It’s a fiery Valentine’s Day on Up All Night, when Ava’s specially cooked V-Day chili fails to elicit enough attention from Kevin, who’s preoccupied with his lack of coffee filters and other boring things. A dramatic fight erupts. They hate each other, but they love each other! Ava and a flan-drenched Kevin storm separately into Chris and Reagan’s house, where the scene is anything but fiery.
Reagan has interrupted Chris’ writing Amy’s Valentines cards (“It’s just tough cause I wanna keep it platonic, but I don’t want Amy to seem like a bore, you know?”) to confess that she got smooched during Ava’s show by Besos, the local Latin lothario. Chris isn’t even slightly jealous: in contrast to the burgeoning passions of Ava and Kevin, the spark has gone out of Chris and Reagan’s relationship, leaving them with spiceless Chinese takeout and 8 minute shirt-on sex.
So each of them sets out to recreate their bold romantic gestures of the past, Reagan with a butt tat and Chris a good old graffiti tag. Both fail, obviously, but they accidentally have a cinematic moment in the rain when they’re not even trying. Meanwhile, a brief fling with her old paramour Julian at his new supper club Bed (the VIP table is a waterbed filled with vodka and they serve dolphin. Shh!) convinces Ava that she’d rather be dating a real person than an overly attentive dummy.
I was a bit worried at the start of this episode - the “longtime couple who realizes the spark is gone and tries to do stupid things to rekindle it” plotline has been done many times before. But it was redeemed by the symmetry with the Ava-and-Kevin plotline. As Chris and Reagan are rediscovering their passion, Ava and Kevin are learning to compromise their way to a more mature relationship. She even buys him coffee filters. Aw. Along the way, the physical comedy in the scene at Bed and in Chris’ graffiti attempts, plus the running joke of Kevin taking it for granted that everyone knows the intricate details of the fencing business, made for a strong episode.
The true romance, of course, is between Maya Rudolph and me. She worms her way further into my heart with every mispronunciation of “jalapenos.” I do, however, majorly take issue with the repeated sentiment that “everybody hates flan.” I for one love a good flan. I would like to officially invite all flannisseurs to join me in the comments where we extol the many pleasures of this light, velvety, caramelly, custardy delight. Olé!