The series premiere of Feed the Beast ended with Tommy and Dion standing in the street, Dion with a busted finger and the chaos of the Bronx swirling around both of them, determined to get Thirio off the ground. For Tommy, it’s a chance to get his life going again. For Dion, Thirio may just save his life, and the life of those he loves. The stakes, as they say, are high.
“Father of the Year” begins to put the restaurant into motion, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Tommy seems to be struggling at his job; he’s misremembering customer orders and backing his car into construction pylons. Later, when his boss confronts him with a few customer complaints, Tommy blows up, saying he’s sick of the job and that he doesn’t need it anymore.
Then there’s Dion, who has another run-in with the Tooth Fairy — this time Dion brings along a little espresso and biscotti to ease the tension — and is given a tighter deadline for the restaurant than he’d like. The Tooth Fairy is pleased with this notion that Dion has secured an investor for Thirio, but not so pleased that he’s willing to give him a long leash. He tells Dion he has 48 hours to get him a signed contract with the investor.
Meanwhile, a flashback shows us that TJ wasn’t always so quiet. In fact, around his mother, he was quite talkative, throwing out business ideas and trying her coffee. The two clearly shared a connection, and seeing TJ in this light only underlines his trauma in the present day. So, when TJ gets away from a few bullies by ducking into the girls’ washroom and he shares a moment with a fellow “outsider” who’s drawing a mural on the bathroom wall, the tenderness of the moment is amplified because of the pain we know he’s endured.
After Tommy quits his job, he comes home to a manic Dion who can’t believe Tommy hasn’t asked his father to invest in the business yet. Dion says that dealing with Tommy’s father is like dealing with cold water; you just have to jump right in. So, after coercing Tommy that there’s no time like the present, the two take off to see Mr. Moran.
After Tommy fumbles the pitch, clearly intimidated by his father (and for good reason, as we’ll find out later), Dion steps in and tells Mr. Moran that he can’t be expected to invest until he’s tried the food. So they set up a tasting for that night, where everything will hang in the balance.
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Meanwhile, another visit with a father is just as intimidating. The Tooth Fairy visits his father in prison, and it’s clear that the elder mob boss isn’t too pleased with the way his son is running things. He thinks he’s being too soft, and that he’s not informed about what’s going on in the business, including a shipment of drugs from a rival Asian mob set to come into the city at any moment.
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