Last night was the Happy Endings season two finale, “Four Weddings and a Funeral (Minus Three Weddings and One Funeral)”, and let’s be real – there is only one word to describe it, and that word is Amahhhzing. Seriously, this show does not disappoint, and last night was no exception.
We open with the gang discussing the titular wedding of their recurring sassy gay friend Derrick (Stephen Guarino) to his fiancee Eric (Nate Smith). Dave (Zachary Knighton) continues his not-as-endearing-as-he-imagines quest to be the most factacular of the bunch, proclaiming early on that he’s never been to a gay wedding, which Max (Adam Pally) counters by saying that “all weddings are pretty gay when you think about it.” In case you were curious about Max’s website, ThingsThatAreGay.biz, I’ve already done the legwork for you. Don’t judge my bookmarks bar.
Not exactly what I was expecting, but still effective. Max’s forgetfulness serves for a flashback of the save the date, in which the happy couple was paraded through the streets of Chicago on a litter while wearing togas, proclaiming the news.
As per usce (ushe? yooje? how do you abbreviate usual?), Penny (Casey Wilson) brings it back to herself, and announces how excited she is to have escaped the singles table. She then receives the equivalent of five punches to the face when her friends have to pay up to Jane (Eliza Coupe), who, while not cleaning under the couch, correctly guessed the nearest amount of time Penny could go without mentioning that she was dating someone. Girl, I feel you – and no, that punching analogy is not too strong. No, I’m not bitter. Wait, what?
The tables are, however, then turned on Jane, who finds out that she’s literally the only person in the gang not in the wedding party – because Derrick already has someone who’s 5’8″. Not one to be passed over for for anything ever in her entire life, Jane immediately starts building her plan. However, the only person who can really outshine Coupe with that kind of in-your-face comedy is Pally, who brings legitimacy to the idea that Max was once a member of an all-male tribute band to Madonna.
Unfortunately, when the gang is arriving at their hotel downtown, Penny arrives alone, having broken up with Steve after insulting his sister in the climax of a fight. Though I’m glad we aren’t dedicating time every episode or two to random boyfriends, Max’s “I am so glad I don’t get invested in your boyfriends of the week that I only hear about through dialogue” was spot on. Besides, if Penny had a different boyfriend all the time, that leaves no fun for anyone else, so I approve of this decision. Later, as they dress for the wedding in tuxes-for-all (“So Dujardin!”), Derrick asks Jane to replace the 5’8″ in his wedding because she suddenly came down with food poisoning. Terrific call-out to the fact that friends really do talk about each other behind closed doors, as Jane realizes they all call her the Black Widow – Black Wids for short – and they all know she did it. Regardless, she’s in the wedding, ill-fitting sunshine yellow tux and all.
At the reception, Jane helps Eric battle prices on food while Penny’s recent single status finds her the moderator of the Skype Table. Less than thrilled, Penny is trying to escape until she starts chatting with Chris (Brian Austin Green), who lives in Chicago but has a broken leg and couldn’t make it.
Later, as Penny despairs to Dave about this end to the Year of Penny, he reminds her that she’s a great catch. When they exchange “I love you” as friends, though, you can see it catch in Penny’s mind, and she wonders if there could be more to it. Jane and Brad cut them off before there can be anything else, though. After deliberating with Max while helping him squeeze into his Mandonna pants, Penny decides to ask Alex for her blessing or something before she makes any moves on him, but when she goes to her hotel room, Dave is in there, apparently in a state of undress. Penny leaves in a hurry, and the two left wonder if she thought there was something going on between them. As they stumble into the realization that maybe their relationship isn’t over, the rest of the gang is preparing for the grand finale of the reception, starring Max as the singer in Mandonna. Not to leave Penny out in the cold after their Skype session froze, Chris had a friend drive him to the reception, where they agree to dance, even though he’s in a wheelchair. And in a moment that suddenly gave me a lot of feelings, the last shot of the episode is Alex and Dave walking in together and joining hands.
And that’s all until next season, folks – that is, unless Happy Endings doesn’t get renewed. The numbers have been up this season, though, and I think ABC will come through for us. This is a show that deserves to go through, especially with a knockout season like this one.
The side plot in this episode was that Brad was The Aside Guy for his boss at meetings, which we realize was the way his boss was telling him that Brad’s entire department was about to be fired. Brad struggles to tell Jane the entire episode, but eventually they work it out after a minor freakout and a reassuring conversation about their faith in each other. I have to say – I wish this hadn’t been a side plot. This plot line has a lot of potential and I feel like it kind of got swept under the rug in favor of the wedding plot line. I appreciate the parallelism of balancing the responsibilities of a marriage, new or old, but I wish it would have had more dedicated screen time. Sometimes it seems like Brad’s plots get less importance because he’s so chill all the time, but this is something that I think deserved a much bigger look.
Other notable moments that didn’t make it into the recap:
- “I haven’t seen anything that unnecessarily complicated since the third season of Lost, am I right?” Indeed, Jane – it’s no secret that the third season of Lost is the worst (or my least favorite, whatever, take your pick).
- Alex’s concern with Derrick and Eric’s name portmanteau.
- Jane’s Angelina Jolie leg
- Brad and Jane’s stinky cheese dialogue
- “Penny, Penny, Pentel Pentium Processor”
Even though Casey Wilson teased a Penny/Dave romance, I’ve always suspected that Dave and Alex would wind up back together. I mean, although the pair of them are dumber than a box of rocks, they were together for a really long time and did, in fact, make it to the altar at one point. If the show gets renewed – which it should, although I will say that I have never seen an actual advertisement for it – I’m really interested to see which direction they take this plot line. Putting Penny and Dave together seems like stretching it a little bit, but I’d love to see the actual relationship between Alex and Dave. We never really got to see them as a couple, so we have no idea what their dynamic is – and you know they have some weird couple behaviors.
I don’t want to go into too long of a diatribe about how much I love this show, so I’m prepping a Why I Watch to post this weekend. Keep an eye out! But in the meantime, did you like the finale? Any favorite jokes? Love/hate the Alex and Dave plotline?