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DanaK

S02.E02: Repos/Wapas Geri

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Al and Riley take on second jobs as "repo men" to make extra money to send to Al's sister, but Riley's behavior while working becomes concerning, on the CBS Original series UNITED STATES OF AL, Thursday, Oct. 14 (8:31-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+

Note: This is the 2nd episode aired. It looks like the episodes will be playing out of order for a bit

ETA: It appears the source I was using is a little out of sync with other sources

Edited by DanaK
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Aw, Riley :(. I can definitely see him enjoying the adventure and adrenaline that comes with a job like that - I liked how he started talking in military terms as the job went on, treating it like he was back overseas. I hate that he got a black eye, but I'm also glad that that's the only bad thing that happened to him this episode - when Lizzie was talking to Al about the possibility of someone hurting him on the job*, I was genuinely worried that he and Riley would find themselves in a truly life-threatening situation during the episode. 

Alongside his own struggles that he was working through with this job, it's also clear he was willing to take that risk because he felt so bad for what was going on with Al's sister, and felt like this was his way of trying to make things up to him. Al's concern for him was so sweet - I liked when he reminded Riley that he was already worried enough about his family back home, he didn't need to add Riley's risk-taking to that worry, too. 

*Excellent point Lizzie made to Al about how careful he needed to be for his family's sake. Leave it to her to know how to get through to him :). 

I like the therapist Riley's seeing. Partly because hey, it's Shaun's dad from "Boy Meets World" :p, and partly because he's a good guy who clearly understands firsthand what Riley's going through. I hope we continue to see more of these sessions here and there throughout the season, I'd like to see how he helps Riley work through everything he's dealing with. 

On a lighter note, I liked Riley and Al swapping stories about their rebellious younger days :D. And I love Al continuing to be fussy about making a mess in a car, even if it's not his own :p. 

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Riley is right. Al's story about being an international fruit thief is a pretty good pick-up line. Lizzie knows just what to say to people to get through to them. I liked that Al was able to get through to Riley with the line "I don't have room in my heart to worry about another person" (doing this from memory so it may not be the exact quote). 

Riley is an andrenaline junkie and needs to find a healthier outlet for it than dangerous jobs. Working so he doesn't have to deal with negative emotions probably isn't the healthiest thing.

@Annber03-It's fantastic that he's in therapy with someone who understands him. I hope we get to see his sessions on a regular basis. Chet Hunter got OLD (I know it beats the alternative, but I was still surprised).  

Edited by Sarah 103
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I like that they are also addressing the soldier side of the pull out from Afghanistan. I've read some articles about how much the soldiers who were there are struggling with this. 

There are jobs Riley could do as an adrenaline junkie that are a different kind of dangerous than Repo man. (Also I know nothing about repossessing cars in reality, but in the other shows I've seen this done, they load them onto a trailer not drive them themselves, are they hotwiring them? Or did they get a key from the company? If they have a key why do they need the slim jim?) As a former soldier he'd have a leg up if he wanted to be a fire fighter, police officer or possibly paramedic. 

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I didn’t watch the first season not being a huge fan of comedies.  I was curious how a show about an Afghani living in America would handle the current conflict so I have been watching and the show has been handling it very well.    I like the idea of the American soldier guy being the one to go off the rails for a bunch of different reasons while Al (that is his name right) is more focused on helping his sister so he has a clear focus that his friend does not have.  

I also really like the shrink.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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I really like that, after focusing on the events in Afghanistan as they happened from mostly Al's point of view, they dealt with how Riley's dealing with it. I cant imagine how hard this must be for soldiers who were over there, I am really glad that Riley is finally seeing a therapist and that he seems like a really good guy who really gets it. Especially his story about watching the fall of Saigon after serving in Vietnam, he could tell right away that Riley was projecting massively onto doing this repo job. He and Al kept talking about it in military terms more and more until Riley was going on about not "abandoning the mission" which, yeah don't need a psych degree to see what's really bothering him. Riley is obviously something of an adrenaline junkie and he seems to miss the action (even when he isn't projecting due to other issues) maybe he should look into being a firefighter or a paramedic? Where he can jump into high stakes situations and do some good but without worrying about getting shot as much. He really needs more of a healthy outlet, the black eye is bad enough, he's lucky things didn't get worse. 

I love that Al agreed to stop doing the repo work after Lizzie reminded him that his family is counting on him and he cant help them if he's seriously hurt or killed, and that Riley finally stopped when Al told him that he is so worried about his family that he just doesn't have the room in his heart to worry about him too. Its not just them that would be hurt if something happened to them. 

Even as we continue to deal with this serious stuff, this episode had the return of the laugh track and we still got some funny jokes, like Al's youth as an international fruit thief. 

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Another thing I liked about this episode - Al diving into the back of the truck as he did, and Riley doing that super smooth slide across the hood of the car. I liked that both because a) it was funny, and b) because those moments in general were a good, subtle way to show what they'd learned from their time working together overseas, in terms of how to get the hell out of a dangerous situation as quickly as possible. I really like the moments on this show when you get to see Riley and Al using their teamwork skills in other ways, it gives a great insight into how they interacted with each other in Afghanistan and explains why they trust each other so much. 

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The actor playing Riley showed a lot of range last night. The manic energy of doing the repo job with too little sleep. Being playful with Hazel and Freddie. The anger when he felt his family was ganging up on him. And then looking drained of emotion at the last therapy session. Best part was the quick smile when the therapist said they would just do pushups. "What is this, the Coast Guard?" Lol.

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I remember when Saigon fell in 1975, and said from the beginning that this would be a Vietnam for a new generation.  I'm glad that was addressed.  I don't think it will be as bad for current service members since the Afghan war wasn't as hated as Vietnam, but they will still live with the deaths that will be seen as unnecessary.  

I still see the effects of Vietnam on my generation.

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