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‘Happy Endings’ 3.08 Recap: “This Cartoonish Parrot-Shaped Hole”

Having taken a holiday break, ‘Happy Endings’ returned with two episodes (the first airing Sunday, January 6th and the second on Tuesday, January 8th). This post covers the Sunday episode. Alex’s racist parrot Tyler makes an appearance while Dave and Jane try to set Max up with some guys they know.

Because she’s going to the Rom-Com Con, Alex has to keep her racist parrot Tyler in her apartment while she’s gone. When Brad and Penny break a childhood handmade plate that belongs to Alex, Tyler witnesses it. Worried he’ll rat them out, Penny uses industrial-strength glue to fix the plate, but the fumes kill Tyler. Now she and Brad have to cover that up, but Brad’s guilty conscience might ruin everything.

In a storyline rather reminiscent of ‘Friends’, Jane and Dave set Max up with competing guys they know. Max doesn’t like either, as he realizes that he’s been matched up with gay duplicates of Jane and Dave. He hits it off with a bartender, Marcus, much to Jane and Dave’s consternation. They try to push their guys further onto Max, which ruins things for him with Marcus.

This episode puts together two unconventional groupings: Jane and Dave take care of Max, while Brad and Penny deal with Alex. Shaking things up is a stroke of genius, and this is another top-notch episode. Penny is unexpectedly brusque with Brad, slapping him repeatedly as they try to dispose of Tyler’s remains. Meanwhile, Dave and Jane are surprisingly similar, both displaying identical trains of thought while setting up Max.

There are lots of great moments here, from the gay Jane and Dave doppelgängers (Jane says that hers has great legs and he presents Max with a laminated date itinerary), to Tyler’s funeral (Alex describes him as “a huge racist and an even huger friend”). The opening scene where the characters list all the kinds of conventions they’d like to attend is also priceless: Chaka Khan Con, Bond Con…James Bond Con, Butter Pecan Con, and more. The ending is a video tribute to Tyler, set to one of Dave’s inappropriate songs that uses the word “come” rather awkwardly. I guess Tyler’s being racist up in parrot heaven, but that won’t stop us from enjoying more ‘Happy Endings’.

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