‘Swingtown’ recap: Trina’s dangerous game
Dear TV Watcher,
You’re cordially invited to the most happening shindig of the year, where all of your deepest, darkest secrets will be revealed to the host of nosy neighbors you desperately try to hide those secrets from the other 364 days of the year. But don’t worry, all of this embarrassment is part of a neato suburban scavenger hunt! Please bring your spouse and wear comfy shoes. The prize for the winning team is an oversize stained-glass question mark.
Hope to see you there!
I’d wager at least a week’s salary (yeah, just a week, I’m not really a betting woman) that if this invitation found its way to your mailbox, it would promptly end up in the circular file. Why? Because people don’t like sharing secrets; that’s why they’re called secrets! So why would anyone willingly air their dirty laundry in front of the entire neighborhood? Because it’s a good plot device! And Janet had to find out about Susan and Roger’s midday rendezvous somehow. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start back at the beginning.
The episode of Swingtownopened with what was obviously a dream sequence, because, let’s be honest, we never really see anything steamy on the series except when it comes courtesy of a characters’ sleepy-time visions. (Remember Janet’s pie dream from the second episode?) This time it was Susan’s mind we were privy to as she imagined sunning herself in the Deckers’ pool with Roger stroking sunscreen onto her chest and leaning down to softly kiss her lips. He was quickly foiled, as Bruce and Janet suddenly surfaced from the deep, waking Susan with a start. She found Bruce up early getting ready for work, once again acting out of sorts and complaining he couldn’t sleep. Though we would find out later he never slept with Melinda, his behavior still seemed suspect. Could it just be guilt? Or is it an unfulfilled longing?
Over at the Thompsons’, Janet was serving Roger breakfast and the want ads, hoping her husband could find a job to keep them out of the poorhouse. Roger decided he had a few months to find something that fit and scampered off to the library, leaving Janet to tend to the laundry. And wouldn’t you know it, she found the incriminating swim trunks from last week‘s pool party. Assuming they were Bruce’s from their weekend at the cabin, Janet showed them to Susan, who looked more than a little worried until she figured out Janet wasn’t onto her and Roger.
Meanwhile, Trina was running around the neighborhood planting tokens for her much-ballyhooed Puzzlerama party (or, as Tom called it, ”truth or dare on a roller coaster”). See what I mean? This is a horrible idea for a party. Trina claimed she didn’t want anyone getting hurt, but what are the odds that won’t happen when juicy tidbits are being spilled?
NEXT: Laurie’s campaign strategy
As the adults readied themselves for the fiesta/fiasco (even uptight Jan finagled an invite from Susan), Laurie was off supporting the Carter campaign, collecting signatures at the local grocery store with Doug, who didn’t think her scare-tactic approach would earn many John Hancocks. Competitive Laurie smelled a challenge and bet her former teacher that she could get more signatures than him, with the winner deciding what they did that night — all night.
Unfortunately, we also got a visit from that other Miller kid, who had just returned home from camp. (Couldn’t he have been eaten by a bear or something?) He really did nothing in this episode except give Samantha some lame pouch full of feathers and other outdoorsy stuff. The awkward exchange was completely unnecessary.
Back in grown-up land, the troops had rallied at the Deckers’ to hear the evening’s rules and pair up with their scavenger-hunt — er, excuse me — Puzzlerama partner. Trina gave each partygoer a Puzzleramarita (clever) with colored stickers on the bottom of the glass. The attendees with the corresponding stickers became two-person teams who were to decipher the secret riddles Trina provided and find their colored token at the answer’s location. Of course Roger and Susan ended up together, as did Bruce and a not-really-invited Melinda, who showed up with Mareno, while uptight Janet ended up with laid-back Tom. I’m wondering how Trina knew everyone’s secrets for the riddles. Has she been spying on the neighbors with that Nikon of hers? Or is she just really well informed?
Anyway, back to the hunt. The teams scattered, going their separate ways. Team Green (Susan and Roger) went across the street to shady lady Gail’s house for token No. 1, only to stumble upon a pair of leopard-print, fur-lined handcuffs. Meow. As Roger and Susan discussed their previous pool playtime at the Deckers’, Roger confided that he had enjoyed getting to know her better during their alone time. Susan said she had too but was wary of what Janet would think if she found out (and rightly so). ”Next time I play hooky, we’ll make sure to get both our stories straight,” Roger said, gazing into Susan’s emerald eyes. Wow. Did anyone else’s heart just skip a beat?
As the sexual tension intensified between Team Green’s members, Team Orange (Bruce and Melinda) were getting cozy in the naughty section of a newsstand. And by ”cozy,” I mean they were making out! Real classy. Tom, leading Janet to the same porn rack to find their next token, had to hightail it back to the house so Janet wouldn’t see her former neighbor canoodling with the young trader.
NEXT: Photo finish
As the evening wore on, Susan confronted Trina about being paired with Roger, having figured out it wasn’t an accident and suspecting Trina was onto their flirtation. Trina told her that she had no ulterior motives but that she simply thought the two could make ”a great team that can win it all if they want to.” ”Winning isn’t everything,” Susan curtly replied. Something tells me they weren’t talking about Puzzlerama.
As the game came to an end, it seemed that a tie would have to be declared. That is, until über-competitive Janet begged for one more tie-breaking clue. After a bumpy-skies/smooth-as-silk clue led her to the Deckers’ boudoir, Janet found not only the winning token but a photo of Roger shirtless at the Deckers’ pool. Assuming that swinging Trina was making the moves on her hubbie, Janet huffed downstairs with the incriminating evidence, only to find things weren’t as they seemed. Roger admitted confiding in Susan and spending the day poolside at the Deckers’. To this, even Bruce gave Susan a sideways glance. Maybe you should be giving yourself that sideways glance in the mirror, Bruce.
Later that night at the Thompsons’, Janet expressed how angry she was about Roger’s confiding in another woman, which was a completely valid complaint, though one can’t help empathizing with Roger as well. Janet doesn’t make it easy on him.
Roger, however, wasn’t the only one who apologized about last week’s goings-on. Earnest Susan also asked for Bruce’s forgiveness for not telling him about that afternoon, though she made Bruce concede that he doesn’t divulge every detail of his life either. Susan announced that she didn’t want to keep secrets any longer, and Bruce slyly agreed. Though he, not surprisingly, kept mute about his afternoon with Melinda. Things don’t look good for Susan and Bruce.
But what do you think, TV Watchers? Was Bruce and Melinda’s dalliance a one-time thing? Or is a full-blown affair on the horizon? Will Susan and Roger ever hook up? (And do you want them to? I do!) What’s going to happen to Laurie and Doug now that she’s had her way with him? Will the show last long enough for us to find out? The move to Friday nights may spell trouble for our fledgling drama.