16
Jan
2013
Cougar Town: Season Four, Episode 2
I Need to Know
Gaila
As previously mentioned, I enjoyed the Cougar Town season opener. I felt like it did a good job of reestablishing the relationships between Jules and Grayson, Jules and Ellie, and Bobby and Travis as well as hinting in a good direction for Travis and Laurie, and the cast at whole. This week, the show spent a good chunk of time reestablishing some other important relationships on the show. The main plot focused on Jules and Travis. In a couple of episodes from the second season, Jules took it a little too far with her son (the scene when she says she'd like to shrink down and live in his blood comes to mind) and this episode was certainly a return to that in many ways.

Jules, in attempting to give Travis some space (essentially to prove he loves her) tells him he doesn't need to come around the cul-de-sac unless he wants to. This sets up an extremely long-running gag during which Jules discusses her son as a would-be lover whose feelings do not mirror her own. It is creepy, but also pretty funny, especially as the rest of the cast is as weirded out as the audience. While I do think Jules takes the creepy a little too far at times, the rest of the cast's reaction (especially Laurie"”Busy Philips makes the best faces) evens it out a bit by showing the audience how gross they think it is as well.

After mooning around the house all episode, Jules finally shows up at Travis' house, putting on a little show for his roommates in order to get her revenge for his inattention. I actually really liked this scene, as I felt it did a good job of taking the creepy level down and returning Jules to a wounded parent, something that I'm sure is a big issue, especially for parents who are very close to their kids. Travis comes back to the cul-de-sac and apologizes, essentially saying that Jules' love challenges him, and that's why it's easier to stay away. I loved it. As Grayson and Jules' relationship has become so important to her, we haven't seen a lot of time spent on Jules and Travis, and this is especially important considering new viewers. By showing how creepy Jules can get, but also how much she cares, and resolving it by establishing exactly what is so great about her parenting, we get a really comprehensive and important glimpse of their relationship, and we see where it could potentially go"”with Jules as steady and strong rock for Travis as he grows.

The second major plot of the episode was silly, but also reestablished some important stuff. Bobby hints to Ellie that being nicer to Andy might make him more likely to do things for her, and she takes it a little far, transforming her husband into a more literal dog than I thought was possible. While I was not particularly amused by the Andy-as-a-dog scenes, it was really good that the show showed the sentimental side of their relationship. For new viewers (who probably didn't even know she had a son), Ellie might come off as crazy and scary and not particularly pleasant to have around, and it was nice to see Andy point that out, but confirm that those qualities are what make him love her. For longtime viewers, this plot was a little less essential, as we've seen the dynamics of their relationship numerous times before, but even so, it was lovely to see Ellie's vulnerable side, just for a little while.

Finally, Grayson is a little homophobic and Laurie pushes him to admit it. I didn't care about this very much, but I was very happy to hear the "confident in my sexuality" song (maybe the whole point of the plot was to bring that song back? I hope so!). I really want Laurie to be given more to do. Now that basically all the other relationships in the show have been delved into, we can get some good old Laurie Keller love. I miss her.

Grade: B+

Strays:

-"I stole her retainer" "Well, Travis, at least we know who gave you your creepy."

-"Is this a trick are you going to hit me??"

-Good clothes this episode, besides Ellie's terrible shirt at the beginning. I enjoyed Laurie's outfits, as ever, as well as Andy's green pants. Jules was more boring, but that is keeping with her style, so it's cool.

-"You raised him to be dependent and helpless." "Oh, thanks babe""I knew you would take that as a compliment!"
Tags: Cougar Town
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