From the first glimpse of Tobias, who is casually driving a car with plates that read “ANUSTART”, while nuzzled in what we would later find out is a The Thing suit, you get the sense that David Cross was waiting for this moment for a long time.In the first three seasons, Tobias was used sparingly, which made his character and the brilliant gags we’ve obsessed over for years, irresistibly funny. Now we get an episode exclusively made to tell the story of Tobias and it could go two ways. Either we realize the character is not meant for the big time or it’s everything we have dreamed of and more. I’m leaning toward the latter as David Cross brought an energy we’ve yet to see out of Tobias in “A New Start”. A lot of Tobias’ motivation in the earlier seasons was his empty dream of becoming an actor. Seven years later that same storyline is enough to sustain the episode but Tobias needed something else to “stink his teeth into.” That comes in the form of Tobias finally confronting what fans have been asking all along: is he gay or just shockingly unaware of himself? The answer is complicated. Well not really. Tobias is as unaware as ever, going to India only to get hospitalized, falling for a disease-ridden drug addict named Debrie (Maria Bamford) and walking into Fox anchor John Beard’s “to entrap a local predator” show without taking any hints.Tobias spends some of the episode trying to come to grips with the fact that the family has a running “joke” that they think he’s gay. His efforts to quell the gay rumors only bring out the best of Tobias. The double entendres and Mathew McConaughey cracks are at times even more satisfying than before. Even when the joke is telegraphed, Cross has this way of getting the timing of his delivery just right in gems like: “When I first saw straight bait there were two men making love but I couldn’t take my eyes off of you.” This episode goes exactly where Lindsay’s does, to India. Thankfully, we spend less time there and more time bringing back pieces from other episodes that help create some laugh out loud moments. Some jokes in Lindsay’s episode that fell flat were revived by Tobias and turned into winners, such as the flight to India or the rest of Funke Thanksgiving miracle. But the best joke is the one we didn’t see coming. In the final scene we come full circle, as John Beard confronts Tobias, who wants to “get his rocks off”. The YouTube Best of Tobias reels need to be immediately updated to include this “to catch a predator” moment.Hurwitz had to know that the Tobias episodes would be the most highly anticipated. I don’t think it was a coincidence that this is the episode where we see the master plan start to come together in what is easily the funniest episode of the season to this point. In a start to the series that saw some lackadaisical acting and absent cast chemistry, David Cross came prepared to give the season “ANUSTART” it desperately needed. Hazah! He delivered.
From the tape recorder:“I’m Johnny Storm, the human flamer!”“I look like one of those hot guys from Spartacus.”“Here’s to our acting addiction, may we never be cured.”
Back to Vegas:
The Hangover Part III wasn’t the only thing Ed Helms disappointed in on Memorial Day weekend. I expected more out of his real estate agent character, who committed suicide in vein, according to Tobias.