Season 2 | Episode 7 | “About a Duck” | Aired Dec 2, 2014
I imagine one of the writers of About a Boy pitching this simple idea one day: Will and Fiona go on a double date. And then I imagine all the other writers looking up from their scribbled notepads in slow motion, jaws open, eyes lighting up as they simultaneously shout “BRILLIANT!” Of course, in slo-mo their gleeful reaction sounds like a deep and guttural death moan, but the sentiment is still there. Because really, how has it taken this long for a double date between our favorite platonic and polar-opposite friends to occur? It’s a hilarious recipe for disaster, and now that it’s happened, I’m hungry for more.
Fiona is still thinking about the kiss that Marcus’ teacher, Mr. Chris, planted on her after the Shakespeare program. Dressing to impress (although Will wonders if she’s going to school to pick up Marcus or “performing in the slutty Nutcracker“), Fiona boldly asks Mr. Chris out on a date. He’s hesitant (the whole “overstepping the bounds of dating a student’s mother” thing) but excitedly agrees. Seems now that she’s thrown the first card, he is ready to go all-in—to hell with the “bounds” he’s obviously stepping over. Mr. Chris promises to plan a romantic date, which Fiona accepts through blubbering tears of emotion or, as she explains to Mr. Chris, “wet-eye syndrome.”
Meanwhile, Dakota and her yoga mat are back. Will can’t help noticing her as she makes her way up Fiona’s stairs, pointing out that her “nomadic year of abstinence” is over. Obviously, he wants to celebrate. Dakota, who can’t help but notice Will’s wet T-shirt (courtesy of spraying himself with his hose), readily agrees. Obviously.
Fiona, worried about a recurrence of “wet-eye syndrome” or other weirdness that might show itself on her date, begs Dakota to come with her as her “safety net” (because bringing your friend along on your date isn’t weird at all). Since Dakota has already made a date with Will, she has a great idea: double date! Not surprisingly, Will and Fiona don’t think the idea is as brilliant as Dakota (and the aforementioned About a Boy writers).
After laying down some ground rules (Will isn’t allowed to make fun of Fiona; Fiona isn’t allowed to mess with Will’s “game”), they agree, and the next afternoon head out on a five-mile hike and picnic with Mr. Chris and Dakota. First on the agenda? Popping open a bottle of bubbly, which Mr. Chris does with a stick (of course). Drinking Prosecco and laughing at dumb jokes, Fiona is encouraged that things are going well. She tells Dakota that she thinks she’ll be fine finishing the date alone with Mr. Chris: “If there’s a lull in conversation, I’m good to get out my trusty uke, aren’t I?” she asks, as she pulls her ukulele out of her backpack. Dakota stays. Because ukulele.
Over the course of the date, Will grows increasingly irritated with all of Mr. Chris’ name dropping and casual mentions of his humanitarian work (he taught homeless kids basketball!). He even builds a gurney out of logs to pull Will through the woods after he falls in the creek. Fiona, still worried about saying the right things, starts rambling about diarrhea, and Dakota quickly advises her to just lie in agreement with everything Mr. Chris says.
Mayonnaise? Fiona loves it!
Basketball? Fiona’s favorite sport!
The Peking duck that Mr. Chris cured in his oak roasting cabinet for two weeks and is now being served at their picnic? DELICIOUS!
Mr. Chris (to vegan Fiona): Wing or leg?
Will: Ooh, that’s a Sophie’s Choice right there. Take your time with that one!
When Mr. Chris goes to get his carving knife (of course), Will begins retelling the tragic story of “Make Way for Ducklings.” Fiona freaks out and throws Mr. Chris’ perfectly cured masterpiece into the woods. Exhausted from trying to be someone she’s not, Fiona admits to Will that he’s made her self-conscious about this date. Will tells her that she’s smart and kind and beautiful (but of course not to him—”you’re not my thing on so many levels”). He says she’s like a movie you’re totally not into, but understand it’s awesome anyway. “You’re my English Patient,” he tells her. Awww.
Later, Fiona admits to Mr. Chris that she was lying about much of what she said, and that while she likes him, she was afraid to be weird. “I prefer to be myself,” she says, as she reaches into her backpack.
Dakota: Oh, no! She’s gonna uke!
Me: Hooray! She’s gonna uke!
As Fiona starts playing her ukulele and singing, Mr. Chris pops together a wooden flute (of course) and begins to accompany her. He’s pompous and insufferable, but I have to say, I like them together. Sadly, though, the odds of them making music together again don’t look all that promising. When she later gets a text from Mr. Chris saying he had a great time and wants to go out again, Marcus tells his mom that he likes it just being the two of them. Guess our future double-date dreams will have to remain just that.
Marcus, after blowing the whistle on Andy’s whereabouts: That was a major DTL, wasn’t it?
Laurie: What’s a DTL?
Marcus: Don’t tell Laurie!
Marcus: Now that I hear it out loud, DTL itself may be a DTL.
About a Boy airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30C on NBC.