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‘Happy Endings’ 3.12 & 3.13 Recaps: “I’m Not As Dumb As I Am”

Following the wake of an immediate cancelation for ‘Don’t Trust the B— in Apt. 23″ (which disappoints me as I enjoyed the show, although it wasn’t perfect), ‘Happy Endings’ is being presented in double shots on Tuesday nights. These two episodes make a good pairing, since one leads in directly from the other. The first involves a prank played on Max, while the second takes place at a wedding expo.

In ‘The Marry Prankster’, Dave tricks Max into thinking that he’s won the lotto in retaliation for previous pranks that Max had played on the rest of the group (a heretofore unknown character trait of Max’s). Max vows revenge, and the rest of the episode revolves around the characters living in dread of his wrath. An exploding waffle takes Jane down early, while Brad has stripper glitter mixed into his lotions and creams. (Jane forces him to do a cowboy striptease that looks like borderline abuse.) Alex can’t handle the stress and willingly cuts her own hair, then offers to help Max prank everyone else if she’s spared.

Penny comes home to a diamond ring that she assumes is from Pete, but gets slimed ‘Double Dare’ style when she goes to call her mother. Confronting Max, she learns that the engagement ring has nothing to with the prank, meaning that Pete really plans to propose.

The episode ends with two big surprises. I assumed that the engagement ring would actually be part of a larger prank (because getting slimed isn’t all that devious, though Penny does get doused twice), but Pete really does propose, marking the biggest change in the show since Dave and Alex got back together. In this case, Pete is a brand new addition, which does make me wonder if the wedding will come to fruition.

The second surprise comes in the form of a reference to ‘The Usual Suspects‘ that’s one of the best gags the show has done in a while. Alex gets the last laugh, and Elisha Cuthbert is truly exceptional in this one. (Note the scene where she tries to trick Dave into sitting on the couch, and she playfully curls her long hair around her finger one second, then bobs the newly shorn side the next.)

‘Our Best Friend’s Wedding’ is a bit of a misnomer, as we don’t actually see Penny get married yet. Instead, we learn that Pete wants to elope, to the horror of the entire group. Penny is crushed, because she wants a big wedding. Jane is pissed because she wants to plan a big wedding. And Dave is sad because, as we discover, he’s a total bridezilla, having planned every detail of his botched wedding with Alex down to the color of the napkins.

Jane convinces the group to go to a wedding expo, and tricks Pete into coming, intent on convincing him that a wedding is the right way to go. Dave wants to convince Alex that he can be a “chillzilla” and is open to other people’s ideas. Brad and Max go to snag free stuff, and get listed as a couple by Jane.

This episode is about the little pleasures. Max and Brad lie to vendors in “Gay Town” (the gay section of the expo) in order to get free swag, then stage a break-up when Max wants to ask out a guy he meets. Brad gets harangued into getting back together with Max, and gets turned down for a manicure/pedicure by Tom Petty’s cousin Manny, proprietor of Manny Petty’s Mani-Pedis.

Penny and Jane do their best to convince Pete that a wedding is a good idea, which he almost goes for until Jane gets into a fight with a professional party planner (which now gives us an interesting new pronunciation for “prostitute”). Finally, Penny agrees to elope, and Pete is so touched that he relents. Jane gets kicked out and tries to sneak her way back in, leading to a huge surprise laugh that caps off the show well.

Both of these episodes show the gang firing on all cylinders.

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