Suburgatory, Season 2, Episode 13 “Blowtox and Burlap”
Written by Annie Weisman
Directed by Julie Anne Robinson
Aired Wednesday at 9pm (ET) on ABC
Like most holiday themed shows on Suburgatory, “Blowtox and Burlap” is a mix of hijinks and well earned character development.Valentine’s Day in Chastwin proves to be a time that drives the folks of the town crazy as their perfect plans are turned on their heads. The ensemble really clicked, with each pairing and grouping delivering some great material. The show basically focused on the three main couples, Tessa and Ryan, George and Dallas, and Malik and Lisa, with a side scoop of the adult Shays to make it better. The episode starts out with Malik trying, and failing to woo Lisa Shay back with her favorite things, life size dolls, Smokey Robinson, and 16th century literature. It’s been fun to see these two bicker over the past few weeks after their heart wrenching breakup and it was good to see them coming back together by the end of the episode thanks to some help from Lisa’s mom. Mrs. Shay was dealing her own problems, namely her mother Gam Gam, who irritates her beyond belief by crashing her planned date with Fred and overstepping her boundaries. However through this she was able to see how her relationship with Malik had overstepped a few bounds and she helps Malik and Lisa get back together.
By all accounts, Tessa should have had the easiest Valentine’s Day. After managing to convince her boyfriend Ryan to go to an art house movie instead of a Valentine’s Day eager at the house of a class mate whose mom has low self esteem, they go on the date only to realize that they both have incredibly different views on the film (he loved it and she hated it). They have a big blowup outside of the theater and go their separate ways. Tessa and Ryan definitely have one of the best relationships on TV, with each person having ample opportunity to make a fool of themselves/be in the wrong as well as be in the right/forgiving. In this case, the confusion led Tessa to seek the counsel of Dallas, who despite having a bad reaction to a blowtox procedure, was able to help Tessa realize that she loves Ryan and they could work it out.
Speaking of that bad blowtox treatment, Dallas and George’s date crashes the most. Since she didn’t want to be seen outside, George is forced to eat two servings of the $600 18 course meal he paid for by himself. Needless to say he’s three sheets to the wind and stuffed when Dallas comes to get him from the restaurant. The bag she wore over her head to cover the botched procedure was one of the many visual gags that director Julie Anne Robinson managed to execute incredibly well. The full reveal of Dallas’ bad blowtox, while incredibly funny and horrifying at the same time, was played a bit too long however, especially when through shillouettes and her covering hands you could clearly see the prosthetics.
– Terrence Johnson