This episode brought both the shits and the giggles. Literally.
The season is all about destroying Ruxin — body, mind and what’s left of his soul. I’m sure somewhere in The Art of War it details exactly the strategy Ruxin’s faced through the first half of this season.
First, you crush their spirit by ruining their hope for the future or, in this case, Ruxin’s son’s education. Then you smoke them out into the open by making their home life miserable. Ashley the Au Pair, mission accomplished. Then you make them question themselves, which Ruxin’s started to do since losing lineup nirvana. The stage is set for a breakdown of epic proportions.
Next? I guess we’re left with destroying career? Sounds good. I’m sure Sun Tzu would agree.
Ruxin gets his first real chance to work with a big partner in his firm, Mr. Hudabega, played by Ray Liotta, in defending Yobogoya, a maker of cheap, low-quality fast-food mystery meats. Ruxin’s “you should know better if you’re paying $2.99 for 3 pounds of meat” defense pleases the excitable Mr. Hudabega, who immediately takes him under his wing and dubs thee “Skippy.”
But Ruxin’s not the only one working with Yobogoya. They’re also running a jingle contest, and the winner will receive a lifetime supply of the tasty but intestinally devastating meals.
If you caught “lifetime supply” in there, you already know Taco’s on the case.
It’s in mid-Yobogoya feasting that we find Taco at a “brothers lunch” with Kevin as Kevin tries to emphasize to Taco that he needs to start setting his lineup every week.
But that moment of family togetherness (and Taco misunderstandings, mostly), gets interrupted by Andre and his new hobby, urban foraging, which is most assuredly destined to get someone killed. Probably Andre. And was anyone else unable to distinguish Andre from an overgrown leprechaun while he was foraging?
Come Sunday, Ruxin feels the need to tinker with his lineup and doesn’t notice Jenny’s sneezing and symptoms when he borrows her laptop. By the time she sneezes, he’s already been exposed, putting himself in danger of getting sick and losing the chance to work with Mr. Hudabega on the big case.
Ruxin gets a second helping of the MacArthur germs soon after when Kevin rushes back from the bathroom without washing his hands to take the laptop back from Ruxin before Ruxin hacks Taco’s account to set Taco’s lineup. And Kevin gets himself in trouble with Ellie for not practicing what he preaches about washing hands.
Rather than complain more about the germ exposure, Ruxin chooses instead to gripe about Taco’s lack of involvement in the league. He issues a decree demanding that Taco set his lineup on his own that week or be banished from the league.
Nobody likes a free win machine in the league.
Kevin, Jenny, and Pete must come together to form a shadow government in order to save Taco from Ruxin’s ultimatum. The league really is at their best when they band together to torture or save one of their own — doesn’t matter which.
Back at the office, Ruxin, of course, comes down with something after being exposed to Jenny’s germs. Rather than cop to his illness and sit this one out, Ruxin blames a bee allergy, triggered by an indoor bee (plenty of those, right?).
His excellence in lying gets him past the first level of suspicion from Mr. Hudabega and keeps him on the case.
Eager to share his latest trendy hobby with the league, Andre invites everyone but Sick Ruxin over for an “urban foraging” dinner. The dinner itself is as terrifying as you would expect a dinner assembled from plants around the city to be. Mushrooms from under the L train anyone?
Lucky for Team Shadow Government, Kevin, Jenny, and Pete get saved from the urban foraging dinner when Taco comes to the rescue. Fresh off winning the Yobogoya contest with his jingle, Taco arrives with enough buckets of mystery meat for everyone.
Sensing there was too much joy in one location, Ruxin pops over to Andre’s to force Taco to set his lineup without any help from the rest of the league.
Setting him up on Andre’s computer, the stage is set for Taco to fail. But first, Taco can’t help but accidentally stumble upon Andre’s foraging porn, Forag-acation (not a real site, but if you click it, you get rewarded), like Rain Man.
Poor Andre. He’s just a magnet for embarrassment, and it doesn’t help that Taco’s a magnet for porn.
With Taco at the computer, the shadow government puts their plan into action. Just out of Ruxin’s view, Pete uses “traffic cop” signing to suggest the correct lineup moves to Taco, who slowly (and excruciatingly) manages to submit a valid roster for the week.
How did Taco ever win this league if he can’t even name the positions on a football field? And how terrible does that make Kevin?
Speaking of traffic cops, with Ashley out of sight and out of mind — we can only hope Bobbum Man didn’t get her — Pete has found his new archnemesis in the form of a traffic cop, “Glovesy.” Glovesy does a terrible job dealing with the traffic at a broken traffic light, and Pete can’t take it.
After his shadow government operation Pete’s feeling pretty good about his signaling abilities, and when he finds himself stuck at Glovesy’s intersection again, he jumps out of his car and challenges him to a “signal” off.
Their battle, while heated, results in a car accident, and Pete promptly leaves the scene before he gets busted. It was a great little distraction for Pete since his immune system was apparently strong enough to resist Jenny’s illness.
Having won the case alongside Mr. Hudabega, Ruxin’s still covering up his illness and still letting Mr. Hudabega call him Skippy.
When he learns Peyton Hillis’ strep throat will keep him from playing that week from Mr. Hudabega, Ruxin, a Hillis owner, is left with a decision. With his phone about to die, he could go on about his business, continuing to hide his illness and leaving Hillis to notch a zero for the week…or he could try to make a switch and risk sneezing in front of his boss.
Ruxin tries hidden option C first. He reaches out to Kevin, hoping that Kevin will help him adjust his lineup as commish. He’s tried this before. Doesn’t he ever learn from his mistakes?
Kevin, unsurprisingly, refuses to help the champ. He has more pressing matters to deal with as the Yobogoya he ate at Andre’s foraging meal signals him that it’s ready for evac while he’s stuck in traffic with Jenny and Ellie.
Denied any outside help, Ruxin’s only option as a truly competitive fantasy football addict is to hijack Mr. Hudabega’s phone to make the roster move. But, in the excitement of adjusting his lineup, he can’t suppress a sneeze.
Caught in the act, Ruxin still won’t admit he’s sick, even as he continues to sneeze all over the partner’s phone. Instead, he continues to insist it’s his bee allergy. But two EpiPens later, it’s just not worth it anymore to lie.
Now, to the question you’re all still asking, will Kevin shit or get to a pot?
Distraught and out of options when nature calls in traffic, Kevin jumps out of the car in search of a restroom. Finding none, he runs into a park just in time to drop a “tasty brown treat” within sight of Ellie’s teacher — of course, the one she’s told that Kevin doesn’t wash his hands.
What an animal Kevin is. What an animal we all are. I love this show.
Memorable quotes from Episode 6:
TACO: “No, I want specifics. What do you do with your time? Your aimlessness fascinates me.”
KEVIN: “Taco, you can’t buy a bucket of nails for $2.99.”
TACO [to Andre]: “Okay, you can go now.”
ANDRE: “I’m an urban forager. It’s no big deal … Actually, it’s a huge deal.”
ANDRE: “Mushroom caps and…oh, no, that’s a condom.”
RUXIN: “It’s a bunch of horse meat. North Koreans wouldn’t even eat it.”
RUXIN: “If you’re gonna pay $2.99 for 3 pounds of horse meat, there’s a reasonable expectation that your colon’s gonna implode.”
JENNY: “Tinker away, Tinkerbell, straight to NeverNeverWinLand.”
RUXIN: “Will do, Captain Hooker.”
PETE: “Who decided it was a good idea to replace a traffic light with an asshole?”
JENNY: “I think it’s great. It’s like we have a little frittata wildcard in our league.”
RUXIN: “…SmallHandsOnBalls.net is not up and running right now.” (Go ahead. Click that.)
SHADOW GOVERNMENT: “One. Two. Three. WE WERE NEVER HERE.”
PETE: “Don’t try to get me to see Michael Flatley again.”
RUXIN: “And you faked it, just like that Giants faked that injury in that Monday Night Football game.” (Had to highlight this one only because it incorporated real in-season events from this year)
RUXIN: “No, you won ’cause you got me sick ’cause you’re a filthy beast, and you live in this disgusting hovel. And your daughter’s just a petri dish with pigtails.” (Absolute destruction. Well done, Ruxin.)
RUXIN: “Oh, you think so, Sherlock Homeless”
RUXIN: “We’re going to put those Amish f**ks in prison.”
ANDRE [on the mushrooms]: “They need no sort of seasoning because they have their own sort of pungent aroma.”
ANDRE: “Okay, you know what? You have a category-5 Yobogoya storm hitting mainland in about 10 hours so I hope your colon’s ready.”
TACO: “Correction: That was a pony having sex with a human.”
TACO: “I know how it works. Take the bye players out; put in the straight ones.”
RUXIN: “Bye players? What is Andre in the league all of a sudden?” (Ruxin had some terribly cheap jokes during his illness. I guess that gives him an excuse.)
MR. HUDABEGA (RAY LIOTTA): “If you can’t afford a porterhouse, then you deserve hepatitis.”
MR. HUDABEGA: “You’re the son I would have if I stuffed it in my media coach.”
MR. HUDABEGA: “You shit-zipper!”
KEVIN: “I have digni…ohhh, Yobogoya.”