So the rhythm and feel is back but where exactly was the laughter?  Oh, there were humorously thoughtful lines (“How did Oprah meet Steadman?  No one has that information.”) but none of the subtly hilarity of the seasons best so far, “Mr. Bob’s Toddler Kaleidoscope” and “Birth.”  But like last weeks’ almost failure, funny little life issues were brought to light, like adults engaging in baby talk when there is no baby in sight which, as deplorable as it is, isn’t the most original thing to bring to the table, especially for a burgeoning sitcom.  What then is the glue that holds the show together?

For last night, the glue was the emotion, with a heap of assistance from the amazing and talented guest star Jason Lee.  Within the last few weeks the emotion has been only part of the recipe for success, but this time it was the saving grace.  Ava (Maya Rudolph) never seemed more realistic than when she was insecure about being with yet another flashy douche like her boyfriend Julian (Chris Diamantopoulos) whose “soul sucking skank fest” clubs were as unappealing as his panache for giving away belly chains that reminded him of fireflies lost in the night sky.  Letting Ava baby-sit Amy might seem irresponsible but it might be the most realistic ploy to get a selfish person to bond with the little person that deserves all the attention, as previously entertained in “Cool Neighbors.”  What took center stage was the chemistry between Ava and Super Dad Kevin (guest star Jason Lee).  There coupling is promising on two different horizons:  the prospect of more Jason Lee (c’mon, which one of you didn’t hold a candle for My Name Is Earl, even for the briefest of hours) and the opportunity for Ava to do battle with someone who might easily best her, namely Kevin’s adolescent daughter.

Reagan (Christina Applegate) and Chris’s (Will Arnett) plot was predictable and sort of a repeat of “Working Out  and Working It.”  The focus of that episode was bringing the sexy back into Reagan’s wardrobe, but are we to believe that the end result of bringing the sexy back was not, you know, sex?  As far fetched as that might seem we were willing to grasp onto the straws of that as a possibility, but the over the top awkward dialogue was just too much this go round.  Applegate and Arnett have a knack for firing lines back and forth between each other like the seasoned pros they are, with and an infinite amount of quirks, but the overachieving battle of sex over share they played with the concierge at their hotel was so uncomfortable and it was almost unbearable to watch.  The goal was to make the concierge uncomfortable, not the eager viewer people.  Their crashing of the high-school homecoming dance was cute, even if it wasn’t the least bit unique.  Still, their final moments of the show, in bed relishing the eight hour of uninterrupted sleep before quickly congratulating each other for having sex was a fleeting moment of redemption.

Everything still works, but it just doesn’t seem like everything is working together.  Sometimes it feels like we expect to much out of a band new show, and maybe it being helmed by two veterans makes everyone expect more but don’t give up yet, because we certainly aren’t.