‘Happy Endings’ 3.01 Recap: “Most Casual Sex Ever!”

It seems like not too many people know about ‘Happy Endings’, the funniest comedy on ABC. The show, now beginning its third season, centers around a series of lovable but vain thirty-somethings and their interconnected, outlandish, hilarious lives.

Season 3 of ‘Happy Endings’ opens with beatific music on a clear, starlit night. Penny (Casey Wilson) is drinking champagne with her boyfriend (Brian Austin Green) on a rooftop. He gets down on one knee. Penny, flustered, hardly knows what to do with herself. The man reaches up and presents Penny with… a helmet. No, this isn’t a marriage proposal; it’s a base jump. In typical ‘Happy Endings’ fashion, the writers set you up for one thing, only to deliver something totally different, but that’s not the end. Penny agrees to take the leap, but backs out only after her partner has already jumped. Walking down the stairs, she manages to trip and fall all the way down, leaving her in a full body cast.

And that’s just the cold open.

Yes, the gang is back and they’re still as narcissistic, too culturally aware, and over the top as ever. Season 2 ended with major developments that carry over to Season 3. Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) lost his job; Dave (Zachary Knighton) and Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) began sleeping with each other again, after Alex left Dave at the altar in the series premiere.

Getting into episode ‘Cazsh Dummy Spillionaires’, it appears that Brad has settled into a happy unemployment, dabbling in a series of hobbies from candle-making to ventriloquism with a cartoonish dummy named SinBrad. However, Brad’s idyllic staycation, which gets Jane (Eliza Coupe) absurdly hot (she excitedly goes too far, calling him her “tiny miniature bitch”), is just a ruse. He’s actually secured a new job that he loves going to every day. He can’t tell Jane, of course, lest she discover that he wants to be at work more than she wants him to stay at home.

Alex and Dave announce in the cold open that they’re casually seeing each other, which surprises no one. This is by far the least interesting of all the storylines, as the pair are obsessed with “keeping it cazsh,” calling each other increasingly outlandish variations of “bro.” Alex goes so far as to set Dave up with a cute bartender before realizing what a huge mistake she’s made. The sexual element between the two is actually less interesting than platonic Dave and Alex, though it does provide an excellent excuse to have Cuthbert show off her upper assets.

Meanwhile, Max (Adam Pally) agrees to take care of Penny, who is just awful to him. As he’s about to storm out, Penny’s hot physical therapist arrives. Max then sets a devious plan into action, lying to postpone the removal of Penny’s cast and “Misery-ing” her (knocking her out using Sleepy Time tea and “Lunesta, nature’s Ambien”) in order to go after the physical therapist himself.

Things come to a head with Brad and Jane. This culminates in a bathroom fight with Brad in a sopping wet business suit and Jane wearing nothing but high heels and a tramp stamp. It’s the best scene of the episode.

Penny escapes, only to get her body cast covered in graffiti (possibly by notorious street artist Banksy), but makes up with Max when she recalls that she did literally the exact same thing to him. (Cue flashback.)

Dave and Alex realize that being cazsh is the last thing they want. At the episode’s end, they declare their plan to move in together, which everyone else immediately declares an awful idea.

As per usual, the show is littered with oddball cultural references. Max admits to watching too much ‘Frasier’, and Jane has some very strong and out-of-the-blue opinions on recent basketball events. Penny also gets in one of her trademark word derivations, turning “sucks” into “sooks.” SinBrad also makes quite an impression, getting in some exceptional (and exceptionally bad) lines while creeping Jane out completely. It looks like the season is off to a very strong start.


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