Review: The League – Season 4, Episode 2
By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)
Waiver wire pickups, dating advice and even more Chalupa Batman; just another day in the life of Kevin, Taco, Andre and the rest. The League’s second episode of the fourth season had more than it’s fair of outrageousness to say the least.
The episode opens with the guys in their usual bar hangout spot with all but Ruxin and Kevin attempting to evaluate the women in the building. As the single guys are assessing the situation, Pete reveals that he uses the same system he does to pick up players off the waiver wire as he does for women. Using a strict “plus one, minus one” grading card, Pete judges a player or woman by certain attributes before attempting to pick them up.
While most of his friends are impressed with this simple approach to both kinds of pickups, naturally Taco misinterprets the idea. To him picking up off the waiver wire essentially means stealing, which he does on more than one occasion in this episode?
This opening scene was much like Pete’s system: simple, yet effective. This is a show that heavily relies on the dialogue between its main characters, which is what carries each episode. The newest installment to season four was incredibly dialogue-driven and the opening scene set the stage for that approach. It also set forth some of the episode’s major themes, such as Kevin and Jenny’s choice to circumcise their son (whose real name turns out to be Christopher, not Chalupa Batman), Pete’s attempts to date Sutton and the return of Shiva.
The focal point of the episode surrounds whether Christopher should be circumcised, with Kevin and Taco opposing the idea while Jenny and everyone else in favor of doing so. Christopher’s parents ultimately decide to put the decision up for grabs, with the winner of their Week 1 fantasy matchup getting final rule on the matter. The game ends up coming down to whether Frank Gore could score a garbage time touchdown against the Packers. The 49ers running back proceeds to do and thus Jenny defeats Kevin’s team and Christopher’s appointment to be circumcised set.
This was classic Jenny and Kevin as parents. At first, Jenny had already decided to go forth with the medical procedure, until her husband opposed. Knowing that she is the superior fantasy player, she puts the decision on the line in their matchup. Through the show’s earlier three seasons, it’s been well established that Jenny is darn good at fantasy football, so it makes sense that she’d emerge as the victor in this contest. A nice throwback to the mythology of the show and more of the usual craziness with this storyline.
Meanwhile, all this talk regarding the fate of Chalupa Batman has the rest of the gang wondering what procedure Andre’s parents chose to go with. This leads to Ruxin’s decision to consult one of Andre’s ex-girlfriends and the inspiration for the league’s trophy name: Shiva.
I won’t go too into detail with this side-plot, but the big news that comes out of Ruxin’s curiosity is Shiva’s visit to the gang during football Sunday. Andre’s ex voices her annoyance with being the focus of the league’s trophy and proceeds to put a hex on all of its members for this season.
Whenever Shiva is in the show, it’s always interesting to see how the writers use her. While she’s only been in a handful of episodes, she’s sees the league members for what they are: immature and somewhat cruel-hearted people. It’s always great to see her voice this and look at the reaction the gang has to her comments regarding their shenanigans.
Sometime after the curse, the show shifts to the end of Pete’s date with Sutton who just isn’t as into him as he is into her. She explains that she actually uses his same pick up system for evaluating dates, and Pete failed the test. After receiving the bad news, Pete sees Taco approach the two and explain that he and Sutton are about to hang out…among other things. Throughout the show Taco used his interpretation of waiver wire pickups to steal anything from bikes to beer and ultimately, Pete’s newest love interest.
Taco continues his role as the least-focused on, but most impactful central character in this episode. He’s always been The League’s equivalent of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie and Taco felt very Charlie-like in this episode, which evoked quite a few laughs. It would have been nice to see some more of Ruxin in this episode, as he was probably the character that spoke the least outside Taco, but he did have his moment with Shiva.
It wasn’t quite as enjoyable as the season premiere, but there were some funny and interesting storylines to come out of the second episode.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars