“The disaster is staying miserable because new is scary—that’s a disaster.”
Abby is preaching tonight. Her message? DIVORCE. Not a girlfriends’ guide to it, not how to have a peaceful mediation, or how to talk to your kids about it—Abby is handing out divorce recommendations like Oprah hands out cars. I mean, she wasn’t telling happily married couples to get divorced or anything, but with a title like, “Why Aren’t You Divorced Yet?” her message is pretty clear. Abby hasn’t mastered this new life where she’s divorced; she still screams at her friends from time to time and seemingly sends in writing assignments that are 100 percent not what she pitched, but she’s happy. Abby says she’s happy.
Because Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce has become less about women getting through divorce, and more about women just getting through life, divorce or no. With the exit of Lyla, the percentage of main characters going through a divorce dropped dramatically: Phoebe’s path to figure out how to lead a life as a strong woman who doesn’t rely on everyone else around her is much more interesting than just being hung up on her ex; and yet, her former marriage to Ralph is still a huge part of that journey. Because a divorce is a big deal with big consequences. But sometimes, when you’re in a loveless or hopeless marriage, it’s a necessary deal. That’s Abby “Free as a Bird” McCarthy’s new message, anyway.
And her first convert is Jo. The episode opens on Jo yelling at her husband, (Bob) Frumpkis, who she’s left behind in New York. Jo made vague mentions of “Frumpkis” and “Zoey” last week that made it seem like he was her husband and Zoey was her daughter, but it was hard to tell. Jo is a fast talker—it’s one of the many things to like about her. She brings a totally different energy to the show that I didn’t know it needed until it arrived. L.A. can be tedious… just ask anyone who lives there. Now, I don’t buy into that everyone is medically happy there and chronically unhappy in New York, but I do buy into Jo and her East Coast sass mixing it up a bit with these six-inch-heel wearing moms. And we’re about to see just what kind of mom she is.
Jo’s daughter, Zoey, is on the way to join her mom on the West Coast and arrives by way of grabbing her own cab at LAX, much to Abby’s horror. She’s also probably a little horrified at the Tinder profile Jo showed her moments before Zoey rang the doorbell: “This one put a bow tie on his dick!” You see, Abby has a new assignment—it’s not the assignment she thought it would be, but it is paying, and as Delia just informed her that Jake’s lawyers are asking for $5,000 in child support and $5,000 in spousal support, she’s got some money-making to do. Her agent calls to tell her that everyone in the office is still buzzing about her ballsy pitch, and HuffPost wants her to do an article “playing up the whole disaster angle: ‘10 Dates in Two Days.’” Abby isn’t totally into the idea, but she is into making the money, so she sets out finding herself 10 men who might make for disaster date material.
In one weekend, she goes out with a stuntman who takes her skydiving, a ferret-lover (“meet my ferret and the man who loves him”), a man who pretends to be blind, a father who brings his kids on the date, a father from her kids’ school, a dorky former NYU pal who hits its off more with Jo, and a few more unseen fellas. And you know what? She has a good time with those 10 men…well, not a good time, but an interesting time, and certainly not a disaster. Dating isn’t a disaster; divorce isn’t always a disaster either. Remember that, it’s going to come back up. Because the dad from Abby’s kids’ school—the one who tied a bow tie around his penis for his dating profile picture—is a married dad from Abby’s kids’ school.
Jo has accompanied Abby on this particular date to spy, and spots the man who must match the bow tie penis over Abby’s shoulder. But when Abby spots him, she realizes he’s married and she knows him. She calls him over and even though Jo had sent a picture of the inside of her pants instead of Abby’s actual face, he knows he’s caught. But she still lets him sit down and after he seems terrified at the thought of her telling his wife, they have a pretty frank chat. He says that his wife hates him and they never touch anymore, and Abby asks him, if it’s so bad, then why stay? “Why does anyone stay? Kids.” Abby tells him he has to consider if the kids are better off with two miserable parents—is he better off miserable than divorced? Jo does a lot of very meaningful listening during this conversation and later tells Abby that she thinks she wants to work it out with Frumpkis because, if nothing else, he loves her.
But apparently she reconsiders though, because she and Abby have a complicated little run-in later. As this whole “disaster date” angle is based on Abby’s various disastrous run-ins with Will the “28-year-old,” she gives him a call too. And she has a really good time on that date. Because Will might still look like he’s 40, but he’s also still smoking hot, and good at that (fake) young man sex, which Abby takes him to her house to have copious amounts of. While they’re discussing breakfast plans, they hear a noise, only to discover Jo and NYU having weird sex on Abby’s couch. Abby is furious—already hyped up from observing Jo’s laissez-faire parenting style with Zoey and days of screaming at Frumpkis on the phone—and blows up at Jo about what a wreck Jo’s life is. At first Jo seems to be taking it to heart, but when Abby starts mentioning Zoey, Jo blows up right back: “How about this: You say nothing about my kid ever again… because we all know you give some shitty advice.”
NEXT: And then there are all the non-Abbys…