By Laura Hertzfeld
July 01, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT
Jack Barnes/Showtime
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Last season, Episodes left off with a love triangle (well, almost a square, really) between Sean, Beverly, Matt, and Morning, plus a ton of smelly cologne spilled across Matt LeBlanc’s Malibu garage. The show’s return tonight saw Pucks taking a (hardly shocking) turn for the worse, LeBlanc getting even more Joey-like in his frat boy behavior, and a few of the minor characters from last season getting a chance to show their stuff. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

A few favorite moments of tonight’s first episode of season 2:

• The Entertainment Weekly reference. I can promise you we’ve never used the headline “LeBlanc shoots a LeBlank” – and I don’t think that describes Episodes one bit – but it is pretty genius.

• Myra is back and finally gets some lines. British actress Daisy Haggard gets to show her stuff in the first episode of season 2 and I can only hope that it’s a preview of more infuriatingly fun shows for her character. The second in line to Kathleen Rose Perkin’s Carol, Haggard has a permanent Valley Girl scowl on her face and the look of disgust when she hears Carol and Merc having sex in his office is priceless.

• Bev and Sean hire an assistant. Beverly and Sean are having their relationship issues, but one thing they can agree on is the stereotypically ridiculous assistant they’ve hired, Wendy. Wendy is constantly chewing gum, dutifully ignoring them, trying to get out of work, and screwing up whatever they’ve asked for. Case in point:

Wendy: Does this mean they’ll let us go home early?

Sean: Who’s “they”? We’re “they.”

Wendy: So … no?

• The blind wife shows her true colors. Merc is despicable, we know that. But his wife Jamie (Genevieve O’Reilly), who is blind, was all but a mannequin used for flat jokes to show just how despicable he is throughout season 1. Sure, her move on Matt was cringe-inducing, but I was glad to see her show some oomph.

• Finally, the Ross & Rachel moment. Given that this is a David Crane and Jeffery Klarik show, I’m always on the lookout for Friends references. I can’t help it. And tonight was no exception. The birthday gift never found in the car and the subsequent Sean-Morning smooch was more than I could handle. Is this their “WE WERE ON A BREAK!” moment? We’ll have to keep watching to see. I’m betting yes.

Episodes takes risks – poking fun at the entertainment industry and using lines that — if they fall flat — could be used against the show as easily as they are flung at the-show-within-a-show, Pucks. Carol had the best line of the episode in that respect when she noted in reference to the ratings and what the network airs: “They hated most of the crap we have on the air, and people still watch it.” Fortunately, tonight’s episode of Episodes was a far cry from crap.

Matt LeBlanc on the possibility of a ‘Friends’ reunion special, season 2 of ‘Episodes’ and Bigfoot

‘Episodes’ exclusive: Matt LeBlanc tries to repair his bromance with Sean — VIDEO

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