Last week’s episode of Happy Endings hinted at a possible romance between Dave (Zachary Knighton) and Penny (Casey Wilson), so how did the twist pan out in this week’s episode? By making Dave and Penny brother and sister! Wait, what??? Where is Erica Kane and when did this become All My Children? Ok let’s rewind here and recap.
In the episode ‘Meet the Parrots,’ Dave’s dad (Michael Mckean), also known as Big Dave, comes to town for the Cubs convention. This is the first time Dave sees his dad after his parents divorce and he is a little anxious, especially after receiving a text from his dad informing him that he’s bringing his new girlfriend. When dad shows up, we’re introduced to his girlfriend who happens to be Penny’s mom Dana (the glorious Megan Mullaly!). Penny as Dave’s older sister is a brilliant move! (Side note – Casey Wilson was hilarious as the annoying older sister- I should know I have two of them…you know, the annoying-but-you-love-them kind of way.)
Penny is over the moon about this turn of events but Dave needs a little time to swallow this pill. (It’s a big horse like pill apparently) Trying to get back in the spirit of things, Dave presents his dad with a new sandwhich he’s created in his honor, only to learn that his dad no longer eats red meat thanks to Dana. Such a waste of a delicious looking steak and cheese sandwhich. Then, instead of going straight to the Cubs convention he learns that they will be stopping by Heal Chicago, a holistic expo with all the healing crystals you could ever need.
At the expo Dave starts to act out, and resent his new found family, even calling Ed Begley Jr. stupid. (That man is a national treasure! ) Dave finally freaks out at his father and Dana, even after Dana tries to get everyone to sing their feelings (a la the delicious ‘Yesandwitch‘ episode) I seriously think everyone should sing out their feelings. Of course I think people should just sing out in general, and maybe dance as well. (Clearly, I want to live inside a musical.)
Ok, so Penny and Jane (Eliza Coupe) go to Dave’s apartment, only to find out he has run away. Luckily they don’t have to look far, because Dave is squatting in his old childhood home. Penny tries to talk to Dave about the difficulties of parents divorcing and the need to just forge ahead. In the end Dave comes around and everyone is happy.
I really enjoyed Zachary Knighton in this episode because we got to see more range from him. His facial expressions were hilarious and also so appropriately honest for those situations. All the actors on this show have proven over and over again how great they are with comedic materia,l so it’s nice to see them get to show more of a dramatic side as well. Dealing with divorce is tough and it was nice to see the show reflect on this while still maintaining its hilariousness. And although Eliza Coupe wasn’t given much to do she still managed to make herself stand out by having the funniest line of the night. In reference to Penny’s hair in humid temperature, “you look like John C. Reilly after a kick ball game.”
Elsewhere, Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) feeling lonely at work decides to get a parrot; the obvious alternative to hiring an employee. Of course this new friend turns out to be racist and homophobic. Don’t you just hate when that happens? But the real storyline was the suspicion Alex had about the Chinese restaurant in front of her store. Seeing old white men go in and out of the restaurant she comes to the conclusion that the restaurant operates an illegal sex ring. (well obviously!)
She decides to get Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Max (Adam Pally) involved and they decide to investigate…just like on The Wire! (p.s. best reference of the night goes to Brad and Max for their delicious Judy Moody and the Not So Bummer Summer name drop) So they decide to infiltrate the restaurant, posing as customers. They try to act cool, but when the waitress asks for their order, Max yells out, “Where are the whores?!” (Hilarious!) Not so subtle, but thankfully Brad is there to cover it up. They see one of the old men that they spied going into the restaurant the night before and decide to follow him. This leads them to the back where the old man is teaching a groups of women English as a second language. This was kind of a silly storyline but it it still gave us plenty to laugh at, especially that racist parrot.
I also enjoyed how the group was not divided into pairs but we had threesomes instead. One of the shows strengths is the chemistry between all the actors, and how they can be matched up in any random duo or trio and it works. This episode worked so well, and coming off last week’s stellar episode, the show is on a roll so far for 2012.