TV Recap: “Big Shot” – Marvyn Korn Tries to Balance Being a Dad and a Coach in “TCKS”

Do you know what “TCKS” means? Neither does anyone else in the third episode of Big Shot. In the latest installment of the Disney+ original series starring John Stamos, viewers learn more about Marvyn Korn’s past as he opens a new door into his reformed future. Here is a detailed recap of “TCKS.”

(Disney/Giles Mingasson)

(Disney/Giles Mingasson)

During practice, Coach Korn points to the banners around the gym and asks the Sirens what they all have in common, answering that they all say Division Three. By the end of the year, he plans for them to be Division Two, something Louise says she suggested last year. Mouse adds that they would need to win all of their games to achieve that goal. Quoting JFK, Marvyn says “We do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” Mouse smartly replies that JFK said that about the moon, but he says the point is they need to challenge themselves. “Where we going, Sirens?,” he asks. “To the moon!,” they answer. He looks stunned: “No, to D2.”

After practice, Marvyn walks into Holly’s office and realizes he’s never been in there before. “Aren’t you supposed to be picking up your daughter?,” she asks him as he leaves. In the next scene, Marvyn has Emma in his Tesla as she takes in the sights of San Diego, telling him everyone looks like a model and suggesting that she take surfing lessons. She asks Marvyn if she can drive since she has her permit and he says no. She confesses to being nervous to start school at Westbrook, but excited to be living in California. “Yep, there’s no place like it,” Marvyn tells her.

Pulling into the porte-cochère of the Klimpson Luxury Express, Emma asks if they’re eating lunch there. Marvyn tells her they’re also eating breakfast and dinner because it’s where they’re living. Up in the room, Marvyn had flowers delivered to welcome Emma and got her an adjoining room to his. She’s not happy about living in a hotel, but he says it’s perfect with room service, dry cleaning, and lots of movies on the TV, recommending that she watch Dunkirk. After their quick arrival, Marvyn tells her he has to go back to work and Emma asks if she can come. He tells her to stay at the hotel and go to the beach. “Alone?,” she asks. “Yes, you’re a big girl now.” He leaves, telling her to stay out of the minibar and calling out as the door closes, “Welcome home sweetie.”

Meanwhile, a girl named Harper from the school paper is doing a video profile on Coach Korn, something that she does for every new teacher. But with Korn’s temperamental past, she seems to be digging up dirt on him as she interviews Destiny, Louise and Olive, who she gets to say “I guess coach is a little bit emotionally unstable” after baiting her. Mouse is up next and she’s nervous, clearly having a crush on Harper.

Marvyn comes into the gym to find Holly leading practice. “What are you doing here?,” she asks. “I thought you were picking up Emma.” He tells her he did and now he’s back, with Holly adding that she can’t believe they’re living out of a hotel. He tells her that he can’t be away if they’re going to get the team to D2. Entering his office to drop something off, Marvyn finds Harper with her camera set up on a tripod. It’s not the first time he’s tried to reschedule and when he tries again, she shows him her phone. Principle Sherilyn is on a video call and tells him to do the interview now, reminding him that she pushed for Emma to enroll at Westbrook.

While Marvyn is at practice, Emma walks to the beach and passes a house for rent, taking a picture and texting it to her dad saying how cute it is. A shirtless blonde boy with a surfboard walks up and flirts with her, asking if the house has room enough for both of them. He tells Emma that she’s pretty and she tries to sneak a pic of him to show her friends, but the volume is on and he hears it. He’s flattered when she tells him he looks like a model. He introduces himself as Lucas. “Well, maybe I’ll see you around,” Emma says as they part. “I hope so,” Lucas replies. Emma gets a text back from her dad saying it’s not as good as the hotel, ending his text with “TCKS – Dad.”

Wrapping up his interview, Marvyn tells Harper that he’s happy to be part of the Westbrook community as he returns to practice just as it ends. Calling the starters together, he asks them to help Emma tomorrow on her first day. “Oh, and don’t tell her I was asking,” he cautions them. When he walks away, Olive says that she feels like they’re babysitting while Denise defends Coach Korn, suggesting that Emma might be cool. Louise feels like if they don’t do it, they could get benched. They aren’t happy about the request.

Some time later, Holly sees that Marvyn is still in his office and asks what he’s doing. He’s reviewing plays of the next school they face, but Holly says he should be home with his daughter. He texts Emma that he’s coming back to the hotel, ending the text again with “TCKS – Dad.” When he gets to the room, Emma wants to go eat but Marvyn says he has more work to do. She’s upset, saying “Fine, work. I’ll be in the hotel room.” He tells her she can join him if she wants, hollering “TCKS” and she says that’s not a thing. “I know because I made it up,” he tells her, revealing that it stands for “Take Care Keep Safe.” He thinks it will catch on.

The next morning, Marvyn drives Emma to Westbrook, revealing that he made a mistake and didn’t get her a uniform. “I don’t think anyone’s gonna notice,” he tells her. “Or everyone is,” she says, denying his offer to walk her in, asking him to wait until she’s inside before he gets out of the car. As she closes the door, he says “I love you,” whispering to himself “God I hope this works out.” Walking in, Emma finds that all of the girls are staring at her, sticking out for not wearing a uniform. A sassy redheaded girl gives her attitude about it.

Emma’s first class is Political Science with Ms. Grint, who we previously learned doesn’t like Coach Korn. Her lecture talks about the economic cost of sports stadiums, looking directly at Emma as she talks. Raising her hand, Emma says “Sorry, I think this is about my dad.” The Sirens in her class watch in horror as Ms. Grint tells Emma that her dad is a perfect example of how society rewards athletic achievement while not properly celebrating more essential professions in the community. Emma says she agrees and that it doesn’t seem right, before adding that supply and demand make up for it. “I mean, if 20,000 people would pay $50 a ticket to watch you teach, maybe you’d be rich, too.” She adds that beyond fans watching in the stadium, there’s even more people at home watching the game on TV. “And what do sports supply? I think maybe joy.” She finishes her tear down of Ms. Grint’s attitude towards her dad by adding that if she thinks it’s easier to make money coaching basketball, she should go do that. She lists off her father’s impressive accolades, saying that the only person to ever achieve all that works at Westbrook now. “Easy, right?,” she concludes.

The next thing she knows, Emma is in Principle Sherilyn’s office. “You’re in this office because you won that argument,” she tells Emma. “Impressive… and stupid.” She asks Emma what happens the next time someone takes a shot at her father, adding that there will be a next time. Emma tells her about the bullying she had back home. Switching to the topic of the uniform, Sherilyn has an extra for her to use and suggests that she order it herself. “Welcome to Westbrook, Ms. Korn. I look forward to never seeing you in here again. Sadly, it’s reserved for your father.”

The moment Emma emerges from Principle Sherilyn’s office, Harper approaches her asking if she can do an interview, begging her to have her story represented. She says now, but Harper adds “Let me know when you change your mind.” At lunch, Emma is invited to sit with the Sirens, who think she’s a hero for her argument with Ms. Grint. The girls want to know more about what her dad is like outside of the court, but Mouse accidentally shares that he asked the girls to help Emma. “It’s okay, I’m not surprised,” Emma says, saying they don’t have to hang out with her and finding out that they want to now. They see Marvyn walk into the cafeteria and approach the soft serve machine, trying and failing to get it to dispense ice cream. As they talk, Emma reveals that Marvyn wasn’t close to his dad and he’s figuring out how to be a father. Frustrated by her dad’s inability to get ice cream, Emma goes up to him and he tells her he knows about Ms. Grint. “I just don’t need you fighting my battles,” he tells her. “They’re my battles too,” she defends herself. After Emma walks away, Harper goes to the ice cream machine and takes it off standby mode, making her own cone. Marvyn grabs it out of her hands and walks away.

After school, Emma is studying outside waiting for her dad when the sassy redhead from earlier walks by. “Found it,” she says, referring to her uniform. Now the girl makes fun of her for waiting for a ride home from her dad. Emma gets a text from Marvyn saying he’s ready to go, ending it with “TCKS.” Emma texts back asking if she can drive and he says no. As practice wraps up, Marvyn asks Destiny how Emma’s doing and she says she thinks Emma’s cool. As Emma enters the gym, she passes Louise and some girls exiting, who invite her to hang out. She says she’s going to spend the night with her dad.

Marvyn and Destiny sit on the bleachers talking as he tells her he thinks Emma is mad at him. “Maybe her coming out here was a mistake,” he says. Destiny says that if her dad was around, she would just want to spend time with him, starting to cry as she talks about him. Marvyn puts his arm around her and says “I didn’t mean to upset you.” Emma walks in and sees them together, looking like she’s about to cry. She runs outside and catches up to Louise, saying she can hang out after all. Passing Harper, she agrees to do the interview sometime, saying “I’m actually down, I do have some things to say about him.” Emma texts her dad that she’s going to hang out with the girls. “Be back by 9 – TCKS,” he replies.

Drinking boba tea on the beach, the Sirens ask Emma about her favorite moment in California so far and she brings up the boy she met on the beach, saying that he was cute and funny and showing the picture she took of his torso. Olive says she’s boy hungry now and asks Louise to call her brother so all of his friends show up, teasing her about how Dylan will come too.

Once again, Holly finds Marvyn in his office working too late. “Do you know what time it is?,” she asks him, adding that she thinks he’s afraid of Emma. She says it’s weird that he came up with the D2 goal the same day Emma arrived. Marvyn gets defensive, saying “She’s my daughter, I’m with her a lot.” Holly says now that he’s the sole parent, he doesn’t know what to do. “I don’t know you and you don’t know me,” he snaps, getting a phone call and turning his back to take it. We see his face sink as he wraps up the mysterious call. “Everything okay?,” Holly asks. “Yeah. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

On the basketball court by the beach, the boys arrive and Louise and Dylan make eyes. Emma sees the boy she met earlier and asks what he’s doing here. “Wait, you know my brother?,” Louise asks, discovering that her brother Lucas is the cute boy Emma met. Samantha looks upset for a moment, but quickly catches herself and says to one of the girls “It’s okay, it was forever ago.” Emma tells Louise that she had no idea. Louise laughs, saying he’s not funny. Left alone, Lucas jokes that Emma is stalking him as they giggle.

Emma walks into the hotel room, apologizing for being a half-hour late. She finds her dad sitting on his bed staring blankly at a basketball game on TV. “Are you okay?,” she asks. Marvyn tells her that his dad died. She asks how it happened. “I don’t know. He just died. Sometimes people just die.” She asks about the funeral, offering to help him get airline tickets and a hotel. Marvyn says they’re not going. The next morning, Emma comes into his room and puts airline tickets on his desk, saying she’s going and she got him a ticket. “He’s still my grandfather, I should be there and you should too.”

At the funeral, we see that Marvyn’s dad is buried next to his mother Mary, who passed away in 1976. The Sirens sent flowers and after the service, Marvyn has a moment alone with the casket. He reaches out as if he’s going to touch it, but pulls his hand back, looking like he’s fighting back tears.

Returning to practice, Holly is coaching and when Marvyn enters, Destiny speaks up and tells him how sorry they all are. Samantha asks if she can give him a hug, which leads to a group hug with all the girls. Holly watches as Marvyn catches her eye and nods his head. In her office afterwards, Marvyn asks how she’s doing and apologizes for snapping at her. While he was away, Holly figured out a strategy for an end of game play he was working on. He realizes that she’s capable of coaching in his absence and he says “I gotta get going. I have a daughter you know. Priorities.” Texting Emma that he’s on his way back, he signs off with “TCKS.”

Outside, Emma responds that she’s ready to go, using “TCKS” for the first time. She sees Destiny, who comes up to say hi and asks Emma how the funeral was. After Emma shares how weird it was, Destiny tells her that her dad’s funeral was the worst day of her life. Marvyn interrupts, saying “See, I told you it would catch on,” referring to “TCKS.” Emma says that the three of them should get dinner sometime, with Destiny saying she would like that.

Finally letting Emma drive, Marvyn tells her to take a right towards the beach instead of going to the hotel. As they pass a few houses, he asks her to pull over and he gets out. She joins him and they’re in front of the house that was for rent, with the sign removed. “I guess someone must’ve rented it,” he jokes as she hugs him. “I love it, but just so you know, I’m not watching Dunkirk.” As they enter the house, Marvyn reminds Emma that there’s no room service.

On their first night in the house, the father and daughter eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the back patio, watching the sun set above the ocean. “Here’s what I wanted to tell him, my father,” Marvyn shares. “I wanted to say that I forgive you, but I couldn’t. I just stood there in front of the casket. His dad was a terrible guy, my dad was a little better. I like to think that he tried his best. I think we’re all just echoes of the people that raised us and each time, hopefully, we get a little better… But the thing that hurts me the most is that he died thinking I was an embarrassment. That’s what he used to call me, an embarrassment. When I go, I don’t want you to think of me like that. I want you to be proud of me because I’m not perfect, but I’m trying. I swear I’m trying.” He tears up as he says it, saying that he wished he could have said it to his dad. “You just did,” Emma tells him.

Big Shot will return with another new episode on May 7th called “Great in the Living Room.” Here’s the official episode description from Disney+:

After Harper’s exposé goes viral, Marvyn seeks redemption by trying to recruit a new player.

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