“One Big Happy” recap (1.5): What Doesn’t Happen in Vegas

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So did you guys watch One Big Happy last night? Better yet, did you watch it at the home of someone with a Nielsen box so as to influence the ratings (I have only the vaguest notion of how that works). Because if not, it looks like we’re about to reach the end of this little rainbow. Which is kind of upsetting because the six episode run ends on a cliffhanger of sorts. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. (You see what I did there? I teased you with the promise of a cliffhanger to get you to watch the show so I could keep writing about it. I can be very tricksy like that.)

The next two weeks are very plot heavy and committed to adding even more intricacies to the already tangled knot of friendship and romance at the center of the show. Whether that’s time well spent is debatable, since it does raise the emotional stakes, but I would just as soon spend our last two episodes together watching Elisha Cuthbert dance/make out with girls. Instead we join the gang on a trip to Vegas where Luke and Prudence are set to celebrate their two month anniversary. We also finally learn what Prudence does for a living.

obh5.1WHY, I’M A RETRO BONDAGE STEWARDESS, OF COURSE.

I would skip over the part where they try to wring some comedy out of The Vagina Monologues, except that it’s illustrative of the “jokes that were edgy in 1998” problem that the writers keep having. If One Big Happy just gave its audience some credit/didn’t always shoot for the broadest possible lesbian jokes, we might be looking at a much longer season.

Anyway, cut to: The wedding chapel where Prudence and Nick got married. Except that a lady (who Nick weirdly misgenders?) informs them than no, they did not get married. Said chapel was actually a mob front and none of the weddings performed there have legal standing. Lizzy is thrilled because this means she can plan Nick’s wedding and serve as best man (fingers crossed we get to see that tux from prom). Prudence is less than thrilled because this means that she could still be deported in one week.

Luke’s first instinct is to just re-do the Vegas wedding, but Lizzy begs for the opportunity to give them the real thing. They agree because who could say no to that face?

obh5.2 NBC PROGRAMMING EXECUTIVES.

Back in L.A., our favorite over-organized unemployed lesbian really goes the extra mile. Actually, she goes about 3,000 extra miles because she flies in Prudence’s father all the way from England. Except that, unfortunately, the man sitting on the couch is not Pru’s father, but her husband.

obh5.3I’D ALREADY BEEN IMPALED TWICE ON “GAME OF THRONES” SO I THOUGHT: TIME FOR A CHANGE OF PACE.

Prudence explains that she married Martin when she was very young and desperate to escape her poor and crowded home. They have the same name because Prudence’s maiden name was (really) Hardmeat-Buttswallow.  Which I’m praying was a placeholder joke that got included in the final draft of the script by accident. And Martin explains that he never signed there divorce papers because he is a piece of shit straight out of the soot-stained alley of a Dickens novel.

Nick goes to confront Martin and persuade him to sign the divorce papers, and I’ve taken the liberty of including that scene here in the recap.

It’s adorable to see Luke square off against the infinitely wilier Martin, but I’m pretty sure the girls just let him do it so he wouldn’t feel emasculated.  Once Martin gives him the runaround, it’s Lizzy’s turn. Her best man duties have gone from planning the perfect wedding to facilitating the perfect divorce. Which, as far as fictional best men go, could be worse since there are no dead hookers yet.

Lizzy’s strategy for getting Martin out of the way is to get him wasted while she merely pretends to take shots.

obh5.4CALL ME SISSY AGAIN, I FUCKING DARE YOU.

She gets him drunk enough to expose himself to the neighbor’s dog but not drunk enough to sign his name to the divorce papers (which she tells him are voting registration forms). He does, however, transfer his affection from Prudence and onto her. I’m a little confused as to why Lizzy doesn’t shut this whole thing down by immediately telling him she’s a lesbian. The idea that there are all these stealth lesbians running around just waiting to blue ball helpless straight men is a weird thing to reinforce, but whatever. I’m not going to invest more in this episode than the writers themselves did.

It’s not until the next morning that Luke suggests Lizzy take advantage of Martin’s attraction to get him to sign the papers. Martin is only too happy to tell the world that he’s switching from a pillow top to a firmer mattress.

obh5.5 I’M HERE, SHE’S QUEER, GET USED TO IT.

Stung by Martin’s dickishness, Prudence blurts out that she never really loved him and only married him to escape her dreary home life.  Why else would she have married him after only three days? And Luke might be a simple puppy of a man, but even he knows that this doesn’t shine a very flattering light on his own marriage.

Furious and hurt, he takes off.

Meanwhile, Lizzy figures out that the fastest way to rid herself of Martin is to make him think she’s pregnant with his baby.  It’s an effective strategy, to be sure, but if some miracle OBH does continue, I think we can expect to see more of Martin’s leering visage.

The episode ends when Prudence informs Lizzy of Luke’s departure and they embrace.

obh5.6 WHAT SHALL WE DO NOW THAT ALL THE BOYS ARE GONE?

Next week: things get a lot more complicated.  And yes, we do see that tux.

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