Cougar Town-Don't Fade On Me-Busy Phillips and Dan Byrd

Cougar Town‘s hour-long finale brought a change we’ve been waiting all season to see. “Don’t Fade On Me” gave us Travis and Laurie’s first encounter as a couple, while ”Have Love Will Travel” featured the gang and an ailing Chick’s visit to Hollywood.

The Players:

  • Director: John Putch
  • Writers: Melody Derloshon and Blake McCormick/ Mary Fitzgerald and Peter Saji
  • Cast: Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, Busy Phillips, Dan Byrd, Josh Hopkins, Ian Gomez, Brian Van Holt, Bon Clendenin, Ken Jenkins, Tippi Hedren, Maria Thayer, Shirley Jones

Episode Title: “Don’t Fade On Me/Have Love Will Travel”

Jules takes her father to the doctor as Travis and Laurie go on their first date. Elsewhere, Bobby realizes what Dog Travis is all about: food. Later, the Cul-De-Sac Crew takes Chick to Hollywood when his medical issues come to light, while Laurie and Travis attempt their first kiss.

The Good:

  • Fate is Real: Laurie and Travis’ first date passed without any fanfare but their attempt to kiss spanned 45 minutes. For the majority of the second episode, it seemed like they would decide to just be friends. But Laurie is one of the few women that would find Travis’ creepy stalker green screened kiss a turn on. 
  • It’s Not Old Timers: Ann’s mention of her friend Colon Cancer Guy’s funeral sent Jules to a bad place. After Grayson proved he’s finally learned how to survive in marriage—“Is it something wine can solve?”—he and Jules get Chick to the doctor for an overdue checkup. He didn’t make it easy. Chick’s attempt to disappear in a sea of elderly people forced Grayson into a horrible Clint Eastwood impression. Luckily, old folks value Werther’s candies, so they finally made it to the appointment. Chick had already been in for a full work up a month earlier, but forgot because he’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. This is significant for two reasons: the doctor that delivered the prognosis was a minor character on Scrubs and the illness could mean more Chick in our future. 
  • Never Forget: Making her father’s Tippi Hedren fantasy come true was worth Jules baring her breasts in a film.  Though we did take issue with that bus tour. We can spot a paltry excuse to cross-promote Conan when we see one.  Exploiting Andy’s heritage to find Tippi through The Latin Connection went a long way to remind everyone that Andy is Hispanic.
  • Playboy Revised: As if watching Grayson get pummeled for breaking Big Lou (Rest in Pieces) wasn’t enough, he introduced us to a new facet of his character. It’s easy to believe a narcissist like him would crave the adulation of the masses. His ridiculous Italian accent and need to be chosen by anyone was a funny way to balance out his frequent displays of confidence. 
  • Change Approved: Ellie and Jules’ quest to change the meanings of commonly used phrases has created a lexicon that only they can decipher. Because it’s hard to hold a bunch of cakes and walk, difficult tasks are called “a cake walk.”  When things have a slim chance they rarely happen, so fat chance now means it definitely will. When someone is in a funk, you have to slap them out of it. Since infants wake up often, a bad night of rest is now called sleeping like a baby.  Getting beat up is never fun, so all terrible things are now kick ass. If you’re confused try to remember these definitions come from a woman who thought La Brea was pronounced labia, and believed LGBT was short for a lettuce, guacamole, bacon and tomato sandwich.

The So-So:

  • Doggone It: It really wasn’t necessary to break Bobby’s spirit by revealing Dog Travis will love anyone with food.  Ellie’s constant mission to ruin any and everyone’s day made for a good excuse, but somehow robbing him of love from a pet seemed overly cruel. Maybe we just took issue with the story because it wasn’t funny? At least it confirmed that Riggs is still in his life. Without her, the entire plot would have amounted to nothing more than the admission that the Ba-homies, Andy and Bobby, unknowingly recreated the clay scene from Ghost.

The Bad:

  • Everyone Cares: Usually when someone (read: Jules) takes a dig at a pop culture institution such as The Wire, someone corrects their misguided slander. But when Bobby expressed his disappointment about the HBO juggernaut, no one spoke up for it. Who cares about The Wire Bobby? Everybody!

The Quotable:

  • Laurie: “And for the record, I wore underwear tonight so you would think I was classy. Travis: “No you didn’t.” Laurie: “I didn’t. Turns out I don’t actually own any.”
  • Ellie: “I know. I’d be so much better a husband than you. You’re lucky you have a penis.” Ellie: “Yeah, they’re pretty cool.”
  • “He’s not going to talk about it, but we’re pretty sure he did stuff for money.”—Jules

Overall:

For the most part, the season ended on the successful note it started with. Although, we would have preferred not to wait until the end to see our relationship dreams come true. But things are improving. Bobby has a girlfriend, Andy’s mayor, and the newlyweds are in a good place. Hopefully, next year we’ll get another peek at Grayson’s daughter.  And until then, bababooey!

Rating: 8.5/10

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

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