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I guess I just like liking things

This week’s episode answers the question “how do we get Ted and Linda to live together for a while when we’ve got ourselves a workplace comedy?” It is also the episode that answers “Which episode of Better Off Ted must have been the most expensive to make?” as there are at least three instances of CGI work by my count.

It’s been established that the team at Veridian works very well together. Veronica, Ted, Linda, Phil, Lem, and whoever else happens to be along for the ride that week might have their dysfunctional moments socially/relationally, but they get stuff done. Ted starts this episode off praising the team for being under budget and under time on their latest invention. But the more intricate the machine, the more easily it is thrown off by little changes. This time the gamechanger is Dr. Bhamba’s half-biological computer developing an ulcer and leaking goo and setting off biohazard procedures.

One of the many things I love about this show, by the way, is that they casually mention that Dr. Bhamba has had a half-biological computer for three years now and it’s no big deal. At this point, if we can accept $10,000/lb. lab-grown meat blobs, I guess a half-biological computer is no big deal. I also love that when we finally see Johnny, it looks like something that would have been right at home on the originally Star Trek. And please tell me that Dr. Bhamba’s name for his computer is a Short Circuit reference, because I want so much for that to be true. He thinks the reference is funny, and it’s never explained why, and that’s the only hit it made in my memory banks. Anyone else got a theory?

It makes sense that Linda wants to move in with Ted. Aside from their mutual attraction, they are friends, and he’d certainly provide a shield from the Wallaces of the company. (In Wallace’s defense: he is in a windowless basement office and has to eat a lot of weird stuff. Anybody moving in with him would’ve elicited the same reactions, I suspect.) I like that Ted is immediately apprehensive about Linda moving in, and I like that it’s not for the reasons that eventually being the actual reasons they shouldn’t share an office.

This episode makes a case for Linda at the same time as it’s making a case against her. On the latter hand, it shows her work habits as being… well, like a lot of our work habits, really. Sure, we know Teds, but Linda is certainly more relatable. That, in turn, made me cringe, as I realized if someone had to share an office with me, they would probably be slugging antacid as well.  I mean, I don’t try to teach fish to speak or anything, but I would say with Linda that “my process is just different.” She’s clearly shown up to this point that she’s been a valuable member of the Veridian team. I also don’t feel that this arrangement closes the door romantically for Ted and Linda (clearly the show doesn’t, either), as often times the things we desire in a partner are not the same as we’d desire in a coworker.

It’s fun to see Phil and Lem interact with other people (I especially enjoy Phil’s conversations with Ted in this episode – “I’m going to call my wife and tell her Linda’s hot!”), but I like them best when they’re together. Lem’s attraction to their new occupant is kind of adorable, and it’s sad they don’t work out because they really do seem well-suited for each other. Who among us can say they we haven’t ruined our chances by accidentally making a prospective partner throw up, though? My favorite Phil and Lem interaction this episode is this conversation:

Phil: Why don’t you go talk to her?
Lem: Talk to her? Would you talk to a rainbow? Or a sunset?
Phil: If I wanted to get it on with refracted light, I would.

Veronica is, of course, awesome in this episode, but I can’t decide if the things she does seem too far-fetched or are exactly right. We’ve never really seen her stressed before – though the reaching for compliment ideas came close – so I’m not entirely sure I buy that she’d be shooting guns in her office (Ted’s reaction is priceless – “Mother-!”). The best I can do to make it work in my mind is that these are things that she wouldn’t normally let anyone see her do, but she’s comfortable enough with Ted that he doesn’t count as other people. At the end of the day it works fine and I’m probably putting too much into it.

Bits and Pieces:

  • Linda calls people “helped’ by Veridian “victims”
  • According to Phil, Lem is what God would be like if He was insecure
  • CGI instances: the bio-goo, Linda’s button, and the Terminator in the Veridian commercial. That seems like a lot for 22 minutes of TV.
  • “You’re a baby. A big baby.” – Veronica to Linda, in regards to her complaint about the biogoo
  • Dr. Bhamba gets assigned to Room 4-D, which is know as “The Ridiculously Tiny Office,” a room we will see again
  • Veronica: “People, people. I hate seeing you put out like this.” – she repeats the “I hate seeing you put out like this,” but I wonder if people probably wouldn’t have figured out her true meaning even without the repeat.
  • “We all wish we were worms, Lem, but that’s never going to happen.” – Phil, after Lem says he wishes he was a worm so he could cut himself in two so he could date his other half
  • Lem presents us with the best pickup line ever: “If you like lame, you should meet me for a drink tonight after I have dinner with my mom and pretend to go to bed.”
  • Ted and Linda’s conversation about her butt is very funny, but I can’t help wondering how they presented this episode to Andrea Anders – “Hey, uh…, well, we’ve got a couple scenes here where we’re planning to have your rear end fill the whole screen. How’s that sound?”
  • Linda’s fish’s name is MacGyver. He and the diver are gay-married.
  • The ending of Lem and Lucy’s date is the best thing: him sneezing in her face which causes her to head-butt him
  • “Jealous implies I can’t have something I want.” – maybe the most Veronica line ever (no, I am not missing a word there – this line is a summation of Veronica like few other lines are, though we do seem to get Veronica lines frequently)
  • “[Ted] has more problems than you, and you poop in your air.” – Linda, to MacGyver
  • “Ted, you’re a guest. I can’t have you flinching every time I shoot a gun in here.” – Veronica
  • “You’re using science for no good. We took an oath we would try to do that less.” – Phil, when Lem starts using the HSS to make Brody barf
  • Ted’s office is XA-1201
  • Lem wants his $12 for dry-cleaning Lucy’s sweater once he finds out she’s dating Brody now.
  • Bhamba twirl-dancing in his office, a la The Sound of Music is a very silly two seconds
  • I feel like this happens to Phil a lot: Veronica compliments him, rewards him, but then turns it into a negative based on something Phil says. In this case, he says he was promoted to Senior Lab Assistant last year, which causes her to say she’ll look into whether or not he owes the company money because he shouldn’t have been. The look on Phil’s face is perfect.


Veridian Dynamics. Machines. When you were little, you wanted to be one. Now we’re working to make that happen by taking the best things about people and the best things about machines…and combining them into something strong and, we hope, loving. Veridian Dynamics. Man and machines. Best friends forever.

Ideas/Inventions mentioned in this episode:

  • The Voice of God (hypersonic sound, H.S.S.)
  • Dr. Bhamba’s biocomputer (“Johnny”)

Coworkers named/seen:

  • Dale, who has a big hand and a little hand, which is great because the company runs “like a finely-tuned watch” according to Ted
  • Rick, who makes a lot of copies (and who was also part of the Space Club in the “Get Happy” episode)
  • Wallace, the food taster guy
  • Lucy, from Robotics, who Lem is attracted to
  • Brody, who thinks Asians are “exotic”;


Next week: S01E10 – Trust and Consequence

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