David (Justin Bartha) and Bryan (Andrew Rannells) are discovering their house is a death trap as they work with a baby proofer. Meanwhile, Bryan is drinking too much, while David and Goldie (Georgia King) stuff their own troubles with piles of gingerbread. Jane (Ellen Barkin) is remarkably mellow, thanks to eggnog, and Bryan helps her with an opportunity that could set her up in the LA real estate business.
Fixing the Toddler Temple of Doom
Christmas is just around the corner, and David and Bryan hire baby proofer Carla, played by Saturday Night Live alum Cheri Oteri, to make their home safe for their soon-to-be son. She recommends big changes, warning, “It’s like a toddler Temple of Doom in here.” That means things like ruining the aesthetics of the furniture with corner guards and putting a lock on the toilet that causes a desperate Bryan to use the sink as an alternative.
Bryan comforts himself with wine while Goldie gorges herself with food, and David isn’t too far behind in the eating Olympics. As each indulges in his or her own vice, Jane is amazingly good natured. Goldie points out that it happens every Christmas because eggnog has a calming effect on her. Impressed, a tipsy Bryan invites Nana to be his “date” at a party thrown by his real estate broker, since David isn’t going.
Drinking Problems, Eating Problems
Later, David calls out Bryan for downing alcohol six or seven nights a week. Bryan admits he’s stressed about the baby, but points out that David is using food as his own way of coping. They get into a tiff about Bryan’s beloved cactus garden, which David insists has to go.
When Bryan takes Jane to the party, the two get along splendidly. He complains to her about the baby proofing, and she says she finds it unnecessary because “all you need to control a kid is an icy tone, a pursed lip, and a squinted eye. I didn’t give up a single thing for my daughter.” Bryan counters, “You haven’t talked to her in 17 years, huh?”
The two get into a heart to heart, with Jane admitting that she wants to stay in LA, but she has no idea how to make her way in such a huge, liberal city. Bryan advises her to “pick a spot, plant a seed, and watch it grow.” Later, he offers to get her a job interview with Nancy, the broker who threw the party.
Everyone Fights Their Demons
Back at home, David and Goldie do some bonding of their own, agreeing to cut back on their unhealthy eating. Bryan admits his drinking is a problem, since he narrowly avoided a DUI after being pulled over on his way home from the party. Jane didn’t help when she pulled a gun on the police officer, but Bryan got off because “old white women with guns don’t concern cops.”
Shania pipes up with her weekly dose of wisdom, saying that she used to worry about her father forgetting her and her mom and being stuck in the same place forever. She says her life has now changed radically, and “it’s awesome.” Shania then points out that not so long ago, Bryan had no idea that she, her mom, and Nana would all be in his life, and here they are.
Jane Gets a Chance in LA
Bryan keeps his promise and gets Jane her interview. At first Nancy is disgusted by her small-town experience and demeanor, but as Jane leaves, she points out an oversight by Nancy that will save Bryan big bucks on his taxes when she tells him about it. This piques Nancy’s interest as she gets a small glimpse of Jane’s witchy nature, and she gives her a chance. Despite her earlier threats to return to Ohio, and some Jane-free episodes, I’m glad she’s apparently a permanent fixture.
David and Bryan make up now that they’ve confronted their unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. David surprises Bryan with a tree decorated completely in baby-safe ornaments. He professes to hate it until he spots one with their unborn son’s ultrasound picture in honor of his very first Christmas.
“There’s always room at our inn, and (Goldie) won’t have to give birth in a barn with a donkey watching.” – Bryan
“Next, the pool, or as I like to call it, the solar powered water casket.” – Carla
“Why don’t we use the baby proofing style that my mother used, which was ‘Don’t set foot in here or else.’” – Bryan