|And the Sax Problem|
|Season 5, Episode 9|
|Air date||January 27, 2016|
And the Basketball Jones
And the No New Friends
When Earl is not invited to play with his old jazz band at their reunion show, Max and the diner gang join forces in order to get him back on stage performing.
Earl is late for work, and Max is worried. Sophie arrives with a set of syringes which Caroline questions. Oleg explains that Sophie has started fertility shots to help them get pregnant. Sophie announces that she's ready for her first shot. However, Oleg has a phobia of needles and says that someone else will have to do it. Han agrees to do it, unaware that fertility shots go not in a woman's arm, but in a rather more private area of her body.
Earl arrives much to Max's relief. He explains that he was stuck on the phone with a member of his old jazz band, the Early Birds. The band has been invited to perform a reunion show at a jazz club named Ruby's. Max is excited, but Earl explains that he has not been invited to play: He was in a relationship with Ruby, and cheated on her with her sister. Max insists that she and Caroline go to Ruby's to convince her to let Earl in.
The girls meet with Ruby. Max explains the reason for their visit, reminding Ruby that Earl helped make her club great. Ruby is still bitter about Earl's affair, and she and Max get into an argument, with each woman instructing Caroline to "Hold my hoops!" Caroline acts as peacemaker, imploring Ruby to invite Earl as he's now just a cashier at a diner. In disbelief that Earl ended up at a dead-end job, Ruby allows him to play, under the condition that he shows up clean and sober.
Back at the diner, the girls tell Earl the good news. But then he reveals that he no longer owns a saxophone; he sold it to finance his drug habit. Despite Caroline's protest that they can't afford a saxophone, Max says that she will find one for him, stating that she knows how to find cheap sax.
At Ruby's, Earl and Ruby meet up again. She comments that she doesn't remember ever hearing Earl play while not on drugs. Earl is unnerved, and excuses himself to the restroom. Max is nervous, but Caroline assures her that Earl has given up the junk. Han, Oleg, and Sophie arrive for the show. When Ruby takes the stage to welcome the Early Birds, Earl balks at playing, explaining that he's never played sober. Caroline attempts to save the show by taking the stage to sing, "God Bless the Child." The crowd reacts derisively, with one guy shouting, "Is this a joke?" But it gives Earl the impetus to go up and play, to keep things from turning ugly. He and the band give an impressive performance, much to the delight of the diner gang.
On the subway ride home, Caroline confesses to Max that she feels jealous of Earl, him getting another chance to do what he's best at; she fears that she'll never get that chance herself. Caroline really wanted to sing that night. Max wakes Earl to perform a duet with Caroline. Earl is doubtful about her understanding of the blues, explaining that it's all about suffering and losing everything. Caroline readily replies that she knows about that all too well, having lost five billion dollars. She and Earl perform the duet.
- The production code for this episode was #3J5059.
- This episode was live-filmed on October 27th, 2015 at 5pm.
International Air Dates
- Jackée Harry - Ruby
- Carlos Antonio - Deuce
- Percy Smith - Barry
- Shelby Rabara - Girlfriend