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Rustic meets Sparkly

Boy, it felt like I barely had enough time to digest what had previously gone down before a whole ‘nother episode swung round to raise the stakes even higher, ending Season Three on quite the unexpected note.

Let’s get right into it. Tessa’s (Jane Levy) nasty hallway brawl with Dalia (Carly Chaikin) has left nothing but turmoil and chaos in its wake. Actually, I take that back, Dalia managed to procure herself quite a fabulous bedazzled eye-patch/neck brace combo that will be this season’s must have for any fashionable invalid or insurance frauder, but aside from that little gleaming kernel, things aint good in Chatswin.

Tessa has moved out of George’s house and set up shop in the one place where she feels totally comfortable- the corner stall of the ladies room at Chatswin High. It might not sound very glamorous, but hey, she can’t stay with Lisa (Allie Grant) and her family (for obvious reasons), and her grandmother doesn’t have the room for her (more on that later). And besides, she somehow manages to cram a large twin bed in there, finds a way to procure herself three square meals a day from the vending machines (though where exactly does artificial cheese paste fall on the food pyramid?), and even receives the occasional ambiance-boost from the top-40 sounds drifting out of the auditorium when the school holds dances.

And lucky for Tessa, the tunes are about to be poppin’, because Sheila’s (Ana Gasteyer) planning the biggest event to hit the halls of Chatswin since Homecoming. It ‘s called The Father Daughter Purity Ball, and just like the rest of those creepy Christian cotillions in which teen girls pledge their virginity to their fathers in front of every other over-attached/slightly delusional parent in the community, this one will be packed to the rafters. Fortunately, Sheila’s own daughter, Lisa (Allie Grant), while not exactly prom queen, will be the bell of this ball.

That’s because she’s supposedly got an intact hyman, a shiny white wedding-style dress, and a mother who has actually convinced herself that her teenage daughter has not been intimate with the boyfriend she’s had for over a year. Well, guess what Sheila? Not only has Lisa lost her V-card, but she’s also ditched the groping and bases of awkward teenage sex for the passionate mature love-making of Danielle Steele novels. Naturally mom’s dreams are quickly shattered when the truth is revealed, but hey, at least Fred (Chris Parnell) commends his daughter for choosing, in Malik (Maestro Harrell), such a tender lover.

It’s a good thing that like any good multitasker, Sheila’s got other ongoing projects to take her mind off things. But when the supposedly “pure” tween girls that she’s also  taken under her wing prove to be just as wonton as Lisa, corrupted by Nicki Minaj and booty-popping videos, she is given no choice but to devote her full energy to her Real Estate practice and number one client, Mr. George Altman (Jeremy Sisto). And God knows, Altman needs all the help he can get!

Abandoned by his angry daughter, George is left to proceed forward with the move supported only by his new family, the Royce’s. But even their allegiance is not without its fair share of drama… Daddy Royce (Jay Mohr) is back from Singapore with Wan-er (and her cute little fascinator top hat) in toe and he doesn’t want any new man infringing on his parental rights. Yes, much like a Beamer, pimp golf clubs, or a manicured lawn, Dalia is a status symbol to her father, and he doesn’t want any other man trying to claim ownership of any of his prized trophies. This means no Father Daughter Purity Ball for George and Dalia even though the seemingly up-to-no-good teen implores her new step-dad to take her. It also means that another Chatswin brawl ensues as the two men take turns attempting to cold cock one another until Dallas (Cheryl Hines) and Dalia separate them.

Alas, all of this brawling slowly leads to what many would say is the inevitable; George and Dallas break up. That doesn’t mean though that it isn’t devastating, especially for George as he has just bought Dallas her dream home, one outfitted with a custom leather living room and a wrought iron-enclosed, crystal chandelier that Dallas had said reminded her of their opposites attract love story.

Well, now we know why Bed Bath & Beyond doesn’t advertise that particular home decorating scheme; apparently it just doesn’t work. After months of putting on a brave face, Dallas can simply no longer pretend that all of the upheaval, not to mention George’s creepy fixation with his deadbeat ex, haven’t taken their toll. She’s convinced that he’s managed to talk himself into loving her, much like he has with this new house and its flashy design scheme. Thus it was her who invited her ex back to town as she could sense the deepening crevasse between George and herself, and didn’t want Dalia getting any more attached to him.

It broke my heart to see the eternal optimist so clearly distraught (please somebody… anybody…, give Cheryl Hines a freaking Emmy Nomination!!!), but at least she looked beautiful in a particularly body hugging Herve Leger dress while doing so.  And, it appears that though her desperate measures may be too late, her fears for her daughter are unwarranted. Contrary to Tessa’s suspicions, the misunderstood teen isn’t using Daddy Altman to make her own father jealous. Dalia really does feel connected to George, a man who actually lavishes time rather than just money on her. Lucky for her, George has a big empty house that he’s just closed on and now, no one to share it with. Perhaps Dalia’s request to simply spend the night will turn into a more permanent thing, but if not, he’s always got the massive orphaned mutt that wanders into his new yard to keep him company and provide a little much-needed male energy.

As for Tessa. she’s finally moved out of the school toilet after sharing one last moment with Ryan Shay (Parker Young). Actually, it’s more than just a moment, it’s the sweetest devirginization since Donna Martin finally gave it up to David Silver, but alas it does not lead to reconciliation. Instead, it sends our heroine wandering out on the streets of Chatswin, desperate to get anywhere but here. Especially after Grandma said no to her moving in because she’s got a middle-aged entitled deadbeat brat of a daughter to take care of in the form of Tessa’s own mother, Alex (Malin Ackerman). Yes folks, she’s back from Berlin, living in Chatswin, and ready to slowly reenter her daughter’s life, again. I’m not exactly sure how she plans to do this, especially when it’s Tessa who spots her and tracks her down at the train station, but the montage at the end of the episode, set to Jeremy Sisto’s sweetly paternal rendition of the show’s theme song, makes it clear that Tessa doesn’t mind. Apparently the two are moving in together and about to seriously make up for some lost time.

Will Malin Ackerman join the cast as Alex?

Do we even want her weaseling her way back into Tessa’s life?

Will this new caring and feeling side of Dalia stick?

Will George and Dallas get back together?

I guess will have to wait until the Fall for our answers!