DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Shoresy episode “If You Can’t Win, Don’t Play” has spoilers. Proceed at your peril, and give your balls a tug.
Welcome, hockey players! Shoresy‘s fourth outing delivers much-needed conflict and an obstacle for our Bulldogs to overcome. Besides the tension and the excellent, well-shot cliffhanger, “If You Can’t Win, Don’t Play” overflows with heart and warmth. Seeing our titular dirty hockey player with his foster family as they poke fun at each other is utterly adorable.
Ready to delve into “If You Can’t Win, Don’t Play”? Let’s get to it.
We open with our boys filming a commercial, inviting the residents of Sudbury to hit up Bulldogs games on Saturday nights. Shoresy (Jared Keeso), Sanguinet (Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat), Goody (Andrew Ansanten), Dolo (Jonathan-Ismael Diaby), Hitch (Terry Ryan) and JJ Frankie JJ (Max Bouffard) pose for the camera while delivering dialogue awkwardly. Miigwan (Keilani Rose), Ziigwan (Blair Lamora) and Nat (Tasya Teles) poke fun at the guys.
Finally, the Bulldogs dole out the perfect take, satisfying Nat. Shoresy sitting on the stool (Chair?) cracks me up. On another note: Puppers!
Later, Shoresy attends his family reunion with his foster brother Morris (Ryan Allen), foster sister Carrie (Tina Jung), her fiancée Free (Rashaana Cumberbatch) and niece Kayla (Teanna Weir). Shoresy’s foster dad, played by Scott Thompson, delivers a speech taking the piss out of his kids. It explains our lead’s penchant for chirping. I love seeing his family’s dynamics and how they razz each other.
Meanwhile, Sanguinet, JJ Frankie JJ and Laurence Leboeuf chat about Shoresy’s foster upbringing. Then, two sports announcers, who seem perpetually stuck in the 1970s, approach the table. Jonathan Torrens and Jacob Tierney portray them, and they speak with a heavy French accent. The pair reveal that celebrity Lysandre Nadeau appears to be moving in on JJ Frankie JJ, much to Laurence’s dismay.
Then, we see Goody, Dolo, Hitch and JJ Frankie JJ caught in a scrap with the guys from Coulson. Laurence watches while Lysandre arrives for the Bulldogs match against the North Bay Norsemen. Miigwan and Ziigwan watch the emotionally-charged stare down between the women from afar. Get your popcorn!
Shoresy arrives for the big game, running into Laura Mohr (Camille Sullivan). He pretends to stand up for her by arguing with a fictional opponent regarding her beauty. Admittedly, his puppy dog gaze for Laura is kinda cute.
Nat, Miigwan and Ziigwan chastise Shoresy for being late to warmups even though the rest of the star players are MIA. Our dynamic lady trio shows Shoresy the new exercise bikes they got through the team’s sponsor. However, Shoresy reminds them that none of the hockey players will utilize said bikes.
Later, Michaels (Ryan McDonell) enters the fray as a Bulldogs player, much to Shoresy’s bewilderment. Nat orders him to apologize to Michaels for the aqua dump and for giving him verbal sh*t. Sanguinet still needs to apologize for Michael’s ex-girlfriend giving him a squeezer. Baby steps.
I love how the guys act like petulant children, and Nat is their exasperated mother. Shoresy begrudgingly apologizes, and the fellas head to the ice for the match.
Suddenly, Nat, Ziigwan and Miigwan notice that most of their team is still missing. Additionally, not that many bums are in seats. Shoresy tells Nat that if they can’t win, they shouldn’t play, so the game is canceled.
Meanwhile, Tierney and Torrens’ announcers narrate a brawl on the ice. One of the Norsemen challenges Shoresy after the latter insults him repeatedly, so the announcers relay the ensuing fight, which eventually involves the three Jims. The rest of the Norsemen gang up on Shoresy.
“If You Can’t Win, Don’t Play” boasts some of the best cameos in the Letterkenny universe — we get Jonathan Torrens, Jacob Tierney and Scott Thompson in one episode. Three Canadian comedy gods. I hope we see them all again.
This outing fires on all comedic cylinders, doling out fun season-long running gags (like Shoresy’s “Huh?”), whip-smart dialogue and surprising tenderness.
Do you think the Bulldogs can bounce back after that f*cking embarrassing setback? Can Michaels and Shoresy work together? Join me while I recap Shoresy, only on Geek Girl Authority.
Shoresy Season 1 is now streaming on Hulu.