Episode PremiereOctober 02, 2012
Show Period2012 - 2013
Production CompanyChapman/Leonard Studio Equipment, NBC
Ryan's fridge has been pretty much bare since Janie's death. While weighing which slightly smelly leftover takeout to sample, Ryan is shocked when Janie appears in his kitchen, wanting to talk. Ryan freaks out and runs away. Later, he interrupts one of Yolanda's monologues to tell the group about his vision of Janie - has he gone crazy? Lauren tells Ryan it's a normal coping fantasy; it happens to people all the time. Next time, he might try being more open to the experience.
At work, Ryan notices that all the photos of Steven's girlfriend Ashley are missing. What happened? Did he take them down because he thinks Ryan's too fragile? The three of them used to hang out all the time! Ryan picks up the phone, calls Ashley and proposes a get-together, only to learn Ashley and Steven broke up last month - and she never liked Ryan anyway. Steven admits he's starting to get lonely; maybe it's time to jump back into the shark tank. Ryan's game. He'll be Steven's wingman, just like old times.
Sonia calls an emergency meeting of the group, and they all pile in Anne's minivan to confirm that yes, Lauren is working as a valet parking cashier at a local hotel. When a customer starts giving Lauren grief, Sonia blows the group's cover, demanding, "Are you sassing my group leader?!" After taking a swig of bad milk, Janie appears in Ryan's kitchen again. Trying to be open, Ryan asks Janie to bestow wisdom upon him. When she tells him to go food shopping and cook something for himself, he can't believe it. She's broken every rule in the universe to tell him that?
Ryan has no idea how to shop. Asking a stocker how much milk to buy doesn't work, so he decides to copy a guy who seems to know what he's doing. Later in group, Fausta talks about how she used to love cooking for her boys, but now that they were sent back to her country, no more. Sensing an opportunity, Ryan dives deep. Are Fausta's boys fat? Fat and happy. Does she only cook Mexican food? Fausta cooks everything. When Lauren insists Fausta is confusing nourishment with validation, Mr. K cracks up. "She said validation, like parking validation!" he chuckles. Jaws drop, but Sonia plows into the breach. No more secrets. They have to talk about Lauren's valet parking job.
Ryan can't believe Lauren is in charge of his mental health, and also is a parking attendant. She corrects him: she is a parking services manager, and it's a temporary situation. She loves the work she does in group so much, she's studying for her master's degree, so she needs a job with flexible hours. When Owen wonders why Lauren can't get a better job, she admits she's taking her real estate agent test again next week, and this time, she has a really good feeling about it. Yes, she failed the test three times, but it's not because she's stupid. Lauren has test anxiety. Yolanda offers help, but Lauren wants to face her problem alone.
Ryan stops by the hotel where Lauren works at the valet. He figured that since he's "the special one" in the group, he thought he would ignore boundaries and offer his help with her test. Just then a customer complains. Lauren didn't have his car washed, which is exactly why he doesn't tip. Ryan lays into the guy, promising to unleash the ghost of Janie.
Steven and Ryan hike a popular Los Angeles canyon with a "pickup dog" Steven borrowed from a neighbor. Ryan spots a likely couple of ladies, and swings into full wingman mode. When they spot his wedding ring, Ryan explains he's a widower, then goes into a spiel. Steven warns him away from this tack, so Ryan backs off his cavalcade of lies in favor of the truth. They're just two regular guys with an incredibly popular radio show. The girls are thrilled - people are always telling them that they should have their own radio show because they say such outrageous (not) things! Steven takes it home, inviting the babes down to the radio station with a promise to put them on the air.
Lauren is just leaving her job when Anne's van pulls up with the whole gang inside. They want to help with her test anxiety. When Owen points out that helping Lauren might help the group, she gets in the van. Ryan returns home doing a little song and dance about the lasagna Fausta cooked for him. Suddenly Janie appears, and he drops it. She reminds him that he's the one who needs to cook. Ryan gets mad - Janie died, reneging on their deal to stay together for life. Moreover, why is she really there? This isn't really about shopping and cooking. Janie's not talking, other than to confirm she can't un-die.
The group takes Lauren to the community center to simulate test conditions. Everyone takes part, trying to stress Lauren out while she takes a practice test. While the group tries to be supportive, they have to be honest: Laruen dismally failed the test. At 1:23 a.m. Ryan wakes up like always, but this time, he spends the rest of the night cooking a turkey. He's about to dig in when Janie appears. Ryan knows that if he starts taking care of himself, he'll be admitting she's dead, and it's time to move on - that's why she's been showing up. Ryan has a lot to learn - like folding stuff - so Janie promises she'll return.
That night, Ryan tries to sell Steven as the online talent to their dates, even though there's a huge poster promoting The Ryan King Show. They set the girls up in the studio, making them believe they're on the air, then stick them on mute, because they're boring. Ryan and Steven realize they're having fun anyway, and it would be even more fun if the girls left. Hanging out over the last few days has been great. They head back to Ryan's house to eat turkey and get drunk while playing video games.