The title of this week's episode is "Boys," and focuses on sad-sack Ray, still ill-equipped for love and life, but with major supporting roles chipped in by Adam and Booth Jonathan. This is "Boys" and these boys are animals disguised as humans, remember, so either bring your daughters to the slaughter or stay far away.
First, let's explore the boyishness of Booth Jonathan, whose macabre works of art and downtown It-boy sleaze have continued to seduce dim Marnie. We find them in bed, where Booth is naked as a jaybird and Marnie covers herself in many blankets of shame. Marnie's phone rings and Booth bitches because anytime a cell phone ringer trills before noon he gets cranky since he's a churlish asshole. Marnie looks at her phone and, hey, it's Hannah. Booth doesn't care because he's only interested in humans he can mortify in person. In walks Booth's assistant, an attractive young Americasian girl named Su Jin (Sue Jen? Su-Jin? IMDB if it's bothersome) with the day's events. Marnie pulls the covers up closer, Booth rolls over to acknowledge her presence, almost giving his assistant a ballsack show. Neither one of them blink. Same ballsack, different day for Booth and his assistant. Marnie notices this weirdness and pulls the covers closer. The Americasian assistant blah-blahs about what job duties Booth Jonathan has on tap for today which will require him to wear clothing. But before she exits, he confronts her about a spoonful of goat's milk ice cream she'd eaten without his permission. This is the final straw for Xiu Gin, who angrily chucks the Crackberry at the disgusting hellbound couple in front of her and quits on the spot because New York City which is still recognized as part of a free country except within the borders of Booth Jonathan's bedroom.
Booth is hosting a downtown It-boy sleaze party that evening but Ztsu-Xing wants freedom so now what? Annex Marnie.
"Marnie, do you want to hostess this party tonight?"
She says yes, excitedly, because daydreams do come true in this town if you nuzzle the right pimp.
Meanwhile, in a less sinister enclave of Brooklyn, a ridiculous set of circumstances has befallen the gang at Cafe Grumpy in order to keep Ray fast-tracked to Loserville. This happens: "Hannah do you still have my copy of Little Women?" he asks. " I left it at Adam's," she says. Of course she won't go see him, she sent him to jail remember? So if Ray really wants his Little Women back he'll have to trek over to Adam's apartment and get it himself. Shoshannah chimes in and tells Ray that it's his "duty as a man to go." Like a termite choking on a splinter, he goes.
Once Ray finds his way to Adam's glorious shitbox, his life's journey is about to become more fraught. Adam answers the door wielding a hammer and interrogates Ray to make sure Hannah didn't send him over to spy. Ray enters, marveling at how masculine Adam's abode is with all its dusty wood and stray oars and hammers and noise.
But where's Little Women?
In the bathroom, probably, Adam says, and then he remembers there's an angry dog behind that door. This dog is super-aggressive because it turns out that Adam stole it from a Staten Island dog owner who neglected it at a coffee shop for too long, in his opinion. Ray is aghast; he demands Adam return the dog to its rightful owner. Adam describes the dog's owner as a intimidating, big face, bald, big everything.
"Will you come with me in case I need back-up?" Adam asks Ray. Ray's honored but terrified. He still says yes.
Two boys are now on a quest for manhood to Staten Island. They take a ferry ride together and begin to talk about the women in their lives while bobbing on the river. The stolen dog barks wildly. A female passenger confronts the two boys talking about their women:
"CONTROL YOUR ANIMAL."
They ignore her, willfully, and continue to discuss relationships. Thirty-three-year-old Ray attempts to rationalize his relationship with 21-year-old Shoshannah to Adam. No need to, though, because:
"I don't think it's weird. Young girls and older ladies. It's the in-betweens that are a problem."
Ray has an ally. He goes on to describe his theory about why dating younger women or older women is the best move by far.
"They don't have these bullshit expectations about what a relationship needs to be. Or doesn't need to be."
[PICTURE ME MAKING AN OBNOXIOUS BUZZER NOISE RIGHT NOW]
Wrong, dude. Women have expectations about relationships the minute they figure out what the word bullshit really means. So let's say age 7.
"Yeah, my best relationships were with a 17-year-old and a 54-year-old," Adam chimes in. The sex was fantastic. She exercised compulsively, he says, and they would fuck upside down on a trapeze because who needs the bullshit. Ray now sees Adam differently. He's a prophet who stole a dog from Staten Island. Ray takes a seat next to Adam and the stolen dog.
"You know you and I are not so different.... Maybe it's because we're both honest men."
From there, the two men continue their philosophical musings about relationships while walking around Staten Island to return the dog. But the bro-down derails the minute Ray asks Adam what he sees in Hannah. Adam has answers for Ray's rude inquiries. He describes her lovingly, still awestruck, a true honest man. Adam starts to wonder why Ray's so curious about his relationship with Hannah and accuses Ray of fucking her.
"No, I don't find Hannah attractive," Ray says. Adam's switch has flipped. He drops the leash. He shoves Ray away. Ray staggers and grabs the stolen dog's leash.
"What you're doing with Shoshannah is not real. She's just some kid you feel safe with because you know it won't work out. You're just babies holding hands." Adam kidney punches the truth, a real honest man. "You don't know what the fuck you're talking about," Ray says but he's lying, you can tell, just look at the way he tugged so hard on that leash.
Then, at the very moment where spirited agitation should transform into lifelong friendship, Adam goes Audi 5,000.
"Fuck this, I'm out." Adam high-tails it from Ray's mess and jumps up in the air to smack a parking sign without looking back even once.
Ray is on his own with a muzzled dog and forced to navigate his and Staten Island's hopelessness all at once. The two animals commence wandering. He finally tracks down the address for the dog. He's confronted by the owner's teenage daughter outside the dog owner's residence. Relieved, he attempts to hand it over to her. She refuses.
"I hate that thing it fucks up the house it scares my friends. Keep him." Staten Island lady. Ray's beside himself.
"Look, you can't just throw this dog away that's not how it fucking works," he yells at her, like an honest man should.
"Fuck you, dicklicker!" She shoves Ray away. He holds on to the leash tighter.
"Fuck me? Fuck you. You have no morals and you live in a fucking trash heap," Ray says, honest as usual.
Then it all comes crashing down.
"WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU? WHY AREN'T YOU AT WORK OLD MAN? PROBABLY CUZ YOU DON'T HAVE A JOB YA FUCKIN' LOSER." The teenage girl begins to walk away victorious. Ray tries to counter with more honesty.
"You don't know that. Maybe I work nights. Maybe I'm a creative type who does't abide to a 9-to-5 schedule you don't know...."
She turns around. Here comes the killshot.
"YEAH? YOU PROBABLY STILL LIVE WITH YOUR MOM, FAGGOT. DID SHE BUY YOU THOSE FAGGOT PANTS? YOU'RE A PIECE OF SHIT WHO HAS NOTHING BETTER TO DO BUT STEAL MY DAD'S DAWG AND USE IT AS YOUR OWN PRIVATE FUCK TOY. GO BACK TO YOGURT TOWNE, KY-IKE."
Ray yells back that he's Greek-Orthodox. She gives him the finger without turning around.
"I live in Brooklyn."
Meanwhile, the It-boy sleaze party is bumpin'. Marnie invited Hannah to the party even though this is not the type of party Hannah has any business being invited to. They were friends once, though, and besides Marnie bought a new weird dress to wear for the party she's hostessing. Hannah watches Marnie navigate through the It-boy sleaze party with great ease, as Hannah slouches behind her.
"Why didn't you return my text?" Hannah asks, even though she knows why.
Marnie doesn't have time to give a real answer because one of her new friends, Sketch, has arrived. SKETCH!
She runs to him. Sketch hoists up Marnie. Hannah doesn't get an answer from Marnie while she's being twirled around by Sketch.
"You're an animal!" she says to Sketch. Hannah will exit the party early without saying goodbye to her friend. Sometime later, Marnie will share a moment with Booth Jonathan in his wine cellar where he casually offers $500 for hostessing the party. "But I'm your girlfriend," Marnie says. Of course, Booth Jonathan didn't realize he had a girlfriend. She starts to cry.
"Usually when I think someone's my boyfriend they're my boyfriend. I'm usually not delusional. I like spending time with you. I feel stupid." She is stupid. She's no longer pretty on the inside and now this. Booth Jonathan begins knocking over bottles of wine in his cellar because somehow, after all this, he feels used. Marnie attempts to cheer him up despite what just happened. She is still stupid.
Next we find Ray sitting on a bench in Staten Island, stolen dog still by his side. The two stare out at the city. Ray asks if the dog thinks he's a kike. He answers for the dog.
"I'm not. I'm nothing." He begins to weep. The stolen dog pants next to him. They're like two baby animals holding hands.
[Image by Jim Cooke]