Hung – Third Base or The Rash (S02E08) – Episode review

A pretty straightforward episode of Hung tonight, although strangely absent the toxic presence of Lenore. I feel like I’ve missed something, some reason Lenore has been showing up less regularly. Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

First up: Tanya’s exposed. She meets with Frances to try and score more money from her, while Mike is blissfully unaware that he’s a paid date. Yes, a prostitute. It was only a matter of time before Mike found out that he was a gigolo, and since he’s now confessed to loving Frances, I doubt he’ll be looking for more ‘work’ from Happiness Consultants.

Tanya manages two hilarious moments in this episode – first, when she tries to ‘slip’ a renegotiated price across the table to Frances, but keeps getting caught on the various obstacles on the table. Second is when she wanders into the baseball field, just as Mike is asking Frances what she means about paying to date him. Tanya realises she’s been caught, and tries to escape, resorting to climbing over the fence. The only thing that was missing from that expose was Ray, who was in the area, but completely ignorant to the scene unravelling a few feet away.

Sex scene of the week brought back Ray’s heavily pregnant ex-client, who he almost meets while having lunch with Damon. She slips him a note (more successfully than Tanya) asking him to call her. He goes around and gives her some *ahem* manual stimulation in the bath. For what it is, it’s quite a steamy scene, as the lonely single-mom-to-be unleashes her passion on Ray, and damages his shoulder in the process. Only complaint? Kathryn Hahn chose to wear a bra in the bath.

Nice touch afterwards when Ray – ever the gentleman – is writhing on the floor in agony and find the presence of mind to ask her if she came.

I’m going to steal a quote from TV Squad about the alumni baseball game that Ray participates in. It’s one of those moments that poignantly brings back the hopes of your school years against the realities of the present.

Immediately, Ray’s manhood is thrust to the forefront, as the entire episode seems to have Ray trying to reconcile what he was (a home-run hitting chick magnet with a huge dong) with what he has become (a homeless whore with a bald friend, and a huge dong). It brings about a pure statement, however, as he says, “When people think you’re hot sh**, all you can do is disappoint.”

To cap it all off, Ron – Jess’s repulsive cretin of a new husband – taunts Ray in the baseball field while ordering him to stay away from Jess:

You never notice guys like me, but guys like me, we rule the f*ckin’ world.

Ron’s relationship with Jess is imploding in a horrible, slow-burn kind of way. Jess has started to break out in a familiar rash – it was the rash she had when her marriage to Ray was disintegrating. At the time, Ron was her dermatologist, and tried to explain it as psychosomatic, a symptom of her flailing marriage. Except this time, Ron’s probably causing the rash – and when he hits out at Ray, Ray fires back blaming Ron for the skin condition. Poetic justice and all that.

I found myself throughout this episode wondering where the action was going. As the series progresses, it feels like it’s been meandering a little bit. However, there was some plot development in this episode that almost guarantees confrontation next week, and finally a little bit of proper humour injected into Tanya’s appearance and the sex scene, which was oddly gratifying.

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