The Fox Says Plunk

From time to time, reality intrudes on our valuable TV watching time, and we realize we can’t cover everything we love. So, we’ve asked some of our friends to step in and help us out when Real Life gets in the way. And today is one of those days. Please enjoy this Trophy Wife post from Mary.

This post contains spoilers for the most recent episode of Trophy Wife, “Halloween.”

It’s Halloween in Trophytown! Kate is dropping Bert off at Jackie’s, and Bert expertly replies “But scaring is mean” when Kate suggests they scare Jackie when she opens the door. Jackie is slumped over the kitchen table with a knife dripping blood lodged in her back, and when she pops up, revealing that it’s fake, she also reveals a mouthful of fake ugly teeth that match the ones Bert has slyly pulled out. Naturally Kate is most disturbed by the bad teeth.

Bert’s going to be The Iron Man for Halloween, and Jackie made his costume! While that’s developing, Jackie and Kate discuss their mutual longstanding love for Halloween. Kate has fond memories of free candy, running from the cops, and anonymous sex with masked strangers, and Jackie once made out with a woman for two hours before realizing… “actually, that’s not a Halloween story, that’s a mask story.”

Bless this show for presenting these two as loving mothers. That wasn’t sarcastic, I find it genuinely refreshing and awesome that the moms on this show don’t have to be sexless shrews. But Halloween when you’re a mom is different, Jackie begins to explain, when Bert interrupts with an anguished scream:



Jackie, convinced Bert and Kate are doing a bit that consists of knowing that Iron Man is not a man who irons, relents and allows Kate to go to the store to look for a costume more Bert’s speed, but not before Albert Tsai AWESOMELY sneers from his room: “I can’t, too many wrinkles I have to iiiiirrrrrrroooooonnnnn!”

Back at Chez Harrison, DIANE IS A WEEPING ANGEL, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.  Pete, who obviously hasn’t seen Doctor Who, says she looks “like a gargoyle come to life…now more than ever” but we know what’s up.  Bradley Whitford and his dimples are not, as Diane guesses, a “doll-murderer” but a ‘hung jury’ in a judge’s robe with dolls hanging down the front on strings. Whitford does this unfortunate gesture to the dolls that looks like he’s cupping giant boobs.  Still doesn’t ruin him.  Dammit.

Poor Warren just had dental surgery so his Ellen Degeneres costume (!!!) is a little more deranged than probably intended, especially when he tries to dance on heavy painkillers.  Less sympathetic is Hillary, who thinks Halloween is lame and that Warren dressed up like Justin Bieber.  So she’s not getting any more pleasant any time soon, it seems.  Oh well.

Apparently there are lines out the door at those Halloween stores on Halloween?  I’ve never seen one that busy, but then Halloween isn’t really my jam.  I’m a New Year’s kinda girl even though it’s not a holiday; you still get to dress kind of outlandishly, and there’s lots of drinking late at night, so basically it’s an awesome Friday with more sequins.  Anyway, Kate cuts in line by finding the nerdiest unattended adolescent boys and letting them hug her and smell her hair (not kidding).

As trick-or-treaters begin to arrive at the Harrisons, Warren adorably slurs “Happy Halloween!” as he flings open the door to the coat closet.  It’s so much funnier in practice than description, seriously, please watch this show.  But when Diane opens the real front door to a surly teenaged boy in a fox mask, Pete recognizes the voice and the crazy begins.  Borrowing a bit from a Parks and Recreation storyline where Leslie Knope tries to catch a jerky adolescent vandal named Greg Pikitis (“PIKITIS!”), Pete rushes to the door, takes the kid’s candy, and generously gives him a chance to admit to egging the house and mooning Pete last year.  Pete doesn’t buy the kid’s denial (“I recognize your stupid voice”) and keeps the candy.  Diane tries to intervene, but, “there is no statute of limitations on being a plunk” and yes, I rewound several times, and that is what Pete says.  Not “punk” but “plunk.”  Then Pete has an over-sharing monologue by the window:

Pete: This madness has gone on long enough.  It’s gotta stop.  This is about justice!  When the neighbor steals my wife, I do nothing.” (here they cut to Marcia Gay Harden dropping her head to her hand, which makes me wonder if it’s out of guilt or just aggravation at hearing the story again)  “When the mail man keeps my Muscle and Fitness, I do nothing.  When a hooligan eggs my home and moons my face, I do nothing.  But when that kid has the audacity to return to my house and ask for candy?!  This ends now.

Diane: Okay, you’ve convinced me, let’s cut off his hands and kill him.

Sadly, Diane is being sarcastic.  All Pete wants is a confession and an apology, which every snotty kid in a sitcom is always ready to offer up, so this should go quickly and well.

When Kate returns to Jackie’s, it’s to this Spencer Hastings-level ish:


Kate, at the line-out-the-door Halloween store, found an Iron Man (no “The”) costume for Bert, which is lucky because trick or treating is “like thirty percent” of the reason Jackie adopted him.

Jackie: Kate, um, can I give you some money for this?

Kate: Oh, do you have money?

Jackie: …I do not.

Kate: Oh, then no.

Jackie: Okay, so, we’re even.

I guess the real estate/pickle/wearable art/front lawn senior acupuncture lesson business isn’t going so good.  Bert is so excited for his costume that he wants Kate to take him trick or treating instead of his mom, and Kate, for plot reasons, doesn’t let him down gently in the interest of not hurting Jackie’s feelings.  So then we have Kate in a centaur costume with the back legs rolling on wheels behind her (borrowed from Jackie), trick or treating with Bert…



…when they pass by somebody in costume as a super creepy person, who acts with a general air of super creepiness.

Pete, Diane, Warren, and Hillary are Twelve Angry Men-ing it up.  Their captive in the fox mask claims he’s been trick or treating for 3 hours in a plea to get his candy back, but I call bullshit.  It’s very light outside, and unless Halloween is on a weekend, and unless my whole childhood was a lie, trick or treating happens in the evening.  Late afternoon at the earliest.

“Hey I’m trying to talk to my ex wife here, I’ll be with you in a second, Eggs.  Benedict…Arnold.”  Nice save, Pete.  Diane thinks it was “reaching” but Diane is also the woman who, according to Pete, had her housekeeper deported for scratching her coffee table.  “I was doing her a favor. In the Philippines, she’s a doctor.”


Hmmm, maybe Pete was referring to Diane being stolen by the neighbor earlier…

Meanwhile, Creepy Person keeps appearing closer and closer until Kate beans them in the face with a candy bar it they are revealed to be… Jackie!  Oh come on, like you were surprised.

Poor Warren succumbs to Fox Mask’s wily ways of suggestion and realizes that while Diane totally ruined his Halloween by scheduling his dental surgery that day, he should be mad at his dad because Fox Mask says so.  While Pete, flanked by Hillary and Diane, further interrogates Fox Mask in a scene with beautiful lighting coming through the window they’re sitting in front of… oh, that’s why.  Warren’s egging the house in his drug-addled Degeneres-dressed stupor, as suggested by Fox Mask.  What a plunk.

While Jackie and Kate bicker about Jackie’s hurt feelings and Kate’s insensitivity, Bert disappears.  Naturally they each find a non-Bert, Bert-sized Iron Man and snatch them up, running to the other to show they found him.  It’s predictable, but there is a hilarious gag with Jackie yelling “Marco!” and a kid named Marco answering in Spanish.  “Get outta here Marco!” Kate yells at him with way more venom than is expected or necessary.

Poor Warren gets caught, cries “drugs!” and still has to clean it himself under the close watch of both his parents, leaving Fox Mask to sweet talk Hillary who comes up with the brilliant plan to like him in front of her dad to piss him off.  It works, and there’s yet another scene where everyone is sitting at the table with Pete imperiously guarding Fox Mask’s bag of candy.  He apologizes for all the crap he’s done since Pete took his candy hostage, but it’s still not enough for Pete.  He demands confirmation that Fox Mask is the same jerk who mooned him last year.  

“It’s very simple.  You show me your butt, I give you candy.”

. . .

“You know what I mean.”

Oh Pete.

At this point Diane finally gives Fox Mask his candy back and lets him leave.  Of course Fox Mask has to get one last mooning in as he’s leaving, revealing the birthmark Pete remembered.  Which is pretty remarkable, since it’s finally night time now.  Elsewhere Jackie and Kate make up in front of a kindly neighbor who mistakes them for the other meaning of Bert’s two mommies and congratulates them on the Supreme Court decision, of which Jackie is of course ignorant.  You would think somebody who made out with a lady for two hours once would be at least vaguely aware of such news, but I guess not.

Mary is a military wife, mother, and certifiably pathological fangirl. Though she’s written before, this is her first foray into blogging. Her interests include livetweeting, cooking, baking, buying, and – most importantly – eating food, puns, and deciphering her toddler’s attempts to speak English. Follow her #mamatweets, #wifepeopleproblems, and #islandproblems (it’s not all complaining, honest) on Twitter at @maryarrr


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