Cougar Town Recap: Adventureland

Cougar Town

Season 2 Episode 21

Cougar Town

Season 2 Episode 21
Photo: Mario Perez/? 2011 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Photo: Mario Perez/? 2011 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Just like we knew it would, the Cul de Sec Crew heads to Hawaii for the season finale, and a very sweet and satisfying one at that. The episode begins in Florida, with the gang talking about taking a group vacation. They settle, predictably, on a trip to wine country. (The wine country in Florida is famous for producing … spritzers?) This plan changes when Laurie inadvertently talks Travis into moving to Hawaii. She does this by telling him that if she could do anything in the world she would just move to Hawaii. Laurie Keller: excellent giver of advice. A light goes off in Travis’s eyes and Community’s Danny Pudi, who has been sitting in the background as part of the great Cougar TownCommunity cameo exchange, rushes off, presumably to soil his pants. After a funny geography lesson about Hawaii (it is both the name for a group of islands and one island in particular, Jules explains, a fact she wouldn’t know), the crew excitedly realizes Travis’s decision to abandon his life means they are taking a group vacation to Hawaii! Cue credits: “We will never stop mocking the title.”

Before the group’s departure for the islands, an important story line: Grayson is still in baby lust, which means quality time drawing abs on baby Stan and making him sound like a wrestler, all highly adorable. Jules is hoping she can avoid the baby talk by bringing up something Grayson doesn’t want to talk about, moving in together, and if that works, one of them selling their house in six months. (This is such a good, normal, grown-up plan it sounds weird coming from Jules’s mouth.) This leads to a really nice scene with the three women sitting on Jules’s bed, while she tries to pack, seeming like real friends, albeit with Laurie doing a horrible Chicago accent by way of a mangled Irish one, and Jules indicating she has zero familiarity with The Untouchables. Ellie and Laurie laugh at her together.

And off to Hawaii! Though Travis seems like he has gotten maybe a 12- to 36-hour head start on his mother and her friends, it’s as if he’s been there for weeks. He’s living in a cool shack, where he has taught attractive shirtless youth a variation on Penny Can (Coco Rock), has a favorite beach, a morning coffee routine, and a friend: Scrubs character Ted Buckland (played by Sam Lloyd), who continues to take any song and make it sound sad. (Though, sorry, his “Love Shack” was not that sad.) Jules and Travis go to the beach; she tries to get tough with him; he’s not really having it; they love each other. They go to Travis’s place of work; she yells some more; he’s still not having it.

Back at the hotel, Bobby is staying with Ellie and Andy, doing eighties things with sunglasses, and maybe, just maybe using Ellie’s tooth brush. The boys don’t break, and have an amazing set of excuses as to why they haven’t used her toothbrush, but the fact remains: Bobby Cobb would totally use someone else’s toothbrush. Eventually Ellie and Andy split Bobby’s time — he does adventures with Ellie and relaxing with Andy — until at the end of the episode he gets sad about being on his first vacation alone. He’s a little “lonely.” Ellie and Andy stand with him to take the edge off.

Meanwhile, Grayson wants to talk about kids. At first talking about moving in together does put him off, but Grayson is actually sort of an adult and he tells Jules they should talk about babies and living together that night. Coming off her stressful day with Travis, Jules just can’t see doing it all again. She tells Grayson she just doesn’t want kids. He dumps a huge candle on the floor and fills the holder with wine. Jules, who has been chugging out of this huge contraption since she arrived in Hawaii, shouldn’t be the only one with a Big Kimo.

In the morning, Grayson decides it was too much to force this talk on vacation, and they should just put the baby back in the suitcase. He and Jules decide to spend the rest of their trip shagging. Except, oops, Jules forgot her birth control. The two of them go hunting for condoms for a few hours, but after they find one (some kids in marching band), Grayson admits that he just can’t pretend. He’s sorry, but he really wants kids and he can’t be with someone who isn’t even open to the idea. Jules wakes up in bed alone.

Though Jules and Bobby have sort of decided there’s nothing they can do about Travis, Laurie is not giving up. She decides to do the right thing: play on Travis’s huge crush on her, so that he realizes he shouldn’t be living his life because a girl broke his heart. Looking totally smoking — Hawaii agrees with Busy Philipps — Laurie gets Travis to blow off work and spend the day with her. At the end, she lays the hammer down: If he thought she would get with him, he would totally come back to Florida and he shouldn’t be making choices that way. Travis agrees to go back, but he’s mad at Laurie for manipulating and embarrassing him. Later, at Jules’s behest, he forgives her.

Now that Travis is coming home, Jules goes to see him again. They have a big, fish-smelling hug, and Travis commends her on her mom-ing. She tears up. Then Ted Buckland gives her a speech about how if you really love someone, you should be willing to do anything, go on any adventure with them. Jules tears up more, go finds Grayson, tells him she knows she’s a hassle, that she loves him, and that, yes, she would go on any adventure with him.

Honestly, agreeing to have a baby is not what we were expecting, not only because Jules really hasn’t wanted a kid, but because sitcom babies are such a pain. Cougar Town already has one underused child on set (Stan), and the idea of Jules being pregnant for an entire season … well, the reduction in wine consumption alone seems anathema to Cougar Town. But even if it is surprising, we’re onboard: Jules probably would come around for Grayson, and, as with Parks and Recreation, it’s so unexpectedly nice to watch a show that doesn’t create drama and conflict just to create drama and conflict, but lets the characters be their best selves and finds the funny in that.

And, finally, vocabulary:

Gagbysmal: something really bad
Interhouse shuttle: another name for Tom (who came on vacation)
Lay tays: alternate pronunciation of ladies
Stomach Kiss: a man kisses a woman’s tummy, as a way to jump-start her uterus
The Chicago Way: in which “You bring a [metaphorical] knife, I bring a [metaphorical] gun” to any situation. [Note: This must be said in the worst Chicago accent possible.]
Coco Rock: the Hawaiian variation of Penny Can, involving a coconut and a rock
Big Kimo: enormous alcohol container; relative of Big Carl
Vacation surrogate: stand-in for your spouse on vacation

Cougar Town Recap: Adventureland