Pilot

Season 1
Episode 101
Air Date 10/03/13
TV-14

Sean's a divorced dad who's trying to juggle it all. From his strange new boss, to his needy employees, to his pushy mom, to the crazy weekends with his teenage daughter at home - handling it all is no easy task. So when Ellie, his 14-year-old bundle of joy, moves in full-time, it's headed for a whole new level. Never one to do anything halfway, Sean's determined to be the best dad ever: he loads up on parenting how-to books and plans a Pinterest-worthy family dinner for his daughter. As Ellie goes off to school, Sean vows to start off this new chapter of his life on the right foot. But sometimes it feels like the universe is against him.

Morale among Sean's co-workers at an online retailer is at an all-time low ever since Max, the imperious new owner, came into town. While Sean's loyal ally, Liz, is fed up with Max's incompetence, goofy Hunter is already scheming ways to run his boss out of the company... using other people's money of course. Desperate to maintain a positive work environment, Sean walks out of his office to give an epic speech to his troops. But Max shows up and says their long hours have become a permanent initiative. Now there's a morale booster! Sean tries to persuade Max to rethink the plan, but the owner is sick of getting beaten by competitors. Max's message to Sean and the gang is simple: if they don't like it, he can easily find like a billion Chinese people to do their jobs instead!

One day into his new parenting role and Sean is already behind the eight ball! He promised Ellie they'd share a nice dinner that night, but if Max makes him work late, he knows he'll be undermining his new relationship with Ellie. Sean asks Max to let him leave at a normal time. Max says he completely understands and then calmly explains that as a manager, Sean sets an example for everyone... so he can never leave early.

After school, Ellie surprises Sean at work. What's her agenda? Agenda? Ellie insists there's no agenda, but tells her dad it's okay if he has to stay late tonight. She'll just see him when she gets home. Wait a minute - she means when "he" gets home, right? Because the other implies her going out. Realizing her ploy, Sean closes the door and promises Ellie he will fulfill his original promise of dinner.

Liz and Hunter try to inspire Sean into being bold and leaving work early. But he's in a catch-22 and the doors are alarmed so escape is impossible. Hunter suggests he jump out the bathroom window, but Sean knows that's ridiculous. He'll just tell Max what he's doing - he's a grown man after all. But when Sean approaches Max, he's instantly shut down. That guy is a soulless tyrant! With no other options, Sean plans to jump out the bathroom window. The only problem is the window is much higher than he thought.

He breaks two end tables and the hand dryer, but eventually Sean breaks out of his office bathroom. Sean makes it home in time for dinner, but Ellie thinks he's gone overboard. She loves her dad, but he's overdoing it. They didn't have to have dinner together. Sure, her mom abandoned her and that sucks but she swears she's okay. Suddenly, Max calls and orders Sean to come to his hotel room to discuss his unwarranted exit. Ellie stomps to her room in a huff as Sean is forced to call his ornery mother to babysit.

Sean's mom Lorna comes over to babysit. She comforts Sean by telling him raising a child is tough... he was sure a pain in the ass. Sean tries to tell her she doesn't need to elaborate, but Lorna thrives on the degradation of others. In a moment of weakness, Sean admits he knows nothing about parenting. Lorna says the only thing you can do is keep trying. Sean just doesn't want to blow it - Ellie's a good girl and she deserves a good dad. Lorna lets down her guard and tells Sean he's "the best dad."

rEllie surprises Sean outside of Max's hotel room. He was there for her earlier and she wants to be there for him now. Inside, Max lets Sean know he's fired despite his pleading. Ellie speaks up, telling Max her mom abandoned her and that Sean is all she has. She tells Max that Sean is everything to her, she wants to see him when she gets home, too, and would like him to continue having a job. Despite his maniacal nature, even Max isn't strong enough to say no to Ellie's sweet appeal. Outside, Sean promises Ellie they'll talk more in depth about her feelings towards her mom, but all Ellie wants at the moment is some food. Lucky for them, Max ordered room service. Sean, impersonating Max, signs off on the food and the two run down the hall with the cart, getting their long-sought dinner after all!

Join the Conversation