A steamy subplot brings about change for the tenants. Will it be enough to save BFP?
Scion, the apartment in which Ross (David Schwimmer) lives, is owned by a bizarre fellow called Orson (David Patrick Kelly), who doesn’t bother to wear anything but flashy socks, a hoodie and stilettos, and who presides over what is essentially a frat house for the terminally ill (given the apparent suicide rate amongst the residents). Every single one of them, including Claire, has lived on the building’s grounds before it had been cleaned, but Orson broke his own rule, because he could. But now, with four spaces left, the residents want him out of their lives for good. Well, that’s BFP’s problem, anyway. Orson doesn’t care how expensive this becomes to maintain – and for that reason, the residents are prepared to dig their heels in and fight.
More about those spaces, by the way. Claire had originally rented a bedroom for her ill mother-in-law, but ultimately chose to leave her apartment so it could be cleaned. There’s still one more that still needs to be claimed, which really makes BFP seem like a super-rich Third World slum. But it’s not, of course. Unlike most apartments in the neighbourhood, this place is fully furnished, has a private entrance, and is located on Avenue A, a prime location. “You can only have so many roommates,” Orson murmurs to no one in particular. “Well, you have seven.” He could have added several more, if he had had the foresight.
While BFP offers its new tenants some attractive medical services, Old Folsom refuses to go along with the new system. By “new”, I mean the new owner. By “old”, I mean the building’s long-standing (no pun intended) no-frills tenants. He’s made his life more comfortable by replacing the medical staff with a creature of similar ilk: a team of nurses to do his housekeeping and follow-up. He lets the residents use his bathroom and barber shop, and gives them the desk space in his offices, where he can do back-office work. Given his memory and the general ineptitude of the current medical staff, those are good services to have, especially since they are accepted by the tenants. The main objection that I imagine to Old Folsom is that he’s more worried about his surroundings than the residents themselves, which is one of BFP’s many wonders.
The scammers are in a comical state. Stuart, a hapless property agent, decides he’s going to make a killing (no pun intended) by flogging a highly desirable, but dingy, building. The purchase is carried out by the scheming (but cut-throat) Jack Hollis, who tells Stuart that the new owners will give him a percentage. It sounds like a lot of money, but is also far more than he could ever hope to earn from having a room in BFP. Stuart, however, is indestructible and refuses to keep any of the money – that is, until his assistant insists that he should, or else she’ll go to Orson and report him. And so, in dramatic and sobering fashion, Stuart is driven to hand over his profits to Orson, but only after he has negotiated a bribe in the form of fresh supercell bulbs.
Some of the newcomers have been hesitant, some even hesitant enough to pass up interesting spots. Stuart, however, is a little more eager. His frantic (and swaggering) emails prompt Claire to forward them to her “friend” (Claire never replies, but we are meant to assume that “friend” is Orson). It takes a while before she comes clean, and when she does, it’s one of the more entertaining developments of the episode.
Claire didn’t pass up on the bread, either. She left a bag of strawberries under Orson’s door. They probably weren’t allowed in during BFP’s tenancy, so it’s not clear how many Orson received and what Claire will do to compensate him. But will Orson respond to the sweetness? Or will Claire’s strawberries merely change Orson’s mind?
This episode contained a few further developments, including a final ending on a cliffhanger. I look forward to diving back into B