Ryan and Kevin finally discover the meaning of the show: Franklin and Bash are one person.
Kevin: So, Ryan, as The Mentalist comes to a thrilling close, how high do you expect the upcoming faceoff between Messrs. Franklin and Bash to rank in the all-time pantheon of classic duels?
Ryan: I wouldn’t say it’s quite on this level yet, but it’s approaching Team-Jacob-or-Team-Edward status.
Ryan: Speaking of … Team Bash or Team Franklin?
Kevin: Bash is a cipher. I can empathize more with Franklin. He bears his soul. I’m gonna have to go with Team Franklin. You?
Ryan: Bash. Better name. Troubled love life. And better hair. While we’re here, Edward or Jacob?
Kevin: Dude, Twilight is like another language to me. Is Team Kristen Stewart an option?
Ryan: All right, well this conversation is off to a terrible start!
Ryan: But Bash just told an incarcerated stripper, “Our job is pretty similar to yours, we’re here to get you off.” Best opening to a television show, ever?
Kevin: Man, you’re not the first to make me feel guilty about not reading Twilight! But I forgive you for aggravating my teen-lit-blind-spot insecurities. And great-enough of an opening to give them an excuse to show girls stripping within five minutes! This is shaping up to be our SEXIEST F&B yet. I’ll get Maxim on the phone for verification!
Kevin: “COMING FROM MONEY DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN ANGEL: WE WORK THE SAME POLE”
Kevin: Sorry, go on.
Ryan: Stripper-related one-liner count: three. And we’re only six minutes in. These guys are so clever! The strippers are turning on each other, though. Looks like the only thing that’s going to be able to split up Frank and Bash is a pair of exotic dancers. Can you blame them?
Ryan: Hoes before bros, I guess.
Kevin: Happens all the time. It appears this tactic is known as “The Great Wall of China.” When your greatest national monument has been reduced to a legal maneuver on Franklin and Bash, you know you’ve made it as a country.
Ryan: China is the best country in the world. I won’t disagree there.
Kevin: Let’s not talk about China, it’ll make me think about Yao Ming and then I’ll want to cry.
Ryan: If Yao guest-starred on this show, how would much would it improve your opinion of him/his Hall of Fame credentials?
Kevin: First-ballot Hall of Famer for sure. Even with the Houston Rockets squads he played with, he’s never overcome teammates like this.
Kevin: ZING. Just kidding TNT, I know you’re doing your best to parade strippers through this show and I have nothing against strippers. OK, this is getting ridiculous. I like actually can’t believe this dialogue.
Ryan: Do all strippers dress like strippers in real life? Is it kind of like how I always wore indoor soccer shoes in third grade?
Kevin: You know, I can totally picture that.
Kevin: And to answer your question, I’m not sure, my real-life experience with strippers is contained to warding off bad jokes about the Duke lacrosse case.
Ryan: I will not speak of the Duke lacrosse case. Ever.
Ryan: So it looks like Franklin and Bash are both pretty terrible litigators when they’re not together. One of the women even accused Bash of hitting on her. Like I said last week, Franklin and Bash are one person. The show makes us perceive them as separate entities, but they’re not.
Kevin: Frash? Branklin? We still haven’t settled on this.
Ryan: No, it’ll be a totally unrelated name. Something like Randall Coombs. It’s sort of like how if you combine two colors, like red and green, it makes brown.
Kevin: Your theory’s given credence by the fact that in the most recent courtroom scene, each impersonated the tactics of the other with some success. Did you realize all of those moves were signatures of each guy?
Ryan: I actually thought that each move was the other guy’s signature, so I didn’t think they were impersonating anything. Further proving my point. Also, is this 13-year-old trying to row down the Amazon, a Bieber doppelganger? Is every mildly successful 13-year-old Bieber?
Kevin: I don’t know, but that is definitely a Bieber swoop. JUST LET THE KID TRAVEL THE AMAZON. Isn’t it against the lawyerly code of ethics to seduce your defendants? And didn’t I coin “The Bash?” Hey!
Ryan: Yes, you should be receiving a 23-cent royalty check in the mail shortly. And Franklin just went there! He just pulled out the “your girlfriend dumped you, you must suck” card. Not cool, Frank. Not cool.
Kevin: Looking forward to the gumball I’ll buy with that 23 cents. And yeah, we’re in low-blow territory right now. Any impressions of what epic sports matchup this is coming to resemble?
Ryan: Kobayashi and Chestnut … if it ever actually happened.
Kevin: So, F&B is the closest we will get to an eating Super Bowl. There’s definitely an equal amount of hotdogging. Hey-o!
Kevin: /I am 55 years old
Ryan: Speaking of being old for your age, now the EMS Bieber is hitting on the intimidating lawyer-woman. Did you see that coming?
Kevin: Dude is a Franklin/Bash just waiting to blossom. That’s quite the burn he put on our boy seriouslawyerman, though. He definitely thinks about the relationship between men and women like… Randall Coombs does.
Ryan: Could he be? Nahhhhhh.
Ryan: Or is he? Are we seeing the realization of Coombs? It’s not a coincidence that he hasn’t been in the same shot as either Franklin or Bash.
Kevin: The physics of this are mindboggling. It’s like when Nic Cage played a guy and his brother in Adaptation.
Ryan: Or: Lost.
Ryan: Any time something totally inexplicable and completely impossible happens in a show, compare it to Lost and people will think you’re smart.
Kevin: This is true! Have you ever watched Lost? That’s another cultural touchstone that I missed out on.
Ryan: I watched along with the show until the last five episodes. I still haven’t watched them. Damn you, Hulu! Also, damn you, my laziness!
Ryan: The new Berlin! Franklin and Bash broke down the Great Wall of China to create a unified Germany. How does this make sense?
Kevin: It makes perfect sense! Cold War, history, yada yada yada. And you may not know it yet, but Pindar clearly played some role in the Berlin airlift.
Ryan: Maybe that’s what scarred him into agoraphobia.
Ryan: I can picture him, sitting in a dark room, re-telling the story, saying something to the effect of “I done seen some shit, man.”
Kevin: Spin-off! We should write a Franklin and Bash episode.
Ryan: Do you know how to format a screenplay?
Kevin: I do! We’ll talk. But anyway, we’re into the final stretch, and it’s Franklin and Bash together again. Except this time, it’s them against the judge.
Ryan: OK, my head is spinning. There was a box. It was Franklin’s and then it wasn’t. And then the judge wanted it admitted and then he didn’t and then he had to. Could this be legal? At all?
Kevin: I just love how the resolution to the trial always takes about 30 seconds because they’re usually so inexplicable that if they took any longer, even the actors wouldn’t be able to hide their confusion.
Kevin: “You’re supersonic hot.” Supersonic is a measure of sound. I object!
Ryan: She’s so hot, her hotness converts into beams of sounds. You’ve never heard of that?
Ryan: Get it?
Kevin: Got it! Anyway, did you know that strippers always poledance in their free time because, obviously, they’re in that occupation for love of the sport?
Ryan: It all goes back to their off-stage attire. Everything comes full circle. And finally we end an episode with a Bashelor pad rager. This is why I’m here.
Kevin: A return to normalcy. If that’s not America, nothing is.
Ryan O’Hanlon is the sports editor for the Good Men Project. He used to play soccer and go to college. He’s still trying to get over it. You can follow him on Twitter @rwohan.
—Photo via TheVoiceofTV.com