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I guess I just like liking things

A year ago, Veridian produced a perfume that causes problems for 3 out of every 5,000 women. Specifically, it causes hornets to want to mate with them, and hornets do not take disappointment lightly. When the hornets find out their target is unmateable-with, they sting and sting and sting. Now the team is being depositioned to find out out if any of them knew ahead of time this was going to happen.

Like any good sitcom, it’s fun to take an established group of characters who intermingle well and introduce outside characters to see how those interactions will go. Even better is when those interactions improve or expand on the existing relationships. This episode uses the deposition lawyers to three main ends: more info about the Veronica and Ted tryst; Phil and Lem’s lie-based relationship; and more Ted and Linda relationship stuff;

Before we even get started on these, are the lawyers Veridian lawyers? Or outside lawyers?  I can’t really tell.  I keep thinking the female lawyer is Jenny McCarthy, even on repeated viewings. I love how the show keeps hitting the “everybody loves Ted” theme, and the two best instances here are when Not-Jenny McCarthy goes down the list of potential significant others Ted might give the perfume to and when Gay Lawyer says “Our Ted?!” when Linda says he knew.  These are horrible reductions of the characters, I know, but the show doesn’t give me much else to go on!

Is it weird to anyone else just how much they’ve mentioned this Veronica and Ted thing?  I mean, it’s not that it’s not used to good effect (particularly here, where it ties in to a major issue), it’s just… well, it gets mentioned a lot. If this happened at your workplace, it would be very weird and very awkward and people would probably get fired, right? I mean, Dewey the security guard gets fired, but it isn’t specifically for this, and, frankly, Dewey should probably have gone to jail. This moment seems to be a nexus of sorts for Better Off Ted, one of those fixed moments in time that the Time Lords have to deal with. It keeps Ted and Linda from being together and costs Veridian quite a bit of money (enough to buy several women new faces).

Phil, it comes as no surprise, does not handle stress very well, and confesses during his deposition that he never attended M.I.T. Instead, his alma mater is the University of Aruba, where knowledge is king and clothing is optional. This briefly causes Lem to not trust anything Phil says, since he feels their whole relationship has been a lie. There are some nice moments in this storyline, starting with the wall-climbing exercise that starts the episode – watch the climbing overseer in the background as Phil and Lem are being ridiculous. Does anyone hate their job as much as that guy at that moment? Another interesting (to me!) moment is when Phil and Lem are reconciling over a discussion about the shark special. The standard Good Writing Rule of Thumb is “show rather than tell,” as in “don’t just tell me that this guy is super awesome at juggling cats, let me see him juggle some dang cats!” This episode goes against that grain during the reconciliation, by having Ted voiceover what’s going on, but it works, and I think it even works better than hearing the reconciliation.  Seeing the guys imitate …whatever it is they are imitating is a lot of fun. I personally really like Lem’s delivery of the “I forgive you” line. There’s something very heartfelt and deliberate about it, and maybe I’m projecting, but it really points to the deepness of their friendship, this willingness to work through problems.  That line gives me warm fuzzies.

I don’t know how the show would have handled it if it had gone on longer, but some of the things they do with Ted and Linda are quite neat. At this point, we’ve had them well established as non-dating but still very good friends. There’ve been several moments where they’ve had to work through things and the way they do it speaks to an underlying solid relationship. really, if Linda weren’t prone to bolting when the pressure gets to be too much, she and Ted would probably be a very good couple. Now, them being a good couple wouldn’t necessarily make for the best TV, but we’ll never know, I guess. We find out in this episode that Linda’s been at Veridian for a year now, and the flashbacks reveal that she and Ted have always had good chemistry, even when Linda can’t figure out her own laugh. That they are still good friends a year later, good enough to want to work through issues of trust between them, speaks to  a solid start for them. Honestly, in however many more years, they might be Phil and Lem, only with more kissing.

Bits and Pieces:

  • “I’d leave my name out of it.” – Veronica
  • Veronica’s one-word answers to the deposition questions are one of my two favorite Veronica moments of this episode. “How would you describe your job?” “Cleverly.”
  • Is this the first episode where we hear Phil’s last name?  For some reason, the name “Myman” amuses me.
  • The University of Aruba team’s name was ‘Syphillitic Conquistador” because they wanted a name that would terrify the locals
  • When Linda started at Veridian she was excited to be part of a company that “does all these great things.” Look at her a year later!  Poor Linda.
  • Ted: “Have you met Linda?” Veronica: “Yes, with the laugh.”
  • Veronica stealing Linda’s hairstyle is a fantastic bit of Veronicaness
  • “Oh, settle down.” – Ted to Gay Lawyer
  • “I’m incompetent and a liar, I don’t get a hello?” – Dr. Bhamba, honestly perplexed
  • From the whiteboard: Possible Explanations For The Hornet Attacks:Their pockets were stuffed w/ hornet chow; Beehive hairdos?; Ladies had it coming
  • Phil was rescued by Harrison Ford in Montana and he made Phil bacon for breakfast
  • I loved the flashbacks “It was so long ago…” Phil says, cut to them in 60s garb and Lem saying “Too bad your first day of work had to be during Sixties Week”
  • Phil’s barely noticeable shake of the head when Lem says”Are you kidding?”
  • “My goodness how I love the drugs” – Dr. Bhamba during his first scapegoat news conference
  • “Shut up, junkie” – Veronica to Linda
  • “Why must you always fight me?” Veronica to Ted
  • May 5th, 2008, was the day Linda sent the email and the day Ted and Veronica had sex. Almost five years ago!
  • “Don’t you see what’s happening? We are taking the only person here who has never compromised her ideals and turning her into an ideal compromiser. And I don’t mean an ideal compromiser, one who all the other compromisers look up to.” – Ted, about Linda
  • “I understand context, Ted.” – Veronica, clearly disgusted with Ted
  • Phil: So, I’ve been thinking about our past and how I chummed the waters of our friendship with fish guts of dishonesty
    Lem: And I’ve been thinking about how the shark of my loyalty gorged on the deceitful entrails of your bloody lies.
    Phil: So we both saw that shark special last night.
  • The otter is the jester of the sea, according to both Phil and Lem
  • Lem’s glasses are fake
  • Veronica has security footage of her and Ted, because “If you don’t study your performance, how do you expect to keep your edge?”
  • “I understand, I’m a scapegoat, not an actual goat.” – Linda
  • “The orientation’s over. You’re on your own now.” – Veronica to Ted during sex
  • Angel Junk – Bhamba’s street name


Veridian Dynamics. Mistakes. We all make them. But sometimes mistakes lead to great discoveries. Mistakes are how we learn and grow so we can do amazing things. WHen you think about it, shouldn’t you be thanking us for making mistakes? Veridian Dynamics. We’re sorry. You’re welcome.

Ideas/Inventions mentioned in this episode:

  • Fabric softener that will make all the Aborigines in Australia lose their sense of smell
  • Soldier-tracking GPS underwear
  • Wheelchair that climbs stairs that Linda’s cousin uses
  • Turning an innocent panda into an assassin
  • Zurplex, the number the accounting guys invented for tax purposes
  • Perfume that makes 3/5,000 women attract hornets that want to mate with them
  • Something Lem whipped up in the lab to calm himself which causes him to wear sunglasses in the building and say “This is nice. The air feels like Jell-O.”
  • Some sort of pasta sauce that Bhamba takes the fall for

Coworkers named/seen:

  • Maybe the deposition lawyers?  I can’t tell.
  • Dewey the pervy security guard

Next week: S01E11 – Father, Can You Hair Me






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