It's two weeks until the fight, and Patrick is in good shape but is wondering when he and Stacy Keach are going to talk strategy, so Stacy Keach tells him he needs to fight a war of attrition against Reynolds. Speaking of whom, Barry turns up and tells Patrick that his odds against Reynolds dropped sharply overnight, and as such he thinks that Patrick is planning to take a dive, which better not happen if he knows what's good for him. Patrick asks Johnny if anyone, such as Brennan, came to him about throwing the fight, but Johnny swears that's not the case. Later, Johnny arranges for a fake news story about Reynolds having a mild heart attack, which gets the line moving back in Patrick's favor, which I guess is good?
Patrick's mother turns up out of nowhere and says she's back after 17 years, as she's read about Patrick's recent troubles and has been worried. Turns out she's an alcoholic and is in recovery, and she's also the mystery beneficiary of the money Patrick had been sending to points heretofore unknown. Patrick invites her to stay, to Theresa's surprise, as she thought Patrick was still "furious" with her, but when Patrick tells his siblings about their mother's return and invites them to dinner, Margaret flatly says she can go to hell, while Johnny, only marginally less bitter, isn't sure Patrick needs this kind of distraction so close to the fight. May, the mother, turns up to the gym, rendering Stacy Keach by turns speechless, flustered and horny; later, she confides in Theresa that the first time she left was in protest that he got Johnny started in boxing, and conveys her worry about Patrick. Great?
Brennan and Margaret get shot at coming out of the diner, and although no one takes a bullet, when May shows up to the hospital, Margaret flips out, and everyone's a shaky mess in the wake of the attack, considering they don't even know who it came from. May tries to commiserate with Theresa, having a drink as she does, and it turns out she and her supposedly-dead boyfriend have been trying to shake the family down, so Patrick, feeling like a total sap, breaks the BF's hand, which, dude's a dick but he's also like 60, so not exactly a fair fight, Patrick. However, it's hard to feel too bad when May shows up at the end with a black eye and begs Patrick to help her get clean. Patrick, however, gives her twenty grand to get on a bus to anywhere, and even though she begs him to reconsider, he leaves her. Also, Brennan tells Patrick the line moved so he could get a bigger payday from Patrick and subsequently get rid of Barry for good, and tells him to prepare for war. And next week, I guess we'll finally get it.
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I guess I should mention the fact that the show was officially canceled last week? Well, it was. Big surprise. And if you're looking for reasons why, this episode is a good place to start. I mean, can you think of a less auspicious sign than it sharing its name with that...movie, for want of a better word?
Patrick is doing a little sparring as Stacy Keach watches with an appraising eye, as does that producer/interviewer Charlie from the sidelines. When they break, Stacy Keach says he has to give Ed Romeo (who?) credit, as Patrick looks a lot freer in the ring, and adds that with two weeks to go, Patrick's peaking at the right time. Patrick's like, that's great, but asks when they're going to discuss strategy, and Stacy Keach asks "Huh?" like he's unfamiliar with the word, which is probably not the greatest testament to his coaching skills. Patrick, however, repeats the question, so Stacy Keach, after consideration and a glance Charlie's way...
...brings Patrick into the office, whereupon he informs Patrick that since he's fought a lot of fights, he can't tell him anything he doesn't already know. To quote Norm Peterson, "Ladies and gentlemen, Knute Rockne!" Stacy Keach, this is a guy who doesn't have the first clue even about what an athlete's diet looks like. I don't think he's quite ready to form the battle plan himself. But of course, Stacy Keach is feeling gun-shy given how he fucked up the last Reynolds fight, so Patrick has to tell him that that's history, and he can't win the fight if they're going to "tap-dance around each other." Amusing a mental image as that may be. Assured that Patrick wants to hear this, Stacy Keach tells him that Reynolds is a much better fighter than he was five years ago, with twenty extra pounds of muscle and the confidence of a champion, so Patrick's going to have be the Ali to his Foreman in a war of attrition, and while the comparison seems apt, with the dementia I might have come up with something different here. Stacy Keach goes on that he's going to have to let Reynolds punch himself out for seven or eight rounds, and when he tires, "you make your move and you knock him out. I don't care what kind of shape your eye is in." Okay, he leaves that last bit out, but does anyone doubt that Patrick's going to revisit that kind of trouble in the fight? Anyway, Stacy Keach assures Patrick that he'll be the last man standing, because he always is, but Barry bursts in and tramples the touching moment by telling Patrick he needs to speak with him, NOW...