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'Married' recap: Too broke to be cool

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “Uncool” | Aired Aug 7, 2014

Lina: I don’t hate you. I just hate my life, and my life is you.
Russ: Is this foreplay?

Married is a depressing show about the worst parts of being married. From sexual shortcomings to massive amounts of debt, things never seem to go as planned for Russ and Lina. This week? They can’t pay for their daughter’s braces, and the orthodontist refuses to tighten them.

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This sets both Russ and Lina on a mission: to earn some money. Russ has to track down an evasive customer, and Lina enlists Jess’s help to get together a resume and begin a job search of her own.

Russ and Bernie set out to track down their client: a fraternity treasurer named Doogie. Yes, like Doogie Howser.

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They make the trek out the frat house, where they are told that Doogie is not around. And that he probably won’t be around (at least until after midterms). Upon exiting the frat house, they pass by two college girls who are laughing at them. Not a great start to the day for Russ.

Lina and Jess don’t have much luck either. While strategizing resume builders at Jess’s house, Lina realizes she doesn’t have a lot of experience outside being “Class Mom” for her kids—a title she’s not exactly proud enough of to put on a resume. Fed up already with the corporate world, she wonders aloud if maybe she could open up her own business, maybe make her own jewelry or calligraphy. Jess snaps her out of it, though, reminding her that “those aren’t real jobs … those are rich white lady hobbies.” Lina’s best option might be to return to the job she had before she had kids—a job she hated but made money at—and she’s not at all happy about it. However, she reluctantly agrees to set up a lunch meeting.

Meanwhile, Russ and Bernie take a second stab at securing their money from the frat guys, and this time Russ again brings up the unnamed ex-boyfriend of Russ’s almost-mistress. But when they approach the house, Doogie is, again, nowhere to be found. Apparently he’s at Thurston, the “skank dorm,” hooking up with a “skank.” Also, apparently all girls are called skanks by frat guys on college campuses.

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Lina has an official lunch meeting with her boss, but she can’t bring herself to get out of the car and meet him. Instead, she sits in her car with Jess and AJ, smoking weed. Her biggest concern is the smell of her old boss’s terrible breath, so AJ offers to go in and do bad-breath recon. But in an attempt to do that, he ends up harassing Lina’s old boss in the bathroom, and when her old boss comes outside, he realizes that Lina and AJ are friends. Out of fear and anxiety, Lina quits a job she doesn’t have, yelling “I quit!” out the window as she rides off in her car.

Russ and Bernie get some help from a girl who had hooked up with Doogie to find him, only to realize that Doogie was actually just the first guy they met from the frat. He lied to avoid paying the bill. Russ freaks out (literally yelling, “No, we are not cool!”) before throwing a beer keg through the front door. He finally gets his money, but has to pay for the damages to the door. Luckily, his muscular hype man has a solution. Apparently, braces are half as expensive in his neighborhood. So to avoid paying “white people prices,” Russ and Lina take their daughter to a new orthodontist in a Hispanic neighborhood. Problem solved, for now.

Russ and Lina are constantly teetering on the edge of crisis, and “Uncool” reveals how they got to this precarious point. There are multiple callbacks to when they were younger, explaining that Russ and Lina blew all their savings on a surf shop that went out of business. Even, and perhaps especially, now, years later, they haven’t emotionally reconciled with the failure. But if there is to be any growth or development for these characters, it’s time for them to move on. And it’s time for them to finally succeed at something.

Married airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

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