This week’s Up All Night featured two separate cologne jokes and some killer character backstories, set among a meandering auction plot that was a slight letdown from last week’s episode.
First of all: Dennis Duffy, I MEAN Dean Winters, guest stars as Chris’ brother Casey, with whom Chris is so competitive that he lifts weights to “yoke up” before picking him up at the airport. The two of them immediately devolve into their old one-upping pattern, and Chris tells Casey that he’s still “killing it” at his law firm rather than fessing up to being a stay-at-home dad. Meanwhile, Reagan catches Casey in his own lie: he was let go from his job a year ago and is in town for a job interview. If only he could get a job starring in Allstate commercials as different types of mayhem.
To get Amy into Little Nudge Academy and its Tempurpedic-floored nap room, Reagan has to recruit Ava to MC a preschool auction. I found this workplace plotline less compelling than the domestic one and somewhat hard to track. First Ava refuses to help because of a vague dislike for auctions, but then she agrees when Reagan plies her with Amy’s cuteness (nice callback to the baby cowboy boots from “New Car”), but then she shows up to the auction drunk, but then it all goes fine anyway, but then she and Reagan decide the school is full of starfuckers and not right for Amy. If Ava’s reluctance all along was supposed to be about resisting the preschool’s hunger for celebrities, I certainly wasn’t picking up on it.
The auction was, however, a great backdrop for Chris and Casey’s competition. The bros go head-to-head on guitar lessons from Poison’s C.C. DeVille and a surf trip to Australia until Reagan seizes their paddles and forces them to come clean. The beans are spilled and hugs are hugged (and spines are crushed, probably, because these two brothers are so yoked up. New favorite phrase alert).
The episode did excel in one of Up All Night’s great strengths, the elaborate backstories provided for its characters. We learn that Missy was hardened by public school in Oakland (“You know the saying: ‘Youngs be strapped with the sharpest shivs,’” she reminds Reagan), that Ava owns a psychedelic houseboat called the Superfreak 2, and that Chris was a tween model for husky clothing. All glorious pieces of information that make perfect sense with their characters. Now if you’ll excuse me, “I’m pretty busy. There’s a Raquel Welch Crystal Light commercial from the 80s that I have to see.”