Tessa vs. Dalia

I have a sneaky suspicion that the two back–to-back episodes that aired tonight, though heavily hyped as Suburgatory’s one-hour season finale, were simply ABC’s way of ending the show a week early. No matter though, because each half hour delivered the goods.

At the start of the evening, Tessa (Jane Levy) is still reeling from her very recent, very public breakup from Ryan Shay (Parker Young). Lucky for us all though, it doesn’t stop her from devoting hours upon hours to discovering Dalia Royce’s (Carly Chaikin) biggest weaknesses and using them to destroy the girl. It might sound a bit out of character for the usual peacemaker, but Dalia has thrown Tessa nothing but serious shade from day one. Now, she’s ran her mouth off and convinced Ryan that Tessa didn’t really love him, leading to the infamous breakup. And to make matters worse, she’s sending her blonde minions to do her dirty work for her, shaming Ms. Altman at school, and then taking back any sentimental vestiges of her first serious relationship, like the letterman jacket that Ryan gave to her.

Don’t count Tessa out though, because she’s got a posse of her own. Well, maybe not a posse, but she does have Lisa Shay (Allie Grant). You can always count on the quirky sidekick to swoop in to comfort her bestie with a little lady-love (politely declined in this case) or a slammin mix of herself meowing to the hits of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Bonnie Tyler- yes! Vanessa Williams- Hell yes! But Lisa, no Roxette? What gives??? I tease because I love, although I do wish that the quirky Shay brought as much do-diligence to her revenge plots, because that notary public, 25-year plan needs a bit of forward momentum, to say the least.

No worries, in the end, Tessa decides to solve this nagging problem like she’s the newest member of the Bad Girls Club, beating Dalia Royce to a bloody pulp. It all starts when the always-congenial Queen Bee chucks a red bull at her enemy’s head in the middle of the school hallway. Truthfully, I thought that stuff was liquid gold to teenagers, but hey, when you got to hit a bitch, you got to hit a bitch. What ensues is one of the best girlfights since Buffy first met Faith 15+ years ago (God, I’m old).

We’re talking mop sticks twirled Capoeira-style and actual punches connecting with faces. Ms. Royce acquits herself nicely, but it’s Tessa who wipes the floor with her nemesis, or more appropriately with her nemesis’s fake eyelashes and blonde extensions which she so unceremoniously rips off the girl’s head before Mr. Wolfe (Rex Lee) can break up the fight. Silly me, I thought all suburban white girls did was spread rumors and give dirty looks, but way to keep it gangsta, ladies! That fight was badass!

George (Jeremy Sisto) and Dallas (Cheryl Hines) might not have found it as enjoyable though. Now that Sheila’s (Ana Gasteyer) applied her usual assiduity to her new role as George’s house broker, the Altman homestead has been sold and two weeks remain until the closing. That means that George and Dallas have to find a new place together, pack his old house, and, oh yeah, tell their sworn enemy daughters, who just went Naomi on each other, that they’re about to be roomies and sisters. Unaware of exactly how bad things are, but realizing how difficult it can be to blend families, the parents decide to divide and conquer, each breaking the news to the other’s kid.

In this case, George gets the long end of the stick as he gets to talk to a much more receptive Dalia. Actually, he gets to chauffer her from school to her next desired location, while she feeds him deceitful pleasantries about her love of his daughter and how excited she is about the move. Though as duplicitous and entitled as she may be, at least she knows how to tip the help.

Unfortunately for Dallas, her time with Tessa isn’t nearly as successful. It starts out well enough with the former Mrs. Royce taking her new potential step-daughter to the perfect place to distract her from her broken heart, Zitizone. Ladies,who needs a man, or self-esteem for that matter, when you can just carb-load and shove those feeling down your throat like they’re a particularly cheesy roll of cannelloni? You’d think the carb coma would assuage Tessa, but our girl’s angry, and no amount of tagliatelli can get her on board the Dalia bus. Tessa might get along with her foe’s mother, but she makes it quite clear to Dallas that her daughter is the devil and this Brady Bunch won’t be living together anytime soon.

Little does Tessa know though that her dad’s been reading Sheila Shay’s child-rearing books, which encourage parents to basically be despotic tyrants rather than perceptive friends (I think there’s gotta be more of a middle gound). After weeks of tiptoeing around it, he finally decides its time to lay down the law and make his willful daughter get in line. While it’s not necessarily a bad idea in theory, after the week and fight Tessa’s just had, perhaps he should have waited a bit longer. The sullen teen is of course completely unamenable to the change, and wants out. She gives her dad the ultimatum of choosing either her or the Royce’s, and unfortunately, George chooses the Royce’s.

In other, more positive news, after conspicuously stalking Dr. Bob (Todd Louiso) and Carmen (Bunnie Rivera) all episode, Noah Werner (Alan Tudyk) finally gets to live out a revenge scenario of his own. It helps that the back-stabbing Psychiatrist doesn’t really have any common sense and after confronting Noah, agrees to sit in his dentist’s chair for a cleaning. Would I allow myself to be strapped down in a confined place while my stalker uses sharp objects in my mouth? Perhaps not, but then again I’m not Dr. Bob. Anyway, it’s a good thing that the moron does, because despite dropping a few pearls of wisdom on his self-centered former client concerning the power of actually listening to women, he gets what he deserves in the form of  a jack-o-lantern smile that’ll make him a big hit at Twilight screenings and unfortunately nowhere else.