Continuing the momentum it picked up during the first 4 episodes of Season 2, ‘Con Man’ picked up the story right where it left off last week, and found Wray meeting with Bobbi across the street from her new “office” (a Mail Boxes Etc) to find out whether Diego had offered him a part in ‘Doctor-Cop-Lawyer.’ First Bobbi breaks the bad news that Diego is not even considering her for the part of the 20-something ex-dancer, to which Wray is not surprised in the least due to her age, and then Bobbi informs him that he will have to audition for the part of Richard (Dick) Trimmings, as that is the role Diego thinks he would be suited for. She hands him a script (apparently she cannot email it to him as she had to ditch her burner phone) and then heads out, but not before Wray asks if she and Diego do not think he is manly enough for the main role in the show, right before he is handed a bright pink smoothie, and complains that it does not have enough sprinkles. After Bobbi leaves, Wray pontificates to another juice server about his woes, as the man continues on with his job, even turning on the blender multiple times which drowns out Wray’s voice (but is a hilarious visual joke as Wray just keeps on talking, oblivious to the fact that the man can no longer hear him), all ending with Wray realizing there are no small roles, just small actors, and thanking the silent server for listening to him. And right before he leaves, Wray returns to ask for a few more sprinkles on his drink.
To prep for the audition, Wray visits his old friend Jerry, who is in the midst of teaching a class at his Motion Capture/ Improv School, whose number one rule is no monkeys, apes or chimpanzees, as those belong to “that hack” Andy Serkis (apparently, according to Jerry, even Gollum was just a gibbon). We see the rule in action throughout the scene as Jerry throws out two students who test his patience with monkey improv, but eventually the class comes together to help Wray rehearse his Dick Trimmings scene with Jerry, who is very impressed with the script for ‘Doctor-Cop-Lawyer,’ about as impressed as I was at the brilliance of these ‘Con Man’ scenes, where the students would become furniture and props to fit the needs of the scene Wray and Jerry were rehearsing, even at one point becoming a chair (and an ottoman) for Wray to sit in while he and Jerry discuss the background of Dick Trimmings. By the time Wray leaves the school (after a very entertaining montage where Wray puts on a motion-capture suit of his own and the whole class goes through a variety of exercises and improvs) he is very confident he can nail the audition, and Jerry is so impressed with Wray’s work that he gives him one of his Mo-Cap balls (a recurring prize he gives his favorite students), which Wray reluctantly takes as it had been placed originally atop Jerry’s nipple.
When Wray finally arrives at the audition, dressed in a lab coat and fully in character, he is met by a bunch of good looking Australian guys also going out for the part (continuing the season’s ongoing joke that Australian’s are taking all the American roles) who tell him to tone is back a bit, right before recognizing him from ‘Spectrum.’ They cannot believe he has to audition for the role, and they give him their place in line, which ends up backfiring when the producer calls in the next actor and informs the group that the room is really dead and about to go to lunch, clearly not the most ideal situation to try out for a part. Wray enters and finds a bunch of bored studio types, beholden to the children “social media team,” and Diego is not even there as he has left for lunch, leaving a camera link to his iPad in the main producer’s front breast pocket, which of course has a bad connection. No one pays much attention to Wray as he prepares to audition, and they choose a scene where he only has two lines, and does not enter until the end, and the woman reading with him is rudely chewing gum the whole time. To make matters worse, she even steps on one of his only lines while he is reading, and that is the last straw for him. Wray berates the entire room for their rudeness, incompetence, and for wasting his time, all of which is broadcast to Diego, in stuttered effect due to his poor connection, and suddenly Diego sees Wray’s manly power, and thinks he could be a good fit for the lead in ‘Doctor-Cop-Lawyer.’ As Wray storms out, Diego calls the producer and demands she gets Wray to come back and read for the lead, which he does, and it all seems to go well. On his way out the door, Wray bumps into Jerry, who also arrives in costume/character, preparing to read for the side-kick character Dick Trimmings. Wray is shocked that Jerry is auditioning against him for the role, but Jerry points out that the script was too good to resist, so to help his friend, Wray jabs Jerry in the eye (to help him get the eye squint) and heads happily home, praying he got the lead.
WRAY: Did you tell them that I am manly? Because I AM!
JUICE SERVER: (giving Wray his pink drink) Hello Kitty Lemonade Spritz.
WRAY: (disappointed after taking a drink) A Little light on the sprinkles.
JERRY: Trees, meet my dear friend Wray Nearly. You may recognize him from his space TV show ‘Speculum.’
WRAY: ‘Spectrum,’ ‘Spectrum!’
JERRY: Of course.
I loved both of these episodes, and could not help but laugh a lot during everything to do with Jerry’s Motion Capture school, especially once they got Alan Tudyk in a Mo-Cap suit and did the weird montage. ‘Con Man’ is firing on all cylinders right now and I am fascinated by how well Alan Tudyk is writing both the comedy and the send-up of modern Hollywood, every facet ripe for ridicule from the perspective of Wray Nearly. The only thing missing from these episodes was Fillion’s Jack Moore character, but I am assuming we’ll be seeing a lot more (no pun intended) of him once they start shooting the ‘Spectrum’ movie and hit the convention circuit, so he does not have to be there for every episode in the present. Definitely looking forward to seeing where Wray Nearly goes next week!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter (@starfro67)