Happy Endings recap – 2×20: ‘Big White Lies’

Courtesy of ABC

Jane (Eliza Coupe) is pregnant, Dave (Zachary Knighton) is dying, Penny (Casey Wilson) has some sort of foot fungus and Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) is a lesbian. Now before you start asking where Fauxlivia is, it’s just another episode of Happy Endings where Penny says a tiny white lie that snowballs into a house of lies.

Let’s discuss!I used to know a girl who would always invite herself to stuff, and on top of this, she was a close talker. You know the kind: every sentence they step forward, even as you step back to regain your personal space bubble. And yes, at times I did my best to avoid her, so seeing Penny try to get out of a tea date with Daphne (Mary Elizabeth Ellis), an old childhood friend, is a pure delight.

The episode itself is a little uneven, but it definitely has its moments. Starting with a small little lie and escalating to a multitude of untruths it’s fun to see all the characters come up with increasingly over the top lies to aid Penny in her scheme. I wish I would’ve thought of a lie-ble (the bible of lies) when I was younger to keep track of all my lies. (Bonus points for a great pun!)

On the down side, Max’s (Adam Pally) trash oven is not really funny, and having it as a running gag just slows down the episode whenever it’s featured. In addition to this, there are many moments and jokes that just didn’t really work. The whole cold open didn’t even make me crack a smile. This made for a bit of a slow start to the episode, but things did start to take off once the lies begin to pile up.

Courtesy of ABC

The highlight of the episode is definitely Ben Falcon, of Bridesmaids fame, as Dave and Max’s creepy and meddling landlord, Darren. He is so pitch perfect in his delivery. It is great to see him work his magic with Alex, too (those two have some sweet moves). I am definitely bringing a pot of salsa to the club next week. Mucho caliente! And I loved his confrontation with Max about being gay. Max picking up the purse and swearing his homo allegiance is hilarious, and it’s immediately topped by Darren stating/threatening that he wasn’t sure why but he’s very interested in Max’s gayness. Hopefully Darren will become a recurring character, because he fits really well into the world of the show. He could be like a Mr. Roper! And speaking of Mr. Roper, I adored the Three’s Company homage with Dave, Max and Alex(Dave is so the Janet of the group). Forget the Friends comparisons; Dave is classic Janet.

It’s also nice to see the show balance all the characters together in one storyline. As the episode about Penny’s birthday showed us, it can feel unfocused when everyone is brought together instead of being broken into small groups. But this episode makes it work, perhaps because they aren’t together the whole episode, or perhaps because most of the jokes actually work in this episode.

I am surprised that I’ve gone this far without mentioning Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Jane. This in no way means that they are forgettable or unfunny. They’re their usual hilarious selves. But in an episode with a great guest star and a Three’s Company homage, I can’t freakin’ cover everyone!

To sum it up, if there’s an MVP for this episode it’s a close call between Casey Wilson or Elisha Cuthbert. Ultimately, though it has to be Cuthbert if only because of her Ellen getup.

Best lines of the night:

  • Alex: “I’m Ellen. I figure if I’m gonna be a lesbian, might as well go straight to the top.”
  • Jane: “Serbian tradition. We always do things early, cause we never know when were gonna have to pack up and murder a populace.”

Now your turn: What did you think of Darren? Would you want him to turn up regularly? And which of the white lies was your favourite? Sound off below!

Happy Endings airs Wednesdays at 9:30pm EST on ABC

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