The League: The Breastalyzer Review
By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)
Perhaps one of the best things about The League is the fact that you never know what the next episode will have in store. If you gave me a million guesses at what would happen on this week’s edition of the FX show, I would have never come close to thinking it would center on Jenny’s breast milk or Taco having a legitimate girlfriend.
For the first time ever in the series, the audience meets Taco and Kevin’s mother: Mrs. McCarther who is not overly fond of the latter’s wife. She comes to stay with Jenny and Kevin for the duration of the episode, helping take care of baby Christopher (known to some as Chalupa Batman) and criticizing his mother plenty along the way.
The episode also consists of Ruxin’s attempts to dodge his son Jeffery’s swimming classes that take place on football Sundays by having Rafi take him instead, posing as Ruxin. The other sub-plot surrounds Taco living with a girl he believes he is casually seeing, George, before realizing he’s in a full-fledged relationship. As always these three seemingly unrelated parts of the gang’s individual lives find a way to collide by the end of the episode.
With Mrs. McCarther in town, it’s clear to see she disapproves of Jenny as a mother and person, subjecting her to random “breastalyzer” tests which test the alcohol level of her breast milk. This is first introduced after Jenny and Kevin return from hanging out with Ruxin and co. and Jenny ends up failing the test. The scene ends with Mrs. McCarther walking away in disgust with Christopher’s parents in awe of what happened.
Like the entirety of the episode, this scene was so unexpected and really helped drive home the disdain between Jenny and her mother-in-law. As Jenny said in the scene immediately following, she “felt like Lance Armstrong” which was a great tie-in to current sporting events given she was being tested for alcohol as vigorously as he was for doping. It wasn’t a particularly long scene, but it was certainly an effective, funny and story-moving one.
For Ruxin’s storyline, his wife Sophia has decided that their son needs to take swimming lessons but those lessons just so happen to be on football Sundays. In order to pretend to be a good husband and still watch the games with his friends, Ruxin enlists brother-in-law Rafi to take Jeffery to the lessons pretending to be his father.
Rafi agrees and obviously begins to cause trouble. At the first and only lesson shown during the episode, Rafi is shown teaching Jeffery how to eliminate the other swimmers, preparing him for a survivalist situation. He even asks the swimming instructor how many kids are in the class, then proceeding to say “and how many do you expect will survive?”
Annoyed with the way the instructor is teaching the kids, Rafi jumps into the pool and tries to commandeer the class before eventually asking out the female instructor.
As with most Rafi scenes, he was the highlight of this particular one. Showing Jeffery how to “swim and stab”, acting as if this class was some sort of fight to the death was simply comical to watch. And then, after berating the teacher’s approach to the class, he has the gall to actually ask her out…and get a yes is just typical Rafi in every way. The guy is a head case and yet he continues to find ways to attract women over the course of his time on the show.
Taco’s situation with George is kind of an underlying story up until the final scene, with brief mentions of a couple’s party they’ll be holding. In fact, Taco’s party is the driving force for why Jenny and Kevin decide to steal breast milk from Mrs. Jay Cutler, Kristin Cavelleri, during their mommy and me class so that Jenny can get drunk and use the stolen breast milk to pass the breastalyzer.
Eventually the party happens with Taco and George doing their best married couple impressions by serving Hors d’oeuvres, pretending they have a child they couldn’t find a sitter for and mingling with guests Sophia, Ruxin and the others. During the party, Rafi makes a surprise appearance with the swimming instructor before berating her in front of everyone on orders from Ruxin to get rid of her.
All of the party shenanigans lead to the inevitable of Mrs. McCarther asking Jenny to take a breastalyzer test after she shows signs of being drunk. Before Jenny can even use the breast milk stolen from Cavelleri for the test however, Mrs. McCarther notices that the pump has already been filled. The audience knows that Rafi had used the pump for…other purposes and while the gang is figuring this fact out, Mrs. McCarther has already tasted what she believes to be breast milk after noticing it doesn’t smell as it should.
While this episode does not beat the hilarity of the premiere, it’s arguably the second funniest episode of this season so far. There was just enough Rafi for some outrageous humor, a solid guest star cameo and two of the three storylines centered on what the gang is all about: football and having a good time. There was little mention of fantasy football, but the importance of that was shown in Ruxin’s swim class dodging and Kevin agreeing to help steal Mrs. Cutler’s breast milk. This was easily one of the season’s funnier episodes with solid storylines to boot.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars