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Uncommon Jay

Uncommon Jay: Cutler Contains Multitudes

Jay sets a towel on fire, then meets a Canadian firefighter.

by KATIE HEINDL
Aug 21 2018, 1:52pm

Screen capture via E!

Most of this week’s episode’s Cutler-quota comes early, with Kristin and Jay hosting the man currently and likely formerly known as the Canadian over for dinner. Turns out, Jay can be a little shy when welcoming foreign dignitaries into his home and he manifests this by see-sawing rapidly (for Jay) between moods and lighting things on fire. Jay Cutler, he’s just like us!

The dialogue throughout dinner is the stuff of independent theater and the peaks and valleys of emotion Cutler is capable of makes me hope someone casts him off-Broadway in honestly anything.

Jay continues to explore roles throughout the episode, and we get a first and fast glimpse of him finally playing the part he has long been pursuing of either tender farmer or aloof animal husbandrist, when he hangs out with his new baby chickens in his pretty shambly garage.

1st Down

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Good evening! At least that is the time of day where we find Jay, posted up alongside his natural habitat, the kitchen island. Jay is sipping what he lovingly refers to as “heart medicine”—AKA red wine—and has his nighttime backwards beige hat on. He seems a little reluctant to let the Cutler out of the cage and we soon learn why: the Canadian is coming to dinner.

No, it is unfortunately not me. It is the dude Kristin’s best friend has been long-distance dating and she is bringing him over to the Cavallari-Cutler residence to meet its keepers for the first time.

“Can you just please be nice?” Kristin asks, ducking around Jay to refer to the cookbook she’s using, while Jay takes up the equivalent footprint of counter space you’d find in the kitchen of a fine dining establishment to cut up one half of a lime.

“To who?” He asks, incredulously. This isn’t a Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner moment, Jay has truly forgotten.

“The Canadian!” Kristin says, once again not referring to me.

“Does he have a name?” Jay steps away from the massacred lime, leaving it there to rest in its own juices, job done. “I feel like you should learn his name.”

Kristin does, in fact, know his name. She has known it all along. “His name is Matt”—of course it is, what Canadian isn’t named Matt?—“you should probably just call him the Canadian.”

“I’m not calling him the Canadian.” Jay says. But by now they have both called him that about a hundred times.

Uh oh. Jay has been allowed near the stove. He’s picked up the tongs to poke at something in a cast iron skillet and rests his hand on a tea towel he’s just pulled away from a lit burner on the gas range. The tea towel is on fire. Jay, cooking barefoot, has yet to notice.

“Jay, watch out.” A concerned camera operator says from off screen.

Jay blows on the flame and it only gets bigger. He tries again, it shies away from him like the playful goats he loves so much only to rear up, even more on fire. Kristin turns the tap on and instructs him to run it under water. Jay slowly moves to the sink, transfixed and staring at the flame in his hands in a perfect reenactment of early man.

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We learn that this is what Jay does when he’s nervous. He becomes shaken and sets things on fire. Matt—the Canadian!—is, thank the lord, a firefighter.

2nd Down

The Canadian arrives! Kristin introduces him to Jay and Jay shakes buddy’s hand as if it were a basketball, or some other type of ball he hates and has no idea what to do with. He doesn’t look at him and then spins, in a very graceful pirouette, to get away from him.

“Jay, maybe you can get some drinks?” Kristin prompts.

“Well whattya want?” Jay says, suddenly a bartender from Jersey.

“Vodka, preferably.” Says the Canadian—Matt—which could not be a more wrong answer.

“Vodka and what?” Jay asks, rummaging in the cupboard for a glass.

Kristin and her friend and the Canadian start talking about how they tracked down Matt in the first place and as they reassure him they are not stalkers Jay enters with two freshly mixed drinks, hissing over and over, “They’re stalkers.”

They sit down to dinner and Kristin proposes a toast to the Canadian. They all move to cheers. In a shot that will assuredly win an Oscar nod for cinematography, the camera quickly pans to Jay, resting his head on one hand and eyeballing the Canadian with all the distrust of a nation at cold war.

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Digging in, Jay pipes up, “Matt, what do you do in old Canada?”

“I’m actually back in school right now,” Matt says, “for firefighting.”

“So how does it work up there?” Jay asks, not looking up, and staring intently at the food he is working to get onto his fork.

Matt explains how 24-hour shift-work works. He mentions that a lot of guys who become firefighters have a side gig like real estate, or landscaping, because they “have a lot of time on their hands.” So he tarnishes not only Jay’s opinion of him, but the opinion of all those watching when it comes to the apparent failing economy of Canada that they can’t pay their firefighters a living wage. Jay doesn’t say this, though. Jay is considering something else.

“Well, I don’t really do anything. It’s kind of fun sometimes.” He says.

Talk turns to the Canadian’s intentions. Where will he take Kristin’s friend next. He says she could come to Canada. He invites Jay and Kristin too. “You can go to Toronto, and I’ll take Jay to the cottage."

He’s moving too fast for Jay. “Cabin, we call them.” Jay corrects him.

“Where is your cottage?” Kristin asks.

“It’s about an hour north of—”

“Fuck yeah it is,” Jay says, suddenly all in.

“North of the city.”

“Fuck yeah it is,” he repeats, “Whether this works out or not, I’m going.”

3rd Down

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With dinner over and their guests gone in an Uber the size of the micro-economy of Canada, Kristin and Jay review. Kristin tells Jay she doesn’t think her friend likes the Canadian. “What?” Jay asks, honestly flabbergasted. “What are you talking about?”

“I don’t think she likes him that much,” Kristin confirms.

“I almost feel like that’s selfish,” Jay says, suddenly all in on this bozo, “I really do.”

“So you really love the Canadian?” Kristin asks him.

“No.” Phew. “But you stalk him down, you get him to fly all the way here and then all of a sudden you’re, like, not into him? That’s a selfish move,” Jay says, the most empathetic we’ve ever heard him, shaking a handful of wet forks he’s washing in the air for emphasis. “Maybe the sparks aren’t going to fly as quickly as they flew for us.” He makes a noise like a cartoon bomb dropping and exploding. “You know when you know.” Move over Wordsworth.

4th Down

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Kristin gets back from New York where she did two days of publicity for her new cookbook. She finds Jay in the garage, tending to a group of chicks. Like baby chickens.

“Sup?” He greets her.

She tells him she’s nervous. She’s waiting for the results of the New York Times bestsellers list and to see if her book made it.

“What if you don’t make it?” Jay asks, tempering expectations. He then instructs her to make the call to her publisher. “I can’t handle the suspense.” He says, his face flatter than Kyrie Irving’s version of the Earth.

She calls on speakerphone, and Jay sits quietly, staring between his wife and the baby chickens peeping away at his feet.

She made it! They high five.

Jay shoots up very suddenly. “I’ll be right back!” He leaves Kristin with the chicks and pops back in, half a second later, holding a fully homemade cake. “I made you a cake.”

They sit, staring at the cake. It’s pretty cute.

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This article originally appeared on VICE Sports US.