Source: ABC

Happy Endingsis at it again. “The Marry Prankster” highlights all the charms that the show has to offer. For those who didn’t tune in, the episode follows Max as he plots his revenge against the rest of the gang after they pull a prank on him. I think the cold open of this episode might be my favorite of the entire season. Okay, I admit, I wasn’t thrilled that Pete (Zano) was there, but… I’m starting to accept that I might just hafta get over that one. I mean, honestly, that prank is pretty much genius… mean, but genius. More importantly, it brought the gang together.

At the heart of it all is Max’s revenge scheme, but there’s a lot more going on in “The Marry prankster” than meets the eye. Brad and Jane have… a storyline. Honestly, I love the two actors, but I don’t know why they keep getting saddled with these storylines. They’ve got great moments together (Brad stripping while Jane makes it rain certainly comes to mind) the whole “search for a job” thing just wasn’t that funny. As one of my friends pointed out, when Brad is appointed “Chief Fun Officer” Brad would be really good at that. I mean, he’s got the whole “mind of a 5-year-old” thing down pat. Still, Jane’s difficulty at coming to terms with that was the only real source of conflict in the episode. Then again, I don’t watch Happy Endings because I’m looking for realistic conflict so it just seemed sort of out of place.

Then again, tonight the weirdness ran rampant with Penny’s storyline. When Penny teamed up with Dave and Alex to avoid Max’s pranks gave us a few laughs with the whole muffin month bit. But seriously, can anyone teach me to rig a paintball gun like that? Okay, I feel like I’m getting off course… but then Penny gets sucked into this half-hearted engagement storyline that was just… random and off-putting all at the same time. Some of the show’s critics have called Happy Endings out on their perpetually single, desperate character (Penny, in case I was being too subtle) but to marry her off like this? It just feels too soon. Then again, considering the show might get cancelled, it might not be too soon. Ultimately, Penny getting married seems like a sweeps type thing, but unfortunately, in January. I don’t know, maybe it will stick, but I’m hoping it won’t. I want Penny to be happy and I don’t think Pete is the guy to do it. Look at me, I’m more invested in my TV relationships than my own… not sad at all. Still, I will give the show the incredibly touching moment between her and Max. At first, I was on the same page as Penny, thinking that it was just an elaborate prank that Max pulled (or more, hoping, I guess) but when they had their collective freak out when she realized it was real? It was pretty sweet, especially with Max’s “you go, girl.” It was the redeeming feature of the engagement storyline.

The clear winner of the night was Dave and Alex… well, more Alex than anything else. Alex is one of those characters I’ve always enjoyed more in small doses, but she really brought it tonight. I think this season more than ever, they’ve realized how ludicrous the character is, especially in regards to her relationship with Dave. They amped up the lunacy this episode, though. The air bag in the couch gag was over-the-top, but the pay off was well worth it. The Usual Suspects homage was what brought this episode together for me. I honestly think this episode wasn’t their strongest, but when Alex Keyser Soze’s the whole gang? I was in stitches. It was the highlight of the night for me.

Ultimately, “The Marry Prankster” had a lot of promise. I’m not sure it entirely delivered, but there are enough pieces to make for a solid episode. Its finest moments are in the beginning and the end of the episode, with enough amusement to pass the time in between the storylines. Hopefully, this was an episode that was necessary to establish future plot developments. Okay, I may not be thrilled about the Penny engagement thing, which is the first plotline that comes to mind for future storylines, but it could be great fodder for future episodes.

What did you think of last night’s episode?


Calhoun Kersten is unofficially over-educated and unemployable. he is currently finishing up his Masters thesis on horror films from DePaul University, but now resides in Hell on earth aka Los Angeles. When he’s not writing, he enjoys being a grown man who still watches Arthur on PBS, singing along loudly to Three 6 Mafia, and spending time with his dog, Karl Marx.