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'Cougar Town' Season 2 Finale Recap

by Joel Keller, posted May 26th 2011 12:00PM
['Cougar Town' - 'Something Good Coming']

Most people who watched tonight's season finale of 'Cougar Town' are fans of the show and have been watching all season, so the observation I'm about to make isn't going to come as a big surprise: Somehow, a show about a bunch of neighbors hanging out and drinking wine has actually managed to develop some pretty interesting stories.

'Cougar Town' - 'Something Good's Coming'
Sure, last season there were some story arcs, namely Jules and Grayson getting together while Bobby worked out his feelings for his ex-wife. But for the latter half of season one and the first half of season two, the show was just trying to get its footing after shifting formats.

But as we close out the second season, you can see that some interesting storylines are setting themselves up for season three. So, while the Cul-de-Sac Crew might be gathering in Jules' kitchen with a few bottles of wine next season, there will be some fun stuff going on in between those visits.

First, before we start... nice job with having Dani Pudi playing Abed in that scene outside the Subway. Pudi is just looking around like Abed would, taking in the scene just like he was describing to Jeff Winger in 'Community's' 'My Dinner With Andre' take-off. I had known about this crossover for a while, so it wasn't a huge surprise for me, but it must have been a pleasant sight for most, as it was kept largely quiet. After seeing Dan Byrd and Busy Philipps cameo on the 'Community' finale and now Pudi on 'Cougar Town,' I hope to see more of this kind of stuff. TV shows like these need all the promotion they can get, and if the producers aren't going to do it with fun stuff like this, who will?



Secondly, great to see Sam Lloyd as Ted Buckland -- or "The Buck" as he's trying to get people in Hawaii to call him. I was surprised to see him show up throughout the episode, being Travis's depressing muse as he tries to tell Jules and Bobby that Hawaii is where he wants to be. His ability to make any song depressing was so Ted, and it was hilarious. I decided to try not to think of a world where Ted Buckland exists but 'Scrubs' reruns are shown on the TV and just enjoy his appearance.

I interviewed Lloyd for The AV Club, talking about Ted and his other roles, and what struck me was how depressed he'd get playing Ted. Well, tonight, he was only slightly less sweaty and pathetic in Hawaii as he was at Sacred Heart. At the very least, he was able to work in a 'Scrubs' reference, when he mentioned that his girlfriend Gooch ran away with the infamously high-strung Hooch. "That Hooch is crazy!" he said.

Ok, back to the stories. We know why Trav is in Hawaii, beyond Laurie putting the idea in his head: no matter what he said, he's doing it to run away from the pain of being rejected by Kirsten. And no matter how much Jules tried to convince Trav to not throw away his education like both his parents did, the only person who was going to convince him to return was Laurie again. She knew it, and she knew he'd hate her for playing on his emotions to get him to return.

Laurie's logic was sound: he can't live his life running away from someone, or running towards someone. It's something that most people don't learn until well after they're 19, so Trav will thank Laurie in the long run. We don't really see the moment where Travis decides to return, but there was no way he was going to spend time with Ted in Hawaii.



Then we have Jules and Grayson. We know he wants kids, but Jules doesn't, especially after this drama. Jules tried "The Chicago Way" to defuse the conversation -- deflect by suggesting they move in together -- but that didn't work; neither did their decision to "put the baby in the suitcase" and just act and talk sexy. But leave it to "The Buck" to set Jules straight - "If they're the one, they're willing to go on any adventure with you." So, that likely means we're going to see a lot going on between Jules and Grayson next season, namely a) living together, b) marriage, c) another kid. Of course, that order can change, especially because Jules forgot her birth control in Florida, despite her morning routine song being in everyone's head.

Finally, despite the fulfilling bromance between Bobby and Andy, we know that Bobby is lonely, and no matter what he did in Hawaii, he knew that doing sporty with Ellie and pampering with Andy is no way to spend his time in such a romantic spot. What was surprising was how nice Ellie was to Bobby, despite the likelihood that he used her toothbrush. But remember, vacation Ellie isn't the lame stick-in-the-mud she is at home.

Could these stories have been told in a half-hour? Sure. But you don't take the cast and crew all the way to Hawaii to do a half-hour episode. The beauty of 'Cougar Town' is that silly banter about how Hawaii is the name of the state and its biggest island can take up the slack for when time needs to be filled. There are many other comedies (cough'TheOffice'cough) that struggle when they're asked to do that. But it was fun to watch and the locations made me want to fly to Hawaii tomorrow. Not a bad way to close the season, huh?

More fun stuff:

-- I didn't realize that Subway is so entrenched in its product placement on the show that the storefront is part of the outdoor set now. It's just weird to see it.

-- Tom is worming his way into the Crew slowly but surely, first as an inter-house gopher paid in head pats, then as a guy who follows all of them to Hawaii but stays largely in everyone's peripheral vision until the very end. I wonder if, when they ran into him at the end of the episode, they realized they'd been seeing him the entire weekend and just didn't realize it.

-- Of course Jules would have a Hawaiian version of Big Carl. "Wasn't that the candle holder from the room?" Why big glass jokes continue to make me laugh is beyond me.

-- 'Condom Hunt' would make for a great reality show, wouldn't it?

-- Ellie's not always nice on vacation, as Grayson found out when she smashed his ukelele.

We're not going to see 'Cougar Town' next year until 'Dancing With The Stars' ends, so we've got a while before it comes back. But that just gives Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel more time to figure out where to take this show. Right now, it looks like it's on an upward trajectory, so there's a lot of hope going into season three.

'Cougar Town' airs Wednesdays at 9:30PM on ABC.

Follow @joelkeller on Twitter and on Facebook.

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June 01 2011 at 5:10 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
xfghdhdfgd

...http://evelseller.com...
★■■■□□□□□□□□□
★■■■■■■□□□□□□
★■■■■■■■■■□□□

? .?l?l?. ??? .?l?l?. ?
http://evelseller.com

★★
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June 01 2011 at 5:10 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
hvan

I loved this episode. Sure, it was silly sometimes, but it was great to see a Scrubs alum. And I LOVED that Ted talked about Gooch -- even if she did leave him for crazy Hooch. :D Scrubs was full of great characters.

May 26 2011 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Punstressak

I don't know that the crossover was kept all that quiet. A lot of people guessed that the Hawaiian stalker would be Abed. Others guessed Tom. I guess we were all correct, in a way.

May 26 2011 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pamescw

Ellie, not Laurie, is the one who smashed the ukelele.

May 26 2011 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pamescw's comment
Joel

Yep, thanks. That's what I meant. Will fix.

May 26 2011 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
big1nfla

what's done is done and sitcom history can't be rewritten, but, like I commented on Mo's piece on this finale, why Hawaii? For me, Barb's one & a half second walk-on was the highlight

May 26 2011 at 12:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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