Underemployed recap: sex and the committee

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Underemployed episode three recap
  • Whither the bro code?
What does it mean to follow the bro code? Is it a collection of arcane practices meant to train like-minded Natty Ice devotees into powerful warriors? Is it a clandestine map to an El Dorado of riches built in a jungle by Dave Matthews? Does it have something to do with keeping down hos to protect other bros? This was the question facing five reasonably employed Chicago twentysomethings on Tuesday's episode of Underemployed, MTV's ongoing flirtation with post-teen market research. They learn bro code, they violate bro code, they apply bro code to the heedlessly chauvinistic workplace—and this being MTV, they learn all about the subject through sex.

Former lover-bros Lou and Raviva seem happily settled into their new roles as parents after last week's slapstick adjustment period, but their quiet contemplation of life's awesome mystery is interrupted by groans from the sex their roommate Miles is having the room over—apparently the sixth time since last night (which, ʘ__ʘ). Kind of pissed that his daughter isn't growing up in a proper and nurturing environment in this radical loft, Lou decides to take matters into his own hands and knocks on Miles's door. Why he expected anything other than midcoitus embarrassment from two people loudly smushing not two seconds before intruding I don't know, but he manages to turn get the volume turned down a bit. He also manages to catch a glimpse of Miles's date's nipple. Party foul!

Oh man oh man, Lou as he makes coffee before work. Have I violated the bro code, either by seeing the naked body of a woman possessed by another man or by intruding on their sex life? Will Miles be, like, pissed, or violently territorial? Ah, but the bro code must contain a tenet along the lines of "Don't get mad, get even." Miles brushes off Lou's fears like nothing happened, then asks for Raviva, who's wearing just a towel, to grab something on a top shelf, contriving to see the reflection of her nipple in a toaster. Parity is restored, and only at the expense of one more woman's dignity. Phew. Either unaware or totally cool with this, Raviva points out later that the baby probably gets to sleep faster when she hears the repetitive noises (LOL) and that parenthood has changed Lou. When exactly did he turn into Don Draper, she inquires, endearingly?

Girl, you're looking for Don in all the wrong places, and not just because Draper is no model dad. The Mad Man of the episode is Daphne, as she masters the ins and outs of upper-management kowtowing at her ad agency gig and learns how to relate to men (bros!) at work. Daphne pitches a tagline aimed at young women for a tequila client to her boss, Todd, right after she tells him they can't see each other any more. Todd doesn't like it, but when his boss cans his idea (my new creed, "Whatever you're doing, do it drunk") he tries Daphne's idea. That gets the big boss lady's attention, and the ex "suck[s] all the credit up his butt like a big giant credit vacuum," as Daphne puts it a little later. She meets with the boss to suck the credit back, but the boss totally goes off on her, because all credit rolls uphill, baby: "The only one that's not my idea is the stupid one that you had to walk into my office like a preschooler asking for a gold star." Burn! Todd is vindicated; not so much "the modern workplace."

But Daphne gets her due in the meeting, when the client asks what she, a young woman who definitely didn't come up with this idea, thinks of the pitch. Daphne justifies it coolly—it's empowering, it lets you feel sexy if you want to—and rounds it out with, "Plus, straight tequila—no hangover!" The client pauses, dramatic effect practically gushing out of his orifices. "She's right," he says. "There is no hangover." Landing: stuck. Daphne's on the account, presumably no longer underemployed, and looking really sexy to Todd, with whom she gets a celebratory drink. The boss sees them flirting, leading to the intellectual heart of this episode.

Daphne wants to explain to this boss (no, I don't think the writers graced her with a name) that there's nothing going on between her and Todd, but Daphne gets another lecture instead. The boss explains that Daphne won't get ahead if she sleeps around at work, but not for the reasons you might think. "Men will let you slut your way to the top," says the boss. "It's the women. They will stop you." There might be a grain of truth to that point, in a post-Marissa Meyer world, but I don't think Gertrude Stein, for example, will be too pleased to hear it, given all the men who have and probably will continue to use women for sex at work. MTV! It's postfeminist.

Well at least there's the lesbian plotline for all the women's-rightists (he said sarcastically). Sophia has been staying with this woman for seven straight days. This sort-of girlfriend is totally cool—she goes to shows at the Hideout, a detail that racks up about 15 authenticity points for Underemployed. (Also appearing in this ep: the Tamale Space Ship!) More importantly, Sophia's loving all the sex they've had since her cherry was popped last week. Or . . . was it? Reluctant to identify as gay, she wonders if maybe she should try sex with dudes, to be properly baptized in the realm of intercourse. As it turns out "lesbian whispering" is Miles's specialty, so they get together to get Sophia straightened out. Now we're resolving the bro code, part sex-with-friends! And there's a happy ending—no, not that kind—it turns out Sophia really is gay, and everyone's cool and accepting of it. But the reasons that we know she's gay are SO TERRIBLE. It's awkward, she's afraid of it hurting, and in fluffing him up for the main event she finds Miles's dick to be weird, comparing it to a bike tire. But that's all normal! Dicks are weird. They're SO weird. I would be suspicious of any woman who wasn't weirded out at their first dick sighting. Good reasons to not want to have sex with a guy, definitely not proof positive for being a lesbian. Come on, show made for people with liberal sexual politics! This is messed up.

But at least Miles and Sophia are still bros, and she totally lets him sleep over. That's because he's in a big fight with Raviva and Lou. Turns out Lou did violate the bro code—Miles thought Lou was just doing Raviva's dirty work in the sex noises/baby sleeping scandal—and basically says so when he flips out at Raviva for asking him to turn down his video games, ranting about paying rent and living there too. After thinking long and hard, Miles says he's moving out to give the baby some space, no hard feelings. Lou's like, bro, don't do it, we love you. Miles is like, bro, I have to. And by the dictates of bro code, that's it. Miles is heading out, and in what seems to be a burgeoning trend for Underemployed, apologies are followed up by the gang getting together and doing something cheesy. This time it's at a bar where Sophia introduces everyone to her girlfriend, Laura, and the crew sings along to the Silversun Pickups for an awkward minute. Bro code staggers on, but with Miles on his way out of Lou's house, its continued welfare remains in doubt.

"Bro-gramming" note: Hell no there's no new episode next week. Get out there and rock the vote!

Previously: Episode 1Episode 2

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