Thank heaven the money’s so good, because if I were Reggie Vaughn right now, I’d be looking for another job — and another cousin.
In between all of the inappropriate obesity jokes — one of the two “oh, yes, they went there” topics in this episode — the role of the Calloway family’s resident saint was confirmed upon Reggie this week (with added props to RonReaco Lee for his stellar performance). He repeatedly demonstrated incredible grace under pressure when dealing with Cam’s increasingly difficult needs, and did a fantastic job of showcasing how being a sports manager is 100 percent thankless. That and he rattled off no less than seven cracks about the increased girth of Cam’s former high school basketball coach in the span of a single scene. He’s a man of multiple talents, most of which he shouldn’t have to use.
This is a guy who spends most of “Homebound” running around Boston in a desperate attempt to appease every one of Cam’s fears, superstitions, and unreasonable demands. Call it love, call it loyalty, or call it a straight-up desire to maintain a multimillion-dollar lifestyle (can’t blame him). Whatever it is, this saint-like persona can’t last forever, and to everyone’s relief, Reggie finally unleashes his frustrations on the still-immature Cam (“Grown-Ass Man”? Hardly) this episode. And what’s probably the scariest outcome of all after “Homebound” is that we’ve been given no sign that Cam even understands how his childlike behavior isn’t going to fly in the long run. Reggie doesn’t care that he has to acquiesce to all of Cam’s petty requests — what worries him is that the basketball star keeps asking him to do these ludicrous things, like arrange for his morbidly overweight former coach to be forklifted to his game in Boston. As long as Cam makes these demands, it means he’s not growing up — and that’s what’s so devastating to Reggie, who views Cam as more of a brother than a cousin. “All this drama that you create,” Reggie tells Cam, “you don’t even realize that it is beneath you.”
But, as we well know with Survivor’s Remorse by now, it’s never a “this guy is right, and this guy is wrong” situation. Cam’s behavior this episode is outrageous, but it’s also justifiable. Ironically, it’s Reggie who reminds the audience of why we should maintain our sympathy for Cam. He may be a superstar athlete making a ton of money, but those millions come at a heavy price: monumental, nonstop stress. “This is about you not needing to fold under pressure,” says Reggie to his cousin, “because this pressure is the job. So nut up and deal with it, because it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.”
This is why, at the end of the episode, instead of arranging for the high school coach’s weight-loss surgery, maybe Reggie should’ve insisted that Cam invest his money a little more wisely — like in regular therapy sessions instead.
NEXT: The goon show