Pitch Recap: The Annoying Duckling


Unstoppable Forces & Immovable Objects
Season 1 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating *****
PITCH: Kylie Bunbury in the all-new “Unstoppable Forces & Immovable Objects” episode of PITCH airing Thursday, Nov. 17 (8:59-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX. © 2016 FOX Broadcasting Co.
Kylie Bunbury as Ginny. Photo: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

I’ve been waiting to see which person in Ginny’s life would become the Bad Guy. Which character would try to take advantage of her newfound fame? It took a while for Pitch to give us an answer, but “Unstoppable Forces & Immovable Objects” makes her brother Will seem like that character. It’s a shame: When we first met him, he seemed like he’d do whatever he could to protect his sister, but now it’s pretty clear that he wants to mooch off of her success. Ginny’s relationship with her brother isn’t the only one that took a bruising in this week’s episode, though. Mike’s frustration with aging out of baseball and being traded finally boils over, leaving Ginny burned. Their relationship is the linchpin of the show, so it will definitely recover. But when?

On a day with a mere 17 percent chance of rain, Mike tells his agent that their home game will get rained out before he ever thinks of leaving the Padres, so of course, the sky opens up, causing a rain delay. Everyone is on edge about the weather. Charlie doesn’t want to give out rain checks or lose any fans; Oscar is trying to run interference between Charlie and the groundskeeper plus figure out what to do with Mike. Ginny wants to prep and stay warmed up; Al doesn’t want to slow down momentum on the team’s winning streak, but he knows how rain affects aging bones so he sits Mike down. Mike resents the talk about how old he is — and the fact that Livan will be starting in his place doesn’t help. Ginny and Livan grow close as teammates and that irritates Mike even more.

Blip convinces Mike to hold a kangaroo court as a sort of team-building exercise. Mike acts as judge, casting rule over field errors and clubhouse infractions. It’s a 30-year tradition that’s done in good spirits. (One teammate gets fined $20 for manscaping and refusing to wear flip flops in the shower.) Ginny tries to back out of the kangaroo court because she wants to practice, but Mike refuses to let her. When it’s Ginny’s turn to receive judgment for attempting to steal third base in a previous game, she pleads not guilty. Mike disagrees and she begins to argue with him, claiming he missed a sign. She even uses first baseman Omar as a witness, but Mike explodes. He’s tired of her questioning his judgment. He’s been with the Padres for 15 years and he wants the respect he deserves. His anger shocks everyone, especially Ginny.

She rushes to apologize, but makes it worse. She’s only been on the team for three months and everything is always about her. Mike is sick of it. He tells her to find another duck to waddle behind. At first, Mike liked the idea of Ginny looking up to him, but as trade rumors build up, he knows he won’t be around much longer to guide her. He’s not angry at Ginny so much as he’s angry for getting older. And for the front office trying to get rid of him.

It doesn’t help that Omar confesses he lied about his “testimony.” He was too busy watching Ginny to know if anyone missed a sign from Buck on how to run the play in question. Omar thinks he has feelings for Ginny, but Mike shuts that idea down immediately. He and Blip take Omar aside to ask how much he really knows about her. Does Omar know that Ginny hums Katy Perry (off-key) while she stretches? Or that she likes grape soda and hates cilantro? Omar doesn’t, but it’s clear that Mike does. Mike tells Omar, “You’re not in love with her because you don’t know her and she sure as hell doesn’t know you.” His careful attention — plus his reaction to learning about Omar’s crush — may have revealed more than Mike anticipated. It definitely raised Blip’s eyebrows.

In the end, the team gets the greenlight to play. Mike finds Ginny doing her stretches and they make up. She tells him, “I may be an annoying duckling, but I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Mike is about to leave when he takes one last look at her humming “Firework” poorly, and the look on his face is so sad! That pretty much confirms it: He’s the one with feelings for Ginny, not Omar. He eventually tells Oscar he wants to go to Chicago, but no one wants that. Don’t go, Mike Lawson!

Ginny’s main goal is to stay ready for the game, but after being sidetracked by Mike’s tantrums, her brother shows up to make matters worse. Will has some harebrained idea to open a franchise of sports bars, but Amelia is skeptical. He’s also in trouble: He missed Ginny’s previous games because he’d been roughed up by some people he owed money to. Amelia gave him the $20,000 he needed to cover his debt, but told him Ginny didn’t need to see him. Now he’s back again, hoping Ginny will front him money. Amelia knows he’s up to no good — and maybe Evelyn does, too. She was enrolled in business school before marrying Blip, so she has an eye for good investments. Meanwhile, Amelia knows that Will is counting on his sister and her money. She begs him not to try to capitalize on Ginny’s fame because she’s under so much pressure already, but Will doesn’t care.

In previous flashbacks to Ginny’s childhood, we saw that her father would use Will as motivation to keep her practicing long after she was worn out. In one scene, her father smacked Will in the face and promised to keep doing it until she corrected her pitch. It’s hard to imagine Will not holding on to some resentment. Their father put a lot of time and attention into making sure Ginny rose through the ranks, so he probably neglected Will like he neglected his wife. Ginny’s guilt about her father’s behavior leads her to give Will whatever he wants. He’s happy to take advantage of that sore spot.

Ginny and Amelia bump heads about Will, but deep down, Ginny knows Amelia has her back. Time will tell how her brother’s greed will affect her. With two episodes remaining on Fox’s schedule and no confirmation of a second season, Pitch will undoubtedly focus on Mike’s fate as a Padre — and also on the fate of Bawson, the ship name for him and Ginny. It’s easy to get caught up in the relationship stuff, but this show has done great work demystifying the sport of baseball. It felt a little too much like pandering in the early episodes, but as the season progressed, Ginny’s story became much more interesting. Who knew that learning about the work that goes into preparing a field after a rain delay could be so fascinating? “Unstoppable Forces & Immovable Objects” tells a riveting story with drama and humor, and it’s downright artful too. The sooner Pitch gets renewed, the better.

Pitch Recap: The Annoying Duckling