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Cougar Town Recap: No Use Crying Over Spilled Fake Blood

COUGAR TOWN - "A Mind with a Heart of its Own" - Jules ends up asking both Ellie and Laurie to be her "co-maids" of honor because she can't stand to hurt anyone's feelings; and Grayson tries to ask Chick (guest star Ken Jenkins, "Scubs") for Jules' hand in marriage formally, but Chick decides to have a little fun in the process, on "Cougar Town," TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21 (8:30-9:00 p.m., ET) on ABC. (ABC/ERIC MCCANDLESS)
BUSY PHILIPPS, IAN GOMEZ

So, wedding planning seems like a nightmare. That’s what I understand from television, anyway, because once your proposal is locked down it is all business and no fun going forward. Your every decision could widen the gulf between your girlfriends. Your ex-husband will have to worry about what to bring as a gift. Napkin rings always seem to be a big cause for concern, for some reason. All this, just to marry the man with the tiniest eyes you’ve ever seen. How will he even see you from the altar, when you’re walking down the aisle? His eyes are too little.

As the gang huddles around Jules’s kitchen island to discuss wedding dates, Laurie requests that it take place in the spring, when her penalty-less ankle bracelet will finally be off. Ellie and Andy request a private sex room. (Gross?) My personal request is that Travis finds something different to do with his hair before then, because thinking of him in a tuxedo with hair like that gives me stress shivers. Jules has a request of her own: She wants Grayson to ask her father for her hand, so she sends him off with Travis to visit him.

Apparently Ellie and Andy keep staged murder photos on their wall (did she look around at all when she was wondering why Stan is a demon child, last week?), taken each time Andy violates one of Ellie’s rules. This time it’s because he left the ice cream out, which IS super annoying, though one has to wonder if cleaning up all that fake blood isn’t maybe more work than just putting the ice cream away for him would have been. It makes me nervous to think too hard about what Andy and Ellie’s life is like when the cameras aren’t around. For example: Where is all that fake blood kept? Is it even fake?? Does it have its own shelf in her basement, with a label from one of those label guns attached? I feel like Ellie would have a label gun. And at least seven real ones.

Crazy though she might be, Jules loves Ellie and asks her to be her best maid. Ellie’s one request is that Jules be less of a people-pleaser. Of people most in need of a personality intervention on this show, I’d consider Jules to actually be at the bottom of that list, ELLIE. But anyway, Jules heads over to meet Laurie and break the news. At first, it seems okay: Laurie just wants to be able to hold Jules like a baby in a pool (it’s best not to question Laurie). But eventually, it comes out: What she wants is to be co-maids of honor, along with Ellie. Jules agrees, but when she reports back to Ellie, she suggests the idea of co-maids of honor as though that ship hasn’t already sailed. Ellie, happy enough to hand off all the actual work involved in that sacred role, reluctantly agrees.

At Jules’s father’s ranch, Grayson asks Pop Cobb (don’t make me call him “Chick”) for Jules’s hand, but he won’t get it without a bit of hazing. Chick (ugh) tells Grayson that he needs him to shoot his horse, because he’s too sad to do it and the horse is dying. The horse isn’t sick, and everything turns out okay because Grayson can’t bring himself to shoot the horse, but what if he had?? That was a dangerous game to play, and that horse is going to be really resentful toward Chick from now on, probably. There have got to be better ways of testing the persistence of your future son-in-law than inciting horse murder.

Bobby decides to build a zip line between Jules’s and Grayson’s houses as a metaphorical ode to the union between them, which is probably the second greatest idea he’s had after Penny Can (Penny Can Watch: frustratingly still on). Not everyone is impressed right off the bat — Laurie’s test ride ends poorly, and Andy has doubts. In an apologetic gesture, he offers to slowly and sadly zip line across the street while wrapped around Bobby’s torso. When this is available in GIF form, it will be a perfect Internet palate cleanser, to be watched after reading heavy-handed think pieces and infuriating political commentaries. Slow, sad zip lining will save us all.

Despite her best efforts to hide the fact that she’s already agreed to have Laurie as her co-maid of honor, Jules gets busted when Laurie shows up at her house with preprinted “Co-MOH” T-shirts. Ellie is mad at Jules for her people-pleasing, but she had to know this was coming. Laurie Keller cannot be strong-armed into being a mere bridesmaid. There is a funny bit about Jules being an eavesdropping ninja in this episode, and this is what brings her up to the roof where, inevitably, she must zip line her way off. To stop Ellie from telling Laurie the truth about the maid of honor plans (Ellie, RELAX), Jules grabs the handle and takes off on what appears to be a truly terrifying journey through green screen. She hits Laurie’s car and rolls off to deliver a solid Grape Lady impression. 

Laurie makes Jules a painkiller-and-wine cocktail to help her injuries (Laurie: “I love that drink”), which Jules downs before limping over to Ellie’s house to scold her. She’s so angry that her butt is even twitching. Jules tells Ellie that people-pleasing is what makes her happy, and that Ellie has a few qualities that could stand some work of their own. For instance, hostility and cruelty. The best friends make up, but first they stage their own murder picture: It was Ms. Cobbs in the alleyway, with the chainsaw. Honestly, these people are not doing themselves any favors for the day when law enforcement finally catches up to them.

Having earned his fiancée’s father’s blessing, Grayson pours them a glass of wine, only to pour one of the two out when Jules delivers the multipurpose “Thanks, babe.” It’s generally employed as a conversation-ender, but Jules meant it genuinely this time. Or at least that’s what she lets Grayson believe, as he runs off to buy more wine in penance. Jules let herself get down to just one remaining bottle of wine?? There has to be more downstairs, just off the underground tunnel. The one that connects Jules’s wine cellar to Ellie’s murderarium. Think about it: What does Ellie do, all day? *Ghost wailing noise* No, only joking, I’m sure it’s fine. Everyone should keep an eye on Ellie’s power tools, but it’s probably fine.

Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC