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'Men of a Certain Age' recap: And the lion circles its prey

MOCAjune8

Some relationships last for years, and when they're over we go on without missing a beat. Others may only run a few months, but when they end we fall to pieces.

On TNT's "Men of a Certain Age," Terry is an example of the latter. Still devastated by the abrupt end of his brief romance with Erin, he's showing up to work at the car dealership tired, angry and in wrinkled clothes. He's lost his sense of humor, and he's too upset to tell his best friends what's bugging him. If that's not enough, he's about to turn 50.

His bad mood heightens the tension with Marcus, a rival salesman who's top dog at Owen's dealership. Terry has made inroads on Marcus, who retaliates by making jokes about Terry's age.

"You do know what the Internet is, right? That place where you reorder Viagra," Marcus cracks.

With his heart broken, Terry goes back to what he does best: getting stoned and one-night stands. After bedding a young caterer, though, one can't help but notice that he seems a little embarrassed about himself.

While Terry nurses his wounds (which are both mental and physical after Marcus beats him up at work), Joe struggles to keep from reopening old ones. His relationship with Manfro, the cancer-battling bookie, is threatening his own chances of staying away from gambling, which already cost him a marriage and almost a lot more. When an ailing Manfro asks Joe to pick up a fee from one of his customers, Joe also ends up taking a bet from the guy and doesn't tell Manfro. To make matters worse, Joe wins.

One reason gambling is suddenly starting to appeal to Joe again is because his golf comeback is hitting the skids. He is struggling at the driving range, and his coach Roy wants to drop him. The only bright spot for Joe is that his son Albert seems to be finally getting over his anxiety issues. Albert's band performs at his high school's talent show and, much to Joe's surprise, Albert has a blast and the crowd eats it up.

This was the second of the six-episode summer run of "Men of a Certain Age," and while it started light, it got dark fast as Terry slid into depression and Joe begin to doubt himself as a golfer. However, that doesn't mean there weren't some moments of levity. One is when Terry is hitting on the caterer while Joe and Owen narrate the action as if it is a wildlife special on television.

"And the lion circles its prey," Joe says as Terry first approaches the caterer.

Then, as she laughs at one of his jokes, Owen adds, "Sadly now, there can be but one outcome."

While Ray Romano's Joe and Scott Bakula's Terry had some meaty story lines to work with, Andre Braugher's Owen spent most of the episode on the sidelines as comic relief and a referee.

However, in the final scene he has a heart-to-heart with Terry that is both loving and firm and reestablishes Braugher as the heavyweight of the show's three stars. Now just let him get into the center of the ring more.

— Joe Flint

Photo: Scott Bakula as Terry in "Men of a Certain Age." Credit: Danny Feld/TNT.

 
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