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October 8, 2015

Swingtown: Puzzlerama

by Kona Gallagher, posted Jul 26th 2008 3:19PM
swingtown bar(S01E08) "New year, new neighbors, new secrets." That's Trina as she sets up for tonight's game of Puzzlerama, but can pretty much be said about tonight's episode. Everyone has secrets, and they're all coming out.

Before we get started, I just want to mention that I'm filling in for your normal Swingtown host, so if I miss anything, don't blame her. She'll return to give you next week's review.

The kids are back in this week's episode, but they're only making cameo appearances. The focus is really on Susan and Bruce and Janet and Roger and the feelings they have for each other and those around them.

Case in point: we really get to see that Roger's infatuation with Susan is quite mutual, as the episode opens up with a dream sequence involving Susan floating on a raft in Tom and Trina's pool while they offer to oil her up with tanning lotion. Just as they get started, Roger shows up and offers to finish the job. Unfortunately, Susan can't even let go of her guilt while she's asleep, as fully-clothed and angry versions of Bruce and Janet pop out of the pool to ruin her fantasy.

Janet, who very uh, helpfully greets Roger with breakfast and the want-ads, complete with bright red circles around the jobs she thinks he's suited for (executive debt collector?) tries to step out of her comfort zone a little bit and kind of invites herself over to Tom and Trina's for the scavenger hunt. She soon comes to regret that decision, however, when she finds the pictures Trina took last week, including the one of Roger in the infamous swim trunks. She first accuses Trina of trying to seduce her husband, but Roger and Susan quickly step in and come clean. Janet is understandably hurt that her husband decided to confide in another woman about losing his job.

Meanwhile, we aren't kept in suspense about what happened between Bruce and Melinda for very long. I was one of the few people who thought he didn't go through with sleeping with her, and I was right. In fact, she calls him a "perfect gentleman." He doesn't stay that way for long though, as he ends up making out with her up against the train station--a sight that Janet very narrowly misses walking in on, thanks to Tom steering her away. At the end though, Bruce tells Melinda that it can't go any further, as he loves his wife. Something tells me that this probably isn't the end of Bruce and Melinda though.

I have really mixed feelings about what I want to happen to the couples after this episode. I really like the idea of Roger and Susan together, but for some reason I found both Janet and Bruce to be very sympathetic during this episode--which is weird, considering that Bruce made out with Melinda. I can tell he's struggling to do the right thing though. However, if Roger and Susan do get together, I can't help but feel that Janet is kind of an innocent victim in all of this. Sure she's overbearing, but she hasn't really done anything wrong, has she?

Other points of interest

--I loved the dinner scene at Susan and Bruce's house. Julie tells her parents that she's going to go campaign for Carter, prompting Bruce to launch into an impassioned defense of Richard Nixon, saying, "he just kept a secret he shouldn't have." Very smooth, Bruce. That wasn't obvious AT ALL.

--Poor Samantha was put on Stu watch as Gail snuck inside for some loving with Bruce's co-worker. B.J. is back from camp and made Samantha a wish bag. It's kind of adorable--or would be, if I gave a crap about the kids.

--While the infatuation between Susan and Roger is mutual, Susan is definitely more hesitant about actually taking it anywhere. When Puzzlerama finds them paired up alone at Gail's house, she tells Roger how mortified she was when Janet returned the swim trunks to her that morning, thinking they were Bruce's. She makes him promise that there will be no more secrets, to which he pointedly responds, "next time I play hooky, we'll be sure to get both out stories straight."

--Despite all of the sexual tension in this episode, Laurie turns out to be the only one who actually gets any. She finally goes back to Doug's apartment after a busy day at the grocery store campaigning for Carter.

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I love how Janet and Tom get paired together. She obviously has a crush on him but would never admit it. Tom just loves to get her hot and bothered.


July 28 2008 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This and last week's eps are so good I may tape and save them. I love the delicate way all these couples dance within their marriages. The show is quite good at allowing all these daliances within the relationships, fights, lies, secrets, etc -- without dipping into unrealistic over-the-top drama.

Really enjoyed that "playing hooky" moment with Susan and Roger in the bedroom. Most of my enjoyment of this show is related to Molly Parker, who is such a wonderful actress.

Janet's blowup at the party, after she found the photos of Roger in the pool, was so well done. Loved the look on Trina's face throughout this scene (as usual).

The other "kid moment" I relished was when Susan met Doug at last, at the Carter booth outside the supermarket. I'm waiting for the blowup with Julie's parents when they finally put 2 and 2 together about her and her teacher.

Poor Samantha on "Stu watch"...you really feel for that kid. What a miserable home life she has.

July 27 2008 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Isn't the daughter named Laurie? Not Julie?

July 27 2008 at 2:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hmmm... gotta wonder if the change in by-line has something to do with this:


July 26 2008 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You did a fine job as fill-in host. Not that I have a clue who you are, with the whole tvquad blogger thing. Email me and tell me what that is all about...I don't think I like it.

Back to Swingtown. The show was good, but not one of the best, in spite of the cool party. What fun! Couple of things that bothered me in this episode had nothing to do with the storyines, but with the sets. When the girl next door was sitting outside her house with the tokens, it was about the length of her legs to the next house. They used a much more realistic neighborhood in the earlier episodes, and that is bothersome. Same thing with the train station...even that looked more like a set than previously. Not a good sign for the fate of the show, I'm guessing.

You mentioned that Susan seemed more hesitant to move things forward with Roger due to her "mortified" comment. As someone who has had an affair (oops!), I think she was saying that because she believed it was what he needed to hear. It was false coming out...she wasn't really mortified. His answer was right (and if you notice, she didn't protest) when he said they would get their stories straight next time. Love them together, so I hope before the end the show in the next couple weeks I get some satisfaction.

Bruce with Melinda angers me. Doesn't anyone else notice that she looks quite similar to his wife? The same wife who he has tried to stifle with regard to her desire to do something meaningful? And then he decides to pursue an affair with a similar looking young woman who IS being true to herself. Bad, bad Bruce.

I'm still loving the show, and it being on Friday didn't bother me at all. Need to go check the ratings....

July 26 2008 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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