Episode Reviews

Mess of a Salesman

Ted’s brother Billy is in town selling things to Phil and Lem, while Veronica and Linda raise money for charity.

Billy and Ted share a moment

Tonight’s Better of Ted, “Mess of a Salesman,” was less about the insane Veridian policies, and more about the insane people who work at Veridian. Ted’s brother Billy is in town looking for a job, and he ends up as the new sales rep for lab supplies. On the other side, we have Veronica winning an award and recruiting Linda to help her raise money for a “Women in Leadership Mentors” charity.

The Ted/Billy storyline is good for a laugh, but overall it’s not too interesting. Billy is an out of work salesman put in a position to sell Lem and Phil anything they can possibly imagine, and of course Lem and Phil get a bit carried away buying things like a monthly supply of cadavers, and robot family, and a wind tunnel. The real shining part of the episode was the team of Veronica and Linda as they went around the office getting money for charity.

Veronica and Linda work well together, with Veronica being the bad cop extorting thousands of dollars in guilt contributions, and Linda “talking” her down to a few hundred. The exchanges between Veronica and Linda are fast and classic. But once things start to go south (95% of the money goes to the company), we find that even Linda has a crazy dangerous streak as he head butts the foundation president, Mr. Page. (Through the edging on by Veronica of course.)

“Mess of a Salesman” deals a lot with the bonds we have between our siblings and the mentoring we do for each other. Sometimes the older takes care of the younger, and sometimes it’s the younger that has to take care of the older. We often find ourselves either mentoring someone or being the men-tee, but in the end we all learn and grow when we are working together.

There is plenty of great dialog in this episode again, and the plot itself moves very fast. There isn’t a lot of single quotable lines as much of the dialog sets up funny gags later in the episode. As usual, all the ramifications of the issues raised in the episode seem to resolve themselves one way or the other (the family of robots and wind tunnel are used to determine if robots are affected by wind), but “Mess of a Salesman” is a great example of the ensemble dynamic that this show does so well. Even with what could be it’s weakest episode in terms of pure humor, Better of Ted is still magnitudes funnier than anything else on the air right now, and I’m sad to see it go now.

I love this show “100 and crazy percent”. Farewell Better off Ted!

Interesting Observations

  • Ted buys 3000 beakers from the lab supplier to get Billy a job. For the rest of the episode, we see him trying to justify the purchase by replacing items around the office with them, including the coffee mugs.
  • Ted’s great grandfather was a cow wrestler, who wrestled unruly cattle…for beer money.
  • Theador-able vs Billy-has-a-little-willy
  • “We can’t leave work in the middle of the day. We’re not somali pirates”
  • Linda: “Well, I don’t have a debilitating personality disorder that keeps me from caring about anything.” Veronica: “First of all, it’s not debilitating. It’s liberating.”
  • “I don’t wanna reject your body, you got enough of that from every girl in high school.” – Ted to Billy
  • Mr. Page is the classic sleazeball Rick Hoffman, while Billy is played by Warehouse 13 star Eddie McClintock.
  • Veridian Dynamics Foundation: Helping the world by telling people we’re helping the world.
  • Veronica thinks a fawn is a woodland creature with scales and machine guns.

By Kien Tran

Based in Dallas, Texas, Kien Tran is an avid television enthusiast. After spending hundreds of hours wasting away on a couch, he decided to actually do something creative with his hobby and created this very blog.

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