Our Emma Anquillare breaks down the latest episodes of A&E's Southie Rules.
Smell smoke? Never mind Saturdays at 11 p.m.; it seems what remains of this season of Southie Rules was unceremoniously burned off in a spontaneous Saturday afternoon marathon.
First, the episode that was mysteriously missing from last week's anticipated line up. Matt's lazy ways finally catch up to him when he is fired from the family tattoo parlor and Jenn leaves him soon afterward. Now, I'm no sadist, but for a network whose tagline is "Real Life. Drama," this was by far the most disappointingly tame way I've ever seen a family slowly crumble in the wake of unemployment. (And, by crumble, I mean Matt and Devin go rollerblading.)
After Matt tries to get a variety of jobs and is repeatedly turned down, Camille finally insists that Jon give Momma's Boy Matt his job back. (Though, to his credit, have you ever seen a white dude working in a Japanese restaurant? Probably not.) Leah calls Jenn to tell her the good news and she finally comes home. (We'd expect Matt to do this, but he was probably too busy playing video games.) Though the two appear to reconcile, it's clear that Jenn just wanted to get away from her Dunkies-demanding sisters. No doubt, all this has happened before and all this will happen again, even in the far future when Jenn and Matt are actually Cylon robot clones.
Meanwhile, a yuppie neighbor is caught going through the family's trash (uh, illegal and creepy much?) to separate out their recyclables. Apparently, recycling is just a yuppie trend and scoffed at by real South Bostonians. The clan gets their revenge, though, providing him with more recyclables than he could ever ask for—all over his front steps. In this Townie vs. Toonie Turf War, the real loser is clear: Planet Earth.
In a slightly hypocritical turn of events, we now see both Jon and Matt making complete fools out of themselves in the family tattoo parlor. Camille and Walter tell the boys that the company is in the red, and, if they don't get serious and do something to drive up business, they'll hire someone else who will. (Of course, Camille couldn't actually fire them, since that would even further render the entire last episode completely moot.)
Jon, Matt, and Devin then set about making a brilliantly bad commercial, featuring everything from hot girls, to beat boxing, to a pyrotechnic explosion gone awry. (Hmm, if only they had access to a professional film crew, or an entire TV show to use to showcase their tattoo parlor?oh, wait.) Ultimately, the day is saved by Devin and his complimentary homemade pancakes. Why? Because pancakes, that's why.
Meanwhile, Devin just can't seem to get enough of his beloved hams, and puts one in the washer/dryer to defrost it (no, not an old Southie trick, just Devin.) As a result, Leah and Jenn are stuck with only one functioning washer in the basement and have to carry 10 peoples' loads of dirty laundry up and down four stories. Sure, they could just go to a Laundromat, but surprisingly even Southie Girl Jenn finds them wicked sketchy. (Seriously, what could be more Southie than doing your laundry with the rest of the neighborhood down at McSudsies?) Jarod tries to invent a "laundry flinging" device to help, but it doesn't take an MIT student to tell you that the physics behind his design are even less grounded in reality than Wile. E. Coyote's.
When Matt is devastated to learn that the child in a family photo actually isn't him, Camille insists that Matt, Leah, and Jon all get a new photograph taken to add to the family collection. After going to a thrift store to find matching sweaters for all of them ("Like a team!"—though, seriously, who goes to a thrift store to find matching anything?) they emerge indeed looking as if they're going to a "Stahh Trek" convention.
Leah's old bump buddy from the '80s runs a photography studio and takes some great shots of them, but the final framed product is ruined when Jon's failed carpentry skills come back to haunt him. (Remember? Like in the crib episode?) Finally, Jess is sent to just get a camera from Matt's nightstand's "no-no" drawer (wait for it... wait for it... What? no further sex jokes? Really?) but just as she is about to take their picture it's "ruined" when the rest of the gang joins in. In a kind gesture, Camille tells the only recently "initiated" Jess to just use the timer instead and get in the picture, too.
Meanwhile, Jenn and Jarod help Devin stalk his latest infatuation, who works at a trendy yuppie spa. (They don't actually call it a trendy yuppie spa, but I suspect the original residents of South Boston weren't overly concerned with facials.) Devin takes Jenn's advice and gets his chest waxed to impress his lady, but ends up holding Jenn's hand while crying out in pain instead.
Sick of the boys' complaining about her cooking, Camille tells them that if they want Sunday dinner they'll have to prepare it themselves (you go, Girl!). Of course, the second these words are uttered we already know this is a plan that's going to fail terribly.
In the meantime, though, Pretty Boy John loses a bet with Matt, and must reign as kitchen master while wearing nothing but the "special apron" Camille used to use to cook for Walter in the nude. (Though this was several years ago, I'm starting to seriously doubt that this couple still shares "a bed and nothing else.") And, since this is Jon we're talking about, the ensemble is completed not by boxers or briefs, but a man-thong. Jon seems to enjoy this though, as he wears this outfit noticeably longer than anyone forces him to.
With Camille's newfound free time, she and the girls invite Jess to a day at the gym. Expecting smoothies and mud baths to match her leopard print case and skimpy gym outfit, Jess is shocked when they end up in a boxing, martial arts, and street fighting facility. After Camille reveals a bit of her inner cougar, Jenn and Leah jump at yet another opportunity to mess with Jess. They convince her to take on a challenge promising free membership to anyone who can get a hit to the face of a female jujitsu gold medalist. While "puppet masters" Jenn and Leah eventually figure out a sneaky way for Jess to win, we doubt she'll be coming back anytime soon.
Sadly, we can probably say the same thing about Southie Rules.
· Our Southie Rules recap archive [Curbed Boston]