The episode’s title and its main story line is taken from Martin Scorsese’s New York comedy, After Hours, which came out the same year as Red Oaks takes place. Amy Heckerling, who directed the previous installment, the bonkers “Body Swap,” is behind the camera again, but this time the plot’s standard-operating procedures don’t offer her as much of an opportunity to play outside the margins.
But the pre-title scene is one of the season’s best, as an after-tennis conversation between David and Getty illustrates the rarely expressed paternal side of Getty’s nature.
Getty: You’re a good coach.
Getty: See, Nash spent half his time kissing my ass. You don’t. I respect that.
David: Well, I figure you have enough people kissing your ass.
Getty: It’s good management style. Don’t go handing out compliments like gold stars. Withhold your approval so people have to try a little harder to earn it.
Getty mentions that he’s a high-yield bond trader in “the city” (New Jersey vernacular for Manhattan) and suggests that David should change majors from accounting to finance and, if so, Getty will arrange for an internship at his firm. (And with that one exchange, you can catch a glimpse of what a possible second season of Red Oaks might be about, should Amazon order one up.)
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The city is where David and Getty’s daughter, Skye, end up in this episode, after David asks her out and she proposes an impromptu trip via bus. The inexplicability of David going out with Skye while he’s still dating his girlfriend, Karen, is one of the script’s slipperiest errors. And even as it’s happening, you can sense that it’s not so much organic as a mechanical means of setting up the inevitable confrontation between David and Karen after she finds out.
NEXT: Off to the city