owen doesn’t care about it, because he got other things on his mind, like getting his lights back on. Terry then offers to help since he got experience with working with lights on a stage crew in college, but Owen says that Terry has helped enough. Ha!

Owen & Terry

While at the city hall, Owen finds out that not only did his contractors not file a building permit, but that he can’t get his electricity back on because that would equal more work on the house, which would accrue more fines. Womp, womp.

At his parents’ house, Owen changes clothes to go run, while Melissa talks to his mother, Sharon, and Owen Sr. plays UNO with the kids. Sharon pleads with Owen to let Owen Sr. help, but Owen declares that he can handle it. Then Owen Sr. ‘wins’ a game of UNO, which makes the kids upset, because Owen Sr. took advantage of the kids not holding their cards right. This is enough to fuel Owen to take matters in his own hands…

He calls up Terry to meet him to help cut the lights back on. While working on the light box, Terry reveals that he had an afternoon delight with the waitress, but has to pick Annie up later. Meanwhile, Annie is waiting on Terry, fully dressed for a night on the town. But the downside is that she looks stupid waiting for him at her job, because her boss is giving her hell…

Back at Casa Thoreau, Terry manages to get the lights back on, but the celebration is short lived when the cops show up and arrest the both of them after Owen can’t show any proof of residency since he left his wallet at home. While in the police car, Terry remembers Annie and realizes that he’s late for the date. This is when the two get into an argument about Terry’s whoring, which Owen is appalled that not only has Terry done both in one day, but that each woman knows about the other, as well! Terry counters that his faux threesome is happy and that Owen is the only one whining, because that’s what Owen does:

Terry then tells Owen that he needs to take some responsibility, which wows Owen (and me) that Terry could fix his mouth to say something like that. Talk about calling the tea kettle black! But Owen drops a theory on Terry about why Terry is always late. It was pretty deep to me the first time I heard it. Owen says that Terry is late, because his mind is occupied on getting to where he’s going, which doesn’t give him time to reflect on who he is a person and what he is doing with his life. Wow. Terry counters that the reason he is late now is because he was helping Owen and got arrested in the process. Hmmm…. Touche…

Later, Owen Sr. and Sharon try to get Owen to pay the fines and that they will cover anything else that comes up for Melissa and Owen, who stubbornly repeats that he is handling it. Owen Sr. doesn’t think so, but Owen tells his father that he can’t bear watching his kids get beat down in cards by their grandfather. Owen Sr. doesn’t like this and leaves and Sharon follows him. Melissa and Owen discuss their situation and Melissa comes to the conclusion that Owen needs to use his salesman tactic and “find the key”, a moniker that Owen Sr. used in his meeting earlier about how to land a winning sale.

Joe

The drama with Lucy is becoming more apparent and Joe is becoming more anxious by the minute. Not a good thing, since Joe is like a caffeine addict when it comes to anxiety. He tries to talk to Lucy after he sees her near tears and agitated after Travis, Lucy’s ex, speeds off in anger. Lucy only ferociously taps on her phone when Joe tries to break through to her.

At dinner at the diner, Lucy won’t eat because she is too busy texting up a storm. I swear either her thumbs should be bleeding or the phone should be screaming by the way she is feverishly pressing on that thing. But Joe makes her put it down and when she does, she goes to the bathroom. Joe then asks Albert about what’s the deal between Lucy and Travis. Albert reveals that Travis called Lucy a whore. Before Joe can get some answers, Lucy’s phone starts beeping, signifying a new text. Joe tries to unlock the phone, but is caught by Lucy, who is pissed.

When they get home, Sonia declares that she shouldn’t have told Joe about what’s going on, because he tends to screw things up. But Little Miss Sonia didn’t even know that Travis called her daughter a slut, which is something that Joe found out on his own. See? Joe isn’t that damn incompetent! Sonia changes her tone and worries about not knowing what’s going with Lucy and thinks that maybe Lucy doesn’t say much due to the impending divorce of Sonia and Joe. Then Joe and Sonia make a truce to get Lucy a better phone that they can easily hack into.

Later, Joe leaves the house to go back to his hotel room. After he drives off, Travis pulls up outside the house and parks. He then pulls out his cell phone and is surprised (as I am) to see Joe standing outside his car looking at him. Joe demands that Travis open the door.

Building Them Back Up…

Joe

The tension inside Travis’s car is thick and I can smell the piss from the poor boy all the way from my couch in the living room. Joe asks him if he called Lucy a whore, and Travis denies it. Joe prepares to get out the car to get Lucy to make things clear and Travis finally comes clean and admits to it, but he called her that out of anger. Travis is actually pretty smitten over Lucy and fumbles over his words to prove that point, crying even. Joe says that it’s high school love, but Travis says its more than that, but he can’t put a finger on what that is. Joe then brings up the whole “gaps” scenario and Rocky, both which Travis has no clue about. Sad…

Travis then asks if things go back to sucking and Joe says yes, but it won’t be forever and that he has to hit the dumps before he can feel any better, which (sadly) is the God’s honest truth. Joe also tells Travis that the same thing will happen when he has his own daughter one day and will have to face the same scenario. In other words, do the right thing and apologize or Joe will kick his ass. Life lesson learned. Joe looks like he just won a fight with Apollo Creed and feels good…

Later at his store, Joe plays “Going The Distance” from Rocky and with newfound confidence tells Maria, the lesbian employee, that the doors are always open and he is there for them. A little too confident are we?

Terry

Terry goes and apologizes to Annie, but she is not hearing it and sarcastically says she was supposed to meet someone who stood her up. Terry tries to say the time to pick her up wasn’t necessarily set in stone, calling it “loosey-goosey” and that is what he thought they were going by. Annie corrects him by saying that he was being “loosey-goosey”, while she specifically told him that she got off at 6PM and not a moment later. Terry then explains about his arrest, but she’s not affected by it. He wants to try it again, but Annie wants to be sure that he is serious about her when they plan things. She then gives him a set time of 6:00.

Later, we see Terry getting ready at 5:15 and taking a busted watch with him to keep track of the time. He gets caught in traffic and looks at his watch, which says that he’s early. So Terry takes a moment and utilizes what Owen told him the night before. He looks at his mirror and asks himself who is he. He laughs and then glances outside and notices a clock saying that he is actually late again and that his watch is actually broke. He jumps out his Jeep (after parking it of course) and runs into a delivery guy, who then takes Terry to the coffee shop. Terry walks in three minutes late, thinking he failed, but Annie shows up behind him and after a tense stare, she jokingly asks if they are riding bikes. The two then leave for their date.

Owen

Returning to the electrical city worker, Owen gives is A-game by supplying the guy with water, working on the employee’s love for sports, and basically trying to “find the key”. The worker still tells Owen that he can’t do anything for him and even goes to say that he has no clout to even decorate his own desk, let alone do someone a favor. Owen has found his key. Owen reveals that he knows what it is like to be stuck somewhere that you didn’t want to be by relating the worker’s scenario with that of being under the shadow of Owen Sr. Owen explains that he tried to open his own record store one time, a plan to be his own man and not need Owen Sr. He was 23 yrs old, got a loan from the bank and showed it to Owen Sr. and declared that he will be his own man, which Owen Sr. said, “You’ll be back” instead of giving Owen advice. The record company folded and he fulfilled Owen Sr’s prophecy. Long story short, what has happened then with the record store is happening again now with this house. Owen then asks the worker if he has a father as well.

Next we see Owen walk out of the building victorious while “Going The Distance” plays in the background and Owen recreating the famous steps scene from Rocky.

Mid Age Newsletter

– It’s about time that all three characters shined in the same episode, instead of two of them shining and the other being a second thought character of the week. Plus, the Rocky theme was a nice little touch to the overall motif of the episode, which was the concept of being “powerless”. Joe felt powerless in his household, Owen felt powerless in his father’s shadow, and Terry is just powerless when it comes to himself. All in all, a great character development for all three guys.

– Owen Sr., is becoming more of a block-head every time I see him. I understood his spiel about teaching the kids the way of the world, but they’re kids! It’s that way of thinking that has a lot of people growing up hating their parents and screwing up another generation in the process.

– Stay Tuned For This Week’s Episode “Go With The Flow


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