Yolanda hands out Goal Dolls to the group. The group feels better with the dolls in their lives. The dolls symbolize change in fortune. Yolanda lands a new job as an anesthesiologist at the hospital Sonia works as a nurse at. Ryan lands a date with Carrie's impossibly beautiful friend, Hannah, who speaks fluent English and Italian with an English accent that makes her somehow more impossibly beautiful. Change is happening. The group members feel insecure about change and unsure of it. The dolls are convenient objects to assign credit to. Yolanda credits her doll for her transformed reputation in the workplace. Ryan, too, believes the doll helped him land the date with Hannah. Neither realizes they themselves are responsible for the changes in their life. Lauren stresses this point again and again, but the group sometimes resembles a kindergarten class. Lauren may dry her throat out repeating things to the group and they'll never hear because they're focused on dolls or the hair of one of the group members or how the sun shines at a particular angle mid-afternoon.
Ryan's story about dating is actually about his relationship with his assistant, Carrie. Carrie's in and out of the narrative. When she's in, she's teased by Ryan and Steve. When she's out, she's not mentioned and is even forgotten. Carrie's a favorite character of mine. Go On has some weird characters, some endearing and some not. Carrie's not like the other characters. She's normal, stable, and quick with the wit. Carrie helps out Ryan without a nonsense event like a karaoke competition in which everyone dresses like Muppets going on before the helping out happens. The girl rolls with whatever she needs to roll with. If Ryan freaks out over Bob Costas, Carrie lets him freak out over Bob Costas. She's there, though, and she's stable and solid. Those traits are shared only by Steve and the group. The traits make her a very important part of Ryan's life.
They're a natural fit as platonic girlfriends. Ryan admits to loving reality TV and other things girls exclusively love. Carrie enjoys his company and shared interest in the stuff she likes. The episode kicks off with a montage of Ryan and Carrie girlfriending every night. Ryan meets Hannah, Carrie's friend, and takes her out for dinner. Carrie's jealous of the attention Hannah receives. The exotically beautiful bilingual Hannah stole guys Carrie wanted to date. Hannah's friendship makes Carrie feel bad about herself. Steve and Ryan inform their co-worker that girls have deranged friendships. Ryan behaves badly with Hannah. Hannah abruptly stops dating him. Carrie offers to be his date for a broadcasters dinner. Lauren suggests Ryan win Hannah back, which he does, and in doing so, blows Carrie off. Carrie's nice and supportive, but she isn't a doormat. Ryan realizes his error after Lauren points it out. Ryan apologizes to Carrie and takes her out for a fancy night to make up for his mistake.
Their fancy night ends with the possibility of romance, of Carrie feeling something for her boss, and Ryan feeling something for her. It was inevitable for Go On to try out Ryan and Carrie as a romantic couple. Go On used to be compared to Community. Community got mileage out of the Jeff/Annie thing until the age difference between the characters ended that subplot. Go On may not address Carrie's feelings for a long time. The season finale might culminate in Carrie, Lauren, and Janie's ghost vying for Ryan's heart. Carrie's attraction towards Ryan suggests she's attracted to the man he's become. Lauren reminds Ryan of his change. Dating won't be what it was when he met Janie. Dating will differ because he's different, and he's happy. That's substantial.
Yolanda's story with Sonia is less successful than Ryan's. Yolanda and Sonia are the grating separately and insufferable together. Sonia works in doses. Yolanda never works. Go On was right to tell a story about Yolanda leaving the group and the group not caring. Yolanda wants to change her reputation in the work place. Sonia decides Yolanda'll be a slutty party girl. The idea works for a few days and then ends because Human Resources ends it. Yolanda's back to herself. The lesson of the episode is it's okay to be you as long as it's you.
-Go On's episode titles are obnoxious. What the hell is "Gooooaaaallll Doll" about? Yes, Ryan's a sports radio talk show host. Go On's never allowed to reference soccer again. Yeah, I'm sure Go On staff reads this blog.
-Mr. K acted out an Officer and a Gentleman with Ryan.
-Shaun White guest-starred as Ryan’s likable romantic rival. White wooed Hannah with his long red hair. NBC began its promotion of the Sochi games tonight, too. Shaun White explains his preparation for next year’s winter Olympics. White speaks Russian for a second. White was fine as a guest star. He played off Perry well.
-John Cho was the highlight again. Cho didn’t have many lines, but he stole the episode in his brief time on screen. The sweetest moment of the show happened between Carrie and Steve. Steve’s the unsung hero of the show. The writers need to write for John Cho more.
-Anne had a great moment with the tall guy whose name I can’t recall. Anne’s a reliably comical character but touched with a realism that makes her relatable unlike her group mates.
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK