01x06 - What We Owe to Each Other

[upbeat music]

What are you doing?


Dude, I'm freaked out about my meeting with Michael, and if I spend one more second staring at Creepo the Clown, I'm gonna lose it.

You named the clowns?

Psycho, Creepo, Crazy Head, Stupid Juggling Weirdo, Freaky Feet, and Nightmare George Washington.

One of them has to go.

Oh, sexy mailman. Much better.

In five minutes, Michael wants my help investigating what's making the neighborhood go nuts, which is obviously me.

I mean, I did promise I would help.

What do I do here?

Actually, the answer is...

Right here in this easily understandable comic strip.

Nope, in this book about the theory of contractualism.

"What We Owe to Each Other."

[gasps] I saw this movie.

Laura Linney cries in a lake house because Jude Law left her for his ex-wife's ghost.


Quick summary of contractualism.

Uh, imagine a group of reasonable people are coming up with the rules for a new society.

Like if your Uber driver talks to you, the ride should be free?

Sure, but anyone can veto any rule that they think is unfair.

So if you said, "We should be able to break our promises without any repercussions," someone would veto that rule.

Well, my first rule would be that no one can veto my rules.

Well, that's called tyranny.

And it's generally frowned upon.

If you make a promise to someone, you should do it.

Just like I promised to help you and still am, despite your constant mockery.

[mockingly] "Despite your constant mockery."

Whatever, you love it.

So either I help him find the problem, which is me, and I'm doomed, or I don't help him, and then I'm behaving unethically and the whole world goes crazy and I'm caught anyway.

I need to figure out a way both help him and not help him at the same time.

That's literally not possible.

Oh, really?

I once posed as a hot prom date for my cousin, both helping him and later, according to his therapist, not helping him.

[mumbling indistinctly]


Oh, hey, Eleanor, thanks for coming in.

Sorry about the mess.

[clears throat]

Oh, I forgot, you don't see in nine dimensions.

There's just a lot of... there's a lot of tension in the air right now.

Are you okay, buddy?

You seem kind of stressed.

No, no, no, I'm fine.

Top of my game, actually.

Uh, here, let me just, uh...

Have a seat.

There you go.

So to prepare to meet all of you, I studied the human concept of friends.

I even watched all ten seasons of the show "Friends."

Boy, those friends really were "friends," weren't they?

Although... and I realize this is the kind of observation that would only occur to the mind of an eternal being...

How did they afford that apartment?

A waitress and a chef with those Manhattan real estate prices.

Yeah, we were all confused about that too.

Anyway, it's been a tough couple of days.

Right now, I could really use a friend by my side.

Well, you know me.

The person who has audibly promised to help you.

So you need to me house-sit the whole week?

Sounds like somebody's gonna have a sweet vay-cay.

As I told you before, my mom is very sick.

I'm gonna help her move into assisted living.

Well, I'm here for you.

And your Wi-Fi is way better than my neighbor's, so I'm in.

It's gonna mean taking care of Lester too.

Walk and feed him twice a day.

Give him his kidney medicine.

Yup, got it... feed his kidneys.



This is gonna be a very stressful week for me.

I need to know that I can count on you.

I won't let you down.

I promise.


Jianyu, my love.

How are you?

I am decidedly so.

That's very profound.

Um, soul mate... an idea.

Our neighborhood now features a spa, and it offers couples packages.

And I thought maybe we could get facials and do yoga and talk in long, discursive sentences.

What do you say?

Signs point to yes.


Marvelous. We'll go today.

Dude, you got to come with us to the spa.

No way.

No, that's really weird.

You can't make small talk with her for one day without being caught?

No, I can't, and she freaks me out.

She's so pretty, like Nala from "The Lion King."

And she talks so smart, like, um...

Nala from "The Lion King."

You got to help me.

Well, if I feel sympathy for anyone, it's Tahani.

She's going through the same thing I am, but she doesn't know it.

Which means maybe I'm obligated to tell her.

Although maybe it's better not to know.

Is ignorance bliss, or will the painful truth actually be healing...

You ready, Jianyu?

Oh, I cannot wait to just relax and talk and chat and just, you know... get to know each other.


Maybe I'll come too.


Well, Chidi... it's just that this is, um... this is really more of a couples thing.

I know.

But Eleanor's off with Michael, and Jianyu feels comfortable when I'm around.


Made in Taiwan.

Yes, you were.

You were made in Taiwan.

So... couples date!

Let's go!

I never really looked around your office the first day.

What is all this junk?

Well, technically, architects aren't allowed to own any human objects, but... oh, I just love them so much.

And over here, look at this.

Aren't paper clips the most amazing things in the world?

Yeah. Sure.

Anyway, my current theory is that some object in the neighborhood is a design flaw which is causing everything to go haywire.

So we need to find that object.

We're gonna start with the rocks.

Now, I've investigated all of the rocks in the neighborhood.

These 78 are the most suspicious.

Maybe to an architect, they might look suspicious, but to me, they just look like rocks, so I'm not sure how I can help.

Do any of them look defective?


You know, like they're taunting you?

Always one step ahead?

You devious little monsters, you.

Okay, let's take a deep breath here, buddy.

You need to chill a little.

'Cause you have a very psycho, "burnout guy muttering to himself at a library computer" type vibe.

It's my responsibility to solve the problem.

What else can I do except keep working?

You could stop working.

Look, I promised to help you, and honestly, the way I can help you is to force you to take a break.

And not working will help me work?


Recharge the old batteries.

I promise this is gonna help both of us.

Let's go.


Let's keep our eyes peeled for twigs that may have a nefarious agenda.

Okay, crazy, come on.


Hello, Janet.

Jianyu and I are here for the couples package, please.

And also I will be joining them.

Great, and who is the other half of your couple?

Oh, no, no, it's just me.

Couples are pairs of people.

Yup, and, uh, there is a pair of people, Tahani and Jianyu.

And then also I am here.

Great, and who will be joining you?

No one.

Um, it's really quite simple, Janet.

They are a couple, and I am a third part of that couple.

Uh, a helper part who is here for fun and excitement.

It's a three-person couple.

[robotically] Does not compute.

Does not compute.

I'm just kidding. [laughs]

I mean, it doesn't compute, but I'm not gonna explode or anything.


Well, I'll see you inside, darling.

Okay, you have to step up.

Find a way to connect with her without, you know, being you.

What does that even mean?

Do I talk or not talk?

Do I be nice to Tahani, or do I throw all her jewelry in the toilet?

That's the opposite of being nice?

So no toilet?

What is it with you and frozen yogurt?

Have you not heard of ice cream?

Oh, sure, but I've come to really like frozen yogurt.

There's something so human about taking something great and ruining it a little so you can have more of it.

[chuckles] That is very human.

Why do you need a human to be your assistant?

I mean, aren't there more of... whatever you are?

Well, since we're becoming friends, like Ross and Phoebe...

Weird combo to pick, but okay.

I'm gonna tell you a secret.

Usually, architects don't live in their neighborhoods.

Usually, the people show up, we play the movie, Janet is there to answer questions, and you're on your own.

But I had this theory.

I thought transition would be easier if the architect were on-site for at least the first 1,000 years or so.

That's why you've been so freaked out.

'Cause your butt is on the line.

My boss thought I was nuts.

And if this neighborhood doesn't work, I am in big trouble.

But more importantly, I promised all of you that you would be safe and happy.

And you just don't break a promise.

Unlike Ross when he promised Emily not to talk to Rachel.

Wow, you are really into that show.

You know something?

I feel better already.

Should we get back to work?

Gah, gah, gah, gah, gah.

The whole point is to stop thinking about work and start having fun.

Now, what should we do first?

both: ♪ I'm going out ♪
♪ In a blaze of glory ♪
♪ Lord, I never drew first ♪
♪ But I drew first blood ♪
♪ And I'm no one's son ♪
♪ So call me young gun ♪


This is so interesting!

I mean, there's no point to it.

The images on the screen relate to nothing.

Some time passed, and then it was over.

That's karaoke!

Oh, let's do it again.

Okay, my hands are heated to the ideal 105 degrees.

Who would like to go first?

Oh, well what if I go first, and then perhaps Jianyu could stand near me and share some intimate aspects of his life?

Or what if... while Janet messages Tahani, I massage Jianyu?

Jianyu, darling, let's discuss the arts.

I adore the impressionists.

Who's your favorite artist?

I mean, Pitbull changed the game...

Sorry, just working the oft-neglected mandible area.

[muffled speech]

[playful music]


Oh, man!

I didn't even want that thing.

Why am I trying to win it?

Because the machine says it's a prize.



How many tickets do I get? Six?

Is that all?

Well, watch this.


Is that allowed?

Not really.

But it is a time-honored tradition.

Say no more. I got it. I got it.




You know something?

As much as I've always wanted to be around humans, I think I've missed a big part of what makes them wonderful.

Sometimes all you guys think about is how you can have the most fun.


That was practically my mantra.

What's up, dong bait?

[laughs] Drop everything you're doing.

Rihanna is performing in Vegas.

I got tickets. We are road-tripping.

Oh, I can't!

I promised I'd house-sit one more day, and I have to feed this stupid dog.

I'm sorry, does this dog smoke blunts topless on a yacht like a boss?

'Cause that's how Ri-Ri do.

That's a very good point.

This is floor seats in Vegas for Rihanna.

The booze is free there.

Do I really need to keep going?

Okay, this is dinner tonight, breakfast tomorrow...

I have an idea.

This is in case of emergency.

Do not eat this unless it's an emergency.


I'm ready to be a mom.

[relaxing music playing]

♪ ♪

I'm having trouble getting this mask to stick.

Yes, it's 'cause my pores are just so small.

There's no way anything could ever adhere to my skin.

It's a curse, really.


What are your pores like?


Janet, can you show me to the sauna, please?

Dude, she's trying so hard, and you're giving her nothing!

Just pick a fact that you know about her and just muddle through.

She said she likes impressionist paintings.

Impressionist paintings?

Okay, say no more.

No, no, no, I definitely feel like I need to say more.



So would you say I helped you today?

Oh, so much.

I had fun, I didn't think about my problems, and I won this ugly yellow toddler, which is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

Thank you so much.

All right, I'll see you tomorrow, friend.

[romantic music playing]

♪ ♪

You sure this is where you want to be right now?

At the Tea for Two couples cafe?

There's no use avoiding it, Chidi.

I'm alone.

Jianyu and I have nothing in common.

I just want a soul mate.

Someone I can share my passions with, someone who I can talk to about the ethereal colors of a Degas.

I love Degas.

I took painting lessons as a kid, and Degas was always my inspiration.

And do you like France as much as I do?

Well, they enslaved my country for 300 years.

So no.

But they have great museums.


Welcome to my cafe, you two.

We have a special on soul mate muffins.

Two for the price of zero.

Everything is free.

Oh, uh, we're not soul mates.


We're just, uh... soul friends.


Hey, buddy.

I have all new fun stuff for us to do today.

Eleanor, I have huge news.

Not working actually worked.

It did what now?

After our day off, with a completely clear head, I realized part of what makes humans so fun is that they're unpredictable.

The chaos we've been experiencing is exactly what would happen if a resident behaved unpredictably.

The problem in our neighborhood... it's not a rock or an object.

It's one of the people.


We need to celebrate!

I know, okay...

Paper clip shower!

So do you think we're looking for a man, or do you think we're looking for two men?

Not sure.

We don't know anything about this person.

I mean, does he or she even know that they caused all these problems?

No, that can't be.

I mean, what kind of monster would wreak havoc and then say nothing?

So this is the main place where the garbage fell from the sky.


Hi there.

I need a list of everyone that was here on garbage duty during orientation.


Eleanor, our criminal is on this very short list.

People were flying that day too.

I'll add everybody who flew overhead.


Eleanor, our criminal is on this much longer list.


Oh, hey, homey.

Thanks for your advice.

I'm about to give Tahani the best gift ever.

Check it.


She likes impressionist paintings, right?

I got her a painting of the best impressionist of all time, Frank Caliendo.

He can do it all... fat Al Pacino, fat Jerry Seinfeld, regular John Madden.

"Say hello to my little friend."

"Forget about it."

This is where the sinkhole opened up.

And the guest list that night was limited.

There were a total of 30 people here that night.


Only 30, huh?

How do you pump your fists again?

Is this it?

But 66 others passed through to take a look before it opened, and everyone else in the neighborhood was in a close radius.

Oh, boy, that... doesn't narrow it down at all.

Feels like the end of the road.

"End of the Road," Boyz II Men, karaoke.

Let's go... don't think about it too much.


My hoodie, please.

What's happening?

I give up.

I can't help the people I promised that I would help.

I feel like "Friends" in season eight, out of ideas and forcing Joey and Rachel together, even though it made no sense.

I hope the sinkhole opens up again and swallows me whole.


Hey, girl.

How's the dog?

Still fat, Eleanor.

Still fat.

The vet says his stomach expanded to the size of a basketball and that it will never shrink.

Oh, well, that's not my fault.

How was I supposed to know he would literally eat all of the food?

It shouldn't have been an issue.

You were supposed to be there, but you broke your promise as soon as it wasn't convenient for you, and now I have a very bulbous dog.

Well, you know what?

You're rude.

'Cause you didn't even ask me how the Rihanna concert was.

She was very late.

And a little drunk.

I promised to help you, and I will, however I can.

If you want to look at a million rocks like a psychopath, I'll be there.

If you want to just lay here and cry in your hoodie, I'm cool with that.

Honestly, I don't know how I can help you, 'cause I'm just a person and you're, like, this super magical Orville Redenbacher type guy who invented this entire universe, but I'll do my best.

I'm right here.

Oh, my gosh.

Of course.

How did I not see it?

Janet... I found the answer to the problem.

Call a neighborhood meeting.

Should it be festive and casual or moribund and devastating?

Moribund and devastating, please.


[dramatic music]

Hello, Jianyu, Chidi.

What's this?

I made you a art.

It's three of me.

It's ballerinas, painted in the style of the impressionists.

Of course.

You don't say things, but you do things.

And you feel things.

Only my true soul mate could ever give me such a perfect gift.

Thank you.

♪ ♪

[indistinct chatter]

What's going on?

Well, I did what you said.

I honored my agreement to help Michael find the problem, and he found the problem.

Oh, I'm so sorry.

After I'm gone, take down the rest of those clown paintings.

But leave up the sexy mailman.

To remember me by.

Thank you all for your patience with the problems in our neighborhood.

I have finally discovered the cause.

There was one common link among every incident.

And when I figured it out, it was a shock.

But there's no escaping it.

The problem... is me.

[all gasp]

And now...

I have to leave you... forever.

[suspenseful music]