This week ABC continues to offer a double dose of hilarious Happy Endings episodes. But only one gets the special mention as one of the strongest episodes of the series so far. This is a real nail biter.
Once in a while a series will come out with an episode that is nearly perfect in its execution: Community has its paint ball episode, Parks and Recreations had the surprise wedding of April and Andy, and then there is the entire second season of Arrested Development. In this category I would like to submit this week’s Happy Endings episode ‘The Marry Prankster’. There is so much to love about this episode, it is practically pitch perfect. There are hilarious gags, a fantastic running joke, some great physical comedy and some of the funniest lines of the third season. Not to mention a literally explosive ending.
Starting with a side-splitting prank gone wrong, the episode follows the revenge pranks delivered by Max (Adam Pally) on the rest of the gang. First up: Brad’s (Damon Wayans Jr.) glitter lotions. Seeing Brad walk into the diner looking like Ke$ha’s brother from another mother is amazing, not to mention the cut away of him in the cowboy suit. Bring out the guns indeed! The revenge tactics provides many great moments, from the paint ball muffins to the exploding waffles, but I have to single out Penny’s (Casey Wilson) prank to take the prize. Not because it’s the most ingenious, but because of the circumstances. Faking us out with the real/fake/real again engagement is brilliant. And then to have her get slimed! Twice! It is masterful. (more on this in a bit) And let’s not forget the running gag of Max mispronouncing his name and then finally getting it right only to declare himself the wiener. Way to go Max Broom.
I do have to give it up to Elisha Cuthbert as she is definitely the episode MVP, delivering on everything from her usual dumb blonde routine all to the way to her gut-busting couch fiasco (which may be one of the funniest things this show has ever done.) Someone call Alicia Keys ’cause this girl is on fire (amirite?). Obviously the final reveal that Alex is the mastermind behind the whole prank war, and walk off in homage to Keyser Soze, is the best twist and reference ever! I’ve said this before: I love the evil streak that Alex has and they need to bring this out more often.
After the glitter fiasco, Brad continued job search gets some screen love. Of course it’s not the CFO job we all thought it would be, but I am sure Chief Fun Officer is totally cool, too. I love Brad’s interaction with Jane (Eliza Coupe) when he tells her he got a job because seeing him interact with all those children is really sweet. I can’t say I love that Brad is working in a kid’s fun park, though (guess I am on Jane’s side). It doesn’t seem like the right fit for him so thank goodness he only sees it as a temporary job.
Of course, all of this awesomeness is merely a build-up to the grand finale, which includes a fake death, an exploding limo, a popcorn rainfall and a proposal from Pete (Nick Zano). Talk about raising the stakes and bringing some emotion into the game! What a perfect way to stage it! For a show where everything is exaggerated, this proposal is a perfectly over the top moment (helped by Penny getting slimed multiple times). I’m still laughing – though here’s hoping that’s not the dress she goes with. Yeeesshh!
Now you would think it would be hard to measure up to a classic episode like this but the second episode, while not quite as amazing, is still hilarious in its own right. Revolving around Pete’s lack of interest in a traditional wedding, the group descend’s upon a Valentine’s day wedding convention, paired off in mostly unlikely couples.
First up is Dave and Alex, who we know have a complicated history with weddings. Could it have been because of Dave’s inability to let Alex have her say in their wedding plans? I will say that some of her ideas were pretty genius, but she also has some awful ones too, I mean beige napkins? WTF!?
I do love seeing this relationship blossom anew. I know there are a lot of Dave/Penny fans out there, but Penny’s got Pete now and we’ve got Alex and Dave, so it’s a win/win. And with Dave’s speech to Penny about Alex being the only thing that matters, you can’t help but feel like they are meant for each other.
But enough about them when there’s a new favorite couple to discuss: Brad and Me….I mean Max. While Jane busies herself with Penny, she leaves Brad to roam the convention with his new lover. While I love the idea of Brad as my own private Harvey Chocolate Milk (yes! that’s two Van Sant references…if anyone is counting) I can’t say I pictured him with Max, especially after seeing what their child would look like (that was…terrifying). The best part of this coupling is Brad getting threatened with an ass pounding…or ass whooping. Bonus points for the Manny Petty Mani/Pedi gag. Very clever!
Of course the main reason everyone is attending the convention is so that Jane and Penny can convince Pete to have an actual wedding. Seriously, these two ladies need to be recognized for the work they do in this episode. The opening bit where Penny forgets to invite Pete to their engagement party is so amazing! Her reaction as she fakes a surprise is classic. And Jane as a crazy wedding planner is perfection. Coupe has a way of playing crazy so well it’s somewhat frightening. Of course my favorite part is her trying to sneak back in to the convention, only to be taken down by security. She is one tough cookie!
Much like the previous episode what knocks this one out of the park is the happy ending (yep – I went there), as Pete and Penny & Dave and Alex make up. Do I smell a double wedding season finale? Oh, and let’s not forget the A-Ha tribute at the end. Nothing’s better than a great reference to an 80s one-hit-wonder.
Funniest lines from ‘The Marry Prankster’
Penny: “Tis true, Max hath scammed us all. Remember when he buttered my yoga mat, and my welcome mat, and my neighbor Matt?”
Brad: “Or when he hacked my ancestry account and convinced me that I was the third Williams sister.”
Jane: “Or when he decimated our 401k.”
Brad: “Good looking family you got there. Handsome son.”
Interviewer: “That’s my daughter, Stephanie.”
Brad: “Well she sure knows her way around a chainsaw. Lovely wife by the way.”
Interviewer: “That’s my brother.”
Interviewer: “ Baby.”
Brad: “Did I mention I’m black?”
Interviewer: “Several times.”
Dave: “Al, look at yourself, this is getting ridiculous, you don’t have to join Max. We can prank him and beat him at his own game. We’ll give him a shot of pre-vengeance, with a dose of pre-taliation, and finish him off with a load of pre-comeupance.”
Penny: “Can I come in? Every second that we waste is a second I can’t say, you know my fiance.”
Funniest Lines from ‘Our Best Friend’s Wedding’
Penny (confronting an ex): “Hello Steve who couldn’t commit to a serious relationship. Check out this rock, and no you can’t smoke it…I never asked, how was rehab?”
Penny (gesturing to Alex): “And behold, this beautiful sleeping nymph symbolizes our love…Wake up you tiny whore!!”
Jane: “No Pete wants a wedding, he just doesn’t know it yet. There is a Valentine’s day weekend wedding expo downtown, today. Ok, we’re gonna take Pete there and we’re gonna change his mind or they don’t call me bitch behind my back.”
Alex: “She knows!”
Jane: “I know.”
Brad (in reference to what his baby with Max looks like): “Looks like the third Gumble brother, Itzhak Gumble.”
Gay thug #1: “Take him back or we’re gonna pound your ass.”
Brad: “Wai..uhhh…so you’re gonna kick my ass or…?”
Gay thug #2: “We’re gonna kick your ass.”
Brad: “Ok, thank God! Wooo…wait that’s not good either.”
What did you folks think? Was ‘The Marry Prankster’ one of the best episodes of the series? Are you loving the Penny/Pete engagement? Did you love the exploding couch bit? Sound off below.
Happy Endings airs on Tuesdays at 9pm and 9:30pm EST on ABC