“Heading Out” recap (Ep. 4): Role Play


Much of our fourth episode of Heading Out takes place in Sara’s vet practice, which as I’ve mentioned before tends to produce some of my least favorite bits. Yet overall, I found this episode much funnier than the last one, and a lot of that has to do with Nicola Walker.

We start with Sara and Daniel going over some inventory at the office, which includes checking off things like “Hampster Snuggle Pouch.” Again, the props, they’re good! Also, a Hampster Snuggle Pouch: that sounds pretty awesome, actually. Do they make them in human size?

I also enjoyed this:

Sara: One Supreme Gerbil Fortress, one Supreme Gerbil Palace.

Daniel: Check. Oh, hang on. No fortress.

Sara: Well, that’s fine. I’ve got the palace, so I’m happy.

Daniel: No, but they’re not the same thing. A palace is just a posh house. A fortress is a military installation.

Sara: I think the bigger question, Daniel, is why does a rodent need a fortress?

Daniel: Well, fine. But just don’t expect it to be able to defend itself in a siege situation.

I’m not sure if I should, but I find myself really liking Daniel. Even though I can’t find it even remotely plausible that he would actually be a certified vet. But the one thing I don’t understand in his and Sara’s friendship is that while he obviously cares about her, she never seems to be anything but genuinely annoyed with him. Maybe it’s just their dynamic, and perhaps simply another sign of Sara’s inability to show affection. Still, you don’t have to roll your eyes at him EVERY single time!

For example, Daniel’s own affection is shown when they hear the door slam and look out to see that it’s the one and only Eve coming in. Sara must have shared her showing-up-at-her-doorstep-and-finding-Anna-Skellern experience with Daniel, because he says disgustedly, “Oh, it’s her.” Sara feels the same way, making Daniel go out and do the consult, because “I don’t want to see her.” Aw, Sara. Don’t you at least want to talk to Eve about it? And find out if you’re ignoring a beautiful woman for a reason?

Alas, Daniel meets her and then sends her on her way, assuring her that there’s only a 1% chance that her dog is going to die an agonizing death but otherwise he’s fine. He also in turn reassures Sara that Eve’s dog was fine and yes, she probably only came to see her. Sara doesn’t even thank him for this bit of news, however, as she’s preoccupied with the knowledge she’s also just acquired, that an inspector is going to be coming tomorrow. “Oh, well, they sent a letter,” Daniel says, opening up a seemingly cluttered cabinet and promptly pulling said letter out. When Sara asks how he can find anything in there, he says exasperatedly, “I’ve explained this to you a million times before. It’s such a simple system. Left hand side, people you can tolerate. Middle, people you just want to slightly hurt. Right hand side, people you want to DESTROY.” You see why you should be nicer to Daniel, Sara? He is clearly a genius! This is the best filing system I’ve ever heard of!

We then transition to Toria’s psycho, therapist quarters once again, where we begin with Toria sitting on Sara’s face as a means to test her personal boundaries. I once had a friend who did this, although I don’t think it was to test my personal boundaries. I think she just liked sitting on people’s faces. To each their own, you know?

Justine is also accompanying Sara on this visit, and when Toria suggests doing some role playing, herein comes the highlight of the episode. Since Sara has issues with being honest with people, she is acting out a customer in a restaurant who’s found a bug in her salad and has to complain about it. Justine is the waiter. They get in position; Sara meekly calls Justine over. And as soon as Justine turns around and walks towards her with a sudden pronounced limp, I start to giggle.

With some type of heavy Eastern Europe accident, she intones, “I’m sorry. Mah leg, it was damaged in accident.” She tells a story about playing at a construction site and the whole time her accent and her face are just so genuinely funny. “You don’t like the salad? My brother make this salad before he die.” Soon, Sara begins to join in, and through the angry accent, is able to say, “Get the beetle out of this shitting salad!” Which Toria deems a stunning success. Yet for some reason Sara’s role playing doesn’t make me laugh like Justine’s does. But it’s okay because I am still legit laughing from Justine’s performance.

Sara says that being as Justine is so good at this role playing thing, she should continue tomorrow morning as a receptionist at a busy vet office. “OK!” When Justine shows up for her new role, Sara compliments her on doing such a fine job. But Justine is still in role playing mode, and acts as if she and Sara have never met before. She says her name is Anne Marie. You are brilliant, Justine.

The first client Anne Marie sends in to Sara is our Exaggerated Ethnic Stereotype of the Week, which feels only slightly more funny than last week’s French stuff, but barely. This time it’s ze Russians we’re poking fun at, in the form of a rich woman whose dog can’t get it up. As she says, “If he cannot make sexy with other dog, he’s wrong in penis. Maybe.” If Sara can help out, she’ll get “much much money in trunk of car,” if not, she herself will end up in trunk. I do grin when the woman says this of the dog’s important lineage: “His great great great great grandfather defecated in Lenin’s shoe.” And the dog is cute. So like I said, slightly funnier. Slightly. But maybe we can all agree that the Exaggerated Stereotype as a joke just doesn’t hold sway anymore. Thankfully.