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Synopsis

The Middle East Is Complicated

Written by Brett C. Leonard & Kyle Peck

Directed by Gloria Muzio

Ray struggles to get Lenore out of his house the morning after they've had sex, and insists they not say a word to Tanya when Lenore wants to come clean about being "f**k buddies."

At a dive bar, Tanya freaks out about spending all of Frances' money but Charlie urges her to keep collecting: "What are you, a moral pimp?"  He suggests they have sex to help Tanya calm her nerves but she demurs.

Jessica develops a rash, and goes to a dermatologist (not Ronnie) who can't quite place how he knows her. She claims to not recall the diagnosis she received for her previous outbreak, but does know which ointment she was prescribed.

Mike is ecstatic about his new relationship with Frances and Ray quizzes him about what it is he does to make her so happy. "Whatever she wants," says Mike. "I'm an old fashioned guy."

Ray tries out some new gentlemanly behaviors with Samara, the new client Lenore has lined up. When Ray compliments her homemade hummus, saying he loves Middle Eastern food and that his Israeli neighbor also brings him hummus, Samara corrects him: Israel is not really the Middle East; and the Israelis stole hummus from the Arabs.

Tanya heads to Frances' to make things right but when Mike answers the door, she flees. Showing up at Ray's to make amends, Tanya can't bring herself to tell him she kept the money. Using his bathroom, she finds Lenore's sweater hanging on the door and the realization something has transpired sends her running to Charlie to take him up on his offer of stress relief.

Ray calls Lenore and lays down the law: no more sex and it's time to give Tanya a cut. His call is interrupted by Yael who has discovered her husband is screwing prostitutes. "He prefers dirty whores!" she shouts. "Why would he do that?" When she spots the Arab hummus in his fridge, she really goes off the deep end.

Charlie and Tanya have a post-coital discussion about pimp techniques for collecting from deadbeat clients. When she expresses discomfort with his violent suggestions, he urges Tanya to find what works for her.

At book club, Lenore discovers that Frances has been dealing with Tanya. As they begin their discussion of 'The Road,' a simmering Lenore presents a chilling description of what she'd do if someone tried to take what's hers. 

At their next session, Samara challenges Ray to take a side in the Israeli-Arab hummus war.  Later, hearing Koontz sobbing outside, Ray offers him a beer. Koontz confides about his prostitute habit. "They're pros, they say all the right things," he explains as Ray takes it in.

At her house, Frances enjoys Mike playing the piano. Meanwhile, Ray, having finally gotten a handle on what women want, showers Liz with compliments. "I'm on your side," he assures his finally satisfied client.

Jessica and Lenore on couch

17: "The Middle East Is Complicated"

Season 2

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