The Casino
Episode 3

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All Bad Things

"Right off the bat, we butted heads." She sends thirteen mean and still faux-disbelieving looks his way, and he holds his hands spread high, signaling defeat. "You misunderstood, Monique," he protests. Which she didn't. But we're going to go ahead and play out this motherfucker anyway. She fake-laughs fake-magnanimously as he continues to protest that she didn't understand. I hate you, Monique. I am going to come to the Golden Nugget with a balloon bouquet and a giant check and tell you you've won a million dollars in a sweepstakes, and then I'm going to call you stupid for believing me. And then I might accidentally step on your toes or pull your hair. Tommy starts backpedaling and eating shit at an amazing rate: "We're all going to get a drink, after work." She's not buying it, so he decides to play in her crazy sandbox for awhile, and apologize for something he did not do: "I was just joking around with you, Monique." His coworker does that I'm incredibly uncomfortable thing where he scratches a nonexistent itch, then investigates his hands, then fidgets. "Monique, I wasn't even heading in that direction," he sort of giggles, because it's so ridiculous and obviously imaginary. She stares around the casino for awhile -- don't you hate that? I wish people would look me in the eye when I'm talking to them, as I said before, it's a huge deal for me -- and then totally fucking walks away without a second glance back, as he's still talking. She's good, I'll give her that. He's going to spend the rest of the night thinking he actually hurt her feelings or insulted her or something. Her hair looks super-ugly from the back. She looks like a manager at a Big Lots. She looks like one of the witches in Accounting at the company where you work. I hate her. But I'm happy too, because it's so easy to say, "That bitch had it out for me," and it's so rarely true, so when it is totally and obviously true, it's kind of delicious. Until you get fired.

Li'l Tommy turns to his fidgety coworker. "Does she come across as…is she hard to read, sometimes?" Coworker guy tries to be delicate: "I'd say that's a good way, that's a polite way to put it." Comforted but still clearly thrown off, Tommy returns to work. "I don't want to be stuck here in the Pit for too long, and become bitter," he worries in voice-over, "like Monique." Tommy resolves to get into Marketing and out of the Pit, and walks with his father John through the Hotel, telling him he's his main connection, and asking kind of sadly, "Why can't you just, like, make a phone call, I mean, and get me the job?" Okay, he's young. And dumb. And I knew that. But there are two things going on here: his career aspirations, and the utter fear of Monique she's spent so much time instilling in him. The one can wait awhile, since he's so young and dumb, and has only been there five (or seven) months, but it's the Monique part that adds the urgency. He's got to get away from her, which means focusing on his goals, which means begging for another position, away from her. "It's not about having an 'in,'" explains John, "it's about you doing this by yourself." Which is also reasonable, and correct. John's a good guy. "You're not going to need my help here. All you need to do is just get in front of Tim and sell yourself. Just go for it, man." Which is a lovely sentiment, and good parenting, and very encouraging and loving, but also a disaster of an idea. Because 1. Tommy can't sell himself as anything other than a hapless youth, which is why I like him, and 2. He's clearly not ready for a job as a host, so 3. He's going to have to try for a lower position in Marketing, which Tim may or may not even be able to provide or even discuss intelligently. The most Tommy can do is get Tim personally interested, or to see himself as a mentor to the kid -- and we already know he likes John, so that is a good bet -- but he's going to have to do this without knowing he's doing it, because his skills are not slick enough to fake it. Putting us right back at selling himself as a hapless youth -- and if I'm Tim, why would I want one of those to advance in my company? Anyway, Tommy immediately loses a tad of my high regard by cheesily and faketastically voice-overing, "My dad was right. I had to go for it." And if anything else was said after that, no one in the FOX viewing audience could say, because of the laughing heard across the continent just then.

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The Casino

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