Saturday, January 11, 2014

Trophy Wife 1.11: "The Big 5-0"

“Early on in our relationship, I told you about all the skeletons in my closet. I have been married twice. I have three children. My grandfather was a horse thief. And I hate my birthday.”

While I wouldn’t put it among my favorite episodes, “The Big 5-0” had its entertaining moments, and I found the character combinations between the three plots to be interesting. Kate tries to help Pete celebrate his 50th birthday, even though he thinks the day is “cursed,” Diane and Jackie take opposite approaches to trying to figure out a gift for Pete from the kids, and the kids themselves have their own adventure related to an unusual gift Pete receives from a client. I’m 30, just like Kate, and I’ve definitely experienced that moment of “is it okay to be comfortable with being older,” although not nearly to the extent of Kate. I’ve always been more of a homebody, so not being able to handle nights out as well anymore doesn’t really throw me that much, because it never happened often to begin with!

Anyway, like I already said, this episode is about Pete’s birthday. The episode opens with Pete, Kate, and the kids celebrating the birthday with cake, however the celebration we’re seeing is actually the night before Pete’s true birthday. Pete enumerates some of the terrible birthdays he has had in the past (like being in a coma or getting mugged), and it sort of turns into a game where somebody names a year, and Pete immediately has an example of a horrible thing that happened on that birthday. The next morning, Kate acts as if she’s going to honor Pete’s request for no celebration, but as soon as he leaves for work, Meg arrives with gifts. Kate’s got a pretty elaborate celebration planned after all, because 50 is too important a birthday not to celebrate.

Kate arrives at Pete’s office dressed in nothing but a trench coat, which she kind of regrets once she realizes that there are other people in Pete’s office with him. They go out for lunch, which Kate says is “phase one” of her three phase birthday plan. Unfortunately, they get stopped by a cop, and Pete’s license is expired. The curse begins to rear his ugly head. Pete manages to piss off a clerk at the DMV (to be fair, it doesn’t really take much to piss off said clerk), and the clerk forces Pete to re-take the road test. It’s a pretty classic sitcom plot, although the usual set-up is that the road test is necessary because the license is expired. Pissing off the clerk was an extra twist. To try and cheer Pete up, Kate goes and gets “phase 2” of her birthday celebration plan, which is a fancy, souped-up sports car. Pete tries to take the road test in the new car and fails miserably at the parallel parking portion. Kate ends up having to drive them both away from the DMV.

Meanwhile, before the kids leave for school, a mysterious birthday gift arrives from one of Pete’s clients. It’s a cooler of live lobsters, meant to thank Pete for getting the client “out of hot water” with the EPA. Hillary says they should leave the lobsters be while they go to school and cook them when they get home as a surprise for their parents. Warren, however, doesn’t put the lid tightly on the cooler, and the lobsters escape. The kids find the lobsters pretty quickly, but when Bert finds out that the plan is to eat them, he’s not happy at all. He thinks of the lobsters as his “pets.” The kids, and later Pete, start telling him about all the animals he eats on a regular basis, and Bert is horrified. He decides that from now on he’s just going to eat bologna (although that’s really animals, too). He seems to be definitely becoming his mother’s son.

Speaking of Bert’s mother, Jackie shows up at Diane’s office asking for money to help pay for Pete’s birthday gift “from the kids.” The kids wanted to get Pete tickets to a football game, but instead, Jackie got custom wind chimes made by a couple of her New Age-y friends. Diane think this is horrible and demands that Jackie return the wind chimes. When Jackie hesitates, Diane decides to take a long lunch break to show Jackie how it’s done. Diane succeeds in returning the chimes by being (surprise, surprise) extremely rude to Jackie’s friends. Then they go to a spa to pick up a massage gift certificate for Pete. The receptionist mentions that they have a special going on, and Jackie and Diane find themselves in a couples massage. Diane is rude again and manages to get both herself and Jackie kicked out. They forgot to buy the gift certificate, so they end up going back and getting the wind chimes after all. Diane makes an effort to be on her best behavior, but she’s still kind of bitchy.

Back to the birthday craziness, Kate decides to take Pete to this trendy new club that has two bars, one of which is a water bar. They barely get two steps in the door, however, before they decide it’s too loud. Pete calls Kate on seeming to be the one with the mid-life crisis. He’s handling being 50 perfectly fine, thanks. Kate, however, has grown comfortable with being more of a homebody and wearing comfy PJ pants, and she’s not sure if that’s okay. Pete convinces her that it’s just fine, and they decide to spend the rest of the evening picking up some tacos and having a nice time at home. At what is presumably the taco place (which looks more like a dive bar), Pete turns on the juke box and asks to dance with Kate. She thinks this is wonderful until she accidentally flashes some of the other patrons. At that moment, she decides that maybe not celebrating Pete’s birthday is the way to go from now on.

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