Pilot - Recap
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Some kid asks Ben if he's one of the players. He sits down and explains how he's in charge of the entire arena and everything that happens inside. The kid asks again if he's one of the players. He asks the kid what the hell's the matter with him, and takes a call. He says "You tell Springsteen that I'm the boss (of this arena)." As soon as he passes the woman he's showing off for, he mutters don't tell him that, tell him he gets whatever he wants.
He tries to get some face time with Alice, but they only have 8 minutes and 15 seconds. He can do a lot in that time span. He won't have time to break out any of his special moves. She asks what he calls the one where he looks up and admits he doesn't know what just happened. He gives her kudos for her quick wit. Right before they kiss, they assure each other that they're seeing other people.
Ben arrives at work to happy birthday wishes. He sees an elephant on his way in, and dashes off to find the head of maintenance. He doesn't know his name, and all the guy will say is yes. This is because two years ago, Ben told him he only ever wanted to hear him say yes. It's tricky, because he doesn't always ask yes-or-no questions. Okay, so. The circus is in town, and the water everywhere will be bad for the performance. Bobert tells him the hot water pipe is broken. Ben asks him to forget anything he said to him in that conversation two years ago. Gather everybody together, and figure out how to melt the ice they need to get rid of before the circus performs that evening.
He gets a text from his lady friend. "We need to talk." Bobert tells him that's never good, startling Ben. He advises Bobert to just get that ice melted.
Crystal calls everybody in for a meeting. She can't find a small white pill with Spanish writing on it. She crawls around the floor looking, and wonders if she already took the pill. She then answers the phone, which did not ring. She hates it when the circus is in town, because clowns terrify her.
Alonzo arrives, in a good mood as always. He says every day is a beautiful day. Ben points out some not-so-beautiful days, and Alonzo is happy to hear it. That was the day he stopped caring about himself. While they chat, Crystal leaps on the treadmill. She has to get the pill out of her system. She asks Alonzo for feedback on her charity event. Ben knows nothing of it, so she fills him in. She invested rather heavily in a Himalayan dog track. One of the dogs "allegedly" bit a Himalayan. She has a Himalayan nightmare on her hands. Alonzo says that to counter the bad publicity, she's donating $50,000 to an inner-city youth group. Ben thinks they could use that to do some much-needed work on the arena. She says yes, they should do what he says, he owns the place. Oh, no wait. SHE does.
She asks Alonzo to get her children of all colors for the photo op. Since the Himalayas are in Asia, they'll need to include an Asian child. The Asian child can present her with some kind of a trophy. Ben tells her she's right to clap, because these are all very strong ideas. He then mouths "NO" to Alonzo. As they leave, she remembers to tell Ben her son is in his office. They're not close. Find him a job, melt the ice. Happy birthday.
Alonzo asks Ben how his new assistant, Heather, is working out. Great! Always on time, very sweet. But she lit a man on fire? Alonzo says there was an investigation, and the evidence was inconclusive. He's okay though, right? Well ... she did light him on fire, so. He's not great. He asks Alonzo what the "we need to talk" text means. Alonzo thinks it means you have an opportunity to get closer. As they part, Alonzo says "Happy Birthday, little man!" Little man?
Ben asks Heather to find out who put his birthday wishes up on the scoreboard. She did, so he loves it. She informs Ben that there's a guy in his office, and he's gorgeous. He's not gorgeous. He's Crystal's son, Roman. Ben asks him about his interests and skills. Lots of interests - no skills. Ben tells him a bit about the arena.
Alice interrupts to tell him he's been ignoring all her texts. After sleeping together for five months, you'd think he'd know how much dangling texts drive her crazy. She talks a blue streak about the commitment chat, and how Ben snuck out of his own apartment, leaving her sleeping there alone. How she got free coffee when she accidentally pulled her panties out of her purse when it was time to pay. Roman finally interrupts with all the giggling he's doing back there, and Ben introduces them. She leaves, reiterating that they really need to talk.
Roman gets dropped off at the kitchen, where Ben is happy to say he won't see him again until the Christmas party.
Bobert tells Ben that the elephant is on the loose. Ben says he should tell him in Spanish, so he does. The elephant chimes in as well. Ben tries to track it down, bearing popcorn. He runs into Crystal, who wants him to help her with her speech. She didn't hear him say the bit about the missing elephant. As for her speech, he doesn't think she should open with "Yay, black kids." Or at all, really. She should also cut the racist song.
Does he have any birthday plans? No, is that sad? No. That's how Ben set his life up. He never wanted anyone to be emotionally dependent on him. Nobody to send him off in the morning, kiss him when he gets home; he's an island! What better day to celebrate that then on his birthday. That makes sense, but then why does Crystal throw huge parties for herself? She needs reminders that she's not just floating through all this by herself. She's older, she needs that! What is he, 31-32? 40?! Ooh...
Crystal's not sure what to do now, so he tells her he'll get out, and she can drive away. Thanks! Big smile. She drives away singing a racist song, and Ben calls after her not to sing that song.
He goes to Alice's office so they can talk. He invites her out to dinner for his birthday. He likes her, and he thinks they should be together. Alice ends it. Ben wants to know why she let him go first. From now on, she needs to go first. Always. So Alice tells him she's seeing Alonzo. Alonzo is his best friend! Alice points out that Ben hates Alonzo, and he agrees. She tells him what makes Alonzo so special. He asks her questions about herself, and actually listens to the answers. He refers to Alonzo as "a stupid idiot." Alice hasn't told Alonzo yet, so Ben asks her to move in with him. She says no, she's not the one for him. Nobody is, really. Ben only thinks about himself.
They hear a scream - it's Roman. He can't be a fry cook. He shares with Roman about Alice, and realizes he's as bad as Alice said. He doesn't even know how to connect with people. Roman brings up the Rainbow Connection. Kermit. Doesn't mean anything really, it's just a really good song.
Alonzo greets Ben, and Ben acts like all is cool. He sees the clowns and comes up with his ice solution. Does any of them know how to use an axe? They all answer yes. He puts them to work chopping the ice.
It's time for Crystal's charity event. She's a bit frazzled because she didn't get her Asian kid. Ben points said child out to her. Now she's happy. Alonzo introduces her. They applaud, and after they're done, she asks them to stop. She starts her speech by saying maybe she loves kids so much because she never had one of her own. Ben points at Roman, grins, and gives him a thumbs-up. Roman probably returns it, but his hands are lost in a sea of gauze. Heather, sitting next to him, can't stop staring at Roman. Crystal says she only became the kind of person she wanted to be when she started looking outside herself. Ben picks up on it, and Alice walks out. Crystal begins to sing the song that Ben told her not to.
Ben told her that aside from the musical portion, it was great. Sometimes it's awesome working for her. Crystal brightly returns "I'm crazy high right now." She's getting her picture taken with the kids, when all the clowns run in, bearing axes. Crystal loses it completely.
Ben checks in on Alice. She says she's fine, so he walks out, then back in again. He asks her again if she's okay, and she says she's a little scared. Ben asks if that's because she's not sure she's picking the right guy. No, she's 100% sure about that. What a wonderful moment. She laughs, but then says she's never done this before. What if she's not ready? What if Alonzo doesn't really know her, and doesn't want her after he gets her? Ben reassures her. She's beautiful, and smart, and everything. If she needs a friend, he can be that for her. She agrees. He offers sex one last time before leaving.
Crystal notices that John Cougar Mellencamp will be in town next week. She would really like to make love to him. Ben shows her the pictures from the photo shoot. They were going to use the picture of her hurling the small child through the air in honor of the clowns, but he convinced them to go with a different shot. By convinced, he means "bribed." Ben introduces Roman and Crystal. She tries to get Ben to take him back, but he refuses. Somebody wishes Ben happy birthday, and he asks for his name and uses it. He immediately notes that he already forgot it.
Alonzo asks Ben if he's seen Alice. As Ben walks away, Alonzo says there's an elephant in the room. Ben assumes it's the one nobody talks about, but no. It's the missing elephant. They run.