As it will do through its entire run, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret’s second episode picks up the morning after the first left off. Todd wakes up on his floor, covered in dried pee and other things, to a phone call from Dave, who reminds him that he has yet to sell any Thunder Muscle. Before Todd heads out, he gets a visit from Pam the neighbor and her kids, including the baby, who ate all the cheese strings.
On the way to work, Dave stops by Alice’s cafe to apologize for the day before, and says the reason he was behaving so crazily was because he had donated blood, specifically to a “sick little English girl with cancer.” To make it up to her he orders a bunch of breakfasts, which he takes to work in garbage bags. “No bag juice for me, thanks,” Dave says when Todd offers him some.
What’s funny to me about Todd’s character is how suddenly he’ll go from being semi-sympathetic (he has to sell that Thunder Muscle somehow!) to being instantly despicable, like when he talks down to Dave and issues him verbal warnings for trying to help him. It’s so abrupt and unbelievable (but I like it.) Todd also has a tendency to condescend to the people who he needs the most. So, to “help” Todd, Dave gives him the name of a giant supermarket to sneak cans of the product onto, and sends him off to what amounts to a costume shop to get some new duds for what he thinks will be a “date” with Alice.
Before meeting Alice, Todd stops at a convenience store to buy condoms, worrying that his “girlfriend” (who only remembers him as “the crying guy”) will be upset with him for cheating. The convenience store owner becomes fascinated by the Thunder Muscle and Todd leaves her his information. There are so many lines in this show that aren’t necessarily funny on the page but Cross delivers so ridiculously, like when the convenience store girl introduces herself as Metap. “That’s a beautiful name…for a beautiful hairdo—on you,” he says.
Todd picks up Alice for their date, and there’s some confusion—she just wanted a quick drink at the pub, but he wants a sit-down dinner. His reputation as “the crying guy” proves true and his face quivers in a very unappealing way, so Alice gives in just to keep him from crying. In the meantime, shit’s going down at Sainsbury’s, the grocery store: after Dave leaves cans of Muscle Thunder on the shelf and takes pictures, a kid tries to buy some and alarm bells go off.
Todd makes an ass out of himself throughout the date with Alice, promising to “call America” to get her cafe a liquor license, and then runs away when the kids who headbutted in him the pilot come into the pub. Afterwards, he invites Alice up to his flat to “use the toilet. To urinate in.” She sees a little tableau he’s set up with a teddy bear and flowers and thinks it’s for her, but he covers it up by saying it was for the sick little girl, until Alice sees the condoms. Todd tries to explain it away by saying the condoms were covered in chocolate, and that maybe she wasn’t such a little girl after all. Yeah, actually, she was a whore.
Alice splits in pity-horror and Pam comes by, asking Todd to get her some cigarettes and booze (she’s approximately 11 months pregnant) because the “kids are still at work.” So Todd heads to Sainsbury’s and sees how large the chain is and realizes the legal mess he’ll be in for his little can-planting stunt. Like in the first episode, Todd again quietly wets his pants, and like in the first episode, we get a shot of his apartment back in the States. His kitty has died, and after the neighborhood cats have had their fill of the bin of tuna, rats and skunks have taken over. As of now I haven’t watched further in the season but I now hope every episode ends this way, with the pants-wetting and the animals.
—”Did my dad call?” “Yes but he’s dead, remember?”