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 episode 1.18 of Trophy Wife, “Couples Therapy.**
This week we have gifs! Sweet beautiful gifs courtesy of our very own Plot-Watcher Kerry! Thanks Kerry!
At Chez Harrison, Kate is regaling a super-bored Meg with tales of preparations for California history day at the kids’ school. Warren and Bert debut their costumes for frontier doctor and double amputee and Warren giggles a little too much at Meg’s ‘asleep with her eyes open’ antics. Pete busts in all, “What’s the haps?! …is something I will never say again.”
Kate proudly shows off her chili and informs him that since Meg and Tevin are off-again and this time he’s taken all the black light art with him, she and Meg are going to go poster shopping.
Pete: “So you’re relieved?”
Meg: “Annoyed, Now all I have is regular light art.”
Pete: “That’s why Diane and I broke up.”
Meg: “I believe it.”
Pete: “You shouldn’t.”
Petition for an episode where Bradley Whitford and Natalie Morales monotone-snark at each other the whole entire time. Their banter continues a bit until Pete reveals that he followed the Duran Duran “Hungry Like The Wolf Tour.”
Meg: “Oh so did my dad!”
Pete: “Get out of my house.”
Kate and Meg oblige (with a really cute super couple-y peck on the lips and exchanged “I love you/love you too”s for Kate and Pete) and then Pete gives Kate’s chili a try:
California History Day appears to be kind of an open-air fair with booths set up for history lessons (Warren and Hillary’s Frontier Medicine offering, with bonus frighteningly realistic double-amputee Bert) and food (Kate and Pete’s Chili booth, which is kicking the Frank n’ Beans booth’s kiester (“That’s old-timey for ‘ass.'”). Diane, sporting a super chic black bonnet with her hot red dress, appears to let Kate know she’s been hearing good things about the chili. Kate brags a little more about how she made it and everyone loves it and Diane, obviously setting up for a spit take, replies:
“I always say if it appeals to the masses it must be the best.”
I mean. Probably no one has ever said that without being facetious. At least I hope they haven’t. But then what do I know, I’m a Community fan and I’ve never watched Modern Family. Clearly one of us is wrong, and right now it’s Diane, about her expectations of Kate’s chili, because when she tries it it’s delicious. Maybe if I try Mod- naaaaahhhhhh.
Jackie happens upon Warren and Hillary’s booth, cooing over how “cute and bloody!” Bert is and offering him some corn on the cob on a stick.
Bert: “Well I ain’t got no arms, ma’am!”
Jackie: “Well that ain’t nuttin’ but a thing, boo!”
You guys it looks like she put ketchup on it for him and everything.
Kate has noped out of her own booth to spread a rumour of E-Coli in the Johnnie Cakes and Diane grills Pete on the recipe a bit. He deumurs that she’ll have to ask Kate, so she starts listing ingredients like cumin, molasses, dark chocolate and LIES until Pete cracks and admits it’s his recipe. He threw out Kate’s chili (“It tasted like BALLS”) and substituted his own without telling Kate, which according to Diane is a recurring behavior that dooms all of Pete’s relationships. Not specifically this sort of chili incident, just the lying part. Pete insists he’s changed and when pressed, lies that he and Kate are seeing a couples therapist tomorrow afternoon in fact! Diane reminds him he volunteered for clean up duty tomorrow afternoon but quickly offers to take it for him and actually very sweetly gives him an “I’m proud of you” hug.
There’s literally no point to these Jackie&Bert scenes other than cuteness and jokes and I am so, so fine with it.
Kate returns to the Chili booth to snark about how the Frank n’ Beans taste “like balls” and Pete casually lets it slip that he told Diane they were in couples therapy.
Kate: “You dummy, why would you say that?!”
Pete: “Because she thinks we’re not capable of working on our issues.”
Kate: “Since when do we have issues?”
Pete: “We don’t, but saying we do makes it seem like we’re evolving!”
Kate: “But we’re not!”
They deliver all these lines with the cutest breezy smiles, all laughter and sunshine and first-few-years-of-marriage. Pete slyly explains that since Diane is taking over his clean up duty they can not use their fake therapy to go on a real date. Kate, in a rare moment of sitcom trope awareness, thinks it’s a bad idea . . . but not so bad an idea that she’ll skip out on a midweek afternoon date.
Back at Chez Harrison the following day, Warren and Bert are snuggled up on the couch with some popcorn and a telenovela, Hillary needs a research subject for her psych paper on extended adolescence. Kate and Pete are all set for their date, but Warren senses something’s up:
Warren: “You’re either picking up a new brother or I’m going out for more ADHD tests.”
Pete: “We’re just going out . . . Warren, do you worry about those things?”
Warren: “What things?”
They’re met at the door by Meg arriving for a Chez Harrison spa day to alleviate her break up stress in their pool and steam shower.
Kate: “She’s gonna do it anyway so I might as well make it seem like it’s my idea.”
Warren’s overly excited to see Meg and she seizes on an opportunity to employ him and Bert as her own person cabana boys. Now about that paper Hillary has to write . . . Meg’s snotty phone conversation – “Shut up Mom, I AM at work! I’m NOT backtalking!” – seals that deal right up.
Kate and Pete are chowing on lobster and scallops because why wouldn’t you when you’re on an illicit midweek afternoon date, high on their own craftiness and cockily quoting cliched communication models.
It’s a whole sexy therapy-less rendevous until they get home where Jackie pops up with some healing muffins for them to celebrate their therapy (“Well I got them at Ralph’s but I put them in my own basket. But therapy! Yay!”) Of course she wants to know what their therapy jam is and who cries more and who they’re seeing, which they make up. Jackie offers to take Bert for one of their sessions which Kate jumps all over, lying that they have another session that same week. Pete’s not pleased even though Kate promises they’ll do a tennis lesson for their second not-therapy session.
Pete: “But now Jackie thinks I have to go to therapy two times a week.”
Kate: “So what? She goes like eleven times a week.”
Pete points out that while a twice-divorced guy going to therapy once a week is healthy, a twice divorced guy going to therapy twice a week clearly means “broken weirdo sex-addict.” Kate has no time for his issues and excuses herself to pick up some of those socks with the little balls on the back for their tennis lesson:
“I’ll see ya later, sex addict!”
Meg’s back for Spa Day two at Chez Harrison and this time Warren is dressed the part of Cabana Man complete with white pants borrowed from Hillary. While Meg gets set up by the pool again, Diane shows up to pick up Bert for his Mandarin lesson, but since he’s with Jackie, Hillary gets to tell Diane about how she’s going to give Meg (“what’s that wastrel doing here?”) the marshmallow test for her psych project, which is where she offers Meg one marshmallow immediately, or 2 if she waits 5 minutes.
Jackie and Bert are in the midst of a fun afternoon of pickling (“Sleep in brine, my little radishes! I’ll see you next week!”) when Diane arrives and it turns out SHE is his Mandarin teacher, which I hadn’t connected before.
No picture could ever express how adorable this is, ever.
Jackie’s a bit sensitive:
Diane cuts right to the point of why Jackie has Bert when it’s Kate and Pete’s day, and Jackie insists that she’s sure they said they were going to therapy because she wrote it down in her journal, but not her dream journal:
Yes, I DID need to include both these gifsets because 1) Jackie!!!! and 2) I’m making up for lost blog posts when there were no gifs at all ever anywhere.
Apparently Pete and Kate’s lie about their therapist being a “Dr. J from Philadelphia” is so obviously a famous basketball player that even Diane knows who he is. That’s not a real thing though is it? It seems like a weird reveal if they’re making up a famous basketball player, because wouldn’t that joke have landed better if they said it was Michael Jordan from Chicago and Jackie still didn’t get it? [Mary and Jackie are cut from the same cloth, as they both don’t know about Famous Basketball Player Dr. J. —Kerry] Anyway, at that very moment Kate and Pete are gearing up for their tennis lesson which means Pete is strapping on a massively obtrusive knee brace. But no, no headband for him, he doesn’t want to look like an old guy. Oh Pete.
Warren creepily spies on Hillary giving Meg the marshmallow test, wherein Hillary hands Meg marshmallows and Meg eats them.
Hillary: “Oh my god you are terrible at this!”
Meg: “Am I? I just ate three mashmallows.”
Bert arrives to blow up Warren’s Cabana Man game, dropped of by Diane and Jackie on their way to bust Kate and Pete.
Their instructor is painfully accomodating of Pete’s oldness, or maybe it’s just that Pete’s not good at tennis. The one time I played I got hit in the sternum with a ball and had to lay down for half an hour. No knee brace though.
There’s some pretty hilarious physical comedy when Pete and Kate see Jackie and Diane pull up outside the chain link fence – Pete: “There’s nowhere to hide! It’s all see through!”, while Jackie gets her knee length rayon-silk sweater stuck in the car door: “Wait, wait my . . . thing is . . . stuck.” – and then we get a quick explanation about how Pete has always been obsessed with Andre Agassi and that’s why they knew where to find Kate and Pete. They argue a bit about whether or not Pete avoids confrontation and then Diane spills the beans about the chili.
Kate: “You dumped out my chili?!”
Pete, not helping himself out: “That’s… a… liberal use of the word ‘chili.'”
And Kate storms off in a huff.
Meg is bored of talking (and apparently eating marshmallows), and Hillary chases her around while she wanders the living room in her bikini because her coverup is missing. Warren tooooootally didn’t hide it, if that’s what you’re thinking. He’s too busy plopping half a cucumber in a glass of water for her. Tevin shows up at the kitchen window (“It’s me! I’m in the window!”) and he and Meg fight about whether they’re broken up and if it was Tamika who did his frosted tips. Warren tries to step in, Hillary lets it slip that Meg IS in fact a textbook case of extended adolescence and Meg and Tevin storm off, one offended at being used as a lab rat, and the other enamoured with what a hot rat Meg would make .
Warren goes to lay on his bed and HILARIOUSLY sing along to “Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong” on a walkman, complete with mournful air drums. Hillary comes in, “What song is that?”
Warren: “I don’t know, I just found it in dad’s old tape box and it really spoke to me.”
Hillary tries to comfort him, he points out that he’s all “boy crazy” (Warren: “You know: when a boy likes a girl and gets all boy-crazy about it?” Hillary: “That’s not what it means.”) and points out that their age difference was probably insurmountable anyway. Warren counters that it works for Pete and Kate, and Hillary solves it for him once and for all by reminding him that when he’s 25 Meg will be 40.
Kate is doing the full pout on her walk home while Pete drives slowly along side her begging her to get in the car and apologizing and when she finally stops they have it out once and for all about the damn chili:
Kate insists Pete stops lying, vows not to make chili anymore (“It’s such a waste of mayonnaise.” ACK) and after briefly considering racing Pete home, promptly hops in the car so they can go get a burger. My kind of tennis lesson.
The tag is literally just Jackie and Diane dishing over some white wine and it’s seriously one of the best parts of the episode.
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.