Lone Star State of Mind

by Angel Cohn September 21, 2010
Fall Pilot Season: Lone Star

In another car he's driving into Downtown Houston and is on the phone with Lindsay telling her that his day went well and that he's pulling into his hotel. But before he gets out of the car he takes his wallet and cell phone and switches it out for another wallet and cell phone that is in the storage console in the center of the car. He seems a little OCD about how he specifically ties them together with rubber bands, but maybe that's just me. He then steps out of the SUV, and we see that he's not at a hotel, but rather at a sizable McMansion. Same suitcase though. He's home, greets Friday Night Lights's lovely Adrianne Palicki as "honey." She says he's early and then tells him they've got a charity event to attend. He advises her to cancel and to tell the charity folks that her husband is sorry he can't get out of bed. Then there's some more sex, and a zoomed in shot on the gorilla key chain.

Apparently one of the requirements of living Bob's double life is finding women ready to drop everything they are doing and have sex with him at moment's notice. He and Palicki (aka Cat Thatcher) are interrupted (seemingly the next day) by a call from her dad who wants to know where they are. This call kills the mood as said father has summoned them to brunch.

Drew has a hangover cure that he bills as "medicine" and says that you can barely taste it when it is mixed with alcohol so that you never actually get drunk. Hmm... we just used to call that hair of the dog around the old homestead. But apparently in the Thatcher family, it is some fancy newfangled medicine. Skeptical brother Trammel turns down a taste, but Bob and Cat gamely give it a whirl, only to realize that the flavor has not been masked in the slightest. Drew says that they just need 50 grand more to make the flavor palatable, but Trammel says they are in the oil business, not throwing money away as venture capitalists.

No matter, all this fun and game "medicine" business is tossed aside when Clint shows up. This stern patriarch doesn't even sit down before he's making digs at Cat for not wanting to come and lecturing the rest of the family on how he used to do some old-fashioned manual labor back in his day and helped dig and lay pipe for his very first well thirty years ago. His point is that the only things that last are those that are made with your own hands, and he fired Doug Phelps, the turnaround specialist who had just been hired. Trammel tries to talk him out of it, but Clint is super stubborn and even though he doesn't know a thing about PowerPoint (even what it is called), he does know that Bob is making money hand over fist because he's out on the streets busting his ass to make sales every day. Clint decides that Bob is the person to fill the empty office, much to Trammel's clear disgust and Bob's obvious shock. Clint says there is no need for discussion. Bob asks to sleep on it, and Clint grants him a little leeway.

After brunch, Bob is at a storefront that has some busted up office equipment in it, but not a whole lot else... aside from some mail. John's there though. He was worried sonny boy had gotten arrested, and Bob says that he had a busy morning. What with being offered an executive position at a big oil company and all that. John doesn't give him a chance to explain and lodges into his current dilemma about how someone wants to see the mystery well that they've been hawking door to door. Bob, all grown up now and not able to be shoved so easily out windows, interrupts him and tells him about the position he's been offered. John's eyes light up, he says he's in, that this is what they've been working for. The big con. Bob isn't as excited and says that he wants the job for real. Not just as a con. John looks utterly perplexed by this. He tells his son that he doesn't know anything about real. That he's a con man, and a really amazing one at that. I guess that's sort of a pep talk. But just in case his son has any lofty aspirations, he reassures him that Bob was not raised to be an oil and gas man and can't just actually be one. That he's just got to keep his eye on the prize, and that's the keys to the safe at the oil company.

Bob asks what to do about his wife Cat. John says that she's the mark and not his real family. Cat's just the foothold into the corporation and John is the only person Bob can trust. Poor Bob, he's like little baby Sawyer from Lost, a con man who almost occasionally tries to do right... well, except hopefully Bob's mother met a kinder fate. John moves on to trying to figure out how to put off the guy who wants to see the well, and plot how to get big bucks from big oil. Bob looks like he wants to cry, but instead he smirks as he goes outside to call and accept the job.

Next thing we know Bob is back to conning. He's out at a well site and introduces himself as Ted Lanford, a location scout who is looking to show a director a potential movie site. He slips the man in charge a hundred for the trouble. And then he's in his car filling up a suitcase with wads of cash. He's got his hard hat and the briefcase, and the guy who wants to see the well. John's pretending to be the foreman and they show them around the fake movie site well. There are even some fake blueprints to show Larry with the cowboy hat, who is still quite skeptical... well, until Bob turns on the charm about how he'd rather buy out the sale and earn Larry's trust and friendship instead, and offers him the briefcase of cash. Larry tells him to keep the cash, and says that he's happy and would like to buy two more shares and he's off to get his checkbook. After Larry walks away John compliments him on his moves and says he's really the best con artist he's ever seen. Though he looks pissed to find out that Bob is heading back to Midland, even though that place has been "milked dry" and the clock is ticking out there.

In a super swanky hotel lounge, Bob is approached by a lovely young lady in a suit who wants to know if she saw him heading to Dallas the other day. She sits down with him to chat, and the next thing we know he's explaining about the magic medicine that you mix in with a drink so as not to get drunk. He claims that something is wrong with his room, and he's waiting for it to be fixed... she invites him to take advantage of the ample room that she has available and he smiles and fiddles with his wedding ring as a sign. The girl doesn't care that he's married, she just wants some fun because marriage sucks the sexy out of a relationship. We see him on the phone alternately listening to Lindsay and Cat tell him about their days. He asks hotel chick about something that is real and lasting, she said that people are only nice to each other when they have something to hide. She assures him that no one would ever have to know and asks for one good reason. We see him telling Cat and Lindsay he loves them, and then telling pretty random girl that he's got two and takes off to his room where there's actually a maintenance man fixing the hot water. I for sure thought he was conning his way into a free room and didn't have a place to stay. Go figure.

The next morning he's at a jewelry shop, back to the clean and friendly airport and driving back to see Lindsay. Then he's mowing the lawn without a shirt on. She doesn't seem to be complaining.

At a football game, Drew and Trammell are talking about their glory days and Tram's son's prospects. Trammell wants to stop Bob, and Drew doesn't care. Trammell thinks their dad could be losing his edge because he used to crush slimy salesmen like Bob. But Drew says Clint recently punched out a thieving roughneck so he's totally fine. How's the roughneck? Drew continues that Bob's family, so they really have no say. Trammell refers to a mysterious Uncle Roy who is now dead, and Drew looks about as pensive as his limited brain will let him. Tram says he'll take care of Bob, so long as Drew's behind him.

Bob's having a huge backyard barbeque in Midland, complete with moon bounce. The aunt from Sabrina the Teenage Witch (not Caroline Rhea, the other one) is Lindsay's mom. She and Lindsay's dad are so excited about the well and the profits they are going to get that they are already planning their trip to Europe. They continue to unwittingly make Bob feel like shit by going on about other people losing their retirements while they and their friends are off buying new cars thanks to the well.

Later there is a poker game outside, and some guy named Travis is hitting on Lindsay. Travis claims that Linds calls him all the time when Bob's away because she's all lonely. Bob punches him. And inside Lindsay reassures him that it isn't true, but she kind of loved that he punched Travis anyway. She tries to woo him with sex, but he has to go take out the trash and get the bag from the jewelry store. But while he's outside, John's waiting there like a stalker, saying that Bob has to get out now because there's a lawyer in Midland requesting the deed and that when the truth comes out Bob's going to get lynched by the town people and/or tossed in jail. But Bob says he can't leave, and walks back in the house.

But in bed, he gets up in the middle of the night and tells Lindsay that he has to go because there is a problem with the wells and he'll be away for a while. Actually, not a total lie. She just sleepily says OK, as he packs and takes off. He looks wistfully at their little yellow house with the freshly mowed lawn as he drives away. At a convenience store he sees a father taking advantage of the fact that his son works there and pockets a bunch of stuff and only pays for gum. The son tries to stop him, but to no avail. You know that's coming out of his pocket. Poor kid. Bob pays for his 95-cent soda with a fifty-dollar bill and tells the cashier that it is to cover for the last guy. Aw, boys bonding over the fact that their dads are crooks. Cute.

When Bob gets back to the car he sees the jewelry box and the two cell phones and he just

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