Cougar Town‘s season finale shows us the ways in which the Cul-de-sac Crew is co-dependent on each other — along with the ways in which they work through that co-dependence to make their bonds with each other even stronger. Fittingly, the subject of this two-part episode is the run-up to Jules and Grayson’s wedding, and the gang is still adjusting to the new world order now that they live together. Always a lone wolf, Grayson’s incorporation into the larger group has always been a struggle for him. Given that the group is so close that a wedding with just “us” means all of them in Jules’ mind, I find his struggles to be realistic, just as I find the show’s willingness to show the challenges of their relationship — and how they are overcome — realistic. As usual, the show excels at giving its comedy strong grounding in emotional truths.
That is, it excels most of the time. I didn’t quite understand Ellie’s infatuation with David Arquette. Not that he’s not a handsome dude, but there seemed no point to the story than to have Arquette guest star. Furthermore, I think Ellie’s behavior was a miscalculation on the part of the writers: sure, she’s mean, but is she mean enough to flirt so blatantly in front of Andy? I would like to think she is not, but I guess they disagree with me. Still, this was a discordant note in an episode dedicated to strengthening the gang’s ties — especially because the story didn’t go anywhere or have any fallout. I am interested to know if anyone else agrees with me on this.
As for the rest of the episode, it did a great job of showing how these friends work through their emotional crises together: restaging of Groundhog Day to get Jules to apologize to Laurie, Travis demonstrating that the meaning of Penny Can is family bonding, and everyone working together to give Jules and Grayson their spontaneous (and illegal) beach wedding. I think we see Jules making more compromises than she was willing to even earlier in the season (thanks to her awful shrink?). I like that these characters are not static. These are the things that make Cougar Town more than just a silly comedy. I am so glad that, much like Travis did for Penny Can, TBS is resurrecting it next year.
Notes and Quotes:
- We may be seeing the beginnings of Laurie and Travis for real now, or maybe they are still dragging it out. That said, Dan Byrd owned the drunken naked declaration scene. He managed to be convincingly both drunk and earnest.
- I love the moment when Jules reaches Napa Valley and we realize that this is pretty much her nirvana.
- Some great little moments: Ellie’s Epiphany Gum. Bobby in the barrel. Ellie’s miming of hanging herself. All the ridiculous variations on Penny Can.
- Andy and Bobby’s short film is called Bromancing the Stone. Webisodes please, TBS.
- Stan is less demon spawn-ish this episode, and him saying “Penny Can” is very cute.
- Jules’ play-pausing would annoy the crap out of me, too.
- Laurie’s bachelorette party plan: “There is this quaint little strip club in Tampa called The Stud Farm. It looks like a stable, all the snacks come in these little feed bags, and for a couple extra bucks you can ride the guys around like horses and they will nibble sugar cubes off of your bouncies.”
- Grayson: “I wish I’d ripped Andy’s ear off.” Jules: *turned on noise*
- Ellie to Laurie: “You have correctly predicted the future. You are Hostradamus.” That one made me snort; puns on historical persons are the best.
- Bobby defending Penny Can to Travis: “You speak ill of the can again you will find yourself in a Cobb headlock. And FYI my deodorant this morning was down to the plastic.”
- Jules’ analysis of Groundhog Day: “It’s clearly the same groundhog that Bill Murray used in Caddyshack.”
- Travis’ alternative to Penny Can: “Nickel Can! The stakes have never been higher!”
- Andy’s alternative to Penny Can: “I don’t really love Milky Guessy.”
- Jules to Grayson: “Every now and then I am going to need you to get prison guard angry … maybe wear a doo-rag.”
- Travis: “I gotta say, I’ve tried wine before and, uh, not a big fan.” Jules: *drops wine glass in shock* That is the biggest sin in this universe!
- Grayson: “I know marrying you means marrying everyone.”
- Grayson on his desire for “robe sex”: “Because it’s like we’re monks doing something forbidden. ‘I will sex yoooouu.'”
- Chick: “Do you, Grayson, take my daughter, Jules, as your wife, and to take care of or I’ll kick your ass?”
- Is that Josh Hopkins or someone else singing “I Got You Babe” at the end of the first episode?
Photo Credit: ABC