Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Happy Endings: Series Three, Episode Five Recap

So ill... RUINED. Everything hurts.

But Happy Endings is goooood.

Holy Christmas, I love this show. It's just going from strength to strength at the moment, warring with New Girl for position of the program that cracks me up the most. Recapping it will take ALL MY SKILLS AS A BLOGGER (-5), since so much of it is visual back-and-forth between the cast. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Fade in on the gang minus Penny at the bar. Max has found his 5th grade comedy set list and proceeds to lisp it off using a beer bottle as a mic to the trepidation of some, but the utter joy of Brad. It's adorable.

"What is the deal with these moms who make lunch? Have you seen this? Have you heard about this? Why write me a note, you silly goose? I know you love me, you told me this morning!"

Mixed reactions. It's okay, Max. Comedy is hard. I hear.

Alex puts her palm up in a little 'amen' gesture that's pretty cute.

"And wh-hat is the deal with these juice box straws? I mean, how hard does it have to be to get the facata thing in the hole?"

Brad giggles himself into a puddle and agrees, while Max goes on to say the rest of it is about the difference between little boys and little girls ("Little girls be sharing,") and Alex clarifies for us all that it's funny because it's a lisp.

Brad notices Jane isn't exactly laughing herself into oblivion with the rest of them and adorables his way through asking her what's up. Turns out she's feeling vulnerable because she can't get into the boys club at the car dealership, seeing as they bond over looking at porn at work and apparently it's a bit of a buzzkill when Jane's all "Wow, to think she's someone's daughter. She was once a baby. At a nursery!" over the photos.

"At a nursery!"

Brad's got the answer though, and cites Jane's sexy secret weapon as a solution. Jane thinks he's talking about her Jack Nicholson impression, which really does need to be seen (and heard, but I'm working with what I've got here) to be believed:


But no! Brad is, of course, talking about himself. He is awesome at guy talk, and all Jane needs to do to get an in with the boys is invite them over to their place, and Brad will be her guy guide. Her "guy-ide." ("Yep, already a word, heard it as soon as I said it.") Jane is pleased!

Enter Penny. I can't-- I mean-- I don't--

Just look:

"What, question mark, is, question mark, tha-at, question mark." - Jane.

Yeah, she's wearing a prescription helmet. She has a concussion from one of the half-hundred times she's hit her head in the recent past and the doctor has told her she has to wear the flesh-toned monstrosity for a month to give her brain a breather. A month!

The guys give her shit about it, obviously. They go around the table with solid helmet jokes until they get to Alex, who can only manage: "Yeah-- did you-- I wo-- Helmet joke! I just wanted in."

We're treated to a couple of cuts to Penny bashing the shit out of her head as she starts to realise that she doesn't remember any of the incidents and freaks out a little about it all. She can't even remember how she got to the bar! That's normal though, isn't it? I routinely tune out when I'm going some place I've been a bunch of times before. Either I get abducted by aliens a lot, or I'm brain-damaged, or it's normal. I dunno, man.

In any case, the gang decide to be super helpful and sensitive to Penny's sudden terror by talking reee-aally slowly and moving like they're in water to freak her out and make her think she's having a stroke. She whines us into the opening credits, and I giggle.

Alex THWAPS us into the scene by nailing a shot in Foosball and celebrating loudly. With many gestures. Max calls her a tiny hooligan and opines that it's humiliating to be beaten by someone only marginally bigger than the tiny Foosball men. Alex whips out a vuvuzela from nowhere and quite literally toots her own horn, only to be scolded by Max who then goes on to admonish Dave for taking Alex to a soccer game, telling him 'It'll never catch on here'.

Enter 'Brody':

THREE popped collars? Someone shoot him. Wait, there's no time, just shoot me.

Dave doesn't like him, but Max says he seems all right, though he bases that mostly on the fact that his name has the word 'bro' built into it. I'm with Dave though, Brody is a powerhouse of douchebaggery: he TOTALLY UNIRONICALLY addresses Dave as 'D-Rose', and when asked what's up replies that he's 'Just crushing life'. Alex sort of snarls when Brody refers to her as 'the nutcracker'. Max deems the joke to be classic, however, and offers Brody a fistbump. Brody 'turkeys' Max's fist, then peaces.

Max is traumatised.

"Your hand's a turkey, bro."

Apparently a fist-bump is a sacred contract between the fists of men, and Brody has destroyed all of Max's good grace by making a mockery of that.

Meanwhile, at Jane and Brad's place, the meeting of the boy's club is in session. Brad gives Jane a pep talk about what's about to go down, expositioning that all guys love college football and so after Brad brings the topic up, Jane is to launch into her pre-prepared tirade about... I don't know, some college football abbreviations. They do their own version of the football chest-bump, which is arm-arm-chest-groin, with accompanying 'uhh' noises. It makes me giggle.

It doesn't work, however, since the Car Czar isn't into college football. What he is into, however, is not-so-subtly ripping on his wife when she expresses an interest in Brad's homemade candles. "Uh-oh, you did it now, Brad, you found her hobby: making bad versions of things you can just easily buy in a store!"

The Czar's wife goes chilly at this, though it's all happening beneath the surface. Her smile stays in place, but it drops from her eyes, so she's not so much grinning as parting her lips with all her teeth showing. She begs Brad to show her how he made it, and spirits him off much to the chagrin of Jane who doesn't want to be left alone. She really shouldn't be left alone, if her small-talk to the Czar is anything to go by. She falls back on the only thing she knows he's into, which is naked ladies. She's all "So, you and the guys wanna go check out some porno?" It's awful. She keeps talking. It's awful some more. I cringe all the way into my seat and beg her to stop. "Get some eyes on some thighs? Some peepers on some creepers? Some rods and cones on some... bra-ows and tho-w-ngs?" Aaaah! The Czar declines her super weird offer.

We're at the bike store with Penny and Alex! They're trying to pick out a more stylish 'street' helmet for Penny to wear. As she's checking herself out wearing a pink helmet, Penny accidentally backs into a super cute guy, and they proceed to flirt all over the place. It goes very well, except for Penny's ill-advised: "Quaint? Isn't that the space between a gal's goal and her penalty box?" OH, PENNY. To her credit, she does apologise for it. The guy is called Pete, and he asks Penny out for coffee to which she enthusiastically accepts, before getting a glimpse of herself and her helmet in the mirror. She can't go on a date when she has to wear a helmet all the time! She revises her answer to no, claiming to be 'so slammed' at the moment. Pete accepts that excuse graciously and Penny slopes back over to Alex who pops up from behind a row of helmets all: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HE IS BEAUTIFUL."

"He is so cyah. SO cyah."

Penny agrees, but cites her helmet as the reason she can't go on a date. Alex pooh-poohs all over that, urging Penny to take a chance in case Pete is '[Penny's] soulmate, [her] kindred spirit, [her] One Tree Hill.' Penny's in! Alex tests out a helmet by repeatedly running into the wall.

At Steak Me Home Tonight, Max is carbo-fuelling his rage for Brody by mainlining subs. Four and counting! Dave actually says the word 'sando', which drives me onto the website for the food van to find out which of the subs that is. Nooo, foolish. Sando is slang for sandwich, thanks Urban Dictionary. Sometimes you're a risky click, but not today. Max is sensitive about the fist-bump because this isn't the first time he's been handshake betrayed. Jimmy Nichols offered him a high-five in fifth grade (when Max was doing stand-up comedy?) and Max accepted, only to be counter offered a down-low-five and subsequently too-slowed.

Dave is horrified by Max's story, and goes into full-on melodrama mode. He grits his teeth and braces his hands against the edge of the counter, leaning in to mutter 'Down low, too slow' in an agonised whisper, as if it's a devil he knows all too well, an old adversary. Max is startled by Dave's reaction and asks him what's up, around a mouthful of sando. (I used it in a sentence! Now the word is MINE!)

Dave cracks me up by grizzling out in the same voice Liam Neeson uses to talk to kidnappers: "All that pain. It's my fault. I invented 'down low, too slow.' I did this to you. I'm sorry.. I'm sorry!"

He tosses his kitchen rag onto the floor of the van and books, driven by the ghosts of his past. Max is left baffled and also wondering what the hell he's supposed to do with Steak Me Home Tonight.

Back at Brad & Jane's, the party has split into gender groups. Brad is in the middle of all the wives, giggling and having a criminally good time. Jane is lurking near the Car Czar and the men, who are bitching about their wives and all the shit they buy/do/say. Jane throws a look back at the women and Brad (they're draping their hair on Brad's near-bald head) then sidles towards the Car Czar. She has found her in, but it isn't college football, or her sexy secret weapon. She throws out a joke/insult about how spoiled Brad is, and the Car Czar erupts into laughter before snagging a glass of scotch from one of the men and giving it to Jane. She's in!

Ah, Pete and Penny's date. This is a little cringe-worthy. To cover up why she's wearing a helmet, Penny has signed the pair of them up for Segway tours. She's already on her Segway, and proceeds to drive it into just about everything in sight after saying how intuitive it is to ride. I grimace and mutter something - you don't need this, show! You're better than this! Although, watching it the second time, it is pretty funny.

"It's actually an art, is what I'm finding."
"You're dragging a chair."

The party's over and everyone had a good time! Jane and Brad see the Car Czar and his wife out, and he thanks Jane for the great party and the scotch, which he deems 'the second best eighteen-year old [he's] had all week'. Barf. Jane fakes a laugh and the pistol fingers, before Brad closes the door behind the Czar and we don't have to listen to anymore of his gross jokes, or look at him. He looks like he should be sweaty, but he's not. It's baffling and uncomfortable, much like him! Brad agrees with me, then apologises to Jane for leaving her hanging with the men. Little does he know her jabs at him got her an in with the boys, and they 'talked bull' all night, then Jane was invited to watch a game with them after work. Success! Brad is super happy for her! He's also super happy for himself, since the wives want him to go to their spinning class and then have salads. He's way more stoked about this than I would ever be.

They congratulate each other, Jane calls Brad a trophy-wife (which he loves) and then they do their arm-arm-chest-groin bump again. Yaaay!

Funky musical montage of Jane and Brad hanging with the men and wives respectively! Brad goes spinning:

While Jane watches the game:

I want that sando.
Brad has salad with the girls:

And Jane pulls pranks with/on her guy buddies at the dealership.

"You just got Car-Czar'ed! That was the best ever!"

Meanwhile, Alex pours Penny a glass of wine and pokes her about her blossoming romance with Pete. Uh-oh, things are not going great! Penny is wearing her flesh-toned prescription helmet now they're inside her house. She really likes Pete and even gave the two of them a relationship name (PnP Romance Factory), but she's aware he's getting slightly weirded out that she only ever wants to go on dates where they wear helmets. Yesterday, they took a moped safety course.


Alex has - you're welcome - decided to fix Penny's helmet problem. She brandishes a large cardboard box. At that moment Max comes in and asks if they've seen Dave, since apparently he hasn't seen him since he ran out of Steak Me Home Tonight yesterday.

He turns around to this:

"Oh no, you can still tell I'm wearing a helmet, can't you."

He doesn't know what's going on - he thinks it's amazing and wants no part of it, however - and commands them to come and help him find Dave. Which they do! In the bar! Drowning his sorrows in sangria, complete with a wicked-bad case of sangria-mouth.

"And then the rhyme spilled from my lips like poison: 'Too slow..'"

The burden of being the creator of 'down low, too slow' is taking its toll on Dave. He's slurring and sloppy and sick with guilt. Alex and Max have a quiet aside about how this is a case of believing something when you're young and never being corrected; for the longest time Max thought 'L M N O' was one letter. Alex calls him an idiot, then Max taunts her into revealing her own childhood 'thing' - she pronounces Wednesday phonetically. Dave staggers to his feet and offers to teach Max a counter-move to the turkey fist-bump, using all his handshake trickery. Max is in! He chugs some sangria to seal the deal. Eew, sangria-mouth.

Brad breezes into the car dealership to bring Jane her lunch. The Car Czar remarks that she's 'got hers well trained' and quick as a wink, Jane throws back: "If only I could get him to stop spending so much on gossip magazines!" This is the first time Brad's heard her talk smack about him in front of the menfolk, and he takes her aside by the elbow to throw question marks at her over it. She tries to explain a little, but notices the men looking their way, and so pulls out her wallet instead and loudly tells Brad he seems crabby, shoving some bills into his hands and basically telling him to go buy something pretty.

Uh oh, you guys. It's on.

Penny appears in her helmet all: "Welp! Pete and I are done." Alex is sad at this turn of events! Penny planned a cute impromptu picnic for Pete and herself, but since she couldn't have a normal picnic, what with people not usually wearing helmets for them, and instead had them hunker down in a building site so she could wear a hard hat. They're next to the Portaloo. It's grim. Penny is super sad, because they haven't been physically intimate thanks to the helmet, so instead they've been emotionally intimate, talked a lot, had a real connection, yadda yadda. Alex tells Penny to TELL THE TRUTH, and Penny seems to take the advice to heart, saying she's going to call Pete and have him come over, and that she'll open the door wearing her flesh-toned prescription helmet.

Penny opens the door into our next scene and onto Pete, but d'oh! She's not wearing the helmet! Argh, this is pretty cringe-y as well. Casey Wilson is an incredible sport and she plays the slapstick humour well, but I hatehatehate cringing, and Penny is just pinwheeling off the walls trying to avoid Pete touching/kissing her, in case she bashes her head. She bumps lightly into a lamp, screams and nearly falls into the fetal position.

Jane is closing a sale on a black.. car, I don't know makes and models, don't ask me. Brad quite literally SCREECHES his way onto camera, giving out the most convincing impression of a spoiled, Valley-girl-esque wife I've ever seen. He's wearing a tennis outfit, there are shopping bags dripping from his arms, and he's carrying a coffee and a manpurse. He comes stomping in all: "OH! You would not BELIEVE! Zero parking at the Country Club, and she was all 'That's not your ottoman', and I was all 'Dressing on the side, bitch.' And Dante has a boat. You need to fix this. Right now. What?!" That last was to the customer Jane was so close to closing on. IT'S AMAZING. Jane is livid and mortified.


Jane drags Brad off to get him to explain this bullshit, and he drops the affected tone and theatrics long enough to tell her she ought to be careful what she wishes for - she wanted a trophy wife, now she has one.

Aaaand he's back! He drops the shopping bags and coffee cup (I think) in a dramatic display of malady, falling back against the hood of the car Jane's trying to sell with his arms outstretched and his eyes closed, letting out another tortured "UGH." He goes on: "And I crashed my car. So I need a new one. I want this one, but it has to have a special piggy airbag for my new BFF, Carnita." And here he pulls out a piglet dressed in a matching sweater. IT'S AMAZING.

Back at the bar, Alex, Dave and Max walk in like it's a Western and High Noon is just around the corner. Dave gives Max a pep talk about the upcoming conflict and the trio approach Brody and his gang of idiots.

"Let him make the first move. Remember, fist-bumps are a dance."

Max is greeted as 'Maximilian', Dave as 'D-Rose' again, and Alex as 'almost Mrs D-Rose'. Max gives a totally disingenuous laugh and 'Good one', offering Brody a fist-bump. That CAD Brody immediately TURKEYS Max's fist again! There's a moment of tension - there's blood in the air, we can smell it - Dave gives Max an almost imperceptible nod and Max hits back with, "Too bad it's Thanksgiving", SLICING his free hand across the top of his knuckles to sever Brody's turkey fingers from the fist-bump Brody perverted.

There's a moment of triumph, Alex laughs and Brody's cronies get to their feet, sensing their leader in trouble. Turns out Brody's douchebaggery is enough to see him stand alone, however, as he comes out swinging: "Thanksgiving, huh? What's Thanksgiving without the mashed potatoes?"

Max freezes - he hasn't been trained for this! While Brody's cronies high-five each other in the background, Max snaps and lunges for Brody with a bloodcurdling: "I'LL KILL YOU!" Alex and Dave manage to hold him back, and Dave explains Max's situation to Brody.

Brody seems sincere in his apology ("I had no idea, sorry broself.") and even offers Max another fist-bump as a show of good faith. But! As Max extends his fist to meet Brody's, the VILLAIN pulls his fist away, pursing his fingertips against his thumb-tip and smarming "Squid away.. Squid away." Max is devastated. Alex leaps to his defense, hurling herself onto Brody echoing Max's earlier sentiment: "I'LL KILL YOU!"

Back at Penny's place, there is some a-wine drinking and some a-smooching going on. Penny deflects Pete's hands whenever he moves to touch her head/face as they're making out, and when they end up against the wall, Penny grabs a big ol' roll of kitchen towels and shoves it behind her head to make sure she doesn't accidentally bonk herself. She doesn't do it without being super weird about it, of course, running it over Pete's face and then her own and proclaiming it 'Ooh, quilted'.

In the end, Pete is ready to peace. Penny is acting like a real weirdo and he's had enough. Penny drops the act and explains that it's because she is a real weirdo. She hits her head a lot. Like 'a cartoon coyote a lot'. She comes clean about the month-long helmet thing and says she has been covering it up because she likes him so much, but if he wants to go, he totally can. Pete seems like he's going to do just that, then he comes back with Penny's pink bike helmet and plops it on her head, with an ADORKABLE 'Every queen needs her crown.' Penny melts into the floor.

Yay, it's Trophy Brad again! He's screeching into his cell phone, bringing Jane stalking across the polished floor to yank the phone out of his hand and rake him over the coals for embarrassing her in front of her co-workers. Brad drops the act immediately and says he doesn't have a problem with it, since she clearly didn't have a problem doing it to him. Jane snorts and accuses him of doing the exact same thing to her with his co-workers at his old job. Brad clarifies that no, actually, he didn't, because Brad and Jane are a team, and you don't talk smack about your partner.

This rings true to Jane and she is AWASH WITH GUILT. She apologises and they make up, because they're the cutest thing EVER.

The Car Czar comes schmoozing over to leer everywhere and drip awfulness. He tells Brad he thought he'd be at a bar with the girls by now, 'boobs deep in a Red Velvet martini', talking about Cartier friendship bracelets. Brad lunges for the Czar, (who puts his hand into his jacket pocket, hilariously, like he's got a gun in there) but Jane throws out a soccer-mom arm, and tells him she's got this.

Jane tells the Czar she's done talking smack about her partner, and if he has a problem with that he should go sit on a hood ornament. The Czar is not pleased! No one talks to the Czar like that! Ever! But he likes it! Then he's all: "No, what, I don't like that. What boss would ever like that?" Oh, show. I see what you did there. But Jane is his top salesperson, so he's not going to do anything. He leaves.

All is well in Brad and Jane World, except the matter of the tiny pig who Brad says he bought in anger, and he's going to be '60lbs heavier in like three weeks'. But there's another wrinkle - Brad's learned to love him.

Jane says that if Brad loves him, Jane loves him, but they can't hear each other now, because Brad's taken the pig out of the bag and it's squealing like someone's trying to slaughter it.

"Sing, baby!" Brad is gleeful, and the three of them sing/squeal us into the credits.

That's all for this week. That recap took an unconscionably long time to write when I can't keep hold of a sentence for more than four words. I'm going to collapse on the sofa now and eat ice-cream. Watch Happy Endings, it's awesome.

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