Suburgatory, Season 2, Episode 14: T-Ball & Sympathy
Directed by Phil Traill
Written by Patricia Been
Airs Wednesdays at 9:30pm ET on ABC
Episode 14 of the fantastic second season of Suburgatory doesn’t come close to matching the manic comedic beats of last week’s superb Valentine’s Day episode, but “T-Ball & Sympathy” still had plenty of laughs.
Tessa’s successful relationship with Ryan has her believing that she’s some kind of expert willing to dispense “A whole mess’a Ask Tessa.” I loved Jane Levy’s performance in this episode because of how idiosyncratic it was; she manages to make even Tessa’s faults and extreme quirks very endearing. Tessa’s newfound confidence (arrogance?) leads her to try and help Mr. Wolfe get the spark in his relationship with Chef Alan back. It’s clear that her advice has limits however, as Tessa and Lisa Shay catch Chef Alan and his ex-boyfriend planning something that seems an awful lot like a rendezvous. The final scene between the parties is telegraphed from the moment we hear that conversation, which is a little disappointing, but the storyline provided Rex Lee and Jane Levy some great material to play with.
The secondary plot line sees the rivalry between Dallas and Noah over the poaching of Carmen reach new heights (or lows, depending on how you look at it). Noah steals Dallas’ colorist and ends up looking like Fred from Scooby Doo would if he were in his 50s and still trying to rock that flouncy blond look. Dallas, and the 5 sunglasses she wore to cover her roots, have had enough, and after a conversation with Noah’s wife, she decides to field a T-Ball team to beat Noah at his own game. Now if that juxtaposition confused you, be not afraid, as it was one of the bigger leaps that Suburgatory asked viewers to believe this episode. It does allow for further examination of just how different Dallas and George are, as she has the team dressed in all pink and practicing special runs to the dirty fluffy pillow (aka first base) whereas George gives the kids a much more traditional practice. It all leads to a winner take all T-ball game that’s just as foolish as you’d expect, but manages to bring strained friends Noah and George back together.
Like I mentioned earlier, this wasn’t an episode filled with constant laughs, and the show is starting rely to much on the visual sight gag rather than the written joke or situational laughs. Next week will hopefully bring a more balanced script and characterizations.
– Terence Johnson