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.
“And many mooooore!” Kate and the kids sing to Pete, missing an opportunity for a Community-style “to youuuuu” but it’s in the same spirit.
Pete’s turning fifty tomorrow and Kate is nonplussed at celebrating a day early, but Pete is adamant about it.
“When I was seven, I broke my arm. When I was twenty-four I sold all my Apple shares so I could buy a BowFlex,” and so on. He encourages them all to pick a number, and naturally Warren chooses ninety-two.
It’s okay Warren, you’re gifted in other ways.
The next morning, Meg arrives just after Pete leaves for work to help Kate with her super secret birthday plans.
Meg: “Well, go easy on the surprise. Y’know, for his ticker.”
Kate reminds her, though, that fifty is the new forty, forty is the new thirty, and she herself is thirty, “so basically we’re both thirty.” Meg coolly calls her out on her defensiveness, then excuses herself to grocery shop…
From Kate’s fridge.
“You’re almost out of eggs. You’re out of eggs.”
And she even brought a reusable shopping bag too!
Meanwhile, in the B-plot:
Oh Jackie. How I’ve missed you these long winter months.
The waiting room is Diane’s, and Jackie’s there to get a check from Diane for Pete’s birthday present from the kids. “Since you have two kids and Bert’s sooooo little, you owe two hundo and I owe twenty-five,” for the windchimes the kids picked out with Jackie’s help. Diane, unimpressed, insists they go return the chimes, and an outing is begun!
Back at Chez Harrison, a package arrives for Pete labeled “perishable” and with only the kids there to recieve it, Bert decides they should open it, “I don’t want it to perish!”
It’s lobsters! Sent from a possibly questionable source in thanks for Pete’s services keeping a client out of hot water with the EPA. Awesome. Bert’s just amazed that “You can mail things from the ocean?!”
Being children, they naturally leave the lobster shipping container open as they leave for school, and you *know* that won’t come back to pinch them later.
If the EPA mention wasn’t enough of a tip off, Pete as a full on freak out when his secretary informs him via intercom that there’s a representative from the Department of Justice to see him.
“Just kidding, it’s your wife.”
It’s The Blonde One, in a trenchcoat obviously sans other clothing, announcing her plan that involves something she has to cover by talking about how the wind is blowing outside when she realizes Pete has three other people in his office with him. Hm, I wonder what she could have been talking about?
Diane and Jackie arrive at the store where Jackie bought the huge-ass windchime for Pete, and it looks exactly like the kind of place that sells huge-ass windchimes.
The woman behind the counter – Juniper – tells Diane the item is nonrefundable, and they go through the oldest song and dance in the retail book:
Diane: “I’d like to speak to your manager.”
Juniper: “We don’t believe in titles here. Everyone’s equal.”
Diane: “Well then I’d like to speak with someone else.”
Heaven: “Blessed be the day!”
Diane: “Okay, I’ll be speaking to you. Give us our money back.”
Random other customer: “Excuse me, I’ve been waiting…”
Okay maybe not *all* of that is exactly like my time working in retail, but the last part is certainly spot on.
Pete, whose birthday is not seeming so cursed right now – there are lobsters at his house as we speak! – rear-ends a cop at a stop sign as Kate outlines Phases One through Three of her plan for his special day. Hint: in one of the phases the aforementioned trenchcoat comes off.
Since it’s Pete birthday, the cop lets him off easy by sending him directly to the DMV to renew his freshly expired license (instead of a trip to the station and a $1000 fine), so he’ll be able to go have a nice birthday lunch with his daughter!
What a nice guy.
Diane and Jackie head to a spa to get a gift certificate where Jackie is greeted by name just like she was at the wind chime emporium (Diane: “Is there nowhere that you are anonymous?”). They’re promptly upsold a massage for themselves, and now it sounds like retail.
The special is for a couple’s massage, which Diane is not okay with, but Jackie’s cool as usual. “Jackie, how are you okay with this? Is every day like this for you? Screw up, misunderstanding, screw up, misunderstanding…?”
I mean, that’s like 90% of all sitcom plots, so it makes sense that Diane wouldn’t like it. I highly doubt Diane watches sitcoms.
Jackie: “If plush robes and free slippers are a scew up then I hope I never get anything right.”
You know, sometimes Jackie’s ditziness is really poignant.
Jackie: “Let’s get squeezy! I am very knotty. And I mean that both ways, bring the pain Oksana!”
Yep, there it is.
Back at home, the kids arrive to find, SHOCK, the lobsters have escaped!
“You gotta think like a lobster!”
That’s really all you need to know.
At the DMV, Kate: “Look on the bright side, you get to have a new license picture without that soul patch on it!” Pete: “Had it for two weeks, it haunted me for ten years.”
But naturally there’s a line to get a number, then a line to get the necessary forms, and then a line to actually get something done, just like there is at every DMV always.
Back at the spa, Jackie is making uncomfortably orgasmic noises and Diane’s muscles “feel like commercial fishing net.” Oh, and Diane is cold and mean. “Your lack of strength is not my fault.”
But Jackie gently calls her on it, reminding her of just how many people she’d been rude to that day, leading up to the piece de resistence: “Don’t you know that old expression that you catch more flies with honey than by being a total bitch?”
“I am not a bitch.”
It devolves from there, Diane ends up calling her masseuse a “jelly-fingered pile of manure” and they get kicked out. Of a spa. Jackie is persistent, and insists that Diane apologize to Juniper. Diane: “What’s done is done.” Jackie: “No Diane, in the New Age community, what’s done is never done. It may not have even happened…”
Pete gets his number called, finally and whips out his glasses to sign his form, thereby landing himself in the line to take a road test in order to renew his license. To the test administrator, who has asked where his vehicle is:
“It’s my birthday, and it’s been terrible. It’s always terrible, everything SUCKS, and then it gets WORSE. I’m telling you man, I am cursed.”
It’s one of my favorite punchlines the show has done thus far.
Pete awesomely fails to parallel park (“it’s Los Angeles, we have valet”) in the rented Ferrari, and thus continues the curse of the birthday.
The kids have found the lobsters in time for dinner! Yay! But now Bert has realized that the intention is to EAT the lobsters and Warren not-helps by describing how to cook and eat a lobster with surprising accuracy.
Diane apologizes to Juniper, and the exchange is too perfect to not transcribe is full.
Juniper: “You know, I had dreamt of this.”
Diane: “We were only gone a few hours.”
Juniper: “Well I took a nap.”
Diane: “What were you so tired from?” *Jackie elbows her* “Blessed be the day.”
Marcia Gay Harden’s delivery of that last line and the little head bow she does with it are just awesome. I loved this b-plot for a few reasons: the dynamic between Jackie and Diane is nice because they have a rapport in both being Pete’s exes despite their hugely differing personalities. Also, Jackie got to be more than just a ditz in this episode, and Diane didn’t get the “last word” with some withering Diane zinger, she just apologized, bought some windchimes, and that was that. I hope we get more moments like this for each of them, no matter who their storylines are with throughout the rest of the season.
Of course Diane and Jackie then realize that they never did get that gift certificate, but instead of going to the mall during rush hour, they opt to just get him the wind chimes again. Cuuuuuuuuuursed.
Pete and Kate arrive in Phase Two to Phase Three, a hotel with two bars, and one of them only serves water.
I mean. I would think I was cursed if somebody brought me to a bar that only served water too. Pete wants to go home but Kate insists a little too hard, prompting Pete to question her birthday mania.
Pete: “Are you having my mid life crisis?”
Kate: “It’s just so weird! I love going to bed early and getting up early, and drinking at home. And I LOVE pajama pants!”
Pete: “Who doesn’t?”
Word, Pete. Word. They go into the hotel but immediate leave.
Pete: “I think that DJ was two people in one shirt!”
They go to a bar more their speed for a drink before a stop at Paco’s Tacos. Pete chooses a song on the juke box, then CASUALLY GESTURES FOR KATE TO COME DANCE WITH HIM IN HIS SUIT WITH HIS SLIGHTLY UNDONE TIE I may have been having some Whitford problems in that scene nevermind me.
Kate demonstrates why you never do the trenchcoat with nothing underneath trope when Pete spins her and the coat flies open. .They, wisely, head home.
Back at home, It turns out Bert doesn’t know where bacon comes from. Or fish sticks. Or hamburgers.
Warren: “You’ve eaten everything that’s ever been on your pajamas.”
Pete sits down with Bert later (in the tag) to explain some things:
Pete: “A pig.”
Bert: “Roast beef?”
Pete: “A cow.”
Pete: “A lamb.”
Bert: “Chicken nuggets?”
Pete: “Uh…a chicken.”
Bert: “Wait, what about hot dogs?”
Pete: “Turkey or beef.”
Pete: “Nobody knows.”
Bert: “I’ll eat balogna!”
Windchimes: New Age chimey chiming.
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.