Oh hey, it’s the fourth installment in the train wreck known as Setup Squad, where a group of wingmen and wingwomen who can’t get along try to help others get along.
The first client is Linden, a 21 year old lesbian who has just gotten out of a relationship. She does not know how to approach people in bars. Like Zoolander who had only one look, Blue Steel, she only has one move: Hat Steal. She says that when she wants to approach a girl, her only trick is to sneak up behind her and steal the girl’s hat to make conversation. “She is using a juvenile flirting technique that one might consider larceny,” remarks Renee. Well, to her credit it’s a little more proactive than mine, which is just standing around looking slutty. Meredith is assigned to work with Linden.
Next is Neal, a shy, awkward and affable man-boy who, unfortunately, gives off the “I may have bodies stashed in my freezer” vibe. Reminiscent of Edward Norton’s character in Primal Fear, Neal appears to be meek and wounded, although let’s hope that the similarities end there and that he isn’t a murderous sociopath. “Has he ever been alone with a woman that didn’t involve a court order?” blurts out Jonathan. Lauretta is assigned to the Neal project.
Lauretta takes Neal to McSorley’s Old Ale House, which is possibly the worst place to take a guy to pick up a chick. Famous for its former motto, “Good Ale, Raw Onions and No Ladies,” McSorley’s was one of NYC’s last men only pubs and was the center of a civil rights case brought by the National Organization of Women in District Court, Seidenberg v. McSorleys’ Old Ale House, Inc. Only after the court forced the bar, kicking and screaming, to admit women in 1970 did the bar allow ladies to enter. Even so, it took them 16 years to build a ladies restroom, and it is still a complete sausagefest. How’s that for some New York history?
Surprisingly, though, there are quite a few ladies at the bar, and Lauretta watches Neal fumble around in his attempts to mingle with them. Neal looks up, down, right and left, mumbling non sequiturs. Things do not look good. One woman asks what he does. He says he is a musician. She asks him to describe the type of music he composes. “Oh I don’t know how to describe it. Sort of like one notch above mentally ill,” he giggles. The woman looks away uncomfortably. Womp womp. “Neal is on his own planet,” remarks Lauretta. “There are signals from Earth, and he’s just floating around. He needs help.”
Renee, attempting to put an end to the Wings, Inc. civil war, calls Helen and Lauretta into the office. Her solution is to appoint Lauretta as Helen’s wingwoman to help Helen find love. There is a fine line between insanity and genius, and judging from the pattern of behavior displayed by the terrible two, which almost culminated in violence, I’m going to have to place this call in the “insanity” bucket. Then again, this is reality TV, not real life, and we have seen time and time again that “insanity” equals “genius.” Just look at The Bad Girls Club and Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School. Bust out the popcorn and the hazmat suits, kids!
Meredith and Linden head to Cubbyhole, where she and Linden chat up two girls. Turns out both are in relationships. Sad face. Or rather, Linden manages to flash a fake smile and offer a sarcastic “Good for you! Yay!” before sulking and retreating to a corner.
Upon Renee’s suggestion, Meredith and Jonathan cross enemy lines and hang out with their respective bro’s nemesis. Meredith and Helen get their nails done, during which Meredith says that she is all for Lauretta being Helen’s wing and that she can totally see Lauretta’s point about Helen’s single status as being problematic. This is probably not the best way to get on Helen’s good side. EARTH TO MEREDITH. LAURETTA THREATENED TO THROW HELEN OUT OF A PLATE GLASS WINDOW. Just smile and nod and talk about neutral things, like pandas, bicycles, or knitting.
Meanwhile, Lauretta goes to one of Jonathan’s shows and they have an entirely insincere bonding session afterwards. Jonathan forces a smile, but behind the boyish grin he still thinks Lauretta is bats–t crazy.
Lauretta takes Neal to an empty studio and tells him to play for an invisible audience. He looks up, down, right and left. Lauretta tells him that not making eye contact makes him look “shifty” and a little “shady.” Or, dude, where the hell are you stashing the rope and the duct tape – should I search for all available exits and start planning my escape? Poor Neal is almost moved to tears. “It almost made me want to cry when I heard that,” he says, glumly. Take two. Neal looks straight at Lauretta as he sings, and Lauretta does the happy dance.