"This might be your first time, but this is what I do. I'm a professional." -Ray"The Pickle Jar" was the last episode I saw in advance, and the one that really convinced me that "Hung" was trending in the right direction. As I've said before, the show seems to be following the "Breaking Bad" model of letting its protagonists take their sweet time at learning how to be criminals. If Ray had a successful encounter with the woman in the hotel in the pilot, it wouldn't have felt nearly as satisfying as it did after we've seen him and Tanya flail about for most of these first four episodes. Maybe, it seems, Ray really does have a future as a gigolo, and Tanya as a pimp.
The two Janes (as I think I want to start referring to our stars) were helped in this one by the presence of Margo Martindale as Ray's first real client. I wasn't crazy about "The Riches," the previous series from "Hung" co-creator Dmitry Lipkin, but I always thought Martindale was terrific as the pill-popping neighbor, and she added a lot of depth and pathos to her scenes here opposite both leads.
Speaking of pill-popping, at what point do you suppose "Hung" is going to address the role of Viagra in Ray's new career? One of the many tricks of the trade I learned from "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" -- which, in the end, was really only interesting for the tricks of the trick trade -- was that all male escorts have to keep a steady supply of ED pills handy, just in case the client doesn't stir a reaction on her own. I assumed that's where they were going with the Martindale story -- that Ray bolted because he feared he couldn't perform with an older, heavier woman -- but, no, he was really sick, and when he showed up the second time he had no problems in that area. Or are we supposed to assume that this is one of the other gifts that qualifies him to conquer the Detroit metro area male escort market?
Whether or not his physical gifts are greater than we know so far, what made the final sequence work was that we saw that Ray does, in fact, have more going for him than his anatomy. He knew what the client needed to hear, and he made her feel good about herself even before they got down to the act itself.
I remain on the fence about Ray's family, though. At least the kids are starting to get personalities and stories of their own here, as we see that Damon cares a little too much about his role in Darby's life. As for Jess, is there anyone here who doesn't think her encounter with the heinous Lenore will eventually lead to her trying to become one of Big Donnie's clients?
What did everyone else think?