Season 1, episode 1
Regina accidentally tells Ben about Naomi
Episode Information

September 19, 2005

Written by
Directed by

Kelsey Grammer

Episode Guide



We Wanna Hold Your Hand


Pilot is the first episode of Out of Practice.


Ben tells Irv and his wife, Joyce, that their time is up for the day, but they've made great progress. He says they can re-capture what it is that made them want to get married in the first place. Irv asks if she's going to get knocked up again. Ben clarifies that he was talking about love and respect. It just takes a little work. He opens the door and hears an "oof" from the other side. He leads the couple out of the office as he tells them that even when they know their spouses love them, they want to be reminded sometimes. Little romance gestures go a long way. Irv's wife asks him if he heart that.

After they're gone, Ben turns around and Bianca tells him that that hurt. He reminds her that he's told her not to listen in on his sessions. She says she gets bored out there. He tells her it's not professional and neither was her flirting with Mr. Curtis that morning in front of his wife. She defends that he's got money, he's hot, and his marriage is on the rocks. He can't blame her for undoing one little button. Ben says she looked like she was waiting for a mammogram. Bianca asks why he's so cranky. It's his birthday, so he must have special plans with his special lady. He says his wife is actually out of town, but Bianca meant his mother. He says he's been spending more time with his mother since his divorce, but he's not spending his 30th birthday having dinner with her. Just then, his mother comes in and tells him to grab his coat because she needs a martini before the symphony. He tells Bianca they're going to a concert. Lydia and Bianca greet each other. Bianca says that if he's done, she's going to do her filing, Dr. Barnes. He says thank you, but as his mom would point out, he's not technically a doctor. Bianca says people come to him and he helps them. To her, that's a doctor. Lydia says that's a lovely thing to say, but Ben's right. He's not a doctor. Lydia says she had an awful day. A quadruple bypass with complications and then who is standing there. Behind her, Stewart comes in and Ben says, "Dad!" Lydia says her day was awful, not disastrous. Stewart then alerts her to his presence by saying hi. She says she'd forgotten how meekly he enters a room. He says that with her in the room, a panther would enter meekly. His last patient cancelled, so he's there to take Ben for a beer. Ben says their plans aren't for an hour, so there's no reason the three of them can't go get a drink. They are both uncomfortable, but agree. Stewart asks what kind of night they have planned. Lydia tells him about the symphony and Stewart tells Ben that he'd say Happy Birthday, but that ship has sailed.

In the diner, Oliver is on the phone with a patient. He tells her to call his office and they'd schedule another procedure, but the results of liposuction depend as much on what she does as what he does. He hangs up and sits next to Ben, saying he can suck the fat out of her ass, but not out of her refrigerator. He hands Ben a present, telling him happy birthday. Ben thanks him, but says he's early. He asks if his birthday was tomorrow, but Ben says it was yesterday and he meant early for Oliver. Oliver says to blame their mom because she forgot to remind him. He then pulls out his phone and says he'll make a note of it for next year. Ben asks if that's another new phone. Oliver says the phone has everything: internet, satellite TV, GPS, and as a woman walks by, he demonstrated the video camera. Ben asks if all of that is really necessary in a phone. He says it's pointless and show-off-y, and, as he pulls one of his own out of the box Oliver gave him, thoughtful. Oliver says he would have loved the phone before he got married. Ben tells him not to start on Naomi. Oliver says he likes her and admires how she's always flying off to protest global warming or exploited workers or genital mutilation. She's a hoot. Ben says she's passionate and she cares, which is why she's spent the last eight days in Oregon chained to a Redwood. Oliver says a few more days with her and the tree will chop itself down. Susy comes and delivers Ben's food.

Just then, Regina comes in and asks Susy for her usual, a beer, which Susy produces from her apron pocket. She tells Regina her brother told her she was coming. Regina says she needs that beer today. Oliver asks if it was a rough day in the ER and Ben says they don't need to discuss it while they're eating. Regina says a guy last night broke into Central Park Zoo so he could take a picture of a polar bear wearing his Mets cap. Oliver says he bets the bear didn't like that. Regina says if she told them it chewed him a new one, it would not be an expression. Ben sets his fork down and Regina asks if he's finished with that. Ben says she knows he's squeamish, yet she still has to come in there, gross him out, and steal his breakfast. He asks if it's a weird lesbian power game. Oliver says she's cranky because it's been a while. Oliver says she needs to get out because she's bored and between girlfriends. Regina says if she were between girlfriends, she would not be bored. Oliver says she should ask out their dad's receptionist, Crystal. He did some work on her and she looks awesome. Ben asks if Crystal's a lesbian. Oliver says she is, which he knows because he asked her out and she turned him down. Ben says he's been meeting a lot of lesbians lately. Oliver says Regina should come out with him sometime because he's like a dyke-sniffing truffle hog. Ben wants to ask them sometime. He tells them about getting a drink with both their parents and says they actually kind of got along. He's invited them for dinner on Thursday and he wants Oliver and Regina to come, too. They're still a family and he doesn't understand why they have to be so splintered, pointing out that it's often him with their mom. Oliver says it's too soon to try for a whole night. Ben asks why he's the only one making an effort to keep the family together. When their mom gets lonely, she calls him. When their dad needed a place to live, Ben found him one in his own building. He knows Oliver and Regina are both very busy doctors, but can't they find one lousy night to help him. They stop him and say Thursday's not good for them. He says that's okay and suggests next week, which is even better because Naomi will be back. They both suddenly say Thursday's fine.

Lydia tells someone on the phone that she just got to Ben's and she'll call back tomorrow. She hangs up and tells Ben that Ruth Harper, the radiologist and her husband broke up last spring and now he's shacking up with his 25-year-old nurse. She knows that every gossip in the hospital will be saying that's what broke them up. Lydia's been on the phone for over an hour. Ben says he's sure Ruth appreciates her supports. Lydia suddenly remembers that she needs to call Ruth. She starts to dial as Ben looks int he bag she brought. He's upset that she cooked because he told her he was making his vegetarian lasagna. She tells him it never hurts to give people a choice. He asks if it's veal. She tells him Naomi's not there and he can just not tell her and he won't have to do the purification ritual this time. Oliver comes in and Lydia says he looks handsome and that suit must have cost and arm and a leg. He says a nose and a couple of chins. Lydia says she hasn't seen him for weeks. Ben says it's his fault for hogging her all to himself lately. He says they should get together more often. Lydia says Oliver's a doctor. His time is valuable. Regina comes in and Lydia asks who this gorgeous young woman is. Regina looks around and Lydia says she knows Regina thinks those jokes bother her, but they don't. She says she's proud of everything about Regina and then Regina removes her hat and Regina says her mom hasn't seen the new hair yet. She asks what she thinks and Lydia says it doesn't matter. She wants Oliver to come help her in the kitchen. Regina says to tell her because she can take it. Lydia says she works in the ER. People die there. Does she really want that hair to be the last thing they see? Ben greets Regina and thanks her for bringing wine, asking if she thinks one bottle will be enough. She says it's enough to get her through the night with their mom, but asks what everyone else will drink. She's serious and Ben says he'll run up to Dad's and get more.

In the kitchen, Lydia asks where Ben went and Regina says to get more wine, which they'll need to choke down his tofu lasagna. She sees that they have the oven on to 500°, so it'll burn. Lydia tells Oliver she said 550°.

Ben is waiting for the elevator, but gets tired of waiting and takes the stairs. Just as he leaves, Stewart steps off the elevator with a bottle of wine in his arm. Stewart greets everyone as he enters. He asks where Ben is. When he finds out he's getting wine, Stewart points out they have two bottles and Oliver says he's sees the problem then. Stewart says it'll be fine. Lydia says Ben's done a lovely thing, bringing them together and nothing will ruin it. The phone rings and the machine picks up. It's Naomi. Lydia's worried that she's back. Oliver goes to hide the veal, but Naomi says she won't be coming home. She says they need to talk about everything and apologizes.

Lydia is upset that Naomi is dumping Ben. They agree to keep quiet. Ben went to a lot of trouble for that dinner. He probably spent all day making that lasagna. When Stewart asks about that, Oliver tells him that they burned it.

Ben knocks on his father's door and is shocked when Crystal answers the door in just a towel. She starts to make excuses for why she's there and Ben helps her along.

Back in Ben's apartment, they've agreed that they're keeping quiet about Naomi even those of them who have trouble keeping their mouths shut. Lydia tells Regina there's a full-length mirror in the bedroom, so she should go take a look at herself and come back and tell her she can't keep her mouth shut. Ben comes back and they greet him. Ben calls Oliver into the kitchen. Regina says Stewart looks good and asks if he's been using the treadmill she got him. Oliver says he must be because when he called an hour ago, he was out of breath.

In the kitchen, Ben tells Oliver what happened at their dad's apartment. Oliver says he's setting himself up for failure dating a lesbian. Ben says he's not a lesbian. He's not sure how long it's been going on, but knows that's the first thing their mom will ask. She'll flip when she finds out.

In the living room, Stewart says it's a horrible birthday gift. Regina says she meant to get Ben a present. Lydia is shocked that she hasn't given him a present yet. Regina says they're not all as anal as she is. Lydia denies being anal, but gives Regina the key to her car, saying there are pre-wrapped presents in the trunk and the brown bows are for men. Stewart says his last anniversary gift had a brown bow, to which she says the writing was on the wall. She then says it's unforgivable. She never liked that woman.

Ben and Oliver hear just the last part as they walk out of the kitchen. They go back into the kitchen and Ben thinks Stewart told Lydia about Crystal and that's why she's upset. He wants to go out there and try to help their mom.

Lydia says Ben was upset and wonders if it's about Naomi, but Stewart says it couldn't be because he was out when she called. Lydia says she could have tried him on his cell phone. Ben and Oliver come out of the kitchen and Ben asks if she needs to talk about anything. Lydia and Stewart ask him if he needs to talk about anything. Oliver tries to stop them, saying he has a stomach cramp. He calls their dad into the bedroom to help him. Lydia asks him if he knows and he says he does. Lydia says she's an awful woman and she hates her for this. Ben says that's a valid emotion, but the blame's not all hers. He says as far as they know, she and Dad never slept together before the divorce. Lydia asks if Stewart slept with her. He says he doesn't know for sure. Maybe they're just dating. She asks if he's okay with that. He says he saw her wearing a towel in Stewart's apartment. Lydia asks who they're talking about and Ben says Crystal. Stewart comes out and says it was a false alarm and Oliver's fine. Lydia bursts out, "Your father is sleeping with Crystal‽" to which Stewart goes back into the bedroom. Lydia calls him back out. He swears he didn't touch Crystal until they were divorced for at least three months. She says she believes him, but no one else will. As soon as it gets out, everyone will believe he left her for Crystal. Lydia says that for the last six months, she's been the brilliant cardiologist who outgrew her marriage to an under-achieving gastroenterologist. Now she'll be a pathetic, middle aged wife whose husband left her for a 32-year-old, freshly siliconed, liposuctioned Frankenbimbo. Then she thanks Oliver for his part in that. Ben says it's good that they're communicating. He tries to defend Stewart, but Lydia says there's no defense. It's one thing when your marriage is over, she says, just as Regina comes back in, saying she knew that Lydia couldn't keep her mouth shut. Over the family's objections, she tells Ben that Naomi leaving him may be the best thing that ever happened to him. He's shocked to hear the news. Regina realizes she's made a mistake and gives him the gift. Stewart explains how they know and Ben's upset that they didn't tell him. Ben walks out of the room and Regina says there's a bright side. Lydia says yes, he's losing a wife, but he's gaining a bouncy new stepmommy. Regina meant that Ben's better off without Naomi. They start sharing stories of what Naomi has done to them. Ben comes out to see them laughing. He tells them that his role in the family is to keep them all amused. He sends them all away so he can be by himself.

Outside the apartment, Lydia asks if they should give him a minute before going back in. Stewart says he needs time and he couldn't survive another awkward moment like that. Just then, the elevator opens and Crystal is there. Stewart says he'll take the stairs.

In the diner, Oliver finds Ben sitting there. Oliver apologizes. Ben says he and Naomi talked all night and she said it's her. She doesn't know what she wants in life. Just then, a woman comes in shouting for Oliver. It's Staci. She introduces herself and Oliver says she's a dancer before dismissing himself. Ben tells Staci to give them a moment. Ben is upset that Oliver set them up when his marriage has been over for 12 hours. Oliver tells him he can't live in the past, but Ben tells him to send Staci away. Oliver goes to do that, greeting Regina and Stewart on the way. They sit down at the table with him and console him, saying they'll be with him every step of the way. Lydia comes in and Stewart tries to leave, but she stops him and says they owe Ben an apology. She's sent flowers and a selection of teas. They also need to thank Ben for reminding them that as they live their separate lives, they're still a family. Lydia says he's hurting now, but it gets better and Stewart co-signs that it gets a lot better. Stewart is upset that he feels looked down on because they don't think he's a real doctor. Ben says they do look down on him because they don't believe that what he does is as important as what they do. Stewart says it's all in his head. The waitress then asks for Dr. Barnes, to which they all respond, except Ben. The waitress says it's Nurse Talbot, so Stewart knows it's for him. He excuses himself and then Lydia does, saying she has theater tickets for them. Ben says that's not necessary, but since he got her through her divorce, she plans to do the same for him, but double. Oliver says he needs to leave, too, but when it's time, he'll find Ben the right girl and he'll give her a set of knockers he'll need oxygen to climb. It's a brother's promise. Regina asks if he has a 9:00, too. Ben does, but he's thinking about calling in sick. What business does he have trying to save other people's marriages when he couldn't save his own? Regina says anyone else would have given up years ago, but he stuck with it until it keeled over. That's the kind of guy she'd want helping her if her marriage was in trouble. Not that she's getting married anytime soon, not with their family's batting average. Ben thanks her and she leaves. Ben gets up to leave, but he sees Irv and Joyce. Irv distracts her for a moment and puts a flower in her water glass, which makes her smile. Ben smiles and leaves.


  • Ben Barnes
  • Regina Barnes
  • Oliver Barnes
  • Stewart Barnes
  • Lydia Barnes
  • Bianca
  • Irv
  • Susy
  • Waitress
  • Staci
  • Crystal
  • Joyce

Main CastEdit

Guest StarringEdit



Notes and TriviaEdit

  • This episode takes place in September, as it contains Ben's birthday, which is later confirmed to be in September.


See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.