Amanda falls head over high heels for Carlene's brother; Cricket's power reputation is threatened by Heather; Zack schemes to get Sharon away from the church

By Marc Snetiker
Updated April 02, 2012 at 04:56 AM EDT
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S1 E5
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  • TV Show
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  • ABC

Cricket Caruth-Reilly. Dallas hotshot. Self-made woman. Owner of fitness centers, TV stations, hotels, clothing companies and restaurants. And now, add kick-ass funeral songstress to the list. If Cricket’s riff-laden rendition of “Amazing Grace” didn’t have you belly laughing in your boots, I encourage a second viewing, because even though Cricket took a backseat for the rest of the episode, Miriam Shor’s surprising showstopper was a hilarious kick-off to another hilarious episode of GCB — although where musical performances are concerned, my deepest loyalties will always lie with The Chenoweth.

Love was in the air in Dallas tonight for Amanda and Gigi, who both found themselves in equally offensive affairs. After Gigi’s romantic rival Bitsy kicked it last week in a nasty case of death by deliciousness, Mama Stopper was free to finally be with her man Burl, or so he thought. Ever alert to what makes a Dallas scandal, Gigi didn’t want the eyes of the community judging the pair for getting together so quickly after Bitsy bit it. And so began a sordid secret love affair, replete with dinners in the dark and costumed PDA (kudos to Gigi for bringing back some of that Little Red Riding Hood cosplay from Comic-Con 1697).

While Gigi and Burl’s relationship slowly unfolded, Amanda’s had all the subtlety of a highway pile-up, as an unwelcomed bee caused her to literally run into her new beau with her perfectly-detailed SUV. A few minutes of pixelation later (the guy had been driving commando, of course), Amanda had her first real love interest of the series—with Carlene’s younger brother Luke!

There was plenty of charm to go around between Amanda and Luke (played by Days of Our Lives grad Eric Winter, much to my mom’s excitement, I’m sure). The two playfully went to Booby-Licious for their first date, exuding more chemistry than blue cheese and buffalo wings. But wouldn’t you know it, the mirth can’t last forever. Enter Carlene.

After spotting Gigi and Burl doing some casual bush-whacking in the garden, Carlene mistakes the duo for Luke and Amanda and hurriedly calls the police. But even though she’s wrong, she uses the intel to her advantage, blackmailing Amanda into breaking it off with Luke lest she leak the news of Gigi and Burl’s romance to the entire city of Dallas. Wanting to see her good ol’ mama happy, Amanda takes the fall and buries her sadness in a tub of ice cream (while poor Luke didn’t even see the blindside coming, although he probably should have, since he seemed to be at least five times as wary about Carlene as Amanda has ever been). Nevertheless, Gigi whisks Amanda off to the big church fundraiser, even though she raises at least half an eyebrow to her daughter’s sudden disinterest in Texas’s most eligible bachelor.

NEXT: Cricket vs. Heather, Sharon vs. Zack, and Bozeman vs. V-Necks

In the twisted rodeo Disneyland that is the Peacham household, I don’t think there was a single mention of Sharon’s food obsession. Except, of course, when son Bozeman (Bozeman?) showed up from military school and demanded a home-cooked meal by his doting mother. Let’s back up for a second: Sharon, now fully obsessed with volunteering at the church, has become so immersed in being Pastor Tudor’s assistant that it’s taking a toll on Zack and daughter McKinney (seriously, who named the Peacham children?). As Sharon toiled, Zack schemed to get her back in the house the only way he knew how: through Bozeman, who apparently has a history of being expelled from schools because of his lady-killing ways. And let’s face it, Bozeman is essentially a walking supermodel in a piece of fabric that can only be called a V-neck in the same way that a bikini can be called a burka.

The plan works and Sharon returns home for a time, but when Bozeman winds up arrested for a joy ride (among other rides), he reveals that Zack pulled him out of school to keep Sharon away from Pastor Tudor. Sharon is upset and flees to the church, with Zack in tow, and there’s an awkward confrontation when Zack accuses Sharon and Poor Pitiful Pastor Tudor of being interested in one another. That romance is quickly — and thankfully — debunked, as I can’t imagine anything more nauseating than watching Sharon lint-roll the Pastor until he’s pulpit-ready. With Zack’s jealous thoughts now eased, Sharon is the one who is upset at the delicate manipulation of her emotions. But because she has the willpower of goldfish, she finds herself drawn to Zack again when he exerts some discipline on Boze, who it appears will be sticking around. The Boze will live to wear another V-neck!

Meanwhile, Cricket finds herself in a heated rivalry with Heather after taking gross offense when Andrew called his girlfriend “the most powerful woman in Dallas.” Since power is Cricket’s main jam, you can imagine how loud she chirped in response, going so far as to give up her position as chairman of the fundraising committee so that Heather alone could raise the $3 million that Poor, Pitiful Pastor Tudor (yes, that’s now his formal title) requested for church remodeling. Heather takes on the responsibility, but soon learns that raising anything aside from her hemline is exceptionally difficult. That’s where Internet Pooh Bah Andrew comes in, giving Heather a guaranteed money-raising guest star at the fundraiser: Sheryl Crow, who came and sang a song and looked kind of pretty and raised $3 million and said a joke, I think. Andrew noticed that Heather derived a little too much pleasure from associating herself with his money, though, and left the habanero realtor in the dust.

At the fundraiser, Carlene accidentally let slip that she had something to do with Amanda and Luke’s break-up, leading Gigi to pull Amanda aside and wrangle out the truth. When she learned that her own romance with Burl was restricting Amanda from having her beefcake, Gigi answered the motherly call by taking Burl onto the stage and revealing their poorly-timed passion for the entire community, leaving Carlene with no blackmail fodder and Amanda with an opportunity to try things again with Luke, who enthusiastically bestows a second chance. Awww.

NEXT: The best sound bites of the night

The best sound bites of the night

“There’s a group of Sikhs that I’ve just about worn down enough to go to Sunday school. I saw a table of turbans and I just went for it. Shalom!” –Carlene

“I have tried unsuccessfully to get Luke to explain to me why you have possession of his pants, and Ripp says it’s against the law to waterboard immediate family.” –Carlene

“Nothing quite says welcome to Texas like a good clean kill shot, huh?” –Ripp

“You wouldn’t need caterers with all those lovely vending machines!” –Cricket

“Mama, I’m so hungry I’ve almost reached eating disorder.” –McKinney

Cricket: “Carlene, we cannot allow a repeat of what happened during your performance last year.”

Carlene: “That child’s seizures were because of strobe lights, not ‘Glitter and Be Gay.’”

Cricket: “She bit off her tongue!”

“Denial is not an option. Pull up your big-girl panties.” –Cricket

“The invitation said casual, which means simple and tasteful. No diamonds bigger than your head.” –Gigi

“Stop in the name of love!” –Pastor Tudor

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