Skip to content


I guess I just like liking things

Well, here we are: the very last episode. While I can always be hopeful that NetFlix will resurrect the show for a third season, I know that is unlikely. I would think that my multiple watch-throughs of the available seasons would tip off their magical counting/decision-making genie, but I guess if it’s truly magical it can tell that all those viewings are just from me. And, really, it’s probably a bit much to ask for a third season when the second season hasn’t ever been released on DVD.

But enough dwelling on sadness! This episode has some great Phil and Lem business, some stupidness from Ted, and Veronica beats up an old man, so let’s get to it!

The “earn tickets to get lousy junk” program is another great deconstruction of standard business practices. Viewed positively, it can be read as the workplace saying, “Hey, we know working here sucks some times, so here’s some stuff to help it seem fun every so often.” But this is Veridian, so even without being told by Veronica that it was put in place to try to trick people into being happy, we would’ve figured it out. What I particularly love about the system is the weird assortment of prizes. Mugs and T-shirts I can understand, but belt buckles and marionettes? That’s just weird, even by Veridian’s standards.

The tickets system again prompts Lem and Phil’s attempts to figure out how to fit in. They start off with good intentions (“We’ll just print these out and pay for it with future points”), but they quickly (almost instantly!) turn into another case study in “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The scene with Ritchie bringing in a pie in an attempt to trade for tickets is great for two reasons: the reversal of fortunes for Ritchie, and the play on Mafia tactics and the “favors” system. While I get that Lem and Phil figuring out how to print fake tickets is supposed to reinforce that the guys are smart, to me it just made everyone else seem dumb.  Perhaps that doesn’t take into consideration that everyone else wouldn’t feel it was right to cheat like that, but they’re all pretty quick to hop on the offer of tickets from Phil and Lem. I guess, though, that they might think Phil and Lem came by all those tickets honestly?  They are pretty smart and invent a lot of neat things, and the ticket system seems a little arbitrary, so maybe it just didn’t seem that out of place to the others.

An interaction with Linda again makes Ted do stupid things.  Seriously, he’s a smart guy, right? So why wouldn’t he realize that saying “I can’t have people thinking we’re in a relationship!” to Linda would sound to her like “Linda is fiendishly ugly troll!” I know we’re supposed to go along with the “men don’t understand women” stereotype here, and Ted’s done a lot of underlining of that particular trope, but it doesn’t work for me. Ted’s smart and a problem solver, and I think he’d have figured some of these things out. I do love that his inability to figure these things out led him to petting Veronica and Lonnie, but that’s the best I’ve got here. And, yes, I know you can’t have a character who understands everything and never messes up because there’s no conflict, but this just seems to stick in my craw a little for some reason. It ends up okay, I guess, because Ted and Linda end their series-long storyline by kissing, so we can feel some hope for them. Some times the on-again/off-again storylines in sitcoms get old and/or frustrating (Sam and Diane, for instance!), but I always liked Ted and Linda together. Maybe I’d change my mind if it went on for six more seasons, but we’ll never know, I guess.

Veronica’s storyline isn’t as great as hers usually are, but she still has some great lines, of course. I particularly like the part where Arthur blocks her saw attack with a piece of wood, but then she starts sawing, and then they’re both tired of it, so she kicks him. It was a nice bit of physical comedy. I don’t have too much else to say about this storyline, although Arthur seems a little young to be being forced out.

Normally I’d include this last bit in the “Bits and Pieces” section, but it warrants its own spot. When Phil and Lem are strutting around wearing their new VD belt buckles, the song that briefly plays is Malcolm Barret’s own “Revenge of the Nerds.” I’m embedding the video here because Lem and Phil both show up, as do Veronica, Linda, and Ted (even though they may or may not be playing those characters, while Phil and Lem definitely are). There’s a bit of naughty talk in the following video, just so you know.


Bits and pieces:

  • “Once again I regret not double majoring in Business and Carny Work.” – Ted
  • “My mom always said ‘There’s nothing in the world pudding can’t cure,’ except for my dad’s obesity, which it’s made exponentially worse.” – Linda
  • “It takes more than thirty tickets to ride this roller coaster.” – Linda, who I’m not sure understands the implications of that phrasing
  • “Gee, Chet, I’m flattered you would come to me with this, but my plate is so full this week.” – Veronica
    “(laughs) Oh, I don’t care about that.” – Chet
  • “Have you forgotten the lessons of ‘Mr. Magoo’?” – Arthur
  • Phil and Lem’s talk about marionettes and Hal Holbrook and Mark Twain is so very odd but so very amusing
  • “You can’t find hydrocarbons on a gas planet!” – Lem
  • “Are you petting me?” – Veronica
  • “My hair’s in a bun and can’t get in my eyes, unless you scalp me and throw the whole works back in my face.” – Veronica
  • Veronica went to Stanford
  • Hillbilly teeth!   And Phil and Lem put them in and carry on a conversation as if nothing is different!
  • “Borrowing against the future is what built this country.” – Phil
  • “Feliz Navidad, buttmunch!” – Veronica
  • “Where’d you get these tickets? Your work sucks!” – Ted, to Sheila
  • “Let me know when you’re open to some constructive criticism.” -Lem, to Phil about his marionette act
  • Veridian has been around since at least 1962
  • “I see a lot of older people mall walking. I don’t know what that pays.” – Veronica
  • “Don’t joke about the stuff, Ted. It can tell and it doesn’t like it.” – Veronica
  • “Why didn’t you tell us what ‘VD’ meant?” – Lem
  • “Why?” – Phil
  • “That part is very pleasant.” – Phil, speaking the very last words of the series


How cruel is this? Last episode ever and no commercial. Boooooooooo.

Ideas/Inventions mentioned in this episode:

  • Car that runs on saltwater (though Ted’s comments would make me file this one under D for “Dubious”

Coworkers named/seen:

  • Ritchie in Nanoscience
  • Sheila
  • Susan
  • Arthur Wells, former C.E.O.
  • Chet!
  • Jimmy, who might be working on a car that runs on saltwater
  • Lonnie
  • Patricia gets mentioned

Next week: Better Off Ted wrap-up

Tags: ,

Written by: