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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The League: “The Light Of Genesis”

Illustration for article titled The League: “The Light Of Genesis”
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After the high notes of the last couple of episodes, this week’s The League returned to the uneven patch of the earlier part of the season. Not that it was terrible; there were some good lines, and one plot that really paid off. But I’m hoping that next week’s finale lands us back into “Thanksgiving” territory. “The Light of Genesis” also saw a return to fantasy football as the impetus behind the gang’s shenanigans, which I appreciated. It’s not that I want every episode to address the ongoing mechanisms of the league, but it’s a nice gesture to the crux of the series, and it makes the group seem more likable and less like a bunch of sociopaths.

Kevin, as always, gets himself into an awkward situation this week when he finds his hot krav maga instructor getting handsy in their demonstrations. This started as one of the least promising stories of the night, with Pete getting summarily beat up and dismissed by same instructor before she shows Kevin how to execute a move that’s a borderline handjob. “What, you think she’s teaching you the old Israeli art of handjibber to handjibber combat?” Pete cracks. As priceless as Kevin’s faces were during the whole sequence, it was more of his weird hapless streak that we’ve been seeing all season, and I was going to write it off until the very end. As Kevin and the instructor go out to their cars, the instructor is making sort of flirty small talk, and a mugger approaches. The instructor knocks the gun out of his hand and tells Kevin to “finish him off,” at which point Kevin awkwardly tries to execute the groin to elbow snap the instructor had shown him. “You idiot, I was hitting on you!” she tells him. “What are we going to be about this?” the mugger asks, glancing down. It was as well executed a joke as they’ve had all season.

Meanwhile, in a retaliatory prank war move after Ruxin subscribed him to dozens of bill-me-later magazines (my favorite was Miniature Donkey Talk, which is, incidentally, a real publication), Pete signs Ruxin up to receive the attentions of creepy religious group The Light of Genesis. Turns out that fantasy football is the only vice that the cult is allowed, so Ruxin joins in to glean tips from the weird but informed. “Cult is such a pejorative word, like ‘creep’ or ‘Andre,’” Ruxin responds. But yeah, the whole cult plotline was kind of funny but pretty weak. Ruxin’s too much of a shark to be following around a group that earnest, no matter what the level of information they have. And if he didn’t respect any of the rest of their rules, why would he have a problem with the edict to forsake all other leagues?

Taco, of course, hatches a scheme that’s “Netflix for neckties” which had its funniest moment when he uncovers an odd treasure trove of ties in the cult’s basement. “Visualize… manifest ties!” he exclaims, before shoveling a bunch of them into the back of a truck. It seemed like an afterthought to the other plots, as, sort of, did the plot between Jenny and Andre. Jenny seeks Andre’s help in removing a tattoo on her hip that reads “Pleasure Chest.” But it turns out to be an elaborate ruse to make a team trade, since Jenny has zero faith in Andre’s ability to keep doctor-patient confidentiality and access to those rub-on tattoos. I know Andre would have been distracted, but c’mon. A fake tattoo looks very little like a real one. But there's still one more installment before the end of the season. On to the Shiva bowl!

Stray observations:

  • “You look like a guy who would get beat up by Mormons”
  • “I like the tiny shoulders that surround your head.”