Episode PremiereFebruary 19, 2013
Show Period2012 - 2013
Production CompanyChapman/Leonard Studio Equipment, NBC
As the custodian for everyone's emotional well-being in the group, Lauren has asked everyone to fill out a performance evaluation so she can do her job better. In order to ensure anonymity, she's asked that they all type their answers to her survey. Besides an essay, they're asked to grade her in a variety of areas on a scale of one to five. Before she can finish, the group takes the opportunity to complain about the snack situation at all the meetings. Not exactly the feedback she was looking for.
At the office, Steven has brought in a few candidates to fill in for Carrie while she's away. There are four average looking temps - and a wild card - Terrell Owens. Ryan immediately hires Owens and sends the rest out the door. Getting right to work, Terrell answers a ringing phone for Ryan, as Simone has called the office. She's stopping by in a few. She wants to see where Ryan works. Eager to impress, Ryan asks Carrie to empty his office of anything "shallow" or "crass."
When Simone arrives, Ryan tries way too hard to impress her. It's important that he seem intelligent and deep, as he thinks she's very special and wants to live up to her standards. As Simone is touring his office, Steven enters with news from The Big Cheese, Ryan's boss. He wants Ryan to start pitching live ads on his show, beginning with one for a male enhancement cream. With Simone present, Ryan storms out in protest, determined to let his superiors know that he is an artist that will not be held down by such cheap corporate gimmicks.
Back at the therapy group, Lauren is distressed to find out somebody gave her a two out of five for listening skills on the anonymous survey. She's determined to identify the culprit, thus ignoring the whole anonymous part. During the meeting, she overcompensates for any perceived lack of listening skills by emphasizing how much she's listening after every person speaks. Ryan informs everyone that in light of his recent strike at work, he's taking the opportunity to go on a weeklong meditation retreat with Simone. Lauren realizes she's having an anxiety attack over the low listening score, and asks Yolanda if she'd go on a coffee date with her to help ease her worries. Yolanda agrees, trying to withhold extreme excitement.
It's clear Ryan is out of his element at the meditation retreat. He's immediately concerned by the leader's tendency to pause for awkwardly long amounts of time and emphasize the wrong syllables in a word. When he tries to quiet his mind, Ryan realizes his inner thoughts are way too loud. Mr. K on the other hand, reaches a heightened sense of being within seconds. He no longer fears death. Simone high fives him, happy to have an "epiphany buddy."
On their coffee date, Lauren is put off by Yolanda's aggressive personality. Instead of a small coffee shop, they've met at a nice, candle-lit restaurant at an upscale hotel. Champagne is served. When Yolanda reveals her plans for a couples massage following the lunch in a room she's booked upstairs, Lauren lets her know she's crossed the line. As the lunch progresses, Lauren tries to figure out who could possibly be angry about her listening skills. Yolanda admits she's covertly recorded all of the group's sessions. Understanding the moral quandary that places them in, Lauren insists they burn the tapes... after they listen to them all first.
Back at the retreat, Ryan's had a breakthrough with his meditation. He's reached the great white void of his mind, but his old hockey instructor, Coach Spence, barges in. In an angry rant reminiscent of Ryan's glory days on the ice, Coach Spence tells Ryan that he doesn't have any depth, and his pathetic attempts at faking substance for Simone aren't working. He urges Ryan to get back to his awesome job and forget about the girl. Ryan exits his trance, now hating this whole meditation thing.
A full-blown criminal investigation has just about broken out in the therapy room. Lauren and Yolanda have all of the group members' faces on a board, with X's over the people who are no longer suspects. When George enters and asks if they have any leads, Yolanda reminds a confused Lauren that he used to be a detective. When Lauren fails to recall this fact, Yolanda plays back the tapes and reveals the many times George spoke about his detective career in therapy. Clearly, Lauren does have a listening problem.
Ryan storms into Steven's office, demanding to speak to The Big Cheese. Steven reluctantly admits that The Big Cheese doesn't exist, but is Steven's creation - a means of distributing bad news without screwing up their friendship. Steven gives Ryan an ultimatum: he must make a decision - does his want to keep his job or get the girl? At therapy, Ryan rudely interrupts Yolanda and asks everyone to keep Simone in the dark about his decision to do the male enhancement cream ads. As he's about to rush back to the enlightenment retreat, Anne warns Ryan to be honest about who he is with Simone... or one day, he'll rue the consequences. If she likes that version, then they're right for each other.
George finds Lauren in her car and tells her he figured out the case of the mysterious low listening score. Yolanda had Sonia write it for her because she was angry about how much attention Ryan has commanded since he joined the group. Even though she heard things she didn't necessarily want to hear, Lauren knows that ultimately the truth will help her be a better group leader. At the retreat, Ryan confesses to Simone that he went back to work and plans to do the ads. He wants to be open to new things, but the truth is, he thinks the meditation thing is super weird. Simone admits to exaggerating her spiritual depth as a means of impressing Ryan. Ryan realizes that the true Zen of life is in knowing who you are and being the best version of that person that you can be.