Rayʼs relationship with Jemma gets murky when he begins to develop real feelings for her. Tanya meets a hipster who sets out to help her get through her writerʼs block. Looking to land new clients at a farmerʼs market, Ray runs into Jessica, who invites him to dinner with Ronnie and the twins. Rayʼs finds himself in a potential quid pro quo situation with Yael, the wife of his despised neighbor Howard.
- "Hung" - "The Rita Flower or the Indelible Stench" - August 16, 2009
Ray brings Jemma, eyes covered, to his property. He shows her into his tent.
Tanya is getting drunk in a bar. A fellow barfly notices her Proust tattoo. She says she should've gotten Sylvia Plath. She explains an ugly man named Floyd told her she was "not ugly." She notices the man at the bar is not ugly. She wonders if he's real. He kisses her. His name is Pierce.
Ray and Jemma start getting it on his tent. He voices over that this was it: just Ray and Jemma getting it on, no pretense. He says it felt different this time, real. So when he wakes up to a pile of cash, it feels like a kick in the gut.
Ray goes to see Tanya to give her her cut. Tanya's mad she paid him directly again. He apologizes and says he didn't want the money. He says he doesn't think Jemma should be a client anymore. Tanya doesn't like the idea of Ray dating her, it undermines her management. Pierce yells from the kitchen. She tells Ray to let her know when he's got some clients lined up and slams the door.
Ray calls Jemma and says since some cash fell out of her purse he wants to take her out.
Pierce tells Tanya breakfast is almost ready. She looks through his photos. They're all war photos - people with guns. He says it was part of series where he goes to get drunk with the locals. She wonders if that's what she was, a job. He says no and shows her a picture saying she is art. He asks her about her poetry "process." She eats his breakfast and says she doesn't have a set process and that lately her work's been avoiding her. For about two years. She's blocked. Pierce thinks it's tragic. She says as a child and adolescent she was really proflific, she hemmorhaged words. He wonders what stopped the bleeding. She says her mother.
Pierce wants to get her writing again so he takes her to see her mother, since poets need suffering. They enter her mom's house and no one's home. They go to her childhood bedroom. He looks through her yearbook- forensics champ, most likely to save the whales. She shows him a poem called "The Indelible Stench," written the year her mother wouldn't let her wear deodorant. She then shows him how she dry-humped boys on the carpet.
Her mother, played by Rhea Perlman, arrives and wonders what youthful Pierce is doing with an "old woman" like Tanya. He says he's fascinated with her daughter. Mrs. Skagel says "that makes two of us."
Ray goes trolling for new clients at the Farmer's Market. He smiles at a woman looking at a melon and than asks how you know they're good and firm. She walks away. He tells another she smells nice and it turns out to be Jessica. She wonders what he's doing there. He says he's stocking up on flowers. She asks how he is. He says he's good. She asks really. He says the house is shaping up and he thinks he met someone. She asks if it's the woman from the game. He says it is. She invites him over for dinner with the kids and Ronnie. A barbecue. He says he's busy. She says any time.
Tanya and Pierce are having a meal out and she is complaining her mother never invited her to her fancy party of academics and artists. Pierce says her mother is not the blockage but the muse. He says she should write a poem about her mother and then crash one of her parties and read the poem, it would be a creative breakthrough. She wants to change the subject. Tanya overhears Floyd at another table. He's talking to a promising new student Rita Chen. He was giving her the same "flower" speech. She tries to explain to Rita, Floyd's shtick. She tells him eff you.
Jemma calls Ray on his cell at school. He awkwardly tries to tell her that he wants to date her, not get paid by her. She wonders what they'd do on their first real date. He proposes a boat ride and a picnic. She says okay.
Tanya is writing and her phone rings. Ray leaves a message admitting that trying to drum up new business is hard just like she says and says he appreciates the work she's put into their project. Mrs. Koontz yells "hi neighbor" as he walks in.
We see Tanya's pad, it simply says "Mother" and has a lot of doodles.
As Ray enters his house Mrs. Koontz compliments his cookies. Ray points out that it wasn't enough since he's gotten two more citations from her husband. She says Mr. Koontz is obsessive. She notices his hot water heater lying on the lawn and wonders if he'd like to take a hot shower at her house, Howard, her husband is out of town.
As he showers, she apologizes for her hubby's behavior.
He steps out as she walks in to give him another towel and she sees his penis. He doesn't try to cover up. She says "Ray that is one beautiful penis, who knew you were hiding that next door?" She proposes they look out for each other - she could take care of what he needs and he could take care of her. Wink, wink.
Pierce and Tanya arrive with cookies to crash her mom's party. Mom calls it an unexpected delight. A group of academics is arguing about art. Tanya thinks it's a bad idea but Pierce says she's just afraid of being judged. She says she's not a coward, a little too loudly.
Ray gets it on with a randy Mrs. Koontz, she performs oral sex on him and he revels in how comfortable the bed is. She strips and he calls her beautiful. She says Howard likes to have sex in the dark and she likes to be seen. She cries out in orgasm.
At the end of the party Mrs. Skagle dishes out Tanya's cookies and makes fun of them, saying her guests don't have to worry about choking on any words this time since they're not "lyric bread." Tanya says she did bring some words for her mom to choke on, a poem. She urges Tanya to stand and read it. Tanya stands and reads the poem, talking about her mom, being in her image. It's very emotional. Pierce looks uncomfortable. The academics clap. Mom asks for thoughts. One likens it to Sylvia's "Medusa." Another is reminded of a Ugandan song. Mrs. Skagle urges her to sing it, even though it's in Swahili. The woman stands and sings. Tanya watches her mother and the others listen. She says she can't compete and runs out crying. Pierce chases her and asks her what's wrong. She says her poem sucked. He says but she started writing again. She admits she wrote the poem at 14 and that she's a failure, she sucked then and sucks now. He says it wasn't bad for 14. She says she's not 14 and wants to go home.
Ray and Mrs. Koontz finish and he wonders when she's going to "take care" of him. She promises no more citations. He didn't realize that's what she meant. He does realize that he has struck out as his own pimp.
Tanya sits on her bed listening to headphones and becomes transfixed by dust swirling in the light. She pulls out her notebook to write.
Ray is on the ferry landing watching it leave. He leaves a message saying it's no big deal that Jemma missed the boat, they'll just catch the next one.