It seems like season two just started, but already it’s over. At least it went out with a “Mandonna” powered bang! The finale also set things up nicely for what’s to come next season.
The Players:

  • Director: Rob Greenberg
  • Writer: Josh Bycel & Leila Strachan
  • Cast: Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Stephen Guarino, Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans Jr., Casey Wilson.

The Plot:

This was all about Derrick and Eric’s wedding, featuring all the gang (minus Jane) in the wedding party. She eventually worms her way in when another member comes down with good poisoning and ends up helping Eric hide his financial woes from Derrick (turns out they blew all their money on the save the dates). This hits close to home for Brad, who has been fired, but was trying to keep it from Jane. She is surprised, but still loves him. Those two will get through anything. Max spends the night feeling insecure, not wanting to perform with his old group, The Mandonnas (but thank goodness he ultimately does) while Penny has broken up with yet another boyfriend of the week.

Alex helps Max get over his insecurity and Dave listens to Brad’s work troubles, but in the end the two ex-fiancées end up holding hands. Innnnteresting.

 

The Good:

Stephen Guarino: this guy (who plays Derrick) is always a welcome edition to the cast and this week, his numerous nicknames for Penny were a lot of fun.

Cheese Love: The Brad and Jane love of fine cheeses continues. I’m not sure why, but this makes me laugh every time.

Max’s Insecurity: He may be slightly heavier than his former Mandonna weight, but Max is at his most loveable when he’s insecure (remember the Valentine’s Day episode?). Alex eventually pumps him up and he gets over it to squeeze into some 80s pants and give a stirring rendition of “Like A Prayer,” but not before we see Adam Pally lick the frosting off a piece of cake.

Boyfriend of the Week Acknowledgment: This got a lot of attention, with everyone betting on how long it’d take Penny to talk about her boyfriend “that we never meet and only hear about through dialogue,” as Max points out. It’s a fun gag, but next season, could be replaced with a more committed relationship, thanks too…

Penny at the Skype Table: Apparently it is now customary to have a Skype Table at real classy weddings for those guests who couldn’t make it. Life of the Party Penny is put there to liven things up, resulting in her wheelchair bound cutie finding a way to get to the wedding to meet her in person. He’s sweet, and just what she needed after the weirdness portion of this week’s episode.

 

The Weird:

Will They/Won’t They: Penny and Dave as a couple has been hinted at before, but this week their “I love you” exchange ends up being nothing more than a catalyst for Alex and Dave to wonder over a Tide-to-Go session if maybe they are finding their way back to each other. They end the episode holding hands in the wings, which is a much better idea than Dave and Penny. Girl can do better than Mr. Steaktanic, but he and Alex somehow feel right. A weird moment for Dave and Penny, but ultimately turns good.

 

The Quotable:

“I haven’t seen anything that unnecessarily complicated since the third season of Lost,” – Jane

“Save the drama for Wilmer Valderrama – Derrick

“Quiet Jane is the scariest Jane” – Penny

“Business center? Fax you, sir!” – Dave

“Elitists. Eating three meals a day instead of one long super meal? It’s disgusting.” – Max

 

Overall:

We got the best of each character tonight: Jane organizing things and taking charge, Brad being supportive and both of them being honest with each other and proving yet again what a great relationship these two characters have; Max feeling insecure and overconfident at the same time (and wearing a Madonna mole), Alex stumbling over idiotic things (“their Brangelina name is ‘Derric!’ Or is it ‘Errick?’) but not sliding into ridiculous territory; Penny finding love in strange places with all sorts of earnestness.

The only real weak link was Dave, who didn’t really have much to do, but the general fun of a wedding episode, as well as Derrick being involved AND a Larry Wilmore sighting (however brief) made for a fun finale. It’s sad to see the show go, but next season should be interesting, with an unemployed Brad, newly in love Penny (here’s hoping) and whatever handholding continues for Dave and Alex.

Rating: 8/10

Happy Endings will be back on ABC this fall.