Season 1, Episode 5: “White Sauce? Hot Sauce?”
Directed by Wayne Yip
Written by Peter Macmanus
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Year of the Horse” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Scrapyard of Childish Things” – click here
Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni) is surprised to find Dt. Meredith McCarthy (Lili Mirojnick) in the lair of the Very Bad Santa (Joseph D. Reitman) where he’s just ended up himself. She says it’s all for Amanda Hansen (Medina Senghore). But when she reminisces on “old times,” he knows something is wrong. Then she advises him to go see Mr. Blue (Ritchie Coster). But worse, poor little Happy (Patton Oswalt) is worried sick, weeping for his friend Hailey (Bryce Lorenzo). So, Mr. Sax offers his hand to the imaginary blue unicorn his hand, wanting to get back to work.
Meanwhile, Mr. Blue is handling reality TV producer Landon (Ben Cole). He also sends Smoothie (Patrick Fischler) over to the Santa lair so he can clean the place up. The creepy cleaner finds Dt. McCarthy, then, well… things get a little creepier.
Not to mention the meth head Santa has all those kids in his truck, tied together by a string of Christmas lights. He calls them all out in line like Rudolph and his reindeer. The others move, but Santa stops Hailey, telling her she’s “way too nice” to go into the place where he’s sending all the others. Oh, god, that’s so unsettling. The children gradually make their way through some halls and into a room – a classroom, in fact. Hmm, intriguing.
Along the streets, Nick and Happy are heading to the Hansen home. The hitman hasn’t seen his ex-wife in a decade, so he’s worried. His imaginary buddy urges him on, after all the places they’ve been already on their search. It’s just that Amanda and Nick didn’t leave on “good terms” – yeah, that’s understating it massively – but rather intense, emotional things were swirling around them when it all went to shit because of him.
“I‘m not from New York, Nick. I‘m from Zork, the capital of Cupcake Kingdom!”
Into the classroom, where all the kids are quite confused, comes Smoothie. He plays a recording for them all to hear. Then he pulls out a corn on the cob and has a munch; not even with any butter, what a sick fuck. The recording speaks of “obedience” and careless parents to the room full of “contraceptive mishaps.” Afterwards, he introduces Hailey to a tiny mouse from a cage he brought before smashing it in front of her.
The reunion between Nick and Amanda is certainly awkward. The mom explains that despite Hailey being his daughter, she never wanted the girl to be his daughter. He obviously made his choices, spiralling into alcoholism and addiction. Life wouldn’t have turned out any better for the girl if she were around her dad, a man with a “dumpster fire” for a life. Their conversation is interrupted when an axe-wielding man breaks through the door and Sax has to stab him in the eye with the star off the top of the tree. A couple other guys arrive, too. Amanda fights one of them off with some aerosol spray and various items in the kitchen. Love the image of one man caught between Amanda and Nick, a trouble pair of exes turned into a dynamic ass kicking duo. Once it’s all finished, she kicks him out of the house.
Dt. McCarthy wakes up on her dad’s grave, a pussycat face drawn on her, blood across her forehead; remnants of her time with Smoothie. She’s been hauled in to see Internal Affairs, interrogated by two detectives (Ashlie Atkinson & Donnetta Lavinia Grays). What we see, more than Meredith’s own compromised position, is that the department is implicated in many, many things. What Dt. McCarthy’s actually getting is a “message” from Mr. Blue.
Further on their journey, Happy tries showing Mr. Sax the spirit of Christmas as they walk through the crowds. In the subway, after the lights go out, Nick turns the tables and shows his imaginary friend the “true nature” of people when they’re slightly inconvenienced. The little blue dude is upset to see people fighting. Until he watches the hitman drop himself backward onto the train tracks; the only one who really cares is Happy himself.
Nick won’t get up, he knows nobody will help him. Happy rushes trying to find someone who’ll see him, who’ll help. Not a soul can see him. The imaginary friend then disappears, so the hitman tries to get himself off the tracks, and finally some people help him up, effectively proving Nick wrong.
But where has Happy gone?
Isabella Scaramucci (Debi Mazar) is taking the old woman’s (Antonia Rey) advice, trying to call out to the soul of her boy Mikey (Gus Halper) by making him his favourite food. The whole time they’re on reality television. Gets pretty wild once the old lady pours in a few drops of her “menstrual blood.” How long has she been saving that? I mean, menopause had to have come about thirty years ago. Jesus in the garden.
Flashback to years before when Nick remembers a Christmas tune. He was meeting with Mr. Blue, and a guy dressed as Santa Claus was there, as well. Yes, that Santa. And suddenly he remembers. This means he’s figuring out that Blue has orchestrated all this horror. And sitting next to him on the bench out of nowhere is Mikey, naked, beating off.
What a beautifully weird show! God. Everything plot-wise is starting to come together. But in the last few episodes we’ve gotten some excellent character development. “The Scrapyard of Childish Things” is next.