When the question is, “How does Happy Endings satisfy me so?,” the answer is always “The Honorable Elijah Muhammad.” While Jane and Alex experience an intense spiritual connection during a round of Celebrity (though…that “we finish each other’s…pizza” joke was pure Arrested Development, yes?) Dave reveals that his dad Big Dave is coming into the city…with a new girlfriend in tow. Was I the last one to realize they are all childhood friends? Or is it just Penny, Jane, Alex and Dave, with Brad and Max joining later? Either way, we learn that Dave’s father hates Alex for spilling YooHoo on his imitation sheepskin seat covers 20 years ago, though not for, you know, ripping his son’s heart of his chest on their erstwhile wedding day. We also discover that Penny became a woman (well, half of a woman. 1/4?) in Dave’s rec room courtesy of cape-clad peer Peter Wong. “I still smile everytime I see wood paneling…or Peter Wong,” she says wistfully.
Dave is dismayed that his dad has found someone so quick; the child of three divorces and a broken engagement to a charming Saudi businessman, Penny knows the toll a break-up can have on parents. “After two years, bangs,” she reveals, her eyes wide with horror. “My dad got bangs!” However, when they find out that Big Dave’s lady friend is none other than Penny’s ivory-skinned, musically-inclined mom Dana, Penny launches into full-blow Johnny Drama big sibling mode. Now, we all assumed part of Dave’s discomfort at his dad’s new relationship was his secret crush on Penny, right? After the (somewhat forced) hint at a potential Penny/Dave romance last week, his furious silence coupled with her enthusiastic palling around seemed to suggest more than just plain old petulance on Dave’s part. However, it seems that Dave’s juvenile rage was merely a delayed reaction to his parents’ divorce, rather than his desire to retire to the bumper pool table with Penny or his distaste for his father’s new-found world of hemp skinny jeans and soy steak, or stoyk. “Blake Lively loves it,” Dana dishes. Dave eventually apologizes to his dad for being a baby (though not for forcing his way back into his childhood home to mope). In Dave’s defense, however, his pop did blow off that baseball thing or whatever for Dana’s hippie craft fair. To be fair, I would probably blow off my parents’ funerals to hang out in line for soy hot dogs with Megan Mullally, but that’s just me. That’s just where I’m at in my life. On a related note, Ed Begley Jr. makes a fantastic guest star playing a violently hippified, head-light smashing version of himself. For the love of god, someone buy Ed Begley Jr.’s soaps and lotions! He has 9 kids to feed!
Meanwhile, Max, Brad and Joey…I mean Alex stake out Chinese eatery Hop Sing’s to take down what they believe to be a prostitution ring. I know what you’re thinking, “Halle, we don’t have to compare every sitcom ensemble to the characters on your beloved Friends, your favorite show in the whole world” to which I would say, “Show me where the whores are at!” Oh, sorry, I mean, “Shut up.” From the second Alex buys a racist parrot to keep her company in the shop to the image of her pulling a Rear Window out her front window with a squawking Taylor perched on her arm to the moment she frantically pockets Chinese food before following Max and Brad on their sting, I feel like the writers are really hitting their stride with her. Alex is kind-hearted and inscrutably dim, with moments of deep, insane conviction. Oh, and that belt skirt! That was the craziest part of all! Alex and the gang eventually realize that what they had thought was an interracial sex worker bust was just an English-as-a-second-language class. Haha, who’s the racist parrot now? Answer: Taylor, that racist parrot.
“Hope those hisses of approval.”- Dave
“I’d like to see how this plays out. So weird!” - Max, rushing to watch after Alex declares that she’ll just “play with herself.”
“I’m not sure it’s easy hearing your dad has a new girlfriend…and that Penny got rotary dialed on your bumper pool table.” - Jane
“Jane made me buy it for this bit.” - Dave, explaining where he got a sippy cup to give Alex.