Men of a Certain Age "Cold Calls" (spoilers)

TV Arts



Affecting episode.

Owen watches his father suffer the indignity of being well past his prime.
Terry suffers the indignity of being past his own prime, too, and still
not adjusting to his new life.

Joe resents being the "designated fuck" (quick: movie reference?) of the
sexy and gorgeous marketing rep, and tries to date the woman he met at
the club, the mother of a child at his son's school. When we saw her last
week, I didn't realize she, too, was divorced, like her friend the brunette
who tried to flirt with him.

The title refers to a not-so-friendly wager that Terry has made with
Marcus about who will sell more cars through the end of the week. Marcus
whips out a list of prospects and starts making calls.

Terry has no list of prospects. Desperate, he phones people who walked
into the dealership without buying, a few contacts he's made, and
long lost friends. When it doesn't work, he takes out his little black
book and phones past girlfriends, mostly actresses. A couple of them
take the time to take him to task for not being a serious person when
they knew him; Terry takes it hard.

An acquaintence does walk in. He's utterly pathetic and tells Terry so,
in fact, claims he wants to buy himself a Corvette to get over the pain
of divorce from his cheating wife. Of course, Terry wastes all afternoon
with him on a "test drive". The guy insists on taking Terry out to a bar,
gets completely sloshed while telling Terry his troubles, then freaks
out when he gets the bar tab, refuses to pay it by pleading poverty then
tells Terry that he sure as hell cannot afford the car.

Then he tricks Terry into taking him to the home of the man who cuckholded
him. He pisses on the guy's lawn and tries to smash a lawn ornament of,
get this, Humpty Dumpty. Terry finally sees the absurdity of the situation
of an unbreakable Humpty Dumpty, so he steals it and gives it to the
pathetic ex-husband.

Terry undoubtably knew all along the guy couldn't afford the most expensive
car on the lot, but put up with his antics temporarily to distract himself
from feeling pathetic about his own life.

Owen is annoyed at his father for being in the way at the dealership.
He won't give up the big office, which gives Owen no place to hold meetings.
Worse, his father interferes with Owen's meeting with a supplier.

Owen complains to his wife, who tells him that the whole family is attending
a charity event/rally his father's basketball team put together, hoping to
attract a few retired players. Owen objects to going, but his wife reminds
him that it's his father. Owen watches his father, frustrated at the event,
when he's not remembered by the fans, who came to see a more recently
retired basketball star.

That night, Owen is both sad and nostalgic. He explains to his wife that
his father was a utility player, never a star. (Was he a guard? He's a bit
tall for a forward and hardly tall enough to be center.) Owen was much too
young to remember his father's playing days. Instead, he remembers him as
the big man at the dealership, making important decisions at the big desk.

The next morning, Owen tells his father to keep the office. His father,
ungracious of course, warns Owen not to pity him. He tells his son to take
the office and storms out. Right before he leaves the showroom, he pauses,
and looks at his son with a bit of pride.

Joe goes to the mother's house to help disassemble the rented play thing.
They flirt, and Joe agrees to meet her for tennis at the club, where she
trounces him and Joe barely keeps his dignity. (I love this show casting
extremely fit "older" women all the time.) Picking up his kid at school,
who tells his father he doesn't need the ride, he spots her kid struggling
with his equipment for his presentation at the science fair and helps
him inside. She gets there late and doesn't react well to Joe assisting
her kid.  She doesn't want "more" from Joe, either, no more than the
marketing rep wants. Joe carries the awkwardness into the start of the
next date when he goes to pick her up at her home. He doesn't know how to
express his feelings, so he repeats something Terry told him to say. Of
course, Terry is able to convey the right emotions; Joe fumbled. She takes
Joe's speech as being dumped, which was what Joe sure made it sound like.

There's a nice moment with the teenage girl who is Joe's stock clerk at
the store, whom Joe paid to dress as a princess to entertain at a little
girl's birthday party. She's unethusiastic, claiming never to have had
princess fantasies herself, but does it for the extra pay. She comes
back with little dignity but says she fooled the kids. Joe watches her
walk away staring at the boots she wore instead of slippers.

At the end, Joe takes a sex call from the marketing rep, still
unenthusiastic about the relationship, ignoring of course that's he's
getting lots of sex with a hot woman. Let's take up a collection for the
poor man.
HELP ! Who was the actress that played the blond tennis player woman?
What was she in before
That's Jessica Tuck. She's in a lot of stuff...

Nah.  He doesn't resent it.  He's just a guy who is used to being in a 
relationship.  He's not a super stud like his pal Terry.  Doesn't even 
understand, let alone believe in that kind of lifestyle.  Terry is the king 
of casual relationships.  He doesn't set out to be mean with those women in 
his life...but he definitely leaves a trail of broken hearts behind.  I 
really don't think he even fully realizes it.  I think Joe respects and 
cares about women far more than Terry.  But he doesn't quite know how to 
deal with his new single life.  Sadly, he has a horrible role model in 
Terry...who he and Owen thinks has it made...when in reality, Terry is just 
a sad, empty guy at his heart.  He's been kidding himself that he's got it 
made.  When all is said and done...he's all alone for all his "freedom" and 
free love.

The slutty business woman (who used to be his neighbor in the motel) is just 
a female version of Terry.  Yeah...the sex is great...but I think it's 
obvious Joe wants more than that, but he's trying to be someone he ain't.

Do you know who the actor is who plays Marcus?  This is kind of neat.  He's 
Brian White...the son of Boston Celtic great Jo Jo White...who would 
probably be a contemporary of Owen senior.

He did that to cheer up this fellow in his darkest moment.  It worked great.

Oh, I don't think that at all.  IIRC the guy was actually his boss at the 
office Terry was temping at.  He was always impressed by Terry's "acting 
career" and his way with the ladies.  The guy has the bucks, though it's 
probably a foolish investment.  Terry definitely wanted that sale.  THAT was 
why he put up with the guy and hung out with him.  But Terry is at heart a 
decent caring guy and also felt for him.

That's just the old man's way.  He was wise enough to know his son ("softy" 
that he is) would feel pity for him.  He wasn't having any of it.  He also 
realizes what he was doing...clinging to his own self importance.  The 
business was his whole identity.  Seems he was much more successful as a car 
salesman than a hoop star.

I didn't read that business the same at all.  The blond mom didn't want her 
son to get the wrong idea.  To get built up in his natural yearning for a 
dad in his life as has happened in the past with relationships that didn't 
work out.  She was more afraid of the kid getting hurt.   I think she WANTS 
more than a casual (purely sexual) relationship, and is worried about the 
effect on her son if it turns out to be all there is to it.  Joe was trying 
to be like Terry...took his advice and even his words (awkwardly of 
course)...and came off like a shit-heel just interested in getting into her 
pants...turning her right off.

We learned last season that she's a lesbian.  For what that's worth.  Not 
sure she's supposed to be a teenager either.

The last thing I can remember her in was as Holly Hunter's sister in Saving 
He's sensitive. He wants to be loved for his mind, too, not just for being
available for a booty call for the convenience of a woman with a tight
schedule (and tight abs).

Not gonna feel sorry for him. He cast a truly hot woman to appear in 

Hey! You appear on tv in a sex scene with a woman that hot. Now, you're
a super stud.

Good catch! That is appropriate casting.

I'm not disagreeing, but it took Terry a very long time before he finally
got it in his mind to cheer the guy up. Watching the guy get wasted wasn't
in his best interest.

We have a slight disagreement. Terry listened to a hell of a lot of people,
mostly women he'd slept with, who had less than fond memories of him and
had no interest in buying a car from him.

Oh! I couldn't remember who he was, thanks. Terry took complete advantage
of him last season. We never saw him do any significant amount of work
for the guy. Yes, Terry owed him big time.

I wouldn't call a sports car an investment, foolish or otherwise.
It's a toy. What with the pending divorce and not knowing how liquid
he'll be, a huge purchase like that would have been a bad move.

I rather expected that Terry wouldn't push too hard for the sale as he
didn't want the guilt. Of course, who the hell else buys Corvettes but
guys who feel sorry for themselves? Well, maybe 1% are sold to stock
car racers.

Owen knows. Owen is supposed to be almost 50, but he'll never be used to
his relationship with his father.

Fine. Ungracious, but reclaimed his dignity.

But we see Owen Sr through his son's eyes. His son never saw him play
pro ball. Quite frankly, the reliable utility players bring far more to
the game than the hot dog players do, and they may play longer than the
stars. They are still a member of an incredible elite, and there are
fewer pro basketball players than players in the other major men's
professional sports in this country. The only smaller number would be
American natives in the National Hockey League.

The guy must have been an incredibly talented athlete.

Unlike a lot of retired athletes, he made a good life for himself and
his family. You've got to like the guy. Owen should realize that if he
cut his father some slack, he'd be cutting himself some slack, too.

Partly, but it was partly an excuse. A healthy kid shouldn't be scarred for
life by a disappointment. I'm not sure what Joe could have done to de-freak
her about the encounter with her boy.

I would assume that a woman on her own with a young child does want more,
but only after a long process of evaluating potential second mates. In
the short term, anything more than casual is pushing it.

If anything, Joe wanted more than a casual relationship with her. His
trouble was that he wanted it now, instead of very slowly building up
to a long-term relationship, and then got scared that she wouldn't want
it, hence the self sabotage. Beginning of a second date is much, much,
much too soon to have such a conversation.

We did? I don't recall that at all.

Jessica Tuck. She was the bizarre sister-in-law on "Judging Amy". This
is the first time I've seen her playing a normal and not a comically
neurotic woman.
My take on this is that she was legitimately concerned about her son's
emotions, but also her own.  She was basically saying "don't bond with
him unless you plan on sticking around for a while."  When Joe gave
her the Terry speech, she took him to be saying "sorry, not going to

The problem was that he wanted the relationship, but didn't want to
give up the fuck buddy.  In trying to keep both relationships going,
he lost the one that had a chance to develop into something more.

It came out last season.  They didn't make a big deal out of it, so it
would have been easy to miss.

Speaking of last season, I've already forgotten how or why things
ended with last season's love interests.  What happened to Joe's
hygienest and Terry's 25-year-old?
I think that's about right.  He's learning the hard way about the pitfalls 
of Terry's "wisdom" about women.  He needs to decide if he wants more than 
Terry seems to want.  I'm not sure he really knows what he wants.

Not sure about Joe's girl...the evil Nina from 24...I think he blew it with 
her somehow.

The young waitress just got fed up with Terry's blasé attitude.  I recall 
she made him promise to make it to some "date" with her that was important 
to her, and it was sort of a last chance and he missed it and that was it. 
I always thought that he could make it right, but simply didn't care enough. 
The one time he seemed to be getting serious was with that actress that was 
playing his wife in the real estate act they were running to help sell a 
house and it turned out that SHE was attached to someone else.  He was 
really saddened by that.
Yep. She reacted to his gambling to score the down payment on his
house. I presumed she thought that was too risky for her comfort

I vaguely recall that it may have had to do with his gambling, with
the incident where he had to win a bet to make the down payment on his

Yes, Libby from "Lost" IIRC.  This show does sadness very well.  Not
big tragic sadness, but the low-grade melancholy kind.  It's also very
funny - on that front, I'm glad to see Carlos back working at the
party store.  I thought he got fired at the end of last season.
It seems to me that both Joe and Owen accurately see Terry as an 
empty/shallow man.  They don't look up to him or his lifestyle.

I don't think that he is trying to be a 'Terry'.  He wants a 
relationship/connection and doesn't know how to make one...and doesn't know 
how to 'just say no' to this particualer waste of time gal.  Saying 'no' to 
offers for sex isn't something he (or most any guy) is used to doing.



Sort of.  Realistically, Joe is not at a 'place in life' where he should be 
pursuing marriage again.  He would be much better off dating a bit to figure 
out what he wants/needs and mostly spending his time working on his golf 
game and his personal issues.  Since the blonde mom knows he is newly 
single, she really should not be trying to reel him in as husband number 2, 
though I suppose she felt that she had to act fast before her fellow soccer 
moms also jumped on him.