Cougar Town-Saving Grace-Christa Miller and Ian Gomez

Last night’s Cougar Town was all about dodgeball. “Saving Grace” focused on Grayson’s beliefs, or lack thereof, and Bobby’s new comrade. Andy started drama that Ellie intended to finish, but it was over once the red balls started to fly.

The Players:

  • Director: Michael McDonald
  • Writers: Blake McCormick
  • Cast: Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, Busy Phillips, Dan Byrd, Josh Hopkins, Ian Gomez, Brian Van Holt, Bon Clendenin, Maria Thayer

Episode Title: “Saving Grace”

Bobby’s new tomboy friend steals his attention away from Travis and Andy. Elsewhere, Grayson sparks a religious debate when Jules’ family prayer rubs him the wrong way. Meanwhile, the Cul-De-Sac Crew forms a dodgeball team, just as Andy gets a new young problem.

The Good:

  •  Pray on It: Society dictates that you should never bring up money, religion, or politics in polite conversation. While we’ve never found the Cul-De-Sac Crew’s interactions courteous, it’s the only reason we can think of for Jules to now discover Grayson’s lack of faith. Luckily, she’s never met an issue she can’t force on her loved ones. Much like her husband demanded support for his dodgeball game. For once Jules got to be the voice of reason, trading participation and fake enthusiasm in Grayson’s favored activities for reverence during prayer time. Without it, we might not have been treated to the opposing team’s unnecessary backflips and Laurie’s colorful cornrows.
  • Real Nightmare: Either Courteney Cox offended the writing staff, or she’s one of the most dedicated comedic actresses on TV. We knew we were in for avian attacks when the title card read, “This episode is funnier if you know that Courteney is terrified of birds.”  The first few seagull scuffles lacked the humor they were meant for— right up until Jules was attacked by a flock on the beach. Her abuse didn’t stop: while in the throes of bird night terrors Jules confessed that with her greatest fear realized, the other was getting pelted in the face with dodgeballs. Courteney’s position on balls to the face is unknown, but we can’t imagine she was excited to take several hits in the name of a joke. 
  • Careful: When Andy spent more than a little time appreciating another woman’s backside, we expected the wrath of Ellie. Especially when that woman turned out to be a 14-year-old girl. Not that Laurie and Ellie let him completely off the hook; his wife’s attention was more focused on the teen. When the youngster says, “Enjoy the view, your husband sure did,” the lines get blurry. Of course all of this stemmed from Ellie’s insecurity over Andy’s dissatisfaction with her new wardrobe. That can happen when you wear something from the sweatpants family every day. After a stern talking to from the 14-year-old’s disappointed mother, Ellie focused on winning back her husband’s eye. Lucky for her, wearing a pair of tights to dodgeball was all it took. 
  • Doppelganger:  We thought Andy and Travis would be more jealous that Bobby’s new friend stole his attention. But when his tomboy pal Riggs—played by guest star Maria Thayer—turned out to be a female Bobby, Travis pointed out something we hadn’t noticed. None of Bobby’s relationships have stemmed from friendship. He and Travis banded together to open Bobby’s eyes. It worked in the end, and as an added bonus we were treated to a makeover montage and the realization that Bobby thinks a doppelganger is code for a private body part. Adding a comedic talent like Thayer to the roster isn’t a bad idea; we hope to see more of her soon.
  • That’s Trump: From now on whenever you think something isn’t cool, feel free to use Donald Trump’s name instead of your usual gripe. When Laurie was faced with uncool situations last night, she figured out a new use for the overexposed real estate magnate’s moniker, and we think it’s catching. We doubt we’ll ever hear it again but here’s hoping you loved it as much as we did.

The So-So:

  • As Mayor: Never mind the show, just remember Andy’s the mayor of Gulfhaven. Apparently he’s been saying, “As mayor,” so much Jules invented a game just to bear it. The last person to touch their nose when the offending phrase is uttered has to crab walk, including the speaker. The next time the words were said—Travis improved the game, causing a flash mob of crab walking Andy impersonators. Even though the game was the kind we crave, basing it off of something they’ve neglected to mention the whole season made it questionable. 

The Quotable:

  • “I’m just gonna go down to the make believe store ‘cause the comfy sexy clothes are right next to the condoms that actually are for her pleasure. I’m on my way.” –Ellie

Overall:

“Saving Grace tested boundaries. Bobby’s new relationship is intriguing, and seeing Jules and Grayson’s conflict resolved was hilarious. We were shocked the show tackled such sensitive subject, and pulled it off without being inappropriate. Having a grown man admire a young girl, even accidentally, makes criticism almost necessary. It was handled with grace and humor, and that’s more than we expected.

Rating: 9.5/10

Cougar Town airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TBS.

What did you think of this episode?