Things are so much more fun on State of Mind when Ann acts out. Last week, we got country songs. This week, she hits a car, almost hits Phil with a baseball bat, and seriously hits it off with a guy she just met — a guy who happens to be Cordelia’s ex-husband. Plus she gets to wrestle a singing catfish from Phil’s grasping hands. Go, Ann!
Too bad we spend so much of the time watching Ann be buttoned-up and restrained. I know therapists are supposed to be professional, but they are allowed to have personalities, right? She’s just so flat when she talks to her patients. I think they’re going for "calm and soothing to the troubled mind," but they’re hitting "you are feeling sleepy, very sleeeeeepy" to me.
This week’s Obligatory Dream Sequence sees Ann envisioning her own premature funeral, with everyone talking about how nice and quiet her life was, as she prepares to be interred in a rather hideous white dress. Ann keeps insisting she’s not dead, but no one can hear her — try singing it, it worked in "Spamalot"! (Well, until the guy got killed. Still, he was noticed!) The only vaguely funny part of the dream is seeing one of James’ freakish puppets weeping at the casket. That was unexpected.
Ann’s waking life isn’t much better — Phil is ransacking the house, collecting his stuff. Ann and Phil dispute ownership on several things, including a Bigmouth Billy Bass-type singing fish, which Ann really should have let Phil take. Phil continues to be a hateful dweeb.
Ann’s so distracted by her dust-up with Phil that she hits someone’s car at the office — and that turns out to belong to William, Cordelia’s ex-husband. William is very calm, very zen, and very attractive, plus he speaks for all of us when he tells Ann she’s a lot more fun when she’s cranky and potentially losing it. Ann immediately starts hallucinating him during her sessions. This causes her to miss signs that maybe, just maybe, the elderly couple she’s counseling have nefarious plots in mind — each of them seem to be having a lot of accidents. But when the wife calls telling Ann she’s afraid her hubby is trying to off her, Ann tells her to take some deep breaths and consider getting her brain scanned for signs of dementia. Oops! Hubby ends up dead of a heart attack and a tumble down the stairs, which wifey might have caused. Ann is guilt stricken, but her hallucinated dead patient tells her that eh, things happen, and the last three months had been a hell of a lot of fun. Oh, well that makes it ok, then.
It’s all about passion, see, which Ann is missing in her life. She finds it with William — cue the bom-chicka-wow music as the two of them get it on. Of course, Ann being Ann, she’s consumed by guilt and tells Cordelia the next day. Cordelia ain’t happy.
Granted, Cordelia ain’t happy about a bunch of things, including her client of the week, a charming young disabled man named Arthur, who was left at the altar. He obviously develops a thing for Cordelia, and she tries to let him down gently — this is a place for you to express yourself, not entertain me. No gifts, and don’t think anything’s going to happen between us. Arthur takes it hard, and cancels his session, but changes his mind and comes back, which gives Cordelia a new lease on her professional life, or … something. The storyline’s a little off for me — not the least because we later see Arthur striding along purposefully and watching Cordelia, not needing the crutches he made such a production of using. That’s creepy.
The crutches thing brings up what’s supposed to be the "funny" "lighthearted" subplot, which is that Fred is uncomfortable watching disabled folks tackle the stairs! Oh, that loveable crank … Yeah, I’m failing to see the point of Fred, and would be fine with him leaving. Fred wants to get a chair lift for the stairs, and gets so fixated on it that he goes into mourning when Cordelia says her disabled patient isn’t coming back. He needs to be distracted from his funk by James telling him that Ann is obviously getting some, although they don’t know from whom. They decide it would be sexist not to consider whether Ann and Cordelia are getting it on, and spend several blissful moments contemplating it. Again, they were going for light-hearted fun, but hit icky and creepy, for me.
Is Arthur some sort of crazed stalker? Is Ann breaking the Sacred Girlfriend Code by jumping into bed with Cordelia’s ex? Does Fred annoy the heck out of you? And why did Barry and Taj even bother to show up for this episode, when they had so little to do?