Hey, everyone. RobBarracuda here, and it’s time to talk about episode 3 of Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter, “Bark Bark Yum Yum”. The sheriff is still haunted by the mistakes of his past as he tries to go about his business. Also, did anyone notice that the “previously on” bit with Joe and Dave was completely different dialogue-wise from how it actually happened in episode 1?
The episode opens on a nightmare that Sheriff Dalton is having: while fighting in a war, a child shows up next to him saying “Don’t shoot! It’s just a sandwich”. The sheriff is still having some trouble dealing with the fact that he once shot a child by mistake.
Neon Joe heads up to the Hot Cocoa Tavern while speaking into a voice recorder: he plans to convince Susan to pull the plug on Matt and end the potential werewolf threat before it starts. Upon entering the bar, he meets up with Susan and the mayor. He shows up on a particularly busy night, and it is explained that Susan often hosts a chowder-based speed dating night at the tavern. Dave suddenly shows up for chowder, but he’s reminded of his banishment (he threw up on someone last week).
Susan, thinking she might get some from Joe, invites him to sit down at a table with her and talk, but he tries to steer the conversation towards pulling Matt off of life support, angering her to the point where she storms off. In the kitchen, Sunny is preparing some chowder while Cleve is exercising in the corner. Joe goes into the back to talk with Sunny about the chowder while seeming upset about not making any progress with Susan. Sunny lets him know that she’s been nailing guys in the bathroom every week, and Joe proceeds to make a note of this on his recorder, which gets Sunny’s attention. Joe asks about what exercise Cleve is doing, and he points out that it’s a workout tape by the sheriff, a tape whose proceeds go to victims of police violence. Joe leaves, but not before leaving some more recorded notes, once again freaking out Sunny.
In the mysterious red surveillance room, Sunny and the doctor are working on a puzzle while the mayor is furious with him for his constant paranoia around Joe (even flashing glowing green eyes). She suggests that he use his friendliness with Joe to find out what, if any, evidence might be on the recorder before smashing the puzzle to pieces and leaving to play darts with her current lover.
The sheriff is out filming an exercise video in his barn when Neon Joe suddenly shows up to interrogate him about the videos. He suspects the proceeds only go to the mother of the child the sheriff shot, and he responds be declaring he’s okay with it since he’s never had to meet the mother face-to-face. Joe tries to calm his nerves by promising to set him up on a date. Later that night, Joe is in his hotel room running searches on his computer to presumably track down the mother in question, and he gets partially interrupted by the sound of Dave jacking off.
The next morning, Joe and the sheriff are in the classier back part of the tavern, and Joe lets him know that the woman he set him up on a date with is the mother of the child he shot. Before he has a chance to truly object and bail, she shows up and finds the two of them. The mother (whose name is Karen) takes a seat across from the sheriff and is understandably a little tense because of the whole situation, which isn’t helped by Joe interrupting the two of them with chowder while the sheriff tries to speak with her.
At the hospital, one of the nurses is tending to Matt when the heart monitor suddenly experiences a bizarre fluctuation in rhythm. Meanwhile, Joe is recording himself talking about his plans to seduce Susan, and Sunny shows up asking to play Frisbee, but he declines at the current moment, offering to play later.
At the Garrity Acres B&B, Joe meets up with Susan and apologizes for his earlier comments about Matt. In an attempt to flirt with her and make her more susceptible to the idea, Joe begins massaging her feet and sucking her toes. His continued attempts to convince her do not seem to work, and she angrily storms out of the room.
The sheriff and Karen are together at the pizza place (being turned into a scone restaurant), and it appears the two are about to reconcile their troubles together. Dave interrupts, randomly declaring “Bark Bark Yum Yum” before the sheriff yells at him to go away. Karen asks about the money she received from the sheriff, and he takes her to the barn to show her the exercise videos he recorded. They finally seem to be hitting it off, much to the joy of Joe, who’s spying on the two of them. What follows is a brief montage where the two go on romantic outings together, mixed with bits of Susan getting laid at the tavern as well as Joe and Sunny engaging in fun shenanigans.
The time finally comes for Karen to leave, and she gives the sheriff her number for later. Before she gets in the cab however, a nearby bystander shouts the phrase “Bark Bark Yum Yum” in their direction, much like Dave did before. The two kiss goodbye before she leaves, and the sheriff heads back into his house and turns the TV on. His attention is immediately caught by the commercial that plays at that moment: a dog food commercial built on the phrase “Bark Bark Yum Yum” and featuring a woman extremely similar to Karen.
Joe and Sunny are working out at a gym together, and Joe calls a time-out so he can go to the bathroom. During this break, Sunny digs through Joe’s gym bag to find the recorder and go through its messages. After cycling through a couple of them, he finds one that sounds rather incriminating and close to revealing, but it turns out to be a confession about Joe valuing Sunny as his new best friend. The two leave the gym, and the sheriff is waiting right outside the door. Joe goes to greet him and ask about “Karen”, but he pulls a gun on Joe and takes him out to the woods. In a fit of rage, the sheriff punches Joe several times in the face for what he did. Joe confesses that he had to hire an actress because the real mother refused to meet the sheriff face-to-face. As he tries to get another blow in, he gets a call about an emergency at Dave’s place.
The two of them go to Dave’s place and find a werewolf corpse tied to the wall. It turns out that Dave himself was the werewolf, and it appears he died while trying to perform autoerotic asphyxiation. While going through the crime scene, they uncover a pair of moon-proof contact lenses that allowed Dave to roam town freely without transforming. The case appears to be solved… except for Matt’s continued existence.
The mayor calls a press conference to confirm that the werewolf investigation has finally come to a close with Dave’s death, but a reporter asks about Matt in the hospital. The mayor quickly turns attention to the sheriff to finish the conference for her, but Joe interrupts by saying he will convince Susan to pull the plug on Matt for good. The next day, Joe goes to Susan’s place to take care of business, but he sees the sheriff walking out of the front door and Susan following close behind. It appears Dalton’s performed his “duties” to Susan’s satisfaction, and she will take Matt off of life support. Meanwhile, Sunny is talking to the mayor in the red room and assures her that all loose ends are tied and that, with the soon-to-be death of Matt, Joe will finally skip town for good. She leaves to eat frittatas with her current lover as Sunny works on a puzzle and laments his best friend leaving.
Joe, the sheriff, and Susan are on their way to Matt’s hospital room to pull the plug. When they get to the room, everyone is shocked to find out that the bed is empty and the window is broken: Matt is conscious again and has escaped. The episode ends with Joe eating some meatballs that Susan prepared for Matt while riding on the mechanical bull that the sheriff uses to film his exercise videos.
I believe the phrase “Thirsty Thursday” applies quite nicely to this episode. While the previous episode established Joe’s history with erotic fiction, this episode features the recurring motif of the town’s citizens having various sexual hang-ups and frustrations. Dave has to beat it constantly because he’s not getting laid, Susan is using constant hook-ups to deal with Matt’s comatose state, and there’s even the plot of “Karen” and the sheriff hitting it off rather nicely. Quite a few horn-dogs of all types in Garrity, and the episode makes ample use of them for comedic effect. At the same time, the storytelling takes some interesting turns to expand on the overall narrative. As a minor detail, I really like the moon-proof contacts acting as a clever way to have a werewolf roaming around at any time they please. We also see the mayor sort of deteriorate her human disguise more, with the presence of the green glowing eyes to continue confirming that she’s an alien of some kind without fully revealing what kind of creature she could be. The sudden revival of Matt makes for a great last episode twist: just as things are looking up, there’s one last wrench thrown into the gears. A great episode with some wickedly funny sexual humor, and I look forward to episode 4 and seeing what kind of chaos the new werewolf Matt causes for Garrity.