'Anger Management' Review: "Charlie and His New Friend With Benefits"

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Anger Management’ continues on its 90-episode, two-year run with its 34th overall episode, “Charlie and His New Friend With Benefits,” as Charlie comes to find himself involved with one of the women in his study, while Nolan begins dating one of Patrick's elderly friends.

The previous Tuesday episode, “Charlie & The Secret Gigolo,” saw Charlie reluctantly accepting Jen’s boyfriend, Sean (Brian Austin Green), into his therapy group, while Patrick and Ed attempted to make the best of their new living arrangement. So what did the latest episode bring? Was there more laughs to be had in the 34th half-hour of ‘Anger Management,’ or did it fail beyond measure?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Anger Management’ episode 34, “Charlie and His New Friend With Benefits”!

Charlie and Kate interview their next two subjects for the sex study, while Charlie clearly ignores subject Matt for the voluptuous Tracy. Kate reminds Charlie he can’t date subjects, as the two debate Charlie’s capacity for friends-with-benefits relationships. Meanwhile at the bar, Patrick and his older friend Carol return from a night at the opera, before a baked Nolan strolls up for his usual order of ice cream and fries. Carol takes note, pointing out how much she used to like to smoke.

Charlie runs into Tracy at the coffee shop and quickly abandons his family to flirt, learning that she and Matt have since broken up, and therefore won’t participate in the study any longer. Tracy only wants a friend with benefits, however, so Charlie plays along.

Later that night, Charlie comes over and gets sucked into helping her move a few flights upstairs, even bringing in Mike for some of the legwork. Over at his apartment, a baked Carol and Nolan discuss their night at the opera before predictably hooking up, while Charlie and Tracy do the same over at her new apartment. Afterwards, Tracy uncharacteristically invites Charlie to her cousin’s wedding, plotting that they match outfits as well.

The next morning Charlie runs late for therapy, so Lacey takes over in his stead and listens while Patrick figures out that Nolan and Carol are sleeping together. While the others grimace at the woman’s age, Patrick only worries that Carol no longer takes him to the opera, and Nolan stole one of his friends. Later that day, Charlie’s prison therapy session turns into a discussion of Tracy’s apparent clinginess, and the inmates advise Charlie to test her interest at the wedding.

In bed with Carol, Nolan learns that his new lady love had started taking Patrick to the opera when his mother died, arousing Nolan’s guilt. Meanwhile, Charlie and Tracy arrive to the wedding reception to find most of the guests already know about Charlie from Tracy’s word of mouth, including her parents. After Tracy dives for the bouquet, Charlie sits her down to explain her misconstruction of the friends-with-benefits arrangement, and point out she had real feelings for her prior boyfriend, Matt.

Patrick gets a text at the bar, before Nolan comes up and apologizes for his actions, claiming Carol broke up with him. Patrick thanks Nolan for his good intentions, pointing out that Carol texted him the truth about who dumped who moments earlier. Elsewhere in their office, Charlie and Kate play chess while debating his relationship with Tracy, who can’t participate in the study now, regardless of renewing her relationship with Matt.

Apart from a few structural issues, "Charlie and His New Friend With Benefits" actually turned out rather coherent, recovering from a few initial stumbles. For one, a more casual viewer would naturally assume that Patrick's opera companion was in fact his mother, as the relationship isn't made initially clear, while we also noticed some structural repetition in Charlie's prison sessions quickly becoming about himself, something pointed out in Tuesday's episode. And whatever happened to Patrick and Ed living together?

Perhaps as the last of 'Anger Management' runs two new episodes per week, continuity errors and structural issues will feel a bit less noticeable. On the plus side, Patrick and Nolan made for another interesting combination of the core cast, while Mircea Monroe proves herself yet again in her performance as Tracy, earlier this season guesting on an equally well-played episode of 'How I Met Your Mother.' And naturally, we have to give points for an 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' reference.

Did you enjoy the latest from ‘Anger Management’'s ongoing run, or did it make you burn with rage? Join us next Thursday for another all-new ‘Anger Management’ episode recap of “Charlie and the Airport Sext” on FX!

Categories: TV News, TV Reviews
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