This is going to sound crazy — and you might not believe me — but the drama in this week’s episode of Feed the Beast hinges on Pilar making a huge mistake everyone must then overcome. I know, right? That’s a storyline you’ve probably never imagined in your entire life. Oh, wait, you’re telling me Pilar makes a mistake every single episode and it causes some sort of problem that must be overcome? Well, as you were, then.
“The Wild West” begins with Tommy and Dion doing a TV news interview to get the word out about Thirio’s opening. They’re prepping for a soft open with friends and family, which will be followed by the real opening the next day. Dion is doing his best to sell Thirio and the Bronx as the place to be, even as Tommy just kind of stands there all sad and stuff, because he’s Tommy. David Schwimmer’s calling in life is to play eternally sad people.
Of course, business problems always get in the way of the hype, so here comes Pilar to ruin Dion’s high. She says she has $15,000 on the books that’s unaccounted for, and unless he can find her receipts for the purchases — he insists all that money went to wine — Aidan won’t send any more money, meaning the kitchen staff won’t get paid. That sends Dion to good ol’ Uncle Stavros, who has no problem mocking up some fake receipts for Dion. Hell, he even gives him a pep talk about becoming a father, because he’s a brothel owner with a heart of gold.
If you’re wondering why Tommy is so sad in this particular episode, it’s because he can’t stop thinking about how Rie and Dion may have had something sexual going on. In “The Wild West,” he plugs in her laptop to send some photos to the news station for the Thirio segment, and when he goes into her files he sees a folder called “Recipes (Dion),” filled with videos of his late wife and best friend cooking together — and being super flirty while they’re at it. Do you not have another laptop, Tommy? Maybe it’s time to stop using your dead wife’s computer to send work emails. It’s called a trigger, dude.
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Anyway, after Dion goes to visit Marisa, telling her he’s ready to take on an active role as the father of their child, he heads back to Thirio and is confronted with the worst news. There’s no gas, which means no cooking, and it’s all because Pilar forgot to pay the bill. To be fair to the consistently incompetent Pilar, Dion is throwing money down the drain and Thirio is spending more than it should, so perhaps there wasn’t any money to pay said gas bill, but still, how does this keep happening?
After lying to the gas company, which brings to Thirio a technician who refuses to turn the gas on — because, you know, they didn’t pay their bill — Mose comes up with a workaround, connecting the restaurant to an outside gas line. Miraculously, he doesn’t blow the place up, and Thirio is back in business for its soft opening.
NEXT: Crumble in the Bronx
The rest of the episode is spent on said soft opening, as a ragtag band of diners make their way to Thirio to try fine dining in the Bronx. Right before they’re set to open, Pilar gives Tommy a gift. It’s just one part of her attempted seduction — the other part is showing more cleavage, as the kitchen staff recommends — but Tommy is so focused on Rie and Dion’s potential affair, he doesn’t even clue in to her advances.
Then, because Feed the Beast doesn’t really care about things like narrative setups that aren’t clumsy and character motivations that make sense, Pilar goes to Dion about the fake receipts and, after he kisses her to distract her from his criminal tendencies, they have sex. I honestly feel bad for Lorenza Izzo, as she’s burdened with trying to make a ridiculous character somewhat likable and competent. It’s no small task.
When the soft open is finally underway, things go well. Aidan and his pals are appropriately curmudgeonly, but they seem to at least understand the restaurant is working. Stavros and his table full of girls are the liveliest of the bunch, but the whole restaurant is filled with people enjoying the food. Marisa even shows up and, after a brief conversation with Pilar that’s sure to set up a silly love-triangle subplot in the future, Dion makes her chocolate pudding and potato chips, a callback to her joke about her pregnancy cravings.
Just as it seems like everything’s going off without a hitch, a worker from Child Protective Services shows up to examine TJ’s living situation. After a few tense moments and a one-on-one interview with TJ, it looks like everything will be alright. When the worker questions whether Tommy is giving his kid the care he needs while also opening a restaurant, Aidan steps up and says he’s been there for support. It’d be a sweet moment, if he didn’t immediately tell Tommy it was “to save his investment.”
Anyways, the soft opening is a success, but Thirio might not be out of the clear just yet. The Tooth Fairy shows up to get his drugs from Dion, who, of course, doesn’t have the full shipment because he’s been selling some of it on his own. He manages to negotiate a one-day grace period, and while that may save Dion, what happens next certainly doesn’t help Thirio.
The Tooth Fairy’s truck is attacked by the Asian gang when he leaves Thirio. The mob boss opens fire on the attackers and kills them, their dead bodies framed by the hulking presence of Thirio on the nightly news. The canceled reservations start rolling in before the night’s even over, so Tommy not only has to worry about the relationship between his dead wife and his best friend — but also has to contend with the possibility that all this work may be for naught.