“Shut Up and be Dead, I’m Busy.”

Please enjoy this Under the Dome post from guestblogger Justin.

**This post contains spoilers for 2.01 of Under the Dome, “Heads Will Roll.”**

Under the Dome returned with Season 2 last Monday, but due to a combination of houseguests and work, I wasn’t able to watch it until Sunday. At least I don’t have to wait long for the next episode.

I volunteered to write reviews/recaps for the second season, and Kerry decided to hold me to my word. In these reviews, you can expect spoilers, my thoughts on each episode, and general commentary. I hope you enjoy and decide to watch the show if you don’t already.

The episode opens with some rando changing a lightbulb and trying to decide if he wants to drink some liquor. He’s distracted by pulsating lights outside and decides to go investigate. I guess the sky turning black was why he was turning on the light, not sure why the pulsating light changed his mind about drinking though.

We switch back to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Barbie’s execution. (To be honest, during this scene I wasn’t worried about them killing Barbie, I was just wondering who took the time, and had the materials, to build such an intricate gallows). The pulsating light and sound of the dome has given Junior Rennie second thoughts about pulling the lever and sending Barbie to his death.

Meanwhile, Julia returns to shore after dumping the tiny black egg in the lake. She immediately hears splashing and screaming and looks back to see someone drowning. Even though she’s standing right next to the boat she just used, she dives into the water to swim halfway across the lake to the drowning girl. I’m not sure why she didn’t use the boat, or why she didn’t stop to wonder why she didn’t see the girl when she was just out there. In the back of my head I was wondering if her gunshot wound was going to get infected by the pond water, it can’t be very sanitary with eggs and random girls floating around in it.

Back at the gallows, the supporting characters all pass out. Junior can’t pull the lever so Big Jim says he will. This causes Linda to finally step in and save Barbie.

Linda saves the drowning girl and is aided by the alcoholic Rando in reviving her, something Angie probably wishes didn’t happen – but more on that later. They get her breathing and go back to his cabin. The Rando seemed to recognize the Swimmer, but I could just be misreading that.

Big Jim, Linda, and Barbie all arrive at the dome to see why it’s pulsating sounds and lights. They find out that it has been magnetized and is drawing in surrounding objects. Barbie, still in handcuffs, is pulled toward the wall. Linda saves him but ends up being crushed by the SUV they arrived in, so she’s dead.

Rando introduces himself as Sam Verdreaux and helps Julia clean her wound while the Swimmer spies on them.The Swimmer eventually sneaks away. Julia decides she needs to leave the cabin to go save the town and Sam gives her an apparently non-magnetic knife for protection. Once she leaves Sam opens up his sister’s art book where he finds a drawing of the Swimmer.

Barbie decides to steal a car to get back to town and help people. I guess this one was conveniently non-magnetic. He’s stopped by the shotgun-wielding science teacher, Rebecca Pine. She hypothesizes that the dome is having contractions and the resulting electromagnetic waves could kill people.

At the McCallister residence, Norrie’s mom has passed out while all the metal objects in the area are pulled toward the dome. Joe ends up with some stigmata in one hand trying to protect everyone, and they’re all saved once Barbie shows up.

Big Jim ends up trapped in his zombie shelter where he hallucinates Dodee (or the dome sends her, not sure). He ends up using a grenade and a shrapnel-proof mattress to escape, but not before Dodee tells him he has to learn to sacrifice and put other people’s needs before his. He does use some good comebacks to ghost-Dodee though.

Science teacher Rebecca says that everyone needs to be moved to her school, which is at the center of the dome, in order to be furthest away from the dome’s magnetic field. They’re also going to build a giant electromagnet.

Science Teacher Rebecca and Barbie gather up a lot of copper wire and use a tower to build a giant magnet, but it doesn’t work and everyone passes out except Barbie. Junior and Angie are running through town and they also pass out.

 

Junior dreams about being in a town called Zenith. The badge that was pulled off of his shirt is back now too, and while there, he sees his dead mom. At this point I actually had to go look up if his mom was dead or if she just left. It had been a while since I watched Season 1 (I meant to do a re-watch but ran out of time) but I thought she had killed herself.

Barbie and Julia reunite while Big Jim hallucinates ghost Linda. Jim figures out from his conversation with ghost Linda that he needs to hang himself on the newly constructed gallows in order to save the town. He tries to, but in Rennie fashion, he can’t pull the lever.

He offers for Julia or Barbie to pull the lever and Julia accepts. She also chickens out which causes Jim to stomp through the trapdoor. Julia uses the non-magnetic knife that she got from Sam to cut the rope before Jim dies. She then declares that the dome didn’t want Jim to die, it wanted everyone to stop killing. Not sure where she got that from, though. It makes sense in the episode I guess, but not coming from her. I just don’t understand why the dome would want to tell everyone to stop killing by almost killing all of the town.

In any case, Julia is right and the dome becomes clear once again and everyone wakes up. Well, except for Linda, whose body is being held by the Swimmer.

Oh hey! It’s Stephen King drinking coffee in the diner!

Big Jim deputizes Phil and then gets confronted by Angie in the diner. Angie tells him that it’s a good thing she wasn’t up there on the gallows with him. Science Teacher Rebecca said earlier she thought the tower worked to clear the dome and Barbie and Julia both didn’t correct her. Did they fill in just Angie? I’m not sure how else she would know about it since she was passed out with the rest of the crowd.

Sam the Alcoholic shows up in the diner and we discover that he’s Junior’s uncle. In true uncle fashion, he comments on how Junior has gotten big. He’s searching for the Swimmer who escaped from his cabin.

We see Junior’s mom, Pauline, wake up and say, “James.” I’m presuming she was waking up from the same dream where Junior saw her walking in town. She grabs a painting of a door and starts painting red over the top of it. So I guess she’s alive. We also finally get a glimpse outside of the dome and hear a news report mentioning the dome which shows the outsiders know just as little as those trapped inside.

The episode ends with Angie following the Swimmer into a school. Angie is shocked by something she sees inside a locker the Swimmer had opened. Her shock is shortly lived because she’s soon hit with (and I’m guessing killed by) an ax. My guess? It was Science Teacher Rebecca. The whole “my school is the center of town” thing got to her head.

We’ll have to see what answers episode 2 will bring.

Justin occasionally watches TV shows without the company of his wife; this is one of those shows. Follow his #drunktweets on Twitter at @OfcCupcake.

“You’re an angel in a devil’s body!”

Please enjoy this Trophy Wife post from guestblogger Mary.

**This post contains spoilers for episode 1.21 of Trophy Wife, “Back to School”**

Pete’s preparing for a college visit for Warren and science camp for Hillary, and consequently a night away from home with Diane, which Kate taunts him about:

Kate: “Adjoining hotel rooms . . . suddenly in the middle of the night the door cracks open-”
Pete: “Stop, you know I hate scary stories.”
Kate: “Diane’s standing there in her stiff monogrammed cotton pajamas, telling you that you’re brushing your teeth wrong-“

Kate’s cut off again, this time by Hillary honking the car horn from outside, eager to get on the road. Spoiler alert: Hillary is SUPER JAZZED for science camp! Warren is also super jazzed, in a more Warren way:

 

Diane wanders in, promptly commandeering Pete’s abandoned travel mug of coffee, which he was very excited about before he went to help Warren pack, and busies herself dumping it out and pouring a fresh cup while kindly offering that Kate should come with them so she can see a real live college campus (ouch.) Kate reminds Diane that she did in fact go to college and has a degree, so Diane decides to brag about going to Stanford by bragging to Kate about how she went to Stanford. It came up organically.

Diane: “If there’s one thing Stanford taught me it’s that Stanford grads always have that famous Stanford humility.”

But that’s not Diane bragging, because if she was bragging she’d bring up how she woke up at 4:15 that morning to do knee surgery on an obese man (“Obese knees are the hardest.”). It all just came up organically and Marcia’s hair is looking much more Diane-ish again (that also came up organically).

Once she reminds Pete to “potty” before they leave, they’re ready to go! Kate has the same plans as most of us would: bralessness, Netflix, popcorn, and beer. Of course that’s when Jackie shows up, letting Kate know when Kate asks that she’s been there long enough to take off her bra too:

Jackie: “Just kidding, I never wear a bra!”

As it turns out, Jackie’s going to her high school reunion that night and needs a plus one since Sad Steve’s mom fell into a really deep coma which is super tragic for Jackie since it leaves her dateless. After much hinting, attempted ducking, and a quick reassignment of Bert duties to Meg and Tevin, Kate agrees.

Jackie: “You’re an angel in a devil’s body I love you!”

As Kate’s getting ready to leave, Tevin explores the Harrison pantry, amazed by their variety of spices and scandalized by one in particular’s name:

Meg: “Tevin, it’s pronounced ‘cumin.'”

(I’m just horrified by the lack of organization in that pantry.)

Kate wisely leaves Bert in charge and deuces out (“Oh, the things that you do for your husband’s second ex-wife.”) and Meg and Tevin immediately start hunting for booze.

Meanwhile on the road:

 

 

Is it just me, or did B. Whits deliver that snotty Jim-face directly into the camera?

And excuse you, Diane, but the greatest college in the history of everything has been advertising on late night since the 80’s! –Kerry

And in a car across town (I’m assuming), Kate’s excited to meet Jackie’s friends, but Jackie’s more concerned about this one girl named Marcy:

Jackie: “Whew! She and I used to give each other the stuff.”
Kate: “Ooh, like drugs?”
Jackie: “No! No! The business! Y’know? The cheese! The old back and forth! I’d zig, she’d zag, we’d be at it all day.”
Kate: “Yeah, I get it . . . drugs.”

No Kate, you really don’t. *whispers* SHE MEANS LESBIANS (I think. Right? That’s my read on it.)

Ahem. Carry on.

They start to snark about Diane but then Jackie startles and swerves.

Jackie: “Hitting a squirrel is good luck, right?”

Tevin and Meg are creepily role playing as Pete and Kate:

Tevin, wearing one of Pete’s suits: “Look at me, I’m Pete, I’m a grown up!”
Meg: “Look at me, I’m Kate. Pete, have your way with me before you die.”
Tevin: “We’re so good at this. . . let’s have a kid!”

They decide to get started like right that minute but are quickly interrupted by a little blonde cutie named Adele whom Bert explains is his “second-best friend.” I would so be Bert’s second best friend if that weren’t weird. After some friendly alphabet-in-other-languages competition (Adele: Korean, Tevin: burps), Meg decides to bust out sodas (AKA pop) for everyone, which Bert assures her Kate said was fine.

Meanwhile at “Lofton College”:

Warren: “When you said ‘let’s go visit the bookstore’ I got nervous, but all that place sold was candy and sweatshirts!”

Oh man. You guys. It’s just so so so true.

Pete prompts Warren about how “magical” college campuses are, but apparently had something in mind other than the guys in the cafeteria who were “mixing like five different cereals into one bowl! And that other guy who put chocolate milk into his frosty flakes?!” (Anybody else picturing Abed and Troy, or Abed and Jeff circa Home Economics? *openly weeps*)

Pete: “Did anything non-cereal-based capture your imagination?”

Not mine.

Pete’s determined, but Warren’s logic that he already has the clothes and has discovered the chocolate milk in cereal trick, thus making college irrelevant, is pretty convincing. Pete makes a last ditch effort, mentioning “the ladies” Warren could meet, and Warren cheerfully agrees that they should go find Hillary and Diane!

Pouring one chocolate milk out for Warren right now, I’m sorry guys I’m trying to stay chipper but it’s too hard not to be sad about this sweet beautiful show.

Hillary’s at her science camp orientation with Diane and when prompted to go around the room and introduce themselves with an academic achievement, Diane pops up to share one of her own before being informed this is actually an exercise for the campers. Hillary mentions a poem (“Seasons”) she had published in her school’s literary magazine. The poindexter next to her was also recently published . . . in the Journal of the American Medical Association! The next girl demures that they probably already know her from her TEDTalk and Hillary pops back up when she’s done to change her fact and launches into French that she . . . did something to do with Madame Bovary? I . . . took three years of highschool French. Sorry, Mlle Todd, it stuck for a while!

Also smarter than me, in a different way, is the next kid who jumps in that Hillary’s lucky she learned French:

“I was only allowed to learn languages of the future! Mandarin, Arabic, HTML, Java, Unix…”

Hillary “excusez-moi“s herself, overwhelmed.

At the reunion, Kate’s name tag has Jackie’s last name on it, but Jackie says they shouldn’t bother to have it fixed. Just then Marcy pops up in a dress that is either unflattering on a non-pregnant woman or flattering on a pregnant one and I can’t decide which it is. She greets Jackie and congratulates the two of them before slipping away, leaving Kate to exclaim over how sweet she seemed and wonder why she congratulated them. Turns out Jackie told everyone (how did she have time though? Did she send out a mass text? Were the name tags done last minute? Has she been planning this for weeks? IS SAD STEVE’S MOM REALLY IN A COMA?) that she and Kate are married! Halloween callback!

Jackie tries to usher Kate into the party with a hand on her butt, and when Kate diverts her a few times, Jackie snaps: “Let me land or I’m moving to the front,” which is frankly pretty creepy.

Kate’s understandably put out that Jackie didn’t even tell her on the 6-hour car ride about this stunt (Jackie: “We were picking out dream license plates!”), but Jackie tries to explain how hard high school was for her:

Jackie: “I had to eat outside by myself! Which I know sounds like a picnic, but it really wasn’t.” (She gestures to a perfectly-timed photo of her with a picnic for one in a big screen slide show being projected nearby)

Then it turns into a Marcy-rant where Jackie describes her as a billy goat, donkey, and a cow before Kate snips, “can you just pick an animal and finish the story?” Turns out Marcy and her friends made fun of Jackie for being a boyfriendless mouthbreather, so eventually Jackie came out. Kate’s not sure how that was a solution.

Jackie: “Because it was the early 90’s; it was a great time to pretend to be gay!”

They turn to the slide show just then to see Jackie in one of her prom photos, and for someone who was supposedly bullied a lot, there sure is a lot of Jackie on this slide show. Jackie launches into more Marcy-related spazzing and Kate suddenly decides to go along with the whole wife thing, “just clear your crazy with me first next time, okay?”

Warren and Pete are auditing a class: “From Rambo to Bambi, welcome to Violence in Cinema” which totally helps Warren get over being rudely yanked from his cereal studies with Abed and Troy in the cafeteria.

At Chez Harrison, the kids and Tevin are enjoying some sodas (Bert, elated: “I feel like my teeth are getting smaller!”) while Meg preps dinner (“Mac & cheese orange, mac & cheese white, dino nuggets, chicken n’ stars. Oh, and fruit!” she plunks a jaw of maraschino cherries on the table before dragging Tevin away to pop come nice wine and get weird. But Tevin’s more interested in hanging out with the 8 year olds since they’re always hanging out with Meg’s friends.

Kate and Jackie are really bad at improv storytelling so Kate excuses herself to the restroom and runs into Marcy on the way. Marcy gushes about how great it is that Jackie has someone to share her successful pickle business with and Kate corrects her: “Pickle Me This is more of an empire.” Marcy lets Kate know that Jackie explained how sweet a deal marriage is for Kate since Jackie makes the money and Kate just stays home to “keep it right and tight” (ew.) Kate, horrified, insists that Jackie was joking and she herself is an orthopedic surgeon who went to Stanford and also must be getting to the restroom:

Kate: “When I hold it in, people diiiiie.”

Warren is now super excited (with finger guns) to do whatever it takes to get to college, even if it means studying five hours a week!

Pete: “Make sure and schedule some ‘me time’.”
Warren: “I’ll always have time for you.”

Warren wanders off with a “WHOO! COLLEGE!” and Pete brags to Diane and Hillary in the lunch line about how great he’s doing at being a dad. Hillary has three baskets of fries because who even cares about anything when nobody at Science Camp appreciates Madame Bovary? She almost runs into a pole in her dramatic spin and stalk away, which is pretty adorable, and leaves Pete to ask Diane:

Pete: “How do I put this, is Aunt Period in town?”

That’s not how you put that, Pete, but nice try. Diane explains that she could do nothing to help Hillary during her existential crisis since the only failure she could draw on was her inability to orgasm during the latter part of her marriage to Pete, which, she adds, was really more his fault anyway.

Pete: “I never had a chance, you kept sliding my hand away saying “What’s your plan? You have no plan!”

Jackie’s regaling other reunion-goers with tales of Pickle Me This (pickled beets are starting to sound amazing to me, help) when Kate hauls her off, upset that she’s been describing Kate as mere arm candy and leaving Kate to lie to Marcy about being a surgeon. Jackie’s a little worried about that since it doesn’t jive with the stories she’s been telling about Kate in the mean time:

Jackie: “I don’t know too many doctors that would slap a toll booth operator.”

Kate presses the issue, asking if Jackie didn’t think people would believe Kate as a career woman, but Jackie tries to brush it off (“Hey girl, when I go to your reunion I’ll be any kinda wife you want!”) so Kate leaves in a huff, Jackie trailing after her.

Jackie: “Kate, I’m sorry! I’ll tell everyone that you’re a doctor! Ooh! That you were voted hottest surgeon in Good Doctor Magazine!”

Kate kind of bursts out that the problem IS that she’s not a doctor, that all she feels she does is go to yoga (“and sometimes I still have Bert make me dinner!”), and finally that she was lying that morning when she told Diane she had a degree. Kate never finished college. Jackie doesn’t think this is as big a deal as her own; not only did she tell everyone Kate was her wife, she also invited 10 people to tour her pickle factory. Kate doesn’t want to lie, she wants to actually do things, like Jackie actually has. Maybe Pickle Me This isn’t an empire per se, but it IS a real business. Jackie takes this to heart:

Jackie: “You’re right! I am amazing! I’m a great straight single lady with a boutique pickle business that fits right in my trunk!”

She adds a little sadly that it was fun being the cool girl at the party for once, but Kate reassures her (“You are way cooler than you give yourself credit for J-bird.”) and then quickly refuses Jackie’s lean in for a kiss (“You have just been sending me mixed signals all night.”)

We cut over to Warren, mid-sentence, comforting Hillary as she dejectedly picks at her fries.

Warren: “Let me tell you about a girl I know. That girl could do anything she puts her mind to. That girl is brilliant although she might not always realize it. That girl is my hero.”
Hillary: “Thanks Warren.”
Warren: “Oh, don’t interrupt me. That girl won the Hunger Games.”
Hillary: “Wait, Katniss?!”

He knew her name started with a K!

Pete and Diane watch from the background before heading over to give the kids permission to go to a Kill Bill screening at the student center, and Warren and Hillary take off with their Failure Fries in a flurry of validation and excitement.

Diane, sweetly: “We’ve got good kids.”
Pete: “We do. Wish they’d left the fries, this is my cheat day.”

Tevin and Bert are pillow fighting while Adele asks Meg about the Cosmo quiz she’s taking (Meg: “All signs point to . . . oh, that’s a grown up word.”). Bert calls a time out and pulls Meg aside to tell her to get rid of Tevin:

Bert: “It was fun when he burped the first ten times but now the whole house smells like white cheddar popcorn.”

Meg objects that she’s always the bad guy and tells Bert it’s on him to give Tevin (who we see OWNING Adele in their pillow fight in the background) a talking-to.

At the reunion Marcy flags Kate down to take a look at her knee which clicks when she plays tennis. Kate asks Marcy what she does for a living instead (IT Project Manager) and awesomely shuts her down:

Kate: “Ugh, well, I wouldn’t ask you to project manage my IT at a party, so, I don’t think so! And plus, stop flirting with me okay? I’m taken.”

Jackie comes over and is about to admit her lie to Marcy but Kate interrupts and pulls her out onto the dance floor. Jackie questions her, but Kate explains simply:

Kate: “Marcy’s a donkey and I wanna dance with the cool girl at the party.”

We go into a music-backed voiceover of this lovely speech from Bert over scenes of Pete and Diane companionably looking at pictures on their phones of Warren and Hillary as kids, Warren covering Hillary’s eyes for her during Kill Bill, and Jackie and Kate at the reunion:

 

“There are so many stages in life. Kid, older kid, grown up. Each one is special. It’s fun to look back on the person you were. And remember who you wanted to be. But you have to look forward to because most of the time you don’t even realize you’re ready to move on to the next chapter until you’re already there.”

Bert: “I guess what I’m saying is, I think you need to find friends your own age.”
Tevin: “Fine! Whatever! You suck at burping!”

Tevin DROPKICKS Beary White and leaves Bert’s room in a huff, and Bert sighs to Adele that, “it’s 9:15. I am gonna be useless tomorrow.”

Me too, kiddo.

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.

Goodbye, Trophy Wife

News of Trophy Wife’s premature cancellation at the end of its first season hit Twitter (and my email inbox) as I was rewatching the latest episode, “Back To School,” to take notes for when I would sit down and write my blog post about it. Coming at the end of an episode where Kate, Jackie, and Hillary bare their insecurities about their accomplishments and Kate hints at going back to college to finish her degree, the timing felt particularly cruel.

Reading back over my first post about the show, which I started covering four episodes into the season, I have to say the writers delivered on everything I hoped to see for the characters and then some.

I’d hoped that we’d get to see Kate do more than make breakfast and do laundry, and she did. Not only were her relationships with her husband, stepkids, and Jackie and Diane explored, but we saw her attempting to branch out and make more mom friends (which sadly didn’t seem to work out, but she has a big family to fall back on now too). She even briefly tried starting a business with Jackie, which turned out like many of Jackie’s businesses seem to, but I did appreciate seeing Kate’s real business acumen. And as mentioned earlier, we got to see the beginnings of what Kate would have dove into in a second season, like going back to school or perhaps going back to work. Malin Akerman gave Kate the heart, humor, and wit that subverted every negative trope about trophy wives.

Pete’s Judicial Erotica (“it’s not Legal Porn!”) was mentioned more than once, and Bradley Whitford always brought his best dimple game, so color me pleased. Whitford is legitimately a joy to watch. Pete’s freak flag flew highest perhaps in the episode where Bert lost a tooth and Pete then misplaced it and went off the deep end over the whole thing. My favorite Pete arc is undoubtedly the one leading up to The Wedding. The scene where he proposes to Kate in the garage was just beautiful and demonstrated exactly why Kate/Pete work at the center of this circus of a family.

Diane proved to be more of a gem than I even realized at the beginnig, and I think Marcia Gay Harden had a lot to do with that. An episode where she and Hillary host a group of Hillary’s friends for a sleepover, and Diane’s charcuterie and movie choices aren’t appreciated, ended in a sweet quiet moment where Diane affirms that the night was for Hillary and her friends, not for herself. And her admission to Kate when her secret relationship with RussBradleyMorrison is revealed that: “I succeed at everything I do. I have one failure, my marriage,” showed exactly how vulnerable she is under her fabulously icy exterior. (Also my dream of Diane and Meg stuck in an elevator was more than realized when they played beer pong and kind of flirted like crazy a little bit.)

Jackie. Oh, Jackie. Spirit animal, light of my heart. Michaela Watkins’ delivery of Jackie’s relentless warmth, lack of boundaries, and zany individuality have been a thing of beauty. What kept Jackie from becoming a grating cartoon character were moments like her capable and loving mothering of Hillary when helping her with an art project, and her vulnerability to the grown up mean girl moms of Bert’s soccer team (and in this week’s episode when she encounters a high school bully at her reunion). I loved seeng her and Diane work together, whether it was to catch Kate and Pete playing hooky with a fake couples therapy cover, or to find a birthday present for Pete from the kids. Jackie was, is, and ever shall be a bright star, and it’s because of who she is, not because of the boutique pickle business she runs out of her trunk.

Hillary was a bit of a pill for a good chunk of this season but by no means was she without redeeming qualities. Bailee Madison really was great as Diane’s hyper-achieving daughter and I absolutely adored her in last week’s episode especially. Aside from her hilarious barb-trading runner with Meg, Hillary’s highlights were when she was owning her type-A traits, like when she told a former teacher who called her a suck-up: “What you call a suck-up I call a go-getter. So I am going to keep go-getting, and it is going to go-get me places.”

Ryan Lee’s Warren was just a delight through and through, from his spot-on Ellen Degeneres Halloween costume to his excitement at getting a new best friend when the girl he was crushing on told him she was gay. Warren and Bert’s boyish shenanigans were always good for C-plot cuteness, and Warren and Kate had a really interesting cool-girl-nerdy-guy dynamic that ended on a great note with Kate’s support of Warren joining his school’s all girls field hockey team when she thought he needed to make more friends.

Albert Tsai will certainly be snapped up next pilot season if not before, and I hope he enjoys every minute of his time working on camera as much as viewers enjoy his fresh easy delivery. His storylines with Diane and Pete brought out both characters’ much needed sweetness and his carefree quirkiness made perfect sense with Jackie as a mother.

I’ll leave you with Bert’s lovely voiceover from this week’s episode, all the more poignant as we say goodbye to a show that could have flourished through many more chapters with the Harrison-Buckley-Fishers:

“There are so many stages in life: kid, older kid, grown up. Each one is special. It’s fun to look back on the person you were and remember who you wanted to be. But you have to look forward too because most of the time you don’t even realize you’re ready to move on to the next chapter until you’re already there.”

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. We here at WWFTP would like to thank Mary for her weekly contributions to our blog. 

Who Arted?

Please enjoy this Trophy Wife post from guestblogger Mary.

**This post contains spoilers for episode 1.20 of Trophy Wife, “There’s No Guy in Team.”**

Nut free, gluten free, meat free, and crust free pizzas are all on the menu for Hillary’s student government planning meeting at Chez Harrison. Pete is not thrilled:

Pete: “Ew, gross! Whatever happened to regular pizza? I want cheese! Just plain CHEESE!”
Kate: “Don’t you watch the news? Kids who eat plain cheese pizza die.”

Can’t argue with that logic.

Diane arrives as well, and when Pete and Kate are confused, thinking Warren was having a sleepover with a friend that night, he explains.

Warren: “My mom and my friend are the same person who I know my mom approves and I know my friend thinks my mom is cool.”

Warren whisks her away to play Twister and Kate jokingly calls after them, “Make sure you keep the bedroom door open!”

Ack!

The next morning Pete comes into the kitchen, impressed to see Meg eating his family’s peanut butter straight from the jar before 8 a.m. for a change.

Meg: “Yeah right, I haven’t gone to bed yet. There was a DUI check point right down the street from your house so I just pulled into your driveway. I wasn’t drunk but there’s a slight chance I bought a stolen car.”
Pete: “That’s more like it.”

Kate mentions her concern about Warren’s lack of desire to be cool, but Pete assures her high school is supposed to be tough, and that he wasn’t very cool then but he turned out okay. Meg brings up that Kate told her he writes legal porn in his down time as evidence to the contrary.

Pete: “It’s not legal porn, it’s judicial erotica!”

He concludes that Kate should just let Warren do his thing, and Kate launches into a story about a nerd she and Meg knew in high school named Arnie “The Plopster” Plopper who worked at a wig shop. One day she saw him talking to what she thought was his girlfriend but turned out to be a pile of wigs. Pete remains unruffled.

Pete: “If Warren starts working at a wig shop, I’ll talk to him.”

Kate still presses that she wants to see Warren with a group of friends so Meg offers some great advice:

Meg: “Just put a couple of beers in his lunch, that’ll get him to the cool table. And if not, he’ll have BEERS in his lunch!”

Warren then dances into the kitchen, greets Meg with a, “Oh my god I was just dreaming about you and now you’re here!” and amends his yogurt request to include two spoons. Pretty smooth, if you ask me. Pete agrees (“See? Totally charming.”) and is on his way.

Kate quickly suggests to Warren that it’s the perfect time some new friends by joining a club (“I don’t know, everybody in a club seems to be into the same thing.”). Meg suggests going to a parking lot to “play hackey sack with the burnouts” but “standing in a parking lot seems really dangerous.”

There’s a cute bit where Warren says they’ve given him a lot to think about and turns away from them towards the window while stroking his hand over his chin.

Meg: “What’s he doing?”
Kate: “He’s going to think.”

Student government apparently forgotten, Hillary’s come home to Diane’s after school awash in horror at the C her art teacher Mr. Edison gave her on her latest project: “My life is over! I mean it’s goodbye Princeton, hello Brown!”

Diane objects that the project is perfect, pointing to each of the elements.

Diane: “House, hill. What more does that hippie want?!”
Hillary: “He says it’s ‘technically proficient but lacks depth.'”
Diane, with full hackey sack player accent: “What does he want, like a marijuanaaa plaaahnt in the middaaahl?”

She’s about to dial up the school to complain when Hillary continues that she filibustered him until he agreed to let her redo the project. Diane has just the person to help Hillary with it: “We need to start thinking like an average high school student who never went to college.

Cue Jackie’s door opening to reveal her in a t-shirt that says “Who Arted?”

Diane refrences Jackie’s home decorating skills as evidence of her artistic nature (“It looks as if it was decorated by a parrot.”) and when Hilarry tells Jackie she sucks at art Jackie sweetly reminds her that you can’t suck at art!

Jackie: “No, it’s like math, there’s no wrong answers!”

Diane has to excuse herself at that, and Jackie shoos her out the door with the absolute best thing anyone has ever called Diane ever on this show: “THANKS D-BAG!”

Let the arting begin!

Back at Chez Harrison, Bert’s chilling in his room surrounded by luxury consumer goods:

 

Pete asks how Bert bought all the stuff and Bert tells him he used his credit card, which he presents. Pete confirms that the card was in fact issued to “Bert Lancaster Harrison” which adds a whole nother layer of fascinating backstory questions. Was it Pete or Jackie who chose Bert’s name? And why does anyone ever spell it “Burt” when Albert which must be the most common full name for that nickname to derive from is spelled with an “e”?

Jackie prepares for arting by lighting incense, putting on some Enya, and demanding Hillary to take off her blazer.

Jackie: “You can’t write a poem on a computer and you can’t create art in a suit! . . . that is the bumper sticker that’s going to make me a millionaire!”

Kate, meanwhile, asks Warren if he has any news on the friend front and he tells her he joined a sports team! Field hockey! His uniform is a bright orange racerback top with a skirt! Their cheer goes:

“We’re chicks! We’re chicks with sticks! If you knock us in the grass will kick you in the aaawwwwww! We’re chicks!”

Mayhaps Kate’s meddling didn’t have the effect she intended.

Later she finds Warren practicing outside with imaginary team mates Susan, Karen, and Bailey (we can’t assume he spelled it like Bailee Madison because she doesn’t exist in this reality, duh), and Kate comes out to cringe.

Kate: “Don’t you think this might make it harder for you to make friends at school?”
Warren: “Oh for sure! Coach Dawson said it’s a brave and unusual choice and that my life will never be the same.”

He starts doing a “look out world” dance and the show once again deploys some flawlessly hilarious pixelation as Kate yells “whoa, Whoa! You gotta wear underwear dude!”

So that she can learn to paint essences instead of images, Hillary is painting blind folded (on both a canvas and Jackie’s curtains. Jackie, also blind folded, tries to indicate that she should paint from her heart and not her eyes, which of course Hillary can’t see, Jackie feels her way over to a lamp to demonstrate:

Jackie: “Keep talking I’m gonna point on you so I gotta find ya.”

The mystery of Bert’s credit card acquisition solved:

Bert: “It just came in the mail. It said, ‘Congratulations, Bert!’ So I was like, ‘Thanks, Letter!'”

Pete decides to focus on teaching Bert fiscal responsibility.

Pete: “I will pay you for every chore you do, how’s that for a plan, Stan?”
Bert: “What’s the pay, Ray?”
Pete: “Depends on the chore, why don’t you start by vacuuming the living room, how’s that sound?”
Bert: *vacuum noises with hand motions* “Now you do the microwave sound.”
Pete: “Oh my god.”

I cannot impress upon you all enough how FREAKING ADORABLE this whole exchange is. I might make my husband and son memorize it and perform it for me.

At Warren’s field hockey practice, Kate approaches his coach, played by the dreamy Ken Marino (this is where I brag that I saw him at LAX coming off the plane I was about to board, and you guys he’s so dreamy in person. He was carrying one of his kids on his shoulders.) who also directed the episode! He introduces himself to Kate as Coach Jack Dawson, to which she reacts as would we all:

Kate: “Jack Dawson like Titanic! Oh my god, one of my favorite movies! I mean, Leonardo DiCaprio! I had a poster of him on my wall in my bedroom-”
Coach Dawson: “Two thousand people died in that horrific tragedy, how can I help you?”

I mean, as someone who is used to getting dumb questions from strangers, I get this reaction. I respect it.

Kate voices her concerns about Warren’s social standing if he stays on the team and Coach Dawson lets her know that he was also on an all-girls field hockey team in high school so she’s getting no support there. Besides, Warren may be a terrible player, but he’s great for morale:

Warren: “THAT’S MY TEAM MATE! YOU GUYS SEE HER? USE HER AS AN EXAMPLE! NICE GOAL!”

This is, again, why Warren is so great.

Hillary, even with a cheerleader like Jackie, is flopped out in Bert’s room despairing over her lack of artistic instinct. Jackie brings her some Creativitea to help.

Jackie: “You’re pretty blocked up and this is actually the tea I drink when I’m constipated.”
Hillary, gingerly setting down her cup: “I just don’t think I have it in me.”
Jackie: “Oh honey. Does this look like the work of a girl that doesn’t have it in her?”

She produces a file box filled with Hillary’s childhood art projects. Paintings and drawings and macaroni-style art, and Hillary is visibly touched at seeing all these papers Jackie’s lovingly handling like they’re the “museum-level” art Diane referenced earlier.

Jackie: “This one you made entirely out of loose beans you found in the bottom of my purse.”
Hillary: “I remember that!”

The whole scene is SO beautiful and purely sweet, while still leaving room for a beat of humor as Jackie pulls a tax return out of the box (“Bert was supposed to mail that.”). Bailee Madison and Michaela Watkins have lovely chemistry as a step mother and daughter and it is SO refreshing to see this combination played for warmth and validation. It’s made me sad to see Madison’s Hillary as basically an antagonist in so many storylines so this was a welcome change and a perfect breath of fresh air. It also goes to show how well-cast Trophy Wife is since they continually prove that truly ANY combination of main characters can be a gold mine of both comedy and heart-warming quirk.

Jackie: “You don’t have to try to turn yourself into an artist because, sweet pea, you already ART one. . . . Art one?”
Hillary: “That was pretty punny.”

I mean really. How much more precisely could they speak to my personal sensibilities?

Pete returns to Chez Harrison to the sweet sounds of vacuuming (real vacuuming, not Bert-uuming) but he soon finds Bert chilled out on the couch watching TV while two random kids (“Scott, Scott’s friend, they’re doing my chores,” Bert introduces them to Pete economically) clean the living room. Pete quickly pays them for their trouble and sends them on their way with instructions to tell their parents they found the money on the street. Pete tries to explain that the problem isn’t that the living room wasn’t getting clean it’s that Bert paid other people to clean it:

Bert: “So? You pay Louisa to clean it.”
Pete, caught: “Go to your room.”
Bert, in Albert Tsai’s first true moment of playing a brat on this show: “Oh, by the way! Louisa broke the garbage disposal! Did you know? No, you didn’t!”

Jackie and Hillary in are in full on art-mode now (Jackie: “IT’S A CANVAS, NOT YOUR GRANDMA!”), rocking out to techno music under black lights and splattering day glo paint everywhere, including a splotch of yellow Hillary accidentally hurls on the couch. There’s a moment where we all have PTSD flashbacks along with her to Diane’s salsa mind games but this is Jackie so of course she thinks it’s fantastic and just switches up the music.

Jackie: “New track, new track! Gotta warn you this next one is just a recording of a lotta people screaming.”
New track: *people screaming*

Really, do any of us expect anything less from Jackie?

On the way back from practice Warren is thrilled to have found his new life’s passion. Kate’s still not so sure:

Kate: “Now that you’ve mastered field hockey maybe you wanna look into a bunch of other passions to see which one’s your most passion-y.”

She suggest drama tech (Warren: “I don’t like actors, they’re always singing.”), magic club (Warren: “Magician’s just another word for ‘liar.'”) or computer club (Warren: “When I’m on my computer I prefer to be alone, y’know what I mean?” Kate, defeated: “Yeah I think I do.”)

Warren presses her to explain what her deal is why she she’s so obsessed with him making friends and suspects she thinks he’s a loser. She tells him she doesn’t, but also that she doesn’t want everyone else to think that, which is the exact wrong thing to say. They get home and Warren tries to exit dramatically but he’s stymied.

Warren: “Undo the child lock. PLEASE Kate.”
Kate: “It’s just regular-locked, Warren.”

The next day Kate’s judging Meg for being up at 7:30 a.m. doing laundry, but Meg has a super valid reason:

Meg: “Uhhh, I’ve been sexting with a Japanese business man so my internal clock is all off. Hey do you guys have any stamps? Yoshi says he’ll pay top yen for my socks.”

That’s . . . not racist at all.

Warren comes into the kitchen and Kate says good morning but he’s not having it:

Warren: “Kate, I’m giving you the silent treatment, so no talking.”
Kate: “That’s not how it wo-”
Warren: “I said SILENT.”

Or is that EXACTLY how it should work? In my experience when I’m giving people the silent treatment I would really like for them to shut the hell up so I think I’m gonna go with Warren’s read on this one.

He lets Kate know he’s quitting the team, wishes her a “bad day!” and makes a show of dumping his field hockey equipment in the garbage can outside the kitchen windows. Kate tries to explain to Meg that her goal was simply to keep Warren from becoming just like Arnie Plopper and Meg suggest they look him up to fill in the rest of his sob story for when they use it to scare Warren into having a new personality. Turns out, Arnie Plopper is a wildly successful venture capitalist in Toronto married to a swimsuit model. Kate’s aghast.

Kate: “I’m the Arnie Plopper in this!”
Meg, defensively: “You do not smell like farts!”

Bert’s working on this in his room when Pete leans in the doorway.

Pete tells Bert he just got off the phone with the dad of a kid named Josh to whom Bert sold a soda (that’s pop for all you Midwesterners out there, or I guess “coke” to people who make no sense [Excuse you, I call it “coke.” –Kerry]). Pete points out that Josh isn’t allowed to have soda and Bert points out that that’s why he could sell it to him. Pete, without explaining why, tells Bert he can’t do that and Bert apologizes:

Bert: “I didn’t know, I’m sorry.”
Pete: “Do you know what you did wrong?”
Bert: “Yes.”
Pete: “What did you do wrong?”
Bert: “I don’t know.”
Pete: “Go to your room.”
Bert: “I’m in my room.”
Pete: *head explodes*

He demands Bert go give all the money back to all his friends/customers and Bert agrees way too easily.

Jackie answers the door to Hillary while in the middle of a phone call (“No, Miss Jackie no here. Okay, no, I don’t know where she go, she die! Goodbye! Sorry, that was my mom.”) and Hillary (who by the way is wearing her reflective vest and holding her bike helmet) excitedly tells her she got a B on her new art project.

Jackie remarks that a B is “like, the best grade you can get!”, Hillary corrects her that that’s “A” and they go back and forth a few times saying “a” with Jackie saying it vaguely like the Fonz. Then Jackie invites her in and tells her, “don’t mind the smell I’m just de-seeding some oreganooo.”

In case no one’s reminded you this week: Michaela Watkins is a treasure.

When Bert’s back from his scooter trip Pete tells him sternly that he has to pay the $7 return shipping fee on some of his toys and Bert promptly peels singles off a roll from his pocket. Turns out the kids who bought sodas from him were also keen on using their refunds to pay for scooter rides. Pete, again, badly explains THAT this is wrong without explaining particularly WHY (“Just because there’s money involved doesn’t mean you throw away all your morals just to get it”), but Bert seems satisfied for the time being.

Bert: “I’m sorry, Dad.”
Pete: “Come here, give your dad a hug.”
Bert: “Gimme a dollar first.”
Pete: “Go to your room.”

Kate approaches Warren who’s sitting on the bleachers wanly watching his former team mates practice. She says hi but he ignores her.

Kate: “Ah, the silent treatment. Finally figured it out, huh?”
Warren: “I was doing it all wrong.”

Kate starts to apologize, but an army of Spencer Hastingses in neon orange who make up the field hockey team come to tower over Kate. It’s pretty distracting. Chick With Stick #1 asks Kate who she is and she tells them she’s Warren’s step mom.

Chick With Stick #1, to Warren: “The one who made you quit? She is not as hot as you said she was.”
Kate: “Okay, that’s weird.”

Kate finishes her apology, acknowledging that Warren’s cooler than she ever was since she was always concerned about being cool and he’s confident to be himself and do what he likes. She tells him she’ll support him to stay on the team and shows him she brought his equipment with her and everything.

Cue Kelly for a montage AKA two of my favorite things on earth next to Ryan Lee’s flawless slow-mo demure leg cross as he sits on the bench during practice:

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.

Diane, The Gladiator

**This post contains spoilers from episode 1.19 of Trophy Wife, “The Minutes.”**

Diane holds up her phone so we can all see that Kate is one whole minute (or maybe it’s 31 minutes, maybe this is a totally reasonable reaction, but I doubt it) to a PTA meeting. Kate explains that she was late because of Scandal and proceeds to spoil some thing that happens probably in a real episode.

Diane: “I would love to hear all about your friends, but I’ll read about it later in your Hello Kitty diary.”

Lifetime moment of silence for Diane Buckley not crossing over to Community. Kate explains that she was talking about a TV show and that Diane would LOVE it and we’re treated to another zinger:

Diane: “I reserve the word love for my children and chocolate with above 75% cocao.”

With that Kate’s first PTA meeting is now in session. On the docket: semi-formal chaperone attire, and while some lady in a super tweed jacket starts blathering about starting a girl’s squash league, Kate offers Diane some granola which Diane promptly chokes on. After some protracted Heimlich attempts both by Kate and Diane, Kate manages to dislodge the granola. Mostly Marcia Gay Harden’s hair looks amazingly silky and lustrous while she’s running around flailing.

Kate: “Are you okay Diane?!”
Diane: “No. Your granola is too dry.”

Jeez. Some people. Later at Chez Harrison, Kate can’t let it go and though Pete tells her it’s pointless, Kate’s putting together a gift basket.

Kate: “I’m just going to keep shaming her with fine jams and muffins.”

There might be a flaw in this plan, because if I started recieving gift baskets full of fine jams for NOT saying thank you, what do you suppose is the LAST thing I’m going to say? Kate is undeterred, even when Pete points out she just stole his muffin. She tosses it back to him, but it sails by and falls to the floor.

Pete, immediately: “You need to leave so you don’t see me eat that off the floor.”

Gpoy, buddy.

He briefly tries to deny his floor muffin when Hillary comes in next but she SO doesn’t care because she’s going to the semi-formal with a cute boy from German club whom she cornered and demanded take her (“Achtung! You’re taking me to the dance.”) Aw, young love.

Pete: “That’s how your mother first asked me out. It worked for a while and then it didn’t.”

Hillary’s too high on control to notice this sage advice, but she does manage to answer when Pete asks what the kid’s name is, and it turns out that Hillary’s date, Evan Kramer, is in fact the son of Paul and April Kramer which sets off alarm bells for Pete.

He runs over to Jackie’s to conference with her about it and we learn that the Kramers were neighbors of theirs – but not the ones who said they stole their wok or dinged their car (Pete: “Were you high our entire marriage?!”). No, the Kramers, on Cypress Street.

Jackie: “Oh! The Kramers! Oooh, smelly bastards! Why do we hate them again?”
Pete: “You don’t remember why we hate them but you remember what they smell like?”
Jackie: “Yeah, wet cashews! Bastards.”

Okay okay, the Kramers lent the Harrisons a garden hose, which apparently had a tear in it, and claimed that Jackie and/or Pete put it there. At least they have a good reason for their cashews being wet. Anyway Pete wants back up that he can forbid Hillary to go to the dance with Evan, which Jackie is totally on board for.

Jackie: “Yeah, my father did it with you!”
Pete: “But we got married.”
Jackie: “Yeah but then we got divorced so he wins. Of course he was already dead, so I guess it’s a push.”

Pete rages against the Kramers a little more (Pete: “I’d rather Hillary went to the dance with literally anyone else.” Jackie: “Yeah, even a murderer!” Pete: “ESPECIALLY A MURDERER.”) just in case there was any question how far this business is going to go.

This scene/storyline is great mostly because Pete and Jackie being on the same team and being all bro-y is fun, and also because Michaela Watkins does this threatening “snip snip” with a pair of minute pruning shears (they’re literally the size of nail scissors) right at the end that is great.

Next we head to Diane’s and get an exterior shot of her gorgeously austere house. All right angles in white stucco, gleaming steel garage doors, and desert-style hardscaping with the most inhospitable shrubs imaginable. It’s flawless.

Kate’s delivering her gift basket, which seems to only include jam and the first two seasons of Scandal on DVD. She should have put a Hello Kitty diary in there too, that would have been cute. Diane, perhaps feeling testy because of the girdle thing she’s wearing to support her bruised ribs, is not impressed:

Diane: “Jam without toast points? What a cruel tease.”

Diane calls Kate out on fishing for a thank you, and Kate cues her up for it one more time, but Diane still refuses. She’s not going to thank Kate for doing something she could have easily done herself by performing her own tracheotomy:

Diane: “It’s an incredibly gruesome and beautiful thing that few people ever get to see.”

That line is just so amazing. Kate, who seems to know when she’s beaten, stalks off in a huff.

Next we check in on Bert helping Warren prepare for the semi-formal with a checklist of essentials:

Tux? Corsage? Signature robotic dance move? Date?

Respectively Warren’s got a check, check, check plus and “small check” on those fronts. He’s asked a few girls but they all turned him down (“They said it would be weird because we go to school together, which is true!”) and I love Ryan Lee’s delivery of this stuff, he’s always so sunny about it! Bert has a relevant anecdote:

Bert: “My mom told me a very moving bedtime story about a Marine who asked Mila Kunis to his dance on the internet and she went.”

Bless this show, it’s a fairy tale for the new millennium!

(And actually it was a Marine Corps Ball Mila went to with a real Marine. Each unit has one every year around the anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps and it’s like prom for grownups. If you ever get invited to a Marine Corps Ball by an even tolerable dude, you should for sure go, just know two things: no matter what he tells you, it is FORMAL. Wear what you would wear as a guest to a black tie wedding. And two: stay near the dance floor after dinner because grown men in dress blues getting down to some dubstep is something you should never deprive yourself of witnessing if given the option.)

Sadly Warren *is* cutting it a bit close on becoming a Marine before Saturday, but Bert was leaning more towards finding Warren a celebrity date:

Bert: “Maybe we could double date. How do you feel about the Fanning sisters? I’ve got dibs on Dakota!”

At apparently the second PTA meeting of the week, Diane is a wee bit late but Kate is bonding with her new mom-friends (or so she thinks, which makes me sad because we know from both the soccer episode and Bert’s birthday that she tends to feel left out of these things) by doing an impression of Diane before she walks in. Tweed Squash Lady suggests Diane go home to rest because she’s worried about her.

Diane: “Your husband works for Blackberry and you’re worried about me?”

For real though, Diane is sore enough that she can’t seem to separate one styrofoam cup from another so I don’t know how she even drove there. She does end up handing over her giant binder, reluctantly.

Diane: “I am warning you, this dance will never come off without me!”
Kate, a bit high on her own hilarity: “Did she just put a curse on the ball?”

Continuing with the PTA meeting, Tweed (whose real name is Iris) brings up squash again, and Kate shuts her down since she’s the only one interested in it anyway with a motion to “quash squash” that passes immediately. Somehow I have a feeling this could be relevant later, I’m not sure why . . .

Back at Chez Harrison Pete, with Jackie in tow, has to tell Hillary he’s forbidding her from going to the dance with Cashew Kramer because his parents aren’t good stewards of their lawn care equipment. He doesn’t put it in so many words though, because it turns out that Pecan and Acorn already forbade little Cashew from taking Hillary to the semi-formal anyway.

Pete: “Did they say why?”
Jackie: “Was it the hose?”
Hillary: “What hose?”
Pete: “A 20-foot hose with a detachable nozzle, doesn’t matter.”

Pete and Jackie try to convince Hillary to let it go but she literally beseeches Pete (Jackie: “I’d go easy on the big words Hill.”) to go talk to the Kramers on her behalf. Pete agrees and Hillary squeals happily and gives him a big hug and an I love you before scampering off to check in on Warren and Bert, who are also squealing.

Hillary: “What is it?! Did you finally finish Charlotte’s Web?”

But no, “not even close!”, Warren just got a reply to his You Tube video pleading with Vanessa Hudgens to go to the dance with him and she said yes! Hillary doesn’t believe it, so they show her the video, which features Warren wrapped in an afghan, talking about how “ill” and “sick” he is, how he doesn’t have much time left, and some input from Bert about how it would make Warren’s wish come true. Hillary lets him know he basically just lied that he has a terminal illness to get a date, but Warren objects.

Hillary: “You were wrapped in an afghan!”
Warren: “Uh, yeah because I wanted her to like me for me, and not my body.”

Hillary insists he email back Vanessa Hudgens’ manager to let her know about the mixup and Warren agrees, crestfallen.

At Buckley Palace, Diane’s maid Claudia brings her the Scandal DVDs she must have thrown away by accident (Diane: “I never do anything by accident.”) and pops one in the player. Diane, lounging in ivory silk pajamas with a glass of red wine, is immediately taken with the vision of Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope wearing and doing the very same.

And thus, a fangirl is born.

The Kramers live in this kind of bonkers house – brick red stucco with green trim and a terra cotta tile roof? Jeez – and Pete warns Jackie before they get out of the car that since she can be “a bit of a hot head” she should let Pete do the talking.

Jackie, eyerolling exactly as hard as the audience: “Smart. Good plan. Love the plan.”

Pete greets Pistachio and Almond who are conveniently outside working on their lawn already, and Pistachio is pleasantly returning the gesture when he’s interrupted.

Jackie: “Cut the crap Pecan!” (Okay fine she uses his actual name, Paul) “You look 10 years older than the last time I saw you 2 years ago!”
Pete: “So much for the plan.”

He asks about the whole dance debacle and Acorn starts to deny it:

Jackie: “Cut the crap April! I haven’t seen you in a long time and your skin does not look good.”

Pete brings up the hose incident as clear evidence of their smallness as people, so Almond calls Cashew himself out to ask him directly what these insane people on their lawn are talking about. Turns out, Cashew lied because he didn’t want to go to the dance with Hillary because she’s scary.

Cashew: “She’s SO bossy, and she uses big words, and she wears blazers. For two years I thought she was a teacher. I’m really sorry.”

Pecan (played by Andy Buckley who you may recognize as David Wallace from the US version of The Office or if you’re as distracted by his mustache as I am, Spike Jonze’s Her) makes some amazing gloat-face at Pete, who comes to Hillary’s defense:

Pete: “First of all she doesn’t just wear blazers, she wears neckerchiefs and barn jackets. You’re trying to spare her feelings… just try and tell the truth.”
Jackie: “Okay! I’m sorry. I tore the hose.”

Diane is now on the edge of her seat with a giant bag of baked cheese puffs (man do I want some of those now) and her red wine, narrating the relevant plot points to Claudia who’s just trying to get her vacuuming done before her husband comes to pick her up. Diane shushes her, has her sit down and share some cheese puffs.

Back at the PTA meeting Kate is a big hit, and so is her Diane impression, complete with robot voice and arm motions (“I am Diane. I cannot human smile.”). Also popular are her renditions of the gym teacher and the principal, all spurred on by Tweed Iris, tapping away on a laptop the whole time. Turns out she’s transcribing the details of all this mess for the minutes of this meeting to send out to the “whole school community.”

Plot Twist! I told you squash would be important.

Kate chases Iris down in the parking lot after the meeting with a compliment on her jeggings and awkward segue into asking her to not publish any of the horribly inappropriate things she said and did in the meeting in the minutes. Iris agrees way too easily with the caveat that an earlier-mentioned budget surplus get put towards a girls squash team, and then she gets full on evil, revealing that she of course made herself look like a contentious objector to Kate’s performance and wondering aloud what kind of recommendation letters Kate might expect from him for her kids when they’re applying to colleges.

I didn’t know it was common practice for a principal to write recommendation letters for students if he obviously never had them in a class, but then I went to junior college for my MRS so this isn’t my area of expertise.

Kate, stunned, can only watch as Iris drives away and screech, “I HATE YOUR JEGGINGS!” fruitlessly into the night.

Pete’s dreading telling Hillary that the boy she literally described as “cornered” wasn’t actually all that jazzed about being ordered to take her to the dance. If you ask me this is a lesson far better learned in high school than after two kids and however many years of marriage like Diane. Who come to think of it hasn’t actually learned that lesson yet, but I still hold out hope for Hillary. Jackie’s looking on the bright side:

Pete: “How do you tell your kid someone doesn’t like them?”
Jackie: “I know, thank god we’ll never have to deal with this with Bert.”

Pete sits Hillary down and lies to her that Pistachio and Acorn are just crazy people who are still holding a grudge about their hose. Hillary unknowingly calls his bluff and says that she’ll just go talk to Evan because of course if everyone knows that if parents are being unreasonable you don’t have to listen to them. So then Pete has to forbid her to go over there and we end up at:

Pete: “You can go to the dance with ANYONE else.”
Jackie: “Even a murderer!”
Pete: “ESPECIALLY A MURDERER!”

Hillary, shocked, gasps that she hates him and storms out. Pete feels bad about it, but Jackie sweetly reminds him that it was nice of him to protect her feelings.

Pete: “It makes me uneasy when you agree with my parenting style.”

Me too, but for the reason that Hillary’s more than old enough to experience the consequences of being bossy, just like wussy Cashew is old enough to be held accountable for lying. I know, I know, it’s a sitcom, people are named after nuts, let it go Mary.

Would you believe we’re just now getting to the big Scandal tribute moment? Don’t worry, all the set up has been worth it.

Kate busts into Diane’s house, where she is ensconced now with Claudia and Mr. Claudia, all three watching Scandal which Diane promptly turns off and denies watching. Kate doesn’t call her on it because she needs help with this PTA debacle. Diane springs into action as music starts in the background, ordering Kate to put a tail on Iris first thing the next morning to get some dirt. Claudia is in charge of talking to Iris’s house keeper, and “Claudia’s Husband!” is in charge of looking up Tony Goldwyn’s filmography online (“I KNOW he’s been in something and it’s driving me crazy!”).

Now we’re in full-blown montage mode, and it’s awesome. Kate hides in a bush to take pictures of Iris playing Minesweeper while eating at a sidewalk cafe, then pulls a file out of a cabinet in what looks like a basement (we’ll learn more about that later, they got a little too excited about this lens flare/prism effect for me to make out everything on the file label), Claudia’s Husband identifies Tony Goldwyn as being best known for Ghost, Tarzan, and The Last Samurai, and Claudia adorably procures Iris’s actual literal dirty laundry.

Warren is ready for the dance, looking as precious as any 15-year old in a tux can really hope to be (“I’m going to this dance and my date is life.”) and Bert has him bend down so Bert can pinch his cheeks and reassure him that “Vanessa Hudgens doesn’t know what she’s missing.”

It’s exactly as cute as it sounds.

In a red and orange-lit shadowy school office, Iris is again tapping away on that laptop. Kate and Diane enter, each in a fabulous beige coat and leaning menacingly over the table.

Iris, shaken but cocky: “I was just going to send out the minutes!”
Diane: “The minutes can wait a minute.”
Kate: “We only need a minute.”

They lay out their evidence; Iris’ Wellesley sweatshirt, her daughter’s sucky grades, and Diane’s encyclopedic knowledge of Wellesley’s “anemic” women’s squash program. Iris counters that wanting her daughter to go to her alma mater isn’t a crime, and Kate counters that using the PTA laptop (seriously, your PTA has its own laptop? Damn) for personal use is, and they have a picture of a matching serial number on the laptop Iris used to play Minesweeper at two different restaurants in one day.

Kate, for the big finish: “It would be a shame for your daughter to find out that you were trying to get her into college.”

I was ROLLING at that line, it was perfection.

Iris, caught, concedes and deletes the word document of the PTA meeting minutes, and then Diane flips the laptop over and ruthlessly rubs a magnet over the bottom to scrub the entire harddrive.

Iris: “My high score!”

Diane and Kate peace out, each with a saucy, “it’s handled,” and that is, apparently, how Trophy Wife does Scandal.

I can’t speak to how successful it was as an homage given that I’ve never seen an episode of Scandal, but this A-plot was the funniest of the episode and played up the tropes of Scandal‘s genre perfectly so I’ll raise my red wine and baked cheese puffs to another successful 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

“There’s a dance party!”

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.

First, my apologies for this recap being pretty brisk; technological issues are keeping me from using my DVR and Hulu is VERY particular about pausing repeatedly so I wasn’t able to be quite as thorough with the quotes as usual. Also this episode was pretty focused, with all the characters in basically the same places at the same times, so in general there’s less set up to get through. But! Let’s get to it!

It’s part two of the Trophy Wife wedding spectacular!

 

We pick up right where we left off in the airport with Kate and Pete apologizing on Cricket’s behalf for her one-sided game of grabass with a flight attendant. Megan Mullally’s Cricket (last name Walrus, we can only hope, though there’s no mention of Kate’s dad through out the episode) is unrepentant, still rolling through an inappropriate stream of conscious monologue at a mile a minute. One exampe starts with her calling Pete a ginger (? don’t see that at all. His hair is clearly brown. I actually dated a guy in high school whose hair was pretty much the same color as Bradley Whitford’s, just a nice normal brown, and my friend’s mom insisted that he was a redhead. Everyone was so confused about that.) and culminates in Pete’s line: “I love jokes about my crotch!”

Time to meet the rest of the family! Hillary gets a mouth-kiss (Bailee Madison’s tweet about this was adorable), Warren a gentle face caress, and Bert declared the favorite.

Then up roll Pete’s “conservative asexual parents,” both named Francis/es. This is a bit of a running gag which doesn’t translate in writing but it is kind of cute? There have to be couples out there with the same name. Patrick/Patricia. Victor/Victoria. Alexander/Alexandra. I mean. It’s a horrifying thought, but the heart wants what the heart wants I guess.

Pete’s parents pretty much immiately announce that Great Aunt Margaret, who is 108, decided not to fly down for the wedding. This is a total non-sequitur now but it will be important later.

Anyway, more mouth kisses from Cricket (“It is so great to meet the people who pooped out this guy. Been here 20 minutes and he already bailed me outta jail!”) for Mr. and Mrs. F. Harrison, and a bit where each parent has Pete ask the other a question because apparently they don’t speak to each other. This should be fuuuuuun. Now, off to Chez Harrison!

Kate, in some almost-adorable product placement, is still committed to a Muppets Take Manhattan wedding vibe, and wants to show Cricket the video on her laptop before giving her a tour of the house but Cricket is super distracted by the panini press and a tray of what look like cooking oils and condiments on the counter (“What is this like 20 bottles?!”). Also Cricket is excited about the presents she brought for the kids.

Cricket: “I got a butterfly knife for Bert, some Canadian Playboys for the gentle one, and for Hillary-“

She holds up a red thong which Pete, horrified, snatches out of her hand so he won’t have to look at it anymore.

Kate very tactfully refuses the gifts but Cricket’s offended: “Next time I’ll just bring a loaf of wheat bread. Where’s the bidet?”

Pete and his dad will be sharing a room and while he’s unpacking he tells Pete about his new job. Trouble is, he’s supposed to be retired and hasn’t told his wife. The best thing about this scene is that Pete calls his dad “Pop.” We already taught our toddler “Papa” instead of Daddy but I hope someday he graduates to Pop. I don’t know why I just love it.

Meg arrives just in time to tell Hillary, clipboard checklist in hand, to “settle down Barfa Stewart” and it’s a pretty close second to Dorkatron, I have to say, though obviously not as universal. Hillary needs help fulfilling her list since she can’t drive yet, but Meg deuces out so Hillary texts Diane for help.

Diane is of course unsurprised and recruits Jackie to help her, and yes they’re hanging out together at Jackie’s because Bert and Warren are trying on their kilts for the wedding. They look PRECIOUS, and Diane and Jackie BOTH coo and fawn over them but Warren and Bert are having none of it.

Warren: “We’ve discussed this and we’ve decided we no longer want to be called adorable.”
Bert: “We are best men, not best boys and men are not adorable.”

I beg to differ Bert, and so do a lot of Tumblr users judging by the number of posts with pictures of grown ass men that get tagged with things like “BAAAAAAAAABYYYYYYYY” but I digress. Jackie and Diane valiantly try to stop wibbling but they’re not super successful. It’s just about the most animated and warm we’ve seen Diane for a while and it’s delightful especially since she’s teamed up with Jackie for this episode.

Back at Chez Harrison, it’s rehersal dinner time, where there are actual hired waiters. It’s so fancy! Frances tells Pete in passing that she sold their house (her’s and Francis’s, not Chez Harrison. Perish the thought, that house is gorgeous) 2 months ago, bought a condo in Floridia, and hasn’t told his father. She thinks Pete should be the one. As far as humour goes the stuff with Pete’s parents fell reeeeeeally flat for me, but luckily Diane and Jackie arrive with armloads of shopping bags and Hillary promptly hands them another list. Diane’s miffed:

Diane: “The irony is palpable!”
Jackie: “I know right, let’s palp it down. What are we talking about?”

Diane’s mad they’re going all this work and thinks they only got invited to the wedding out of politeness, Jackie says “you loco”, and then Frances approaches all smiles and asks them to stay for dinner.

Pete and Kate overhear and have a little manic stress moment together before Kate pumps them back up and they “bring it in” for a high five which is great. Cricket comes over to greet Jackie and Diane (Jackie of course reciprocates the mouth kiss with one of her own because Jackie) and then Bert and Warren enter in coodinating seersucker suits (Bert’s is a 3 piece with a straw fedora and he looks like a little GQ child it’s amazing) and EVERYONE stops to ooh and aw at them. They’re mad, Bert throws his hat down, and we transition to the dining table!

Diane: “So, how does one get a name like ‘Cricket’?”
Cricket: “Oh, I used to hide behind the refrigerator and chirp.”

Actual best answer to a dumb question like that, good job Cricket. I still can’t believe everybody freaked out when Busy Phillips named her second daughter that by the way. Her first daughter’s name is Birdie as I recall, so they go together nicely (except for one namesake would probably eat the other, but it’s a theme I get it) and also it’s just a great unusual name.

One of the waiters comes out with a silver tray with a cloche on top and delivers it to Kate, but when he takes the cloche off it’s a mini boombox and oops there goes his uniform.

And we have a stripper.

 

Once the pants come off to reveal electric blue panties, Jackie and Diane herd the kids off to bed (Bert: “But there’s a dance party!”). Meg was immediately into the whole thing, so much that one might think she orchestrated it, but nope, it was Cricket. She at first denies hiring a stripper but then reveals, when the second waiter comes out with dessert…yeah she hired two strippers.

Aaaaaand commercial!

We return to Kate apologizing to everyone and Cricket talking over it to explain how funny it all was, and when it gets tense, Francis excuses himself to bed, Frances excuses herself to write a grocery list for when she gets home, and Diane does the same.

Jackie: “Why are you going home to write a grocery list?! I wanna see what happens!”

Cricket and Kate really clash now, and it ends with Cricket calling Kate a bridezilla and excusing herself to her air mattress with this line:

“Hope I don’t embarrass anyone while I’m farting and breathing like a person.”

as she pulls the tray holding the cake along with her.

We get some cute scrolling shots of Hillary and Frances both asleep in similar positions, Hillary looking like she’s saying the pledge of allegiance, Warren and Bert all snuggly and ador-ahem, I meant ruthlessly masculine, Francis with his sleep apnea machine whirring away and Pete next to him, miserably wide awake staring at the ceiling, Cricket passed out on her air mattress and Kate hiding in the garage sitting on an overturned bucket with a cup of coffee.

Pete comes out too and they commiserate about their parent woes. It’s nice that this episode has put them on equal footing here; so often I feel like the sitcom set up is that one spouse has the crazy family and the other is longsuffering, but Kate and Pete both have leigitmate issues with their parents and are both supportive of each other about it. Kate suggests locking Francis and Frances in a room together so they’re forced to air their dirty laundry, and Pete agrees to try to get Cricket to “stop acting like Gary Busey in a tube top.” (Pete: “That’s who she reminds me of, thank you.”)

Later that morning Kate interrupts Frances cleaning her dishwasher to get her to the master bedroom where she locks them in apparently, but forgets the patio door. She heads them off outside though and informs them that:

“MAN-Francis got a secret job, and LADY Frances sold the house and got a condo in Florida. BOOYAH!”

They’re both unimpressed, they just look at each other and shrug which leaves Kate still crazyfacing about it.

Warren and Bert try to become more manly by shaving in spirals (Warren) and bathing in cologne (Bert). but they do manage do direct Pete outside to find Cricket sitting on top of the poolhouse roof. As you do.

Cricket, with apparently a joint: “I’m relaxing, I have a prescription for it.”
Pete: “Yeah, what’s your condition, terminal immaturity?”

He tries to scoot her off the roof with an extendable pool cleaning net like she’s some kind of feral cat but she just makes fun of him for it (“Guess you’re too short, Dad,” and it’s such a great weird dynamic that he’s trying to parent his mother in law but it works so very very well) until Kate comes out and shoos him inside. We get a really funny shot of Whitford’s legs walking inside like pulling his jeans up as we watch Kate confront Cricket from a perspective shot from up on the roof.

Kate bluntly asks Cricket what the deal is and Cricket answers honestly:

“I see your life! The white picket fence, the lawyer husband, all that shrimp. It’s just so nice! And, like, normal. You must have really hated growing up with me.”

Kate sets her straight about that whole “normal” thing:

“One night I got up to pee and I found Jackie in our bathtub.”

Kate assures Cricket that wasn’t running from her unique childhood to some haven of magazine-ready normality and they make up with a promise of no strippers at the wedding.

Cricket: “Of course not. Just toss me your phone and I’ll cancel them.”

Warren’s showing off his horrifying razor burn to Pete in the kitchen when Kate comes in as well as Jackie and Diane with more wedding supplies. Kate asks what everything in the bags is and Diane kind of snaps: “Your wedding.”

Kate, obviously unaware they had been helping out at all up to now, fawns over them with thanks and praise, saying that them helping means they really want to be there, and how it means so much to her. They both visibly melt as she hugs them, it is SO sweet.

Francis enters then, with the news that Great Aunt Margaret is dead and the funeral is on Saturday, the day of the wedding. Frances enters a moment later with the same exact news, so no catharsis for Pete, sorry.

Back at the airport again, Kate battles tears as she and Pete sit at the gate waiting for their plane. As passengers begin to board Kate notices “A lotta personality going to Portland” as two passengers dressed in what appear to be, like, burkas with throw pillow turbans board the plane. “Weird town,” Pete agrees.

On the plane, Bert insists on playing a game with about 100 tiny pieces instead of using a phone, and Kate offers to set up the board while he holds their orange juices. Pete comes back to say hi and Bert, in his excitement to tell Pete something, spills the drinks all over Kate. Kate excuses herself to the bathroom to clean up when Hillary appears with a dufflebag of extra clothes she happened to bring along. Kate emerges from the rear lavatory in an ivory strapless number, muttering to herself how Bert will have a field day with it, and when she looks up, wouldn’t you know it:

A WEDDING.

Pete, Bert and Warren are in their full kilt outfits, joined by Hillary and the three “lotta personalities” who are actually Meg, Diane, and Jackie.

 

Cricket sneaks up beside Kate with a gentle “hey girl.”

Cricket: “Oh, you look good. Are you ready? Cause there’s a guy up there who really wants to marry you.”

Kate looks up at Pete and dreamily sighs, “wow . . . yeah” and then we all repeat the same when he motions to her and mouths “come ‘ere.”

For her walk down the aisle, Warren produces a mini boombox speaker thing that plays the song from Kermit and Miss Piggy’s wedding in Muppets Take Manhattan:

The kids each spontaneously produce Muppets of themselves from nowhere and Meg smiles sweetly as she films with her iPhone. Yay Products!

Oh, it is all very sweet though when Kate and Pete hold hands and she tells him how amazing it all is.

Pete: “A guy can do a lot with some frequent flier miles.”

He quickly apologizes for what happens next as Jackie takes her place as officiant, but she does a fine job, ending on:

“As long as Pete shall live?”

Pete does, Kate does, they kiss, and and the whole plane cheers!

Kate is glowing: “This is the perfect day, I just wish I could get a picture of all of us.”
Pete: “We’ll get a picture at the funeral.”
Kate: “Perfect!”

Diane snarks a bit about how Pete should have sprung for first class, but let’s be real, this was insanely sweet. The tag reveals that Meg’s wedding video consists entirely of her filming her own chin, upside down.

Pete: “I’ll call the airline. Maybe the black box picked up something.”

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.

“It’s 10 quid a month but it’s worth every shilling.”

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 Trophy Wife episode “The Wedding: Part 1″**

Pete’s worst nightmare is coming true, y’all: Kate’s leaving him! Or at least that’s his first assumption when he comes home to find Kate flinging all his stuff out of the garage.

Never fear though, she’s just doing some cleaning! Pete’s Turkey Trot shirt has got to go, even though Kate is currently wearing a “Kiss me, I’m Canadian” shirt.

“This shirt makes sense: I’m Canadian, you had your intern run the Turkey Trot and then you took the t-shirt.”

Diane shows up in a surgical mask to remind Kate that cleaning a garage is basically non-stop inhalation of particulated rodent poop so have fun ever cleaning your garages ever you guys! She brought enough masks for the kids though. But only the kids.

Jackie pops up too to let Pete know that Sad Steve (played by Nat Faxon) and she are still a thing and will also be having a little grown up sleepover so if he’s late to work the next day, please Pete, be sure to think about your ex wife having sex with him. Because that’s been happening. Bert doesn’t know, though, which Pete objects to.

“If you really like Steve you should tell Bert. If he’s mature enough to day trade he’s mature enough to know you’re dating.”

Diane objects with an over-share about her own relationship stress, but that’s yet to come.

Post credits, Kate has found Pete’s old wedding videos (and a copy of Uncle Buck, which she tossed somewhere off screen saying only “yes please” so we’re not sure entirely if that was a keep or not. Come on Kate. Do the right thing, I believe in you) and is popping one in the VCR at Meg and Tevin’s place.

Kate: “Why do you still have a VCR?”
Tevin: “Because technology is cyclical. Think about fire. People are using it again.”

Diane and Pete’s wedding took place out doors, Diane had an AMAZING headpiece thing with her veil, Pete’s hair was INSANE (think early seasons Uncle Jesse from Full House, except fluffier and more womanly), and the tuxedos all had Nehru collars.

Diane finishes off her vows by calling Pete “my perfect imperfection,” (yikes), Kate jumps to fast-forward their kiss, and so we skip ahead to their first dance, during which the DJ has to ask people to stop watching the OJ Simpson car chase coverage on a TV in the corner.

Kate: “Oh. I always thought Pete married Diane because he was too afraid to break up with her. They kinda look . . . happy.”

Meg’s unimpressed but Tevin tears up like the weirdo he is.

We cut to Diane and Russ Bradley Morrison watching some hot hot classic paliamentary debate on BBC on demand, on the phone with each other, each snuggled up in their near-identical giant beds (with amazing upholstered headboards).

Russ: “It’s 10 quid a month but it’s worth every shilling.”

Diane brings up out of nowhere that maybe they should stop sneaking around and be open about their relationship which I thought already happened at the end of the last episode they were in but I guess that was only with whoever was on that field trip? Apparently they’ve been dating for 2 years, according to Russ, because he’s been waiting that long for her to say something to this effect.

Back to Kate, Meg, and Tevin watching Jackie and Pete’s wedding tape. Also outside, but this one looks like it’s on a beach, and Jackie’s vows include the line: “our spirits align as perfectly as our genitals.”

Natalie Morales is making the most AMAZING faces throughout all these scenes, it’s delightful. Pete’s goatee, longish hair, (Tevin: “The guy canNOT make a bad hair decision!”) and white embroidered shirt make him look like a Shakespeare impersonator on location in Baja, and he serenades Jackie with The Bangles’ Eternal Flame while accompanying himself on a bongo drum.

Tevin, obviously developing a mancrush, asks Kate what her wedding to Pete was like, at which point we find out that Kate and Pete had a courthouse wedding. Meg helpfully shows a cell phone picture of the window in the hallway of the courthouse where the ceremony took place.

Meg: “We had huge sandwiches afterwards and I successfully contested a speeding ticket.”

I mean, I’m all about huge sandwiches, let’s be real. Tevin’s not impressed though.

Tevin: “Where’s the romance?!”
Kate: “We made out in the parking lot after! I mean we were gonna go all the way but we were just so full from the sandwiches so…we didn’t.”

Poor Kate gets mocked by Pete’s horrible falsetto on the video for another second before she shuts it off.

Jackie is rushing Sad Steve out of her house after their “FULL VOLUME SEXTACULAR” and shoves a bagel in his hand so he can carbo-load to recover. Bert walks in just then, home from Hebrew school, and wondering who this man in his house is. Jackie feeds him a lie about Steve being a bagel delivery guy, so the poor guy has to give the bagel back!

Steve: “Here you go… madam. One single bagel. No bag, no napkin, PER your request-“

But Bert’s onto him and when Steve can’t answer what’s in an everything bagel Jackie puts the kibosh on it but it’s too late. Bert has smelled weakness.

Now time for the best scene of the episode!

It’s evening now and Kate is working on the garage again when Pete comes out to find her. After a bit of small talk about a truly disturbing stool with boots for feet, Kate asks Pete if he liked their wedding.

“Yeah of course. Remember I got that great parking space, and we had those big sandwiches at that place that burned down?”

Oh this is just more depressing by the minute.

Kate: “I just watched your old wedding videos and they were terrible and beautiful and…you waltzed, you played the bongos, and OJ!”

This could have easily gone to a pretty shrieky place, with Kate stomping her foot, or getting really complainy, but Malin Akerman’s delivery is just gorgeous. She’s on the verge of tears, genuinely awed at having seen a side of her husband she’s never known before, and full of sadness at an opportunity that feels like it’s been lost. Bradley Whitford’s FACE thoughout this scene too, you guys. It deserves the capslocks. It’s obvious that he immediately picks up on where she’s going, even as he jokes that he’s sorry she had to see him singing, and in a goatee. He affirms how happy he is with her, and Kate agrees and starts to leave with a dismissive, “ugh, I’m being such a girl.”

But just as she’s walked past him a light comes on, red light from some Christmas lights, and when Kate turns around Pete’s on one knee.

Pete: “Kate, will you marry me? … again? … in front of people?”

YOU GUYS. THEIR FACES. They might be the most shippable married couple on TV right now. They have such a lovely chemistry, and Malin is so good in being vulnerable in these scenes, and Bradley is LA WHITFORD and it all just works so well. She laughs happily and says yes (of course), they kiss, and she helps Pete up – he thinks he pulled a hammy – and we go to commercial.

It’s lovely. VHS-worthy, even.

Would you believe we’re only at the first act break? When we come back Kate and Meg have begun wedding planning, with Kate at her laptop and Meg poring over wedding magazines.

Meg: “Who would spend $200 on a dress they’re only going to wear once? … oh f— me, that’s just the shipping!”

They bleep (and pixellate even though you can barely see her mouth as she’s bent over the magazine) out the bad word and it’s like a million times funnier than if it were a cleared-for-network version.

Pete, in another really great sweater by the way, comes in and Kate pulls him over to show him a video of Miss Piggy and Kermit’s wedding as an example of the “spirit” she wants. Meg says “yeah” or maybe “yuck,” and Pete breaks into a super affectionate smile and everybody’s so happy yay! Pete’s especially happy since he’ll actually get a say in this wedding unlike his first two, which means honoring his Scottish heritage with kilts!

Diane and Jackie arrive with the kids and Diane pulls Kate aside to clarify that Kate is the only one who knows about her relationship with Russ Bradley Morrison, to announce to her that she’s one level up from complete strangers in finding out that they’re going public, and to congratulate her on her redundant wedding. Marcia Gay Harden really saves this character, you guys. I didn’t realize how horrible those lines truly were until I summarized them just now, and it’s because of her delivery.

Diane deuces out, and Pete calls a family meeting to ask Bert and Warren to be his best men, aw! They’re thrilled, and Kate immediately asks Hillary and Meg to be her co-maids of honor! They’re not thrilled. To hilarious effect.

Meg: “Since I’m your best friend, maybe it would be best if I just took the lead on this.”
Hillary: “Since I have never declared bankruptcy, it might make sense for me to run point.”

Diane is practicing her archery on a compound bow because of course she is. Russ Bradley Morrison shows up with a quip:

RBM: “Looks like someone just won the Hunger Games.”
Diane: “Hahaha, you and your fiction!”

It’s SO CUTE even though they are kind of insufferable. Turns out she got him there on a somewhat misleading text message, and he thought “meet me in the park for target practice” meant they were going to get “randy” (which as I’m typing it out now has WAY dirtier connotations than I realized at first). But he’s got this big classy picnic basket full of homemade cranberry scones and soft cheeses that need to be consumed within the hour and Diane’s apparently too into her practice to take a break for homemade scones (rude), so they decide to try for a real date at the opera. Too bad they can’t agree on where to sit.

At Pete’s office, Warren and Bert are modeling their kilts for the wedding (adorable), and Pete’s speaking with a Scottish accent (yes please), when Bert sees Sad Steve AKA Bagel Boy. He makes up a lie about delivering a hole puncher which Bert kind of silently snarls at. Albert Tsai’s face is just grand.

Kate’s brought her CoMoHs with her to turn in the forms to change her name

Hillary: “Meg, have you done anything for the bridal shower?”
Meg: “Yes I have, Dorkatron. I see your high tea and raise you this bag of novelty penises.”

She pulls out this huge multicolor light up pixellated dildo and it is, again, hilariously awesome.

Apparently Kate’s kept her maiden name of Walrus (pronounced “Valroose”, sure) up to now because… for reasons? I prefer my maiden name to my married name, but my maiden name wasn’t one that would be so easily mispronounced. Anyway the guy at the window gets it:

“We recieved your request and we can’t can’t grant you a name change from your…zoo animal name to a normal name. According to our records you’re in the country illegally.”

Dun dun DUN!

That’s really all the explanation we get, even though Kate counters that she applied for her visa when she got married to Pete a year ago. So now we run with the “prove it’s not a green card marriage” storyline! There will be an INS agent at Chez Harrison forthwith to determine the legitimacy of Kate and Pete’s marriage.

Meanwhile Bert and Jackie are hula hooping in their living room when Bert finally pushes Jackie over the edge into admitting she and Sad Steve are dating. Sadly they don’t both keep hula hooping throughout the whole scene because that would have been even better.

Kate takes a call from Diane (there are a TON of scene changes in this episode holy cow) who is now in an anxiety spiral about her relationship, and she defensively spirals a bit with some insults while Kate tries to reassure her. It’s a short phone call because then Pete comes in dressed “like the counselor at a fat camp,” putting a bunch of framed photos of him and Kate around the living room.

Pete: “They’re gonna grill us like we’re on the Newlywed Game and the consolation prize is Canada. This is a regular guy who does not have two ex-wives and a hot young wife that he bought on the internet.”
Kate, immediately on board: “Yep, right, trick the government with costumes.”

Warren, now in Braveheart-style blue face paint along with his kilt, has looked up his family tree to find out their family tartan (so I guess the current kilts are just practice kilts) but it turns out they’re Flemish!

Warren: “Where in Scotland is Flem?”
Hillary: “Belgium, Braveheart!”
Warren: “We’re from Belgium?!”
Hillary: “How are you going to tell Dad?”
Warren: “I don’t know! It’ll crush him! The men get married in PANTS there!”

Pete comes in to instruct the kids that if the INS agent asks them questions they should just repeat “can’t recall” which seems super unsuspicious, and when Warren quotes Braveheart to him he tells Warren to wash off the facepaint and go sit quietly in the garage. Also totally normal. But it’s what they’re going with because the INS agent is here! Kate appears in overalls and a shlubby hoodie toting laundry, twanging “How do!” and blathering a bunch of nonsense about Pete going to his mancave to watch football and how they’ve been married forever.

Pete, under his breath and possibly actually serious: “Bigger, Kate. She’s not buyin’ it.”

I just really love these two.

The INS agent asks them things like how long they’ve been living together, which side of the bed they sleep on (Both: “Left.” Kate: “We spoon…” Pete: “LOVE that.” Good lord you two.), how much Pete’s weekly paycheck is, and whether the microwave is stationary or has a revolving plate. Their nervousness has them tied for one “I don’t know” each when we zip over to Jackie’s.

Sad Steve has arrived and Bert answers the door, suspicious as hell. He even refuses to give Steve one of the butterscotches they keep in the bowl by the door for guests and now I want a butterscotch so bad. Like Sad Steve, I’m also out of luck because Bert is not amused.

Sad Steve: “You know for a long time people called me Sad Steve. But ever since I met your mom I’ve been so happy now people call me Steve. Just Steve.”
Bert, proffering a handfdul of butterscotches: “I’m sorry you life has been so sad. Maybe you should get a fish! Goodbye!”

Mic drop, door slam, and Steve has been re-Sad-ed. He sits in his car in the driveway and explains to Jackie how it all went down. Her advice is pretty stellar:

Jackie: “Know what might help you feel better? Complimenting my braid.”

It’s a pretty sweet braid though, let’s be real. It looks like a chocolate cinnamon role all nestled on the side of her head. Bert comes out of the house, immediately taken with Sad Steve’s awesome little red convertible. Steve lets him push the button to put the top up (Bert: “Awesome!” Jackie: “Like my braid!” IT’S SO FUNNY YOU GUYS) and it seems a friendship is underway.

Predictably, things are beginning to fall apart at Chez Harrison. Diane shows up still in a funk over her RBM relationship issues, wanting to divide her Nova DVDs with Pete since they never did during the divorce. Jackie bursts in with Bert and bagels to celebrate her new official relationship status with Steve (ostensibly no longer Sad…for now) and Bert announces:

“We’re officially a threesome!”

Warren (face still painted, practice kilt still on) comes in with Hillary to announce that “our whole lives have been a lie.” Meg shows up to let Hillary know the chichi hotel she chose for the high tea bridal shower won’t let them play PIn The Junk On The Hunk, and the INS lady cuts in, hilariously,

“Sir, exactly how many women are living here?”

Pete answers this one right as the din increases and then Kate hauls off and yells for everyone to stop. She points out that Hillary loves to boss people around and Meg loves debauchery, thus delegating their respective portions of MoH responsibility. Pete assures Warren that while their blood may be Belgian, their legs belong on the Scottish highlands and no I really can’t go into describing the high leg Captain Morgan pose thing he does, I just need to go away for a minute and not think about my feelings. “We are gonna rock those kilts baby.” Warren’s overjoyed. Kate tags in again, telling Diane to not be afraid to call her “…patient” in a sweet bid to preserve Diane’s privacy as long as she’d like. Diane excuses herself to make a phone call and the INS lady has seen enough.

“This is clearly not a marriage of convenience because nothing about it is convenient.”

Kate and Pete do the DUMBEST happy dance chanting “we’re gonna have a weeeeeeedding!” Kate runs over to find out that RBM has compromised and bought tickets to the opera on the mezzanine (MEZZANINE?!) level for himself and Diane, and that Diane is now ready to announce their relationship to the family.

“You’re dating Gravy Ross’s dad? Awesome! I’ve finally got my in!”

I’m just as excited as Warren, honestly.

In the tag we meet Megan Mullally as Cricket Walrus, Kate’s mom, at the airport, escorted off the plane in handcuffs for pinching a male flight attendant’s butt. She kisses Pete on the mouth, he asks, “what just happened?” and we’re treated to a “to be continued…”

Next week: MUPPET WEDDING!

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.