Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Trophy Wife 1.06: "Halloween"

“I love trick-or-treating with him so much! It’s, like, 30 percent of why I adopted him!”

It’s pretty obvious given the title, but this was “Trophy Wife’s” first Halloween episode. I really, really enjoyed it. The episode included two Halloween plots that I have never really seen done before, and since I do Halloween Classic Recaps every year here at MTVP (and Halloween is my favorite holiday), I’ve become sort of a Halloween television episode connoisseur. This also was the first episode of “Trophy Wife” that really made me laugh. I know it’s a sitcom, so laughs are probably to be expected, but “Trophy Wife” hasn’t actually made me laugh all that much until now. The Kate and Jackie antics in this episode were genuinely funny, though. I think it’s worth noting that this episode was the first to really pair up Kate and Jackie. I think it’s something the creative team should do more often (hint hint).

Halloween is a big deal in the Jackie and Bert branch of the “Trophy Wife” extended family. It’s Jackie’s favorite holiday, so she’s worked very hard over the years to create Halloween tradition memories with Bert. At one point she tells Kate that the prospect of Trick-or-Treating with Bert was “30 percent” of why she adopted him. At this point, I started to worry if I will be like Jackie if I have kids. My mom is pretty crunchy granola like Jackie is (although with significantly less crazy), and some of that has rubbed off on me. I also, as I already mentioned, love me some Halloween. Anyway, Jackie makes Bert’s Halloween costume every year, of course, but Bert is very disappointed with the Iron Man costume Jackie has made this year. She had no clue about the superhero Iron Man of “Avengers” fame. She thought Bert meant a man who irons clothing. Kate saves the day by informing Jackie about the real Iron Man and offering to go to the store to get Bert the right costume.

Meanwhile, Pete, Warren, Hillary, and Diane are all at Pete and Kate’s house. Warren just had dental surgery, so Diane is there to help take care of him and make sure he doesn’t take too many pain killers. Diane’s a pretty sadistic woman, scheduling her son for dental surgery on Halloween and then not letting him take much in the way of meds. Despite Diane’s close monitoring, Warren is still pretty well drugged up, which is mildly funny. Diane and Pete’s Halloween costumes (for handing out Trick-or-Treat candy) are both pretty clever, by the way. Diane is a “gargoyle,” but she really looks more like a Weeping Angel from “Doctor Who.” It’s pretty creepy, really. I was expecting somebody to make a “Don’t blink” joke, but I don’t think it ever happened. Pete was a hung jury, with twelve dolls hanging from his sweater. The running gag was that nobody understood the costume or found it funny, but as a lawyer myself, I found it pretty darn hilarious.

Kate goes to a big costume store to get Bert’s costume, which one might think is a fool’s errand on Halloween. Kate, however, thinks she knows how to charm her way to the front of the line. After a few false starts (a gay couple and a couple of “straight-edges”) Kate finally hits pay dirt with a couple of teenage boys. Some cash and a really awkward hug later, and Kate has a sweet spot in line. When Kate triumphantly brings the costume back to Jackie’s house, Jackie tries to take some of the credit for it. Bert sees right through that, though, and he asks Kate to go Trick-or-Treating with him instead of Jackie. Kate, I think, deep down knows this is probably a bad idea because it’s hurtful to Jackie, but she’s excited about the chance to parent Bert. She teaches Bert about how plan his route to get the best candy haul, but they don’t have much time to implement the plan before they run into Jackie. Jackie and Kate then start arguing, which leads Bert to run off.

Pete starts to go a bit off the rails when he thinks he recognizes the voice of a particular Trick-or-Treater. He thinks this kid egged his house and mooned him last year. Diane and the kids think Pete is nuts, but Pete is intent on justice. He takes the kid’s candy and refuses to give it back unless the kid confesses to being the person who egged the house. Pete seems to have more evidence when he finds a carton of eggs in the kid’s backpack, but there’s a mildly plausible cover story. The kid realizes that he’s not going to be leaving any time soon, so he starts trying to mess with Pete. First, he has a still drugged Warren egg the house (hoping to deflect some blame from himself). Then he flirts with Hillary and gets her to give him so candy (she does this more to piss off Pete than because she’s interested in the kid). The final straw, however, is when Pete asks to see the kid’s ass to know if he has a teletale birthmark. Diane thinks (rightfully) that this is completely inappropriate, and the puts an end to the shenanigans. The joke’s on Diane, though. As the kid leaves the house, he moons everybody and proves that yes, he was who Pete thought he was.

Meanwhile, Kate and Jackie start frantically searching for Bert. It’s a really interesting exploration of the dynamic between Kate and Jackie. Most of the time up until now, we’ve mostly seen Kate and Diane sparring over matters related to Warren and Hillary. We haven’t seen much of what Jackie thinks of Kate becoming part of the family. It turns out that Jackie doesn’t like it much. She’s got a whole heaping helping of jealousy. I hope we see more of this character pairing going forward. Anyway, after a funny bit where both Kate and Jackie each find a kid dressed as Iron Man who isn’t Bert, Kate finally makes a breakthrough. She remembered Bert ogling cotton candy earlier in the evening, so when a kid walks by with some, she asks where he got it. Bert is indeed at the cotton candy house, safe and sound. He’s not upset, he just decided to implement the Trick-or-Treating strategy Kate taught him. The lady who owns the house congratulates Kate and Jackie on the recent Supreme Court decision (striking down the Defense of Marriage Act). Jackie has no clue what she’s talking about, which Kate (and I) find pretty funny.

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