Detroiters S1E10, “Quick Rick Mahorn in Dearborn”

For what I believe is the season finale, Detroiters revisits one of the lingering threads from the beginning of the series: What happened to Carter Grant (Jason Sudeikis), the Chrysler executive who gave Tim and Sam a chance to pitch to the company… until they ran over him in the parking lot, then tried to cover it up by putting his head in a bag of potato chips and leaving him in the woods?

Well, as we discover in the opening scene, when our boys run into him at the D Awards* banquet, pretty much all the worst things possible. Carter is walking with a cane, which we (and the dynamic duo) assume is from the car accident… but no, it’s because a guy “ripped off [his] patella” in an MMA match, the endpoint of a ridiculous serious of human disasters that have piled up on Carter.

* – It’s an advertising awards banquet, and yes, that does open the stage for the host** to make some “Who wants to take home some D tonight?” jokes.
** – That host being none other than Richard Karn– or, as he’s introduced at the ceremony, “Al Borland from Home Improvement!”

They root for him to win an award for the last commercial he created for Chrysler, but instead it goes to Doner Advertising (a real Michigan-based ad company, for the record) for their Downriver Ale ad. (The other nominees: Another Doner ad, this time for Little Caesar’s; Carter’s ad for Chrysler; and Cramblin-Duvet’s ad for a local car dealership, “Quick Rick Mahorn in Dearborn.” All three except the C-D ad use the same Kid Rock song and black-and-white footage and pacing, with narration about how Detroit has been through tough times but is on its way back up.)

This of course creates tremendous guilt in Tim and Sam, who are so distracted by it they can’t even muster up a pitch to Quicken Loans (a meeting that Carter set up for them as a courtesy, which is starting to annoy them: “It’s not polite! It’s mean!”) They finally decide to confess to Carter, in a hilarious sequence where they learn he reconnected with his high school crush who’s also now a physical therapist. (Tim: “So, in a way, that car accident was the best thing to ever happen to you…?”)

Carter, of course, doesn’t see it that way, and declares there’s nothing they can do to make it up to him… and then they realize there is, and Carter runs over Sam and Tim with his car, stuffs empty potato chip bags over their heads, and leaves them in the woods. The episode ends with Sam and Tim reaching out to hold hands in the forest.

Oh, and the episode’s title creates for a hilarious runner, when the day after the awards, Rick Mahorn (yes, former Detroit Piston of the Bad Boys Era Rick Mahorn) drops by the Cramblin-Duet offices to talk about another commercial… and overhears Sam and Tim criticizing his acting. So he leaves without speaking to them. Then on his Mopey Walk he sees a theater advertising acting classes, takes them, and ends up starring in a local play called All the Fixin’s, as both the main character and his mother. (Sam and Tim are quite impressed. And for the record, Mahorn was quite enjoyable in his guest stint.)

All in all this episode was one of the less laugh-out-loud funny episodes, so there are fewer jokes to cite, but there hasn’t been a bad episode of Detroiters yet– and it was inevitable that Jason Sudeikis’ character would return. I hope we get more Detroiters, but if we don’t, the ending shot of them is a perfect capsule of the ridiculousness and sweetness about the show.

Stray Notes and Quotes

  • Of course, it’s Sheila who reminds everyone that the D Awards is open bar. Of course, Sam and Tim go up and order eight drinks apiece.
  • A quick rundown of what happened to Carter Grant: His wife left him for his physical therapist, which was kind of his fault because the pain meds in the hospital got him back to drinking; he got into MMA, where a guy ripped off his patella; his father cut off his hand (and yes, the obvious joke is made even before we find out the reason Carter has a robot hand); he lost his job at Chrysler and eventually got hired back at a much lower position for half the salary.
  • Speaking of MMA, there’s this exchange:
    • CARTER: I was no good at it. just kept getting my ass kicked by black guys.
      TIM: Why say “black guys”?!
      CARTER: ‘Cause I could beat all the white guys.
  • If the hosting montage is to be believed, Richard Karn isn’t just handy with tools, he’s a bit of a song and dance (and magic and karate) man as well.
  • Carter discussing the awards and not winning: “Who knew everyone was gonna use Kid Rock, right?”
  • In typical Cramblin-Duvet fashion, the Rick Mahorn commercial has nothing to do with him as a basketball player but instead invents a superhero for him to play, one with The Flash’s powers and Batman’s backstory.
  • Mort Crim watch: “And the proof turned out not to be in the pudding, but in the murderer’s blood and semen.”
  • I really hope we get more of Detroiters (EDIT: We will; the show was renewed for season two), but if not, we’ll always have OOOH DEEEE-VER-EEEUUUUXXXX
  • And we’ll always have Sam’s prostitute commercial: