Welcome back to Banana! This week’s episode is all about Amy (who is portrayed wonderfully by its writer, Charlie Covell). As Amy makes breakfast and checks out a lady on a dating app, it’s clear that she’s got a lot of quirks. She color-codes her books, which is a thing I also do (and I’ve actually gotten lots of compliments, you guys!), and she double-checks all the outlets and plugs on her way out the door.
On the way to work, Amy is struck with the sudden thought that maybe she didn’t check the outlet her toaster is plugged into. And maybe it’s going to catch fire, and then maybe that fire will spread. Maybe a child in her building will die, all because she didn’t check the outlets properly. She runs home, but, of course, the toaster is fine and there is no fire in her apartment.
On Commute: Take Two, Amy is sitting on the bus when she sees a man with his shoe untied. She has another vision—this time she sees the man walking down the sidewalk, tripping on his shoelace, and getting hit by a bus. Amy taps the man to let him know that his shoelace is undone, and it’s all very awkward. He pulls out his earbuds and politely thanks her for the info, but Amy wants him to tie his shoe then and there. The bus is crowded, but this guy is apparently way nicer than anyone I’ve ever met on public transportation, so he begrudgingly ties his shoelace.
After the man gets off the bus, Amy gets a message on her dating app- the woman whose profile she was looking at earlier wants to meet up for a drink later. Amy decides that if a random person sitting across the bus from her looks up before a certain stop, then she will say yes to drinks. Amy wants to say yes, so she tries to mentally will the other woman to look up—and it works! (Or maybe it was a coincidence. Hard to say.)
At the office, Amy tells her co-worker about her date later, and he asks her what she’s going to wear. She wasn’t planning on changing clothes before the date, but her co-worker gives her a look, so off she goes to shop for a new outfit. On her way back, Amy stops to talk to a homeless man selling newspapers. She asks him where Stefan is (the usual man who sells papers there), but new guy has no idea. New paper guy is also horrified that Amy owes Stefan two pounds, but it’s all perfectly reasonable! (She just didn’t have change one time, and Stefan said to pay him later.)
The paper guy shakes his head at her, disgusted, and Amy is struck by another vision: Stefan is wandering the streets, and he doesn’t have enough money for anything (because everything costs two pounds in Amy’s head, of course). He falls asleep on the street and is beaten and killed. Back at the office, Amy asks her co-worker whether you have to know someone really well to file a missing person report. It’s a great line and it illustrates my favorite thing about this episode: There is humor and levity weaved throughout a topic that can be very heavy.
Fellow AE writer Dana Piccoli shared a wonderful piece earlier today in which she came out about her OCD. I have never been diagnosed with OCD and I am also not as brave as Dana, so I do not give names to my problems. (Because when you name problems, you have to deal with them, you see.) I will say, though, that this episode made me feel so many things. There’s this hilarious absurdity when it’s the middle of the night and you know—you know that you locked the door, but you just have to get up to check. You feel stupid and you want to just laugh at yourself and stay in bed, but you also can’t stop. It’s all there in Amy’s face throughout the episode and it’s really brilliant.
Anyway, back to Amy’s story – we cut to later in the day and she’s meeting up with Kay (the woman from the dating app) for drinks. Amy is adorably awkward, and she asks Kay what she’d like to drink. Kay tells Amy to surprise her, so Amy, overwhelmed by options, decides to leave it up to fate. She assigns one bartender wine and one beer, and, even though she wants to get wine, the beer bartender comes to serve her. Beer it is, then.
Amy and Kay get to know each other a little better. We find out Amy moved up to Manchester for a woman, but the woman ended up breaking Amy’s heart. Kay is a police officer, and she’s just had a terrible night dealing with a murder. Amy takes this opportunity (while they’re on the subject of murder) to ask Kay if she’s heard about any dead homeless men lately. Kay has not, and wants to know why Amy is asking. Amy bumbles her way through an explanation of Stefan, but, instead of being put off, Kay thinks Amy is adorable.
Amy and Kay decide to extend their drinks date into a dinner date. While there, Kay compliments a small tattoo on Amy’s wrist. She also mentions offhandedly that it would make for a good distinguishing mark, if anyone ever had to identify her body. Amy has a vision of herself as a corpse on the ground, so she quickly excuses herself to call her mom and tell her about the tattoo just in case.
Amy is in the bathroom for a while, hilariously talking to her mom about tattoos, their permanence, and, probably, the fleeting nature of existence. By the time she comes back out, Kay is gone. Amy, assuming Kay ditched their date, asks for the check. She’s in the process of paying when Kay knocks on the window—she had just gone outside for a smoke.
Amy follows her outside to apologize, but Kay is ready to leave for real now. Amy again bumbles through an explanation: her mom hates tattoos, so Amy never told her she got one. When Kay said the thing about it being an identifying mark, Amy had to call her mom and tell her about it, so that if she died her mom wouldn’t think she was actually still alive. Kay seems a little incredulous at first, asking how old Amy is, but that’s when Amy just spells it out: She worries. She’s weird.
Amy apologizes and says goodnight, assuming that the date is now definitely over, but Kay smiles and asks if she wants another drink. At the next bar, Kay asks what Amy worries about. Amy explains about checking her outlets, and Kay doesn’t think that’s too bad—it’s just common sense. Amy then tells her about how she worries about people dying, about hurting people, and Kay still doesn’t think it’s that big a deal. Finally, Amy tells her that she has to land on her right foot coming down the stairs, and she even broke her ankle because she misjudged a jump once. Kay is not horrified by her, and, instead, they laugh about it together.
Outside the bar, Kay mentions that she is going to walk home because her place isn’t far, and Amy, once again, has a vision that ends with a chalk outline on the ground. This time it’s Kay. Not wanting to risk it, Amy offers to walk Kay home, and the two talk some more on the way. They’re flirting and sharing a moment, when all of a sudden Amy sees Stefan across the street. She asks Kay for two pounds and then jogs over to settle her debt with him. Kay is smitten.
They make it to Kay’s door without further incident and Amy decides that if a light in the building across the street turns on, she will kiss Kay. She tries to will the light to turn on, while attempting to stretch out the conversation as long as possible. As Amy is rambling, Kay just steps forward and kisses her as the lights in the building start to turn on. Kay tells Amy she kind of wants to invite her up, but she lives on the fifth floor. Amy doesn’t get it, so Kay explains that there are tons of stairs and she won’t know which foot to start with. Amy and Kay kiss as the city lights up around them.