Last night, Happy Endings hit its first sour note of the season. “Sabado Free-Gante” had all the elements of a good episode, but some story lines were lacking. For a show that’s normally funnier than most, it still managed to cause a few giggles. So what didn’t work?

The Players:

  • Director: Stuart McDonald
  • Writers: Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener
  • Cast: Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans Jr., Casey Wilson, Rachael Harris, Rob Corddry

Episode Title: “Sabado Free-Gante”

A real estate agent becomes annoyed by Dave and Alex’s inability to commit to an apartment. Jane uses her powers of negotiation to secure a new car for Penny, while Max teaches Brad how to make the most of his weekend — for free.

The Good:

  • Marionette Jacksons: The tiny taste of Halloween they gave us just wasn’t enough. Easily the best thing about the group’s gag was their collective hate for LaToya, also known as Dave. The words, “LaToya should always shut up,” never sounded so sweet. It’s not too far-fetched to think that at one time every red-blooded American has wondered why LaToya’s so stupid. Thank goodness the writers gave us that great Halloween tidbit. Too bad they didn’t turn it into a whole holiday themed episode.
  • Tiegan Arrowspear: The most entertaining plot of the night goes to Jane and Penny, by a lot. Watching Jane as the negotiator was the most gratifying character development of the episode. The montage was key because anytime you can afford to waste a few minutes with music and silliness, you should. Watching Jane breakdown the Car Czar’s tactics was the highlight; the prison pacing and pushups were hilarious. Yet again,  Jane manages to be the funniest of the episode

The So-So:

  • Sabado Free-Gante: Just the idea of Max teaching Brad how to live life on the poor side was funny enough to carry this episode. The situations were somewhat predictable; running from a big angry man for exercise and someone mistaking a character for a homeless person has been seen before. Their shopping trip to the bank and the sheer hilarity of their coupling was enough to make this work. But in the future, the writers should stay away from cliched sitcom hijinks. Never knowing what will happen is one of the reasons we’ve fallen in love with Happy Endings.

The Bad:

  • Stupid Hearts: Alex and Dave’s journey to find an apartment had all the ingredients for hilarity. Being partial to dial-up internet, chicken fighting, and a place that’s close and far from a hardware store should have made their scenes hilarious.  For some reason, these characters don’t play off each other well. Normally, either Dave or Alex are the butt of the group’s jokes, when paired they cancel each other out. Whatever the reason, the writers need to figure it out. Watching them together is more excruciating than amusing.

The Quotable:

  • “It’s Shia LaBeouf-y. Too Shia LaBeouf-y.”

Overall:

Maybe the folks behind Happy Endings were trying to rise above the need for a holiday themed episode.  That’s the only reason they would brush off a night that was made for their shenanigans. Talk about a missed opportunity.

Rating: 6/10

Happy Endings airs Tuesday nights at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.

What did you think of this episode?