Happy Endings-The Ballad of Lon Sarofsky-Rob Corddry and Casey Wilson

Happy Endings returned last night after a brief interlude. “The Ballad of Los Sarofsky” gave Rob Corddry a chance to spread his wings as the Car Czar, and “Un-Sabotagable” saw the return of Max’s enviable arch-rival Chase, played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. One’s return was celebrated, while the other was lackluster.

The Players:

  • Director: Fred Goss and Tristram Shapeero
  • Writers: Jackie Clarke and Gil Ozeri  and Jonathan Fener
  • Cast: Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans Jr., Casey Wilson, Rob Corddry, Drew Droege, Andy Gala, Kailan Whitaker, Mark-Paul Gosselar, Matt Braunger, Christopher Michael

Episode Title: “The Ballad of Lon Sarofsky/Un-Sabotagable”

Penny’s shocking rebound with the Car Czar doesn’t sit well with her roommates, Brad and Jane. Later, Max’s nemesis returns to exact his revenge only to realize that Max’s life is too pathetic to hurt. While Max attempts to get his life together, Alex tries to make use of her arsenal of coupons.

The Good:

  • Lon Sarofsky: Penny’s fling with the Car Czar rested on the laurels of several well place salutations (“Byieeeeee!”). There was the repeated use of their elongated ums and fake retching; Penny, Brad, and Jane have perfected those sounds so much that they feel like plot devices. But until the Czar overheard Penny’s impetuous declaration of their mating as love instead of the sex stupor it was, the story was coasting towards mediocrity. Jane’s bosses immediate embrace of Penny’s overblown admission was the turnaround. The moment elicited the same reaction from us as it did Brad and Jane. There’s the simultaneous need to slow clap and scream in horror. Plus, the possibility their union would blossom and torture us all. 

The So-So:

  • Super Gay: Using Dave and Alex as Max’s pageant coaches was the only pairing that made sense; only those two would think a $1000 cash prize in the Mr. Super Gay Chicago competition is a substitute for getting a job. Besides introducing “sch-morons,” into our Happy Endings lexicon, the contest seemed like a free pass to laugh at phrases like, “Queer he is, Mr. Super Gay Chicago,” and, “Gay down, gay down, super gay down.” Max performed “I Got You Babe”, splitting himself down the middle a la Victor Victoria. We wouldn’t call it lip synching, but his half Sonny, half Japanese street girl/Lady Gaga/futuristic Cher gyrating won the night and a small part of our hearts.
  • The Enemy of Our Dreams: Mark-Paul Gosselar’s much anticipated return as Chase fell victim to predictability.  Chase’s assertion that Max’s life is too pathetic to wreck caused Max to enlist Jane’s help to make his existence worthwhile. His immediate success—snagging a job and saving someone’s life— prompted him and Jane to transform him back into a slovenly lay about, believing Chase to be the root of his triumphs. Two things saved this plot from complete ruin: the punch Jane gave Max that made him want to put a baby in her, and Chase’s passionate hatred of him.  His cold glare and firm denouncement of any joy the afterlife could bring was ensured his return. Like the gang, we’d rather stare into his blinding cool than live without it.

The Bad:

  • Bad Relations: Not to beat the same drum, but why must Dave and Alex stay together? They always make up, but most of their reunions have been filled with overblown misunderstandings and out and out battles. As if their war over Max’s pageant wasn’t enough “Un-Sabotagable” had them working against each other again. Alex attempted to redeem all of her unused Groupons to win a swim with the dolphins, while Dave and Penny thwarted her as best they could.  Eventually they made up by synchronizing their injuries on a muddy obstacle course, causing Dave to voice the thought, “Perhaps there’s a downside to having two impulsive people in a relationship.”  Whenever a character so clearly outlines an issue, it tends to mean it will be addressed. They only have a week left to end this romantic folly or finally justify this constant problem.

The Quotable:

  • “I am going to host a no pressure double dinner date for you and Sean at our place and like five out of five frat guys I’m not going to take no for an answer.” —Jane
  • “He’s brash and old school like Don Draper with twice the drinking and half the hair.” —Penny
  • “Speaking of fat, here’s Max Bloom.” —Host of Mr. Super Gay Chicago
  • “Please maternity leave is for hippies.” —Jane
  • “Now we gotta go to Tampa every year. Tampa’s not a place that you go, it’s a place you end up.” —Dave
  • “No thanks to you I’m still unemployed and my ex-wife is engaged to my brother. I’d kill myself but guess who has to give a toast at their wedding. “—Chase
  • “Yeah, you’ve got lots of bad areas, you’re like the Oakland of gay guys.” —Jane
  • “I don’t know where you fall on the existence of an afterlife, but I’m here to tell you, there is another place. It’s a spiritual realm ruled by powerful yet merciful beings. I was there Max, and I was headed for sweet eternal peace, but then I realized I could not transcend to the next plane until I took care of the unfinished business of this world. The unfinished business of ruining your life. It was you. I came back for you. I have looked deep into the abyss of the next world and it is beautiful, but before I make that pilgrimage I will stop at nothing to lay waste to what you so tragically call your life.” —Chase

Overall:

“The Ballad of Lon Sarofsky” and “Un-Sabotagable” were both riddled with problems. As much as we love Rob Corddry’s brash portrayal of the Car Czar, it might be better to see it in small doses. Predictability and the perils of Dave and Alex’s coupling are reoccurring problems. But they still manage to surprise us. And we’re still trying to work out whether that The New Normal reference was a compliment or a dig.

Rating: 6.5/10

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

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