Robson Arms

Season 1 Episode 1

Dancing the Horizontal Mambo

Aired Friday 10:30 PM Jun 17, 2005 on CTV

Episode Recap

The camera pans through the city to the roof of the building, then to the front of the building, and inside where Bobbi and Bobby are having sex; Tom stares at him self in the mirror and brushes his teeth; Janice moves in to her new apartment and says it's nice, charming. Henry asks about his dad, and why he couldn't have moved out. Janice tries to open a drawer. It won't open, so she has to pull on it, causing plaster to fall on her. She takes another look around and says that the place is a shithole.

As she and Henry go to the Tan's store, Janice lists off all the problems with the apartment to Henry, saying that the super is supposed to fix everything; Henry asks if they can have cookies for dinner, and Janice comments, "Why not? It's just the two of us," then starts crying. Grandma Tan tells her (in Cantonese) to buck up, as she's in public; Toni translates, saying that Grandma Tan understands Janice's sorrow. Back in the apartment, Janice sits alone and listens to music while drinking wine; she starts crying again. She hears noises from the apartment above; it sounds like someone is having sex. She stares up at the cracked ceiling and continues to cry.

The next morning, Janice quizzes Henry on what to do in case of an emergency, then wonders if she should get a sitter for him while she's at work. The noises from the apartment above start up again; Janice comments that the people above them are sex maniacs, then takes some milk from the fridge and drinks it. She immediately spits it out; it's gone bad because the fridge has stopped working.

At Yuri's apartment (the Super), Janice lists off all the problems in the apartment; he says he'll get to them next week, but she tells him she wants them dealt with today, then tells him to stop staring at her boobs. She leaves for work, and Yuri tells Henry that what his mom needs is a good poke, and that would solve all her problems.

Later on, in the laundry room, Henry meets Ruby Tan; he comments that he saw her in the store earlier. They talk a bit, getting to know one another, and Henry tells her that his dad left his mom for another woman, a much younger woman, then asks her what a "poke" is. The two of them go to the Tan's store, and Ruby asks her older brother Ricky what a "poke" is. He tells them that it's the horizontal mambo, getting laid, having sex. Henry says that his mom doesn't need that, but Ricky informs him that it's what everyone needs. Henry and Ruby head outside to scope out potential candidates for the poking. They check out Yuri, doing yard work, then see Tom, another man who lives in the building. Ruby tells Henry that Tom is a lawyer, and helped them get their grandmother into the country, so they know he has a job. Henry decides that Tom could be the right one for his mom.

That evening, while watching TV, Janice tells Henry about her day at work; Henry asks her what she likes in a man, and Janice, after asking if this has anything to do with Henry's new friend, tells him that she likes a good sense of humour, self-confidence, and he should be good-looking, but not ~too~ good-looking. As she's talking, the noises from the apartment above begin again.

In the hallway, Henry uses a walkie-talkie to contact Ruby; they check out Tom's apartment. When Ruby points out where Tom lives, Henry realizes that Tom is right above them, and tells her that Tom is a sex maniac; she comments that at least he knows how it's done. Henry, however, realizes that if Tom is poking someone else, then he's not going to be poking his mom. Ruby suggests that they can find out. They stake out the hallway, and when Tom comes out of his apartment, Henry approaches him, and tells Tom that he's selling chocolate for his Boy Scout Troop. Tom agrees to buy some, and goes back in to get the money; while he's inside, Henry sticks a piece of cardboard in the lock mechanism. Tom, when he realizes that Henry doesn't have any chocolate, takes his money back, and leaves. Unfortunately, the cardboard in the lock didn't work, as it fell out when the door closed, but Ruby and Henry notice that there's a milk delivery door, and use that to get in to Tom's apartment. Tom, meanwhile, has reached the front door of the apartment, and remembered that he left something in the apartment, and turns to go back up. Inside the apartment, Henry and Ruby look around, and realize that Tom isn't poking anyone, he's exercising on various machines that are in his apartment. Henry finds an urn and opens it up, then sneezes at the "dust" inside. Ruby, having checked out the other rooms, tells Henry that there's no girl stuff in the apartment; they hear the door and hide. Tom comes in to get what he left behind; he hears a sneeze and catches Henry, and tells Henry that he's in deep shit.

In Janice's apartment, Yuri is fixing the fridge. He finishes up, and helps himself to some cookies from the cupboard.

Tom tells Henry that he's calling the cops; Henry says, "We weren't going to steal anything," and Tom immediately asks who Henry means by "we"? Henry tries to explain that he meant himself and his mom, that he was doing this for his mom, and she's pretty... Tom notices that the urn is not in the right place and asks if Henry touched it? Henry admits that he did, but says that it's just full of dirt. Tom informs Henry that it's his dead wife's ashes; Henry is completely grossed out by this and runs to the bathroom to be sick. Tom follows, and finds Ruby hiding in the bathtub.

In the hallway, Bobbi asks Bobby about some "old lady" underwear that she found in their laundry, and accuses him of cheating on her; he assures her that he's not cheating and that the underwear must have just gotten mixed up with their stuff in the laundry room. Tom brings Henry downstairs; he tells Henry that he needs therapy. Janice arrives home from work, and Henry tells her that Tom has self-confidence; Ruby agrees. Henry also tells her that he's invited Tom to dinner tonight; Janice says that tonight isn't good, but Henry asks what she's got planned? Another night of drinking wine and crying herself to sleep?

At dinner, Henry points out that Tom has a great sense of humour, then asks Tom how long he's been living in this shithole? Tom tells them that he's been there for two years, and is an immigration lawyer. Janice tells him that she's separated and about to be divorced. Ruby, from her apartment, calls Henry on the walkie-talkie and asks how the plan to get his mom together with Tom is going and they all hear what she's said, so Henry has to admit what he's done, but justifies it by saying that Tom seemed perfect for his mom. Janice apologizes, but Henry informs her that Tom was aware of the plan. Tom hastily tells Janice that Henry was just explaining things when she arrived, but she has nothing to worry about as he wouldn't dream of having sex with her. He tells her that he lives immediately above her; she asks if he's the sex maniac, and Henry tells her no, it's a ski exercise machine. Janice is shocked to hear that Henry has been in Tom's apartment, and wants to know why he's having small boys over to his place; Tom doesn't like her insinuation, and tells her that she's the one with the problem, as she's the one with a kid who breaks in to people's apartments, trying to pimp for his mom. Tom leaves, and Janice goes into her bedroom and shuts the door.

Henry lies in bed and looks at a picture of himself with his mom and dad; Janice comes out of her room and tells him that she's not mad at him; she crawls into bed with him, and noticing the picture, asks if he misses his dad, then tells him that things will be okay, and her having sex with some strange guy won't make things better. Henry tells her that he just wanted her to be happy.

In the main room, Janice sits alone and drinks wine; she hears the noises from above again; it's Tom on the ski machine. In Tom's apartment, there's a knock on the door; he answers to find Janice there. She apologizes to him. Later on, they're sitting together on his sofa, talking about their lives, and their spouses; Tom tells her that his wife died of ovarian cancer at age 36, and that they'd been together for 12 years. Janice tells Tom that her husband left her for one of his students who is 15 years younger than she is, and that she'd like to gouge the girl's eyes out, but that's nothing compared to what she wants to do to her husband. Tom stares at her, and then tells her that he knows what she needs.

In the spare room, Tom has Janice in boxing gloves, standing in front of a full-sized punching bag. She's hitting the bag, half-heartedly. Tom tells her that it might help to shout at the bag, but she's not sure what to say. Tom suggests "Fuck you, you cradle-robbing, lying, deceitful fuck!" Janice does this, and then admits that she feels better. Tom starts to unlace the gloves for her; Janice kisses him, and the two of them fall onto the bed together.

The next morning, Henry comes into the kitchen for breakfast; Janice is happy and singing. Henry comments on this, then asks what happened to all the cookies? Janice hugs him. In the hall, Bea DuBois is telling Yuri to get the missing rent cheques, and that she wants him to fix the light; Yuri agrees to do what she's telling him, and absentmindedly pulls a cookie from his pocket and eats it. Janice and Henry come out of their apartment; they see Tom in the hall; Janice seems nervous about seeing him, but Tom just says hello to them, and leaves. Henry asks his mom if she'll ever be friends with Tom, and she tells him that anything is possible.