It’s only the third episode, and Jimmy Martino has already transitioned from the ultimate bachelor to the ultimate family man. “Guys’ Night” opens up to reveal a classic family game night. Jimmy, Sara, Gerald and Vanessa sit in Sara’s living room playing some version of Taboo — cue the warm, fuzzy feelings. But it doesn’t take long to realize that Jimmy knows nothing about his son, and vice versa. We do learn, however, that Jimmy lost his virginity at age 13. (Vanessa seems impressed.)
When game night ends, Sara follows Jimmy to his car and tells him he isn’t trying hard enough with their son. “It’s like your hair,” she says. “It looks good, but it’s not real.” She then runs her hands through his hair — twice. Yeah, these two totally aren’t going to get together.
As his parents stand outside having a confrontation about him, Gerald sits with Vanessa telling Edie a bedtime story. Edie doesn’t seem particularly into it, but Gerald is working double time to describe a fairytale prince that very closely resembles himself and making eyes at Vanessa. She’s completely oblivious to his charms. Sigh.
The next day finds Jimmy in the kitchen having his typical therapy session with Annelise. The two discover that Jimmy has a hard time getting real with people. “Every time somebody tries to get real with you, you change the subject,” says Annelise, who has been working for him for 10 years and reveals that she has no more responsibility than when she started. Jimmy clearly feels guilty and agrees to hear some of her suggestions for the restaurant. She suggests a new bartender. “Let me hire a mixologist — someone who wears suspenders ironically.”
Jimmy heads to see Sara and Gerald after work and finds the two of them gabbing while sharing a blanket and popcorn and preparing to watch a rom-com. Jimmy vehemently insists on that his son come with him for a guys’ night; he’s extremely preoccupied with his son being too feminine. Gerald, ever the optimist and eager to please, doesn’t even change clothes before yelling “shotgun!” and dashing to the car.
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Not surprisingly, Gerald isn’t great at guys’ night. He slurps his alcohol (a dark, manly drink rather than the “virgin colada” he requested), and it’s clear that he’s in the process of getting sloshed. The two share recurring dreams (Gerald’s is that Jimmy takes care of him when he’s sick, and Jimmy’s is that Kate Middleton is his girlfriend). Gerald asks about Jimmy’s only love, which he assumes was Sara. Jimmy deflects and delivers a questionable pre-game speech: “Let’s have some fun! Let’s mix it up! Let’s chop it up!”
The two play baseball in Jimmy’s pad while Sara sits at home taking online quizzes (she’s Ross on Friends). She switches to paperless billing while Jimmy and Gerald tap dance and play beer pong with champagne glasses.
At the restaurant, Annelise introduces her new mixologist selection to the older, out-of-touch bartender, Willie. Willie is offended and quits — and reveals that he gave Jimmy his first job. Ravi turns to Annelise. She’s going to be in trouble when Jimmy gets back.
But at the moment, guys’ night has led Jimmy to eating soft serve ice cream on the curb. (Ew?) Gerald questions him about Pony Boy and Sushi, the nicknames Jimmy and Sara used to have for each other. Jimmy tells his son that he met Sara when she was the only girl cook in the restaurant they worked at, and he chased her for months. “I thought the timing was all wrong. I thought I had forever. See, that’s the thing about timing — delay, delay, delay, and suddenly it’s too late.” It’s one of his most relatable moments in the show thus far.
NEXT: Love by drone [pagebreak]
Gerald chokes up (literally), and Jimmy goes inside to get him something to drink — only to find that Gerald has disappeared when he returns. He goes back to get Sara and the two set to finding their M.I.A. drunk son.
While the search for Gerald continues, Annelise and Ravi are at Willie the bartender’s house with a gift basket pleading for him to return to work before Jimmy notices. Willie’s daughter, playing hostess, makes them Tahitian Juleps. What’s this? A young, hip bartender? Voila! A new mixologist is born. Willie agrees to come back to work if his daughter can accompany him, and it appears that Annelise is in the clear.
Jimmy and Sara are able to locate their son thanks to his drunk call from a public bus; it turns out he’s headed to Vanessa’s to profess his love. Ah, an intoxicated knight in shining armor. “What is this, a cheesy rom-com?” Jimmy asks.
But Gerald isn’t standing beneath Vanessa’s window with a radio — oh no. In true millennial style, he’s got a drone.
“I have to tell Vanessa I’m in love with her.”
“By a drone?” Sara asks.
“This is the only way.”
As it turns out, he’s made a little movie reel for Vanessa that features the two of them as a couple and is actually worlds better than a boom box. But alas, Vanessa isn’t home. The drone sinks slowly to the ground right before she pulls up, and Gerald scrambles to re-create the moment but instead plays a video of himself awkwardly dancing in Jimmy’s apartment earlier. The drone goes crazy, everyone ducks, and Gerald flees to the car with his parents in embarrassment.
The night ends with Jimmy rubbing Gerald’s back as he kneels over the toilet bowl. It’s not bonding over a family game night, but it’s bonding nonetheless. The episode ends when Jimmy reveals to Ravi and Annelise that he’s only kept Willie the bartender around because he feels bad for having sex with Willie’s daughter 20 years ago. Those kitchen therapy sessions are about to get a whole lot juicier.
Most millennial moments:
“He was super rich with a thick ride.” —Vanessa while describing the prince in Edie’s bedtime story.
“What do you think the emojis ‘cucumber, cucumber, yogurt cup’ mean?” —Gerald asking his mother to help interpret Vanessa’s texting conversation with another man