If you haven’t seen the Buffering series’ most recent episode, “It’s All Part Of The Plan”, number one: what are you waiting for? Number two: I’d stop reading here and head over to their YouTube channel and watch! Or else I’ll spoil it all for you otherwise.
The episode opens with Alex, Cindy, Tim and Darren in a darkened room. Alex brings up the web series and the fact that Ben has been moping around the apartment for weeks. Then, he drops a bombshell “This morning, Ben was happy.” Alex assumes, and convinces the others that the source of Ben’s happiness is that Ben has hit rock bottom. He’s in denial and thinks the show they made is, wait for it, good, and is ready to put it online. This is not something any of them want to have happen because, in their eyes, the show is terrible and will tarnish their careers.
Alex has a plan to make sure the footage never sees the light of day. “If you guys can trust me one last time, and we stick to my plan, nothing can go wrong.” This sounds simple enough, right? Right?
After the opening credits we see Ben burst into the apartment, bottle of champagne in hand and takes in the sight of his friends dishevelled appearances. He announces that he has some great news, but first wants to know what happened to them. Alex recounts the story…
It all begins with Alex receiving a phone call from his agent, I’m sorry, Hollywood Super Agent to be more specific, Powers Furberg, who is played by none other than the one and only, Mr Joe Moses.
Furberg has some news for Alex, news that will shatter the very foundation of everything Alex believes in and believes for himself, his “hit show” Latter Day Saints, is not a hit. He himself, the mighty Alex Brody, is not a hit on it. Not believing what he is hearing he asks him to give it to him in layman’s terms, which only results in Powers screaming “Your show sucks. And you suck on it”
This leads us to a clip of Latter Day Saints, one would assume to see how badly it does indeed suck. Although, if we’re being honest, were it a real show? I’d probably watch it. But I digress.
We cut back to Powers Furberg laying down the law to Alex, explaining to him that if Latter Day Saints gets cancelled, it won’t be easy to get Alex cast in anything else.
As Furberg so eloquently puts it “I’m going to have to work my tiny little balls off to get you cast on anything”. Brody asks what he can do to help. Powers tells him that while he is out talking Brody up around town, it’s up to Alex to make sure that he “takes any shit you have floating around out there, and contain it.”
Alex offer’s up the information that he has been making a web series to help out a friend. Powers tells him that he needs to kill it before any casting directors get to see it. If he doesn’t? Then he’s going to need to find new representation, Powers is out.
Back in the present, we are still in Ben and Alex’s living room with Alex doing the best he can, despite a head injury, to remember the events that led up to their current situation. Darren cuts in demanding to know the state of the web series, if there is even an edit and why the hell Ben stole his soul mate… Wait! What? We go back in time again, this time with Darren, as he explains.
We see what appears to be a very intense game of Muggle Quidditch. Darren grabs the snitch, winning the game. He turns to see a very sexy Tessa Netting heading his way. She reaches him, they embrace, their eyes closed, their lips close and…
Ben interrupts, “You have a thing for Tessa Netting?”
We return to Darren’s story where he tells of how Ben swooped in. In a very Gosling way, stole his girl, just by being Ben Little. Ben interrupts again to explain that that may not be exactly how things panned out.
In Ben’s version of events, after the game Darren introduces Tessa to Ben in what he calls a meeting of best friends. Ben and Tessa discuss being a struggling actor and Tessa’s bowtie creations, until someone else stops the story.
It’s Cindy. She has a story all of her own to tell about Miss Tessa Netting.
Cindy, being very Cindy-like launches into a (hilarious) rant about Tessa telling Ben he needs to watch his mouth before he says something foolish.
She then delivers, in my opinion, the line of the episode “She may have the body of thirteen year old boy, but she is still a fucking monster”
Now, we all know that Alex cheated on Cindy, resulting in Cindy burning his house down. What we didn’t know was who Alex cheated with…
Turns out Cindy’s former roommate and the woman that Alex cheated with, was Tessa Netting!
Cindy tells in retrospect that something is not quite right with her, as she walks past Tessa’s room. Tessa is lying sweetly and innocently on her bed where they have what only can be described as a staredown of epic proportions. She says she begins to notice the odd little things that Tessa likes to make. One big thing is the very realistic and very creepy looking Cindy mask that Tessa seems quite proud of.
Now it’s Tim’s turn, he wants to know what this ‘good news’ Ben was going to share is. Ben sidesteps the request to suggest that maybe they should take Tim to the hospital. He shrugs it off saying that he’s fine, even with his ‘overall state of burnt-ness’ and that he agrees with the rest of them that all they wanted to do, was retrieve the film. Tim tells his side of the story.
The camera pans up on a set of legs in roller-skates, some very short shorts and a pink tee. This is when we realise, the voice over and the image belong to the same person, Tim, telling us he was just “Working in Hollywood” where he ran into Alex, Cindy and Darren. They convinced him to come back with them and formulate their plan to steal Ben’s computer containing the web series footage.
The plan… ah yes, the plan. Cindy will talk her way into the apartment above Ben and Alex’s. Darren will sneak in with Cindy and make his way into the room above Ben’s. He will then signal Alex and Alex will toss him a grappling hook which Darren will attach to the window sill. Then using said grappling hook Alex is going to jump out the window and into the window of the room above Ben’s.
It’s the perfect plan. What could possibly go wrong?
Cindy and Darren dressed as maintenance workers; knock on the door of the apartment above. They encounter a rather hostile Roger (Titus Makin Jr.) and his roommate Riggs (Riker Lynch). Under the guise of fixing a leak in the pipes, they enter the apartment. Cindy gets to work on the pipes under the sink as Roger tells her that it’s not the sink that’s the issue, it’s the shower. This gives Darren time to make his way into the bedroom.
Darren calls to Alex that he is in position, when he pauses to ask what exactly Tim’s part of the plan is. We learn that if Alex was to fall during his grappling hook inspired swing into the open window, it’s Tim’s job to catch him.
This clearly can only go well.
Alex throws the grappling hook and Darren manages a catch. Sadly this is where the plan’s success is about to end as instead of Darren attaching the hook to the window sill, he drops it. In picking it up, manages to attach it instead to his shirt.
The next sequence happens in rapid succession. Cindy is in the shower trying to fix the leak, Darren struggles to un-attach himself from the hook, Cindy attempts to turn on the water in the shower, Darren struggles some more, Tim mishears Darren’s cries of “no, no, no” as “go, go, go.”
Brody prepares himself to launch out the window and does, the grappling hook tears the clothes from Darren’s body, the grappling hook lands on the BBQ Tim was preparing in the yard, Alex falls to the ground as Tim runs screaming and on fire. Meanwhile back in the shower, Cindy is sprayed with the cause of the showers problem, poop water.
Back in the apartment with Ben; Cindy, Alex, Darren and Tim start yelling at him demanding answers to their questions “Is there even a show?” “What have you been doing with Tessa?” “What are you not telling us?” Ben’s only response is a very nervous sounding, “Nothing”.
Now it’s Ben’s turn to reveal what exactly he’s been up to…
The scene begins in Powers Furberg’s office, an outstretched hand reaching across the table and Ben’s voice saying “Thanks so much for taking this meeting.”
Powers goes on to say that Ben was making a web series with his client Alex Brody. He also says that he, Ben, discovered that his idea sucked so he came up with a new one. Asking if Ben’s co-creator is the person sitting to his right, Ben says no.
We are introduced, or should I say re-introduced to Roscoe (the magical talking puppet from previous episodes). Ben pitches his and Roscoe’s idea of a show, within a show, within a show. Furberg then asks who is sitting to Ben’s left. We see its Tessa, Ben’s new production designer. Then Powers asks who is sitting next to Tessa. Lo and behold its Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, Ben’s upstairs neighbours and the residents of the apartment that Cindy and Darren manipulated their way into.
They are looking, sounding and acting very different from when we met them earlier. Finally Powers motions to the far left of screen asking “What’s wrong with him?”
The camera moves the person into shot and it’s…Holy Crap, it’s Darren’s Cousin!
Furberg tells them all that they have a hit on their hands and asks one final question “What’s the hook?”
Ben reaches down to the floor. He brings up another puppet, a Ben Little puppet. “It’s Showtime” he whispers, and the credits begin to play.
It needs to be said that while this recap is fairly detailed and let’s be honest, quite long, there is still so much about this episode that I have not covered. The characterisations put forth by the entire cast and guest stars is something that one needs to witness for themselves. There is no possible way I could do them justice by trying to write them down. The writers Mike Chinnici and Michael Tobias have written dialogue that blows me away.
Again, I urge everyone to watch it and see what I mean.
I went into watching this episode with rather high expectations. For months we have anticipated, been taunted and teased, shown behind the scenes photos. We have speculated on what roles Tessa, Riker and Titus would play.
For everything I thought I knew, or thought I thought I knew, nothing prepared me for what I was about to see. My expectations were crushed and instead replaced with the reality of just what Buffering series episode five, ”It’s All Part Of The Plan”, was. The reality? It was simply spectacular.