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.
Pete and Kate are at a barbecue joint with the boys where Bert is drenching his corn on the cop with ketchup and Warren is just thrilled Hillary’s not there.
Oh, you think I’m speaking through Warren on that one? NOPE.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love her like a sister, but this booth is so much roomier!”
His enjoyment of Hillary’s absence is interrupted by a text message from a girl named Allie:
“Math sucks, huh?”
Or she could have spelled it all much worse, but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. Kate immediately reads way too much into it while Pete just wants to know if anyone remembers when people texted in full, grammatically correct and perfectly spelled sentences. No, Pete. Nobody remembers that because it’s never happened. Do YOU remember T9?
Kate advises that Warren should reply simply “totes” but also wait an hour to create an aura of mystery. Warren’s not too sure (even though he’s the one holding his phone with hands COVERED IN SAUCE, but Pete assures him Kate knows what she’s doing:
“Against all odds, she landed a man 20 years her senior, with a butt that just won’t quit.”
As Kate demures into her drink, Bert loses a tooth into his corn and immediately makes it weird:
“If I suck hard enough I can drink my own blood. I love licking this hole!”
Oh, Show. Children saying inappropriate things is so rarely funny to me, you’re lucky you have Albert Tsai delivering that grossness.
When they call Jackie from the car to let her know (our first tip-off that this family takes tooth-losing a wee bit more seriously than most), they interrupt her at a silence retreat in what is supposed to be a phone-free yurt which sounds like TORTURE so I don’t know why she seems so annoyed.
Back at home while they unpack leftovers from the restaurant, Kate mildly questions Pete’s enthusiasm about this whole affair after he waxes poetic about Jackie getting to play Tooth Fairy for the first time.
“I’m a sucker for body parts. Teeth, toenails, hair, foreskin…no wait, Diane got the foreskin in the divorce.”
And with that, Pete just became about 40% less attractive to me. So. Creepy. I mean, I have a lock of my son’s hair from his first haircut, and I guess I may save ONE tooth if it seems like a reasonable thing to do when he reaches that age, but the only other thing close to that saved from my kid is umbillical cord blood in a secure facility in case of a medical need and that’s where I draw the line. I mean really. TOENAILS? WHAT. WHY.
Bradley Whitford kind of saves it a moment later when he holds up a paper takeout bag that’s given way under a sauce leak and bellows “BAG HOLE! BAG HOLE!!!”
I can’t even tell you why, just the panic with which he yells it is hilarious to me. Plus this shot is great:
Kate hilariously responds, as many of us probably would: “What? What’s a baghole? Are you okay? Is this a stroke?”
No, but Pete wrapped Bert’s tooth in a napkin to bring home and it’s fallen through the BAGHOLE and Pete is NOT HAVING Kate’s suggestion that she would have put it in a container other than a napkin.
Pete: “Wouldya? WOULDJA HAVE?”
Kate, awesomely: “Sure you wanna go with that tone?”
Pete: “Nn-no, I don’t want to go with that tone.”
You’re damn right, Pete. Kate learned how to punish last week. From DIANE.
They decide Kate will check the car while Pete goes back to the restaurant – which is called Mama Saucy’s which I didn’t catch on my first watch and am now IN LOVE WITH.
At Diane’s Hillary is getting ready for her first high school sleepover and she and Diane are in truly rare form, doing things like hiding breakables, making mulled cider, calling pizza “trite”, and squealing over how cool they are. It’s sadly grating but also cute because at least they like each other.
While Kate finds all sorts of grossness in Pete’s car (“Shania Twain CD?!”), Warren comes out for some advice.
Kate: “Where are we at with the sexting?”
Warren: “Oh, no, it’s pronounced ‘texting.'”
I like how they’ve played these moments where Kate is “cooler” than her step-kids rather than the usual trope where parents or step-parents are out of touch because the kids are too cool for them. Allie’s asked if he wants to study together, and Kate dictates another text for him that includes the word “a$$.” There are times when I relate to Diane when it comes to Kate and this was one of them.
Pete strikes out at Mama Saucy’s and enters the next scene at Chez Harrison in a tizzy. Kate’s pouring a glass of wine and replies like the BAMF she is (“a$$” notwithstanding):
Kate: “You rockin’ that tone again?”
Pete: “No, ma’am.”
I don’t really need to talk about the thoughts this gives me, right? Okay. So we’ll just skip over all the tawdry hilarity involving riding crops and black leather and skip to another hint that of Pete’s adherance to the Jeff Winger school of law.
“Law school 101: you’re about to lose a case? Tamper with the evidence.”
Which includes retrieving the BOX OF TEETH (reportedly all belonging to Pete’s children, which we hope is true) from Pete’s dresser to choose one he can pass off as Bert’s when Jackie arrives. I can’t come up with a funny way to say that Pete smells the tooth so I’ll just leave it at, shudder, and move on.
It’s less creepy, somehow, when Jackie smells the tooth just a minute later after Pete gives it to her, but that’s because Jackie’s kind of creepy so it’s not so jarring. Immediately she knows about the ruse because teeth have an identifiable scent? I don’t even get this, but I guess it’s what we’re going with. Anyway Jackie THROWS THE TOOTH IN KATE’S HAIR and takes off with Bert (“Keep your tooth, I’M TAKING THE BOY! BERT! Let’s ride!”) and Kate appropriately panics about the TOOTH IN HER HAIR until Pete gets it out.
Let’s just all take a moment to really let that last paragraph sink in because this whole storyline was WEIRD.
Jackie brings Bert back the next morning… well, she appears, sans Bert, and when Pete asks where he is she freakily replies:
“Bert’s gone, but don’t worry, I replaced him with an old Asian man I keep in a box.”
Michaela Watkins just looks so defeated and like she’s lashing out from grief here, it’s kind of amazing. Let’s not think about the teeth for a minute and just appreciate that. Turns out, Jackie was able, with the aid of some tea, Pinot, a muscle relaxer, a popcorn kernel and white paint, to complete her first evening as Tooth Fairy so it’s all fine really.
… until Bert walks in dressed in full Indiana Jones regalia complete with whip, quoting lines (“Snakes!”) from the movie and wanting to know where Warren is so he can go whip him. Pete apparently planned to show Bert Indiana Jones for the first time on his 10th birthday, which IS a pretty great age for it and would also make for an EPIC backyard birthday party theme (note to self for 8 1/2 years from now).
At Diane’s the sleepover guests have arrived and Hillary answers the door in a silver cocktail dress while Diane welcomes them with a tray of amuse bouches and to call her “Dr. B.”
I have to say, once one of these little jerks snottily says, “…or we could order pizza,” after being offered exquisite homemade appetizers I end up solidly on Hillary and Diane’s side. They go on to suggest watching a movie, and then ignore Diane’s offerings (“both of Cate Blanchette’s ‘Elizabeth’s, and if we want to get really crazy, ‘The Aviator'”) in favor of ‘Spawn of Satan 2.’
Hillary quickly catches on that everyone’s out of their respective depths here and goes to change clothes. Diane offers to make things less formal by simply putting out the charcuterie; “If they want it they can just come get it!” with this cute faux-cool lean against the counter. She’s surprisingly flexible about all this which is pretty refreshing for Diane, and fun to see on Marcia Gay Harden for a change.
Back at Chez Harrison, Pete is not sticking to his agreement with Jackie to call the whole Tooth Fairy/Indiana Jones thing even and is teaching Bert yoga, since Jackie’s been waiting for her swami to come back from his spirit journey before letting Bert try it.
The sleepover guests have literally pulled Diane’s furniture apart, setting themselves up with couch cushions on the floor to watch their horror movie, and totally DON’T show any appreciation when Diane serves them pizza (rude) then pokes holes in the movie plot with medical knowledge (understandable). One of the girls texts all the rest of them – ostensibly something mean about Diane – prompting Hillary to ask Diane to go make them some popcorn and immediately badmouth her once she’s gone.
Let’s not forget who started the night in a cocktail dress hiding valuables, shall we Hil?
Warren is striking out pretty hard with Allie after begging for her hoodie just to give the effect of taking her coat for her, then trying to make showing his work in his math assignment into a sexy catch phrase. Kate sticks her head in to see how things are going and gets Warren to make a horrible excuse to step out for a minute (“I have to go to the bathroom. You know, rumble in the jungle! So it’s probably going to be a while.”) so she can talk him up to Allie.
That goes exactly as well as you’re expecting, ending with:
Kate: “Well, I mean if he was older! And not my step-son… point is, is Warren is a catch. I mean, seriously his bangs are flawless.”
Thankfully Warren comes back then and Kate leaves, looking way too pleased with how that all went.
The sleepover has turned into a “my mom is lame” storytelling party while they wait for Diane to return with the popcorn she’s making for them, and I don’t know about you guys, but by the time I got to high school everybody thought my mom was the best. I felt lame that I didn’t have fast food brought to me during long play rehearsals for like 4 minutes until the girl with the McNuggets exclaimed over my homemade sandwich, chips, and cookie with a mint and napkins thoughtfully included and said she wished her mom would do that for her.
This is why your kids should always be friends with the theater geeks; they’re often nerdy enough to openly appreciate things like that. Hillary hasn’t gotten that memo, though in her defense, Diane was pretty clueless to sit down and start sharing her own lame mom stories with the group.
Hillary sends her a text that says, bluntly: “Can you please go? You’re embarrassing me.” and Diane makes a quick exit.
Pete is thinking of taking Bert on a long weekend trip to Nepal since Jackie’s always wanted to take him, and Kate tells him he should let it go and take the high road.
“I will take the high road. To the low road.”
That doesn’t make any sense. Neither does Jackie showing up just then, I can’t figure out their shared custody schedule at all. They bicker until Kate intervenes to yell at them.
“Pete, you got to watch a tooth fall out, which you weirdly love. Jackie, you got to be Tooth Fairy which combines two of your passions of magic spells and old bones! So who cares if it wasn’t his real tooth?”
Naturally Bert comes in then in time to freak out about the fake tooth, and Warren comes in as well to let Kate know that Allie left, weirded out that Kate basically told her she wants to get with Warren.
See how much better Kate’s getting at parenting?
While Pete and Jackie work on putting out the fake tooth fire (omg that’s probably the kind of magic spell one would do with an old bone isn’t it?), Kate discovers Allie’s left her sweatshirt behind (“Girls don’t forget things by accident!”) and steals his phone and runs away to text Allie about it. Totally normal.
Diane is sitting alone in her gloriously massive bed when Hillary comes in to see her and Diane asks if they’re having fun. Hillary says yes, “but you’re not.”
Diane: “Tonight’s not about me. You’re in high school you should be able to have a sleepover with your friends and not your mom. Go have fun.”
Hillary very sweetly apologizes and turns back before leaving to tell Diane she was totally right about the movie plot holes. It’s the nicest Hillary’s ever been, but it’s also a little strange to see this resolution when it seemed that Hillary was not only on board but the originator of most of the too-formal plans for the party to begin with. It leaves the impression that she changed to please her guests and was a jerk to her mom for not adapting to the about-face quickly enough, not that Diane was being out of touch and needed to back off and let Hillary set the tone for the party.
A better resolution for the way this storyline began would be if Hillary had defended Diane’s efforts as a host and made an effort to get her guests to try all the beautiful food Diane provided for them (and let them know that couch cushions stay on the couch unless otherwise instructed by the homeowner).
We change scenes from Diane’s regally beautiful boudoir to Pete and Jackie rifling through garbage on their hands and knees looking again for Bert’s tooth. They agree, finally, to pass off one of Hillary’s baby teeth from Pete’s Box O’ Teeth to Bert as his own instead of telling him that the tooth fairy isn’t real, which…I don’t see what one has to do with the other. If you’re that committed to lying to your kid, have him write a little note to the tooth fairy explaining that his dad lost the tooth through a BAGHOLE and begging for leniency.
I don’t know, I think all this stuff is dumb. I’ll never tell my kids Santa is real either so I guess I’m really not one to comment on how one should handle this situation.
Pete overhears Kate and Warren in the bathroom (where Kate ran earlier when she nicked Warren’s phone) delivering dialogue about not touching things and experience.
Pete, as he opens the door: “Seriously? What the hell is happening?”
They’re waiting for Allie to text Warren/Kate back and she conveniently does right then. Kate, reading aloud: “‘kk’, ooh, double k, I love this chick, ‘can you drop it off tonight?'”
And so Pete and Kate drive Warren to Allie’s and we start on a montage set to this lovely version of Closer To Fine by the Indigo Girls.
Allie meets Warren at the door and he gives her back her hoodie before haltingly, sweetly kissing her while Pete and Kate watch from the car, googly eyed. Kate tears up and realizes this moment is her baby tooth (Pete), her first standardized test (Diane), her first time hearing her son say he loves Indian food (Jackie). Warren and Allie exchange a few words, hug, and then Warren bounds back to the car.
(The top two, and then the right-hand ones from the middle and bottom rows)
At Diane’s Hillary comes in and kisses her mom goodnight. Diane smiles as Hillary leaves and reaches over for a bite from the little plate of charcuterie on her bedside table.
Jackie tucks Bert in, both happily anticipating his first visit from the tooth fairy.
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.