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Friday, February 10th, 2012

Delocated Recap: "Skins"

No other show on television is as committed to ridiculous jokes and gags as Delocated.

Whereas most shows would bail after a passing reference to something as absurd as a potato-skins bar, Delocated centers an entire episode around “Jon’s” obsession with it. The show gets so much mileage out of the idea — “Jon” customizes his potato-skin bar with flame decals, “Jon” makes a six-foot party “skin” for a house-warming party, “Jon” tries to bribe a judge with a “skin,” numerous foreskin puns — that it takes viewer reactions from “Silly,” to “Ok, I get it,” to “Really, another one?” to “You know what, I respect their commitment here,” to “Oh my God this is brilliant.”

The unwavering commitment is what makes Delocated so great. Remember the “Ska-Mitzvah” episode from Season 1?

“Skins” was a hilarious follow-up to last week’s Season 3 premiere, which felt a little uneven because it had so much plot to reveal. Last night’s episode begins with “Jon” handing over $1 million in cash — money that actually belongs to his son, David — to the Wang Cho Chinese street gang in order to secure their protection from the Mirminsky family. After the handoff, “Jon” once again showcases his utter stupidity by walking the streets of New York and believing that every Asian person he encounters is a Wang Cho operative watching his back — “undercover Chos,” as he calls them.

David is incredulous. Now that he’s older, David can clearly see how immature, self-centered and just plain dumb his father is. He’s almost resigned to deal with it until “Jon” refuses David’s modest request to use some of the $5 million he inherited from his mother to buy him a new bed. To add insult to injury, “Jon” uses some of that money to buy himself the aforementioned potato-skin bar and to purchase a pair of “bone-phones” for David to wear so he can’t hear his dad having sex.

Having already worked as television producer, David has proven how shrewd he can be. Fed up with his dad’s antics, he takes “Jon” to court to emancipate himself from his father’s guardianship. In the meantime, David strikes up a friendship with “Jon’s” new bodyguard, TB, who feels bad that “Jon” won’t give in to any of David’s request. TB tells David he can refer to him as his “secret dad,” and though his lines are few, they always kill.

“David, if anything’s ever bothering you, you can tell me…And I’ll strip it down and attach electrodes to its testicles and shock it into submission,” TB tells David.

On the murder front, we had a couple good ones this episode. Sergei executes a Wang Cho member in glorious, blood-splattering style, and later takes out his cousin Pavel, who was incensed that the Mirminsky family was dragging its heels to kill “Jon,” and tried to take matters into his own hands. That had always been Sergei’s position, but now he’s saying the family must wait, and backs the incompetent Yvgeny as the new head of the Mirminskys. It’s obvious Sergei is up to something, perhaps methodically plotting a strategy for a power grab.

We still haven’t heard much from Janeane Garofolo’s character, Susan, the head of the network airing “Jon’s” reality show. Though I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in future episodes. The same goes for Jon’s new life coach, The Glaze, who seems almost extraneous at this point.

On a side note, we had a case of art dictating life as hoagie-aficionado “Jon” did a spot for Subway that aired during a commercial break. Nice going Subway for giving a fictitious guy in a ski mask a job as a spokesman.

Phil Davidson lives in Vermont, but not because he's in the witness protection program.