After a shaky season premier, Cougar Town knocks out a strong episode with Jules and Travis growing apart, Andy and Ellie relating in a whole new way and the guys bringing back the '80s in the best possible way.
An Empty Nest is a Lonely One
Jules (Courteney Cox) cancels family night and tells her son Travis (Dan Byrd) he only needs to see her when he wants. But Jules gets her feelings hurt when he stops coming by the house. Jules mopes and strategically embarrasses Travis, who spends his new free time dating a girl he's dubbed "Not Laurie" and blowing bubbles, until they reconcile when Travis admits he's only avoiding his mom because he doesn't want to talk about his problems. They then bond over an episode of Game of Thrones. This wasn't the most stirring plot line in the show's history but it was nice to see the most wonderfully idiosyncratic mother-son relationship on TV affirmed.
Bobby (Brian Van Holt) offhandedly suggests that Ellie (Christa Miller) treat Andy (Ian Gomez) more like a dog to get him to do his chores and soon she has him trained to complete tasks for forehead kisses. Andy gets his feelings hurt when Bobby points out the obvious and in an uncharacteristic moment of sweetness, Ellie confesses she went all Pavlovian on him because she worries that she yells at him too much. Andy tells her that he knows her shrill screams come from a loving place. It was weird to see the show make the subtext of Andy and Ellie's relationship made textual but Miller and Gomez made the unexpectedly poignant storyline work while never letting things drift too far away from wacky.
Quigley Down Under is Super Underrated
Grayson (Josh Hopkins), Andy and Bobby decide to grow Tom Selleck-inspired mustaches. There's no particular motivation behind their awesome synchronized hair growth but it was really funny to see the guys with luxuriant, Magnum P.I.-era lip hair. This leads to a hilarious subplot where's Grayson 'stache attracts a new, gay clientele to his bar and Laurie (Busy Philips) teases him about his latent homophobia until he gives a rousing and confusing speech about loving women and rainbows in equal measure and offends away his new patrons. Also Grayson does the world's worst Sam Elliot impression. It's always fun to see Grayson's vanity play off Laurie's kooky persistence.
Bobby's Dog Can Fetch Beer
Bobby has taught his brindle mastiff, which is called Dog Travis, how to fetch beer even if his own supply has run dry and the dog has to raid neighboring houses for brew. Dog Travis even knows to fetch a club soda for the designated driver and to grab his master a light beer when he's getting a little heavy. After last week's less than stellar premier, I was worried that the show might have lost some of its signature zaniness but as soon as I saw Dog Travis with a frosty beer is his maw, I knew that the show I'd grown to love was really back. Now, how many episodes do we have to wait before a round of Penny Can makes an appearance?
"Nodding is how mustache buddies say hello." - Grayson.
"McConaughaters gonna McConaughate." - Grayson.
"Other people may see you as a hate goblin...not done!" - Andy.