Happy Endings-She Got Game Night-Adam Pally, Seth Morris, Nick Zano, Casey Wilson, Damon Wayans, Jr., and Eliza Coupe

On Happy Endings ”She Got Game Night,” Penny and Pete redefine their relationship, while “The Storm Before The Calm” deals with the fallout. Also, each half hour had Dave, Alex, and Max wrestling with new careers. 

The Players:

  • Director: Kyle Newacheck
  • Writers: Brian Gallivan/Prentice Penny
  • Cast: Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans, Jr., Casey Wilson, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Nick Zano, Rose Abdoo, Seth Morris, Rafi Silver, Stephen Guarino, Ehab Elgharabawy, Olivia Peritore, Todd Rohrbacher

Episode Title: “She Got Game Night/The Storm Before The Calm”

Things get out of hand at Jane and Brad’s couples game night, while Alex and Dave see a psychic. Later, Penny writes a play to deal with her latest upheaval and asks Derrick’s theater group to put it on. Elsewhere, Max and Alex take advantage of an opportunity from a marketing company.

The Good:

  • Ready, Set, Breakup: Is anyone surprised that Penny’s relationship with Pete didn’t pan out? Their engagement after a brief courtship looked like a dead end, especially since there’s nothing remarkable about Pete. We were hoping for another wedding day debacle, but considering that’s how the series started they made the right choice. They were in sync for couples game night. We expected the Kerkovitch-Williams’ to dominate, but seeing them lose was even better, particularly when Jane shouted insults at Brad while declaring her everlasting love in hushed tones. Rounding out the evening was Max’s touching speech for the newly single Penny.
  • Please Come Again: If you’ve yet watch Go On, Seth Morris’ guest spot on “She Got Game Night” was a peek at what you’ve been missing. His role as Scotty, Max’s straight friend was the perfect addition to the group. His obsessive American status (read: stalker) made him the perfect partner for his victim/friend. But tweaking his nipples while faux lip reading and robbing the house during the joint booty spank made him a thief we want to see again. His best moment was when he silently crept to the bathroom, stole all the medications,and tip toed out. He was completely unfazed by the three people inches away witnessing it all. 
  • Black Plague: Penny’s obliviousness to her play being about her breakup unfolded predictably. Believing her hero Cleat was not about the guilt she felt over Pete allowed her to ignore her friend’s warnings and continue the production. Of course, she had an emotional breakdown on stage, forcing her friends to lead her back to sanity. Dave’s belief that writing a theater critique consists of rhyming the title with an insult really stuck with us. Having Derrick around is always a pleasure, mainly because he’s the only one that could make, “I love you, you’re the worst,” sound endearing and scathing. Plus, the Penny pile on was flawless; “Stupid clumsy bitch,” is filling the void, “ahmahzing,” left.

The So-So:

  • Ghosts and Psychics: For once we didn’t totally hate Alex and Dave’s solo story. Though Dave not consulting his live-in girlfriend on whether to accept a new job didn’t win us over. It pointed to the reason we hate them together. They just don’t click. Alex led Dave to the realization that he wanted to keep his truck, but he attributed it to his nonexistent psychic abilities. Oddly enough, that’s the part we liked best, especially when he predicted Penny and Jane’s return to Rosalita’s at the close of the episode. He probably spotted her purse and figured they’d have to come back. Elisha Cuthbert played up the shock and amazement enough to make the scene count. 
  • Gorilla Madness: Max and Alex’s attempt to become tastemakers started off well. The thought of eating super chicken, almond sweat, pretzel cheese, and falafel paste is as disturbing as it is intriguing. Max has a tendency to jump into everything without thinking and Alex thinks Jane buys all the cars at her dealership before she sells them. But when Jane explained they were being scammed, the story stopped there. There was no angst, no payback, and no resolution of any kind. This just felt unfinished.

The Quotable:

  • “And I could review your finances without becoming aroused. Aw, who am I kidding, I had me at review.” —Brad
  • Alex: “Oh no, do not lump me in with this bull corn, ghosts are real just like warlocks and doulas. I am on the fence about chupacabras. I’m not saying they’re real, I’m not saying they’re not.  whispers) They’re real.” Penny: “Do you even know what on the fence means?” Alex: “Huh?”
  • “Winner’s win and losers lose and alcoholics they just booze. They win at drinking that’s their thing but our thing’s always just winning. We’re Brad and Jane let’s start the game. “‘Sup suckas.” —Jane and Brad in unison
  • “Hey forget-tti and meatballs, Jason Bourne called, he says he remembers more stuff than you.” —Jane
  • Penny: “I wrote a play.” Max: “Well, I guess I’ll go back to my theater viewing roots and I’ll sleep through your play.” Penny: “Awe, you’ll come, thank you!” Max: “Awe you didn’t realize I was trying to insult you.” Penny: “You can’t insult me because I know that beneath your soft exterior is an even softer interior.” Max: “Soft…exterior?” Penny: “You got them thangs, everybody knows that.” Max: “Oh.” Dave: “Awe.” Alex: “Is this the play?”
  • “Ugh! You and your ability to read.” —Alex
  • “If that’s a recorder you don’t have to tell yourself not to forget it.  You’re already doing that.” —Max
  • “You’re no better than Bernie Madoff, or that guy who invented earth day.” —Jane

Overall:

“She Got Game Night” began with Max’s screams to “Get the candy!” —they finally broke that piñata, and the random passerby’s tires they used to do it. “The Storm Before The Calm” ended with the equally lovable, “The black plague will rise again, spread around town and find a man.” Both episodes were grounded in hilarity, but neither was perfect. Dropping the ball on the side plots is never a good idea. We know they can and will deliver a well rounded hour of comedy.

Rating: 8/10

Happy Endings airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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