In this episode of Feed the Beast, “Father of the Year,” Tommy goes to his estranged father with a business opportunity, Dion hustles to make a deadline, Pilar is put in a difficult position and a violent confrontation occurs.
Tommy may have decided to open a restaurant with Dion, but his attitude hasn’t improved. He’s still surly, still drinking and still hates his job as a wine rep. Talking about Thirio (beast) in the abstract and getting the money to make it a reality are two very different things, and one big obstacle stands between Tommy and Dion’s Bronx-based Mediterranean restaurant: they’ve got no money. To get the funds, Tommy is going to have to deal with his father, whom he hasn’t spoken to in 10 years, and the mere thought of facing his father has Tommy even more out of sorts than usual.
Feed the Beast Series Premiere Recap: A Grieving Father and an Ex-Con Rekindle an Old Dream >>>
Take This Job and Shove It
Tommy may have a nose for wines, but he lacks the charm to move the product, according to his boss, Frank. Being a functional alcoholic doesn’t help either. Tommy’s so busy sampling the product that he mixes up orders and lacks follow-through. The vendors are complaining, and if Tommy doesn’t get his act together he’s going to lose his job.
But Tommy decides that he’d rather quit than continue to sell wine in bulk to people who don’t know anything about wine anyway.
Nine More Fingers and a Mouth Full of Teeth
Patrick is still breathing down Dion’s neck. He doesn’t trust Dion to follow through. He wants to see a written contract with an investor in 48 hours. Dion considers this an almost insurmountable task, but nothing is more motivating than the thought of losing your fingers and a few of your teeth.
Tommy arrives home to an anxious Dion, who is under the impression that Tommy has already been to see his father. When he learns that Tommy is still dragging his feet, he forces the issue, even offering to come along as backup.
It’s easy to see where Tommy gets his sparkling personality. His father’s first words to Tommy are that he hasn’t aged well. Tommy responds that losing a wife can do that to you. That sums up the pleasantries between Aidan Moran (John Doman) and his son.
Aidan is paralyzed from the waist down, and his only companion appears to be a stoic woman who, while privy to all of Aidan’s personal and professional business, serves little other purpose than to stand around waiting to lift Aidan in and out of his wheelchair. Aidan owns a scaffolding business called Moran and Son, but the son is scratched out on every sign.
Tommy starts to pitch the restaurant but is obviously intimidated by his father. Dion takes over. He appeals to Aidan, visionary to visionary. The Bronx is the last uncharted territory, ready to be prospected. His pitch goes a bit awry when Dion asks Aidan what is the one thing the Bronx doesn’t have, and Aidan answers, “White people.”
Dion recovers and promises Aidan the potential for serious bank as an investor. Dion’s making a lot of promises, hinging on the success of a restaurant located in the Bronx that hasn’t even opened yet. Also, Dion is an unproven chef as far as we know.
Aidan is intrigued enough to ask about the menu, and Dion invites Aidan by their place for a tasting. He then turns his attention to the papers on his desk. Guess the meeting is over.
Tooth Fairy Sr.
Patrick’s father, Ziggy (David Patrick Kelly) may be behind bars, but he’s still very involved in the family business, and he’s putting a lot of pressure on his son to not let anything fall through the cracks, including Dion. Ziggy wants Dion dead, but Patrick is more interested in recouping the 600 grand, and you can’t get money out of a dead man. Maybe not. But Ziggy believes Patrick can send a message that actually means something.
Pilar Pursues Tommy
Pilar, the lovely widow that Tommy met at a grief group, calls him. She’s still interested in getting some wine recommendations for her sister’s restaurant. He offers to come up with a list and give it to her at the next meeting, but she wants to come to his place. He explains that he’s living in the old Kramer Piano factory, and the place is currently being renovated. This doesn’t stop her from dropping by unexpectedly.
TV’s 15 Most Anticipated Summer 2016 Premiere Dates >>>
Adventures in Babysitting
Dion leaves Tommy to chat with Pilar and picks TJ up from school. The school counselor who Tommy butted heads with a day earlier stops Dion. She’s unaware of anyone other than Tommy having permission to pick up TJ. Dion explains that he’s going to be helping TJ through this difficult time while his father is “spiraling.” She’s happy to hear that Tommy is reaching out for help, and from the way Dion stares at her ass as she walks away, she could be a potential love interest for the fast-talking chef. Dion is supposed to be charming, but he just comes across as a glorified street hustler, a bad boy chef whose love of food doesn’t match his sense of self-preservation.
As they are about to leave, TJ grimaces as he puts on his seat belt. Dion lifts his shirt and sees a huge bruise on the boy’s stomach. Dion questions who hit him, and TJ glances over at a kid in a purple hat. Dion is ready to intervene, but TJ stops him.
Dion takes TJ with him to see his Uncle Stavros. Stavros is surprised that his nephew is still in the country and warns him that the Tooth Fairy is just upstairs. Dion assures him that he and Patrick have come to an understanding. What he needs right now is a loan so he can buy supplies for the tasting.
Next, he takes TJ shopping, which includes scoring a bit of cocaine from a local butcher. Not exactly Mary Poppins, is he?
Plenty of Reservations
It’s time to prepare the food, and Dion recruits TJ to be his sous chef. It’s likely that cooking will be the catalyst that gets TJ talking again, but Dion’s long-term influence on the kid remains to be seen. A safe bet is that TJ will idolize him, until he witnesses Dion’s true colors.
There have been a lot of good movies made about food and how the way it’s prepared and savored are metaphors for life. I’m sure I’ll mention a few in upcoming recaps. I don’t think Feed the Beast is going to end up being a small-screen equivalent, especially when Dion tells TJ he has to listen to the pans. Ugh.
Aidan arrives and Tommy introduces him to TJ, but Aidan doesn’t bat an eye. He came to eat.
Tommy and Dion try to give Aidan the full-court press, but Aidan isn’t interested in his son’s vast knowledge of wines, nor is he any kind of gourmand. The guy equates pigeon with quail and puts ice cubes in his wine. Aidan may not go for the food, but he accepts that the Bronx is going to be gentrified and all those brave souls are going to need somewhere to eat. He agrees to become a partner but on the condition that he gets to see TJ once a week. A surprising little twist. (Don’t expect this to be warm and fuzzy like a Gilmore Girls Friday night dinner.)
Tommy doesn’t want his son to have anything to do with the racist prick, especially since Aidan has never bothered to see his grandchild, who just happens to be black, before. But Dion thinks this might be a sign that Aidan has changed, and TJ indicates interest in getting to know the old man better. Tommy reluctantly agrees, and Aidan hands them a contract.
Dion is eager to seal the deal, but Tommy points out that his father didn’t get rich by playing fair and wants a lawyer to look over the contract. He rushes over to his lawyer’s place, the one he banged but who hasn’t wanted to have anything to do with him since. She refuses to help him out.
Dion Manipulates Pilar
Dion suggests that Tommy ask Pilar to look over the document. Tommy doesn’t want to bother her, but Dion points out that Pilar is interested in him and encourages his friend that it might be time to start entertaining the idea of getting back out there.
Pilar hands the contract over to her sister, who questions why Tommy would think Pilar could help him out. According to her sis, Pilar is smart but scattered. The woman says there are some things in the contract that could come back to bite the ass of whoever signs it and states that she sure wouldn’t.
Pilar stops by Tommy’s and finds Dion at home. She tells him there are some issues with the contract. Dion argues that no contract is perfect and a lot of issues go away over time. Pilar thinks Tommy should still be aware that it’s not good and they shouldn’t sign it.
Dion knows that Pilar likes Tommy, and again, he figures out how to use someone’s weakness against them. Tommy lost his wife, his kid’s a mute and his life has been in a nosedive for a year. But the idea of the restaurant has caused glimpses of the old Tommy to return. If Pilar wants to send Tommy crashing back down, that’s entirely on her. His tone is a bit more threatening. It’s subtle, but it’s there. So Dion has the capacity to be a bully.
At the grief group, Tommy admits he’s been feeling less depressed. He’s starting to come out of the fog and he thinks TJ sees that. It’s important to him that TJ doesn’t see “zombie dad” but that he sees his father. This reinforces what Dion told Pilar, and she keeps her reservations to herself. Dion may have been right, but his intentions are questionable.
Parental Guidance Not Suggested
Tommy drops TJ off at his grandfather’s house. The two sit in uneasy silence. TJ is fascinated with Aidan’s gun collection. But when his grandfather catches him looking, he snaps at TJ, telling the boy he didn’t give TJ permission to be in that room and orders him into the kitchen.
Aidan drops off TJ and has some unsolicited advice for Tommy, who he thinks might be too lenient a parent. Aidan also believes that TJ’s too much of a free thinker, like his mother. Tommy warns Aidan to never speak about Rie.
Tommy spots the bruises on TJ as his son gets ready for bed. TJ won’t tell his dad what happened, and Tommy assumes it was Aidan. He immediately goes to his father’s house and confronts him. Aidan doesn’t deny the accusation because he wants to see how and if his son will react. Maybe Tommy’s never proven to be quite butch enough for dear, old dad.
Tommy gets in one good punch, but even in a wheelchair Aidan is able to beat the crap out of his son. It makes you wonder just how dangerous Aidan was when all of his limbs were functioning.
Their fight ends with Aidan pulling a gun on Tommy. He swears that the only thing preventing him from blowing his son’s brains out is that it would ruin the expensive rug.
Tommy leaves and immediately calls Dion. He tells him they aren’t getting into business with his father under any circumstances, even if that means no restaurant. Dion agrees, but he’s just delivered the contract to Patrick. There’s no way he’s backing out of this deal now.
Feed the Beast airs Tuesdays at 10pm on AMC.
(Image courtesy of AMC)