The gang gets into the Halloween spirit...before the high-expectations holiday crushes theirs

By Aly Semigran
Updated October 27, 2011 at 02:00 AM EDT
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Richard Foreman/ABC
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Perhaps this is just wishful thinking, but the Happy Endings gang could easily work at Entertainment Weekly. Any group of people that make references to Brett Butler, Lady Gaga’s meat dress, Roman Polanski, Carlito’s Way Sean Penn, I Am Sam Senn Penn, St. Elsewhere, and The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek all within in the span of a half an hour would be welcomed with open arms around these parts. Plus, I really just want Max as a cubicle buddy. Just sayin’.

But, the HE crew was far too busy to join the EW staff this week as they were gearing up for the Monster Mash Pumpkin Bash, a big Halloween party in the city complete with creative costumes, killer buffets, and drag queen contests. Preparations needed to be made. Max, knowing what an important holiday Halloween is, pre-gamed for the main event. In case you forgot, Max’s theories on holidays are as follows:

“Halloween is the Super Bowl of drinking.”

“The Super Bowl is the Halloween of football.”

“Halloween is the Arbor Day of urinating.”

“Arbor Day is the Wimbledon of having sex” (Credit goes to Brad on that gem.)

The currently costume-less Max volunteered to partner up with a now date-less Penny, whose boyfriend-of-the-week Adam (to which Dave rightfully wondered out loud, “Who’s Adam?”) dumped her after she suggested a couple’s costume where she’s a new mom and he’s the newborn baby. Not exactly what Penny needed to get to the end result of her vision board. Nevertheless, Max followed through with his vow (“I wanna be your wing baby”) and he and Penny hit the party as the most bizarre pairing of an adult and an infant an a Baby Bjorn since The Hangover.

Unfortunately, the two hit a snag when they both met potential male suitors. Penny got courted by a gentleman named Rick dressed as Abe Lincoln, while Max met a fellow named AJ (sporting, arguably the night’s best costume, ZZ Top Gun) who admires his skills of building the foundation for an excellent food plate. (Use taquitos as bricks and nacho cheese as the mortar. But don’t bother with lettuce, as that takes up precious space for another Monte Cristo.)

But, splitting up so Penny could distract Honest Abe from Slutty Betsy Ross and Max could attend AJ’s “weird gay turkey party” proved to be a problem when they realized they couldn’t get out of their complicated costume since she was in a one-piece bathing suit and he wasn’t wearing any underwear. There was an even bigger problem when Max (whose tiny baby hand gestures got funnier and funnier as the night wore on) thought that Abe, er, Rick wasn’t good enough for Penny. In fact, Max thinks Penny is “the greatest girl in the world.” I really loved this scene in particular (and not just because Penny had to go to the urinal with Max, where he asked her, to no avail, “to shake or jump up and down or shiver”) but because Happy Endings isn’t an overly sentimental show (one of its strongest points, if you ask me) and it’s nice to give them these occasional sweet, but not saccharine, moments. Especially when you’ve got actors as talented as Adam Palley and Casey Wilson to handle it.

NEXT: Bacon Jane and Brad get banished to the ‘burbs

Of course, Max and Penny weren’t the only one having a complicated Halloween. Despite being sick, Alex pulled a Leslie Knope and rallied to go out. Not having to sport one of Dave’s terrible Sean Penn-themed couple’s costumes, Alex went as the classic knockout Marilyn Monroe. Not only did she turn heads (and get an 80’s movie sunglasses double take) but she got the attention of a handsome guy at the party. Only, I forgot to mention that Alex was still very much sick and had a gravely voice. So gravely, in fact, that her date, who was dressed as a baseball player, thought she was a dude. It certainly doesn’t help matters when Alex declared she decided tonight was the night to “come out.” (Funny, yes. But, it’s hard to believe that anyone would believe for one second that Elisha Cuthbert is a guy.)

On the other end of the party, Alex’s ex was striking out as he went for an even less relevant costume than hers: Austin Powers. (As Alex perfectly zinged him, “I can’t wait to see your Borat costume in nine years!”) Even worse, no one recognized his outdated get-up and kept referring to him as Elton John and/or Billy Joel. Still, as much as Dave tried to sell it with his “Yeah, baby!”s and Austin Powers dances, the whole thing turned out to be a disaster that was in no way worth the rush shipping fee. By the end of the night, Alex ditched her misled guy and reconvened with Dave. I mentioned this last week, but doesn’t it feel like they’re starting to lay the ground work for a Dave and Alex reunion? While I find Dave to be the weakest character on the show as Alex continues to climb the ranks as one of the best, it would be nice to actually see them as a couple. We’ve only ever known them as exes, after all.

But maybe I was just hankerin’ for a power couple as Jane and Brad were banished to the suburbs to take care of their friends’ house, a.k.a. Breezy Acres. There, Jane, hilariously dressed as a piece of bacon (Eliza Coupe is proving to be a comedic powerhouse every week), and Brad, refusing to wear his Denver omelette costume, find the negatives and positives of living in the suburbs and whether or not it’s a place they really want to raise their kids someday. Let’s weigh them for Jane and Brad, shall we?

Pros:

–Quiche zone in the kitchen.

–Hot tubs in the backyard. (“Oh no you di’int!”)

–When you run out of treats on Halloween, you can improvise with yogurt, wheat bread, lunch meat, heavy cream, sandwich bag, the box the sandwich bags come in, and an entire cake. But, no Smarties. They’re gross.

–You can get baconed.

Cons:

–You may not actually get to use said hot tub.

–Older youths will throw bricks through your windows with threatening notes attached (albeit, cleverly written ones, “Over. This Isn’t Over.”) when you don’t provide them with treats.

–In an attempt to buy candy, the convenience store is out of candy, and it seems, employees. (More like an inconvenience store, amiright?!)

–You can get egged.

–The rest of their gang is back in the city.

Luckily, that last con overruled all and Jane and Brad went back to the city where things are “normal.” And just in time to watch Alex compete in the drag competition, as per Dave’s noble words, “God gave you melons, make melonade.” Of course, Alex lost. And not because she didn’t make a spectacular Marilyn Monroe, but because she competed against Max who wore Penny’s bathing suit and he has a big, huge….

NEXT: The best lines from “Spooky Endings”

So, uh, anyway, here are some of the best lines from last night’s Halloween-themed Happy Endings, titled, “Spooky Endings”:

“It’s basically a gorilla costume that’s slightly singed. Like when you age a document.” –Brad, desperately trying to cover his tracks after saying he wants to see a hot girrr—illa costume

“We’re not piling on?” –Max, and then Jane, after being denied group high fives

“Oh, denial. The first step in not wanting to admit things.” –Max’s words of wisdom

“You look like a finger after a ten hour bath…You look like Brett Butler after a karate class” –Jane to her sick sister Alex. (Did anyone else forget they were sisters, too?!)

“Good news. Whatever I have is not from the bird I kissed!” –Alex, discussing her illness

“Oh, hot tub, I want me inside you.” –Brad

“That is the first thing I’ve genuinely liked since Barbra Walters exploded.” –Max, complimenting AJ’s costume

“I didn’t think I’d be able to use this line in context but, ‘He thinks you’re a man, baby'” –Dave finally getting to do his best Austin Powers to Alex

Additional treats from the episode: Jane attempting — and failing — to move around in her bacon costume, Brad has a favorite pair of sweatpants he’s named Karen, Penny and Max’s bite fight, Brad’s willingness to open a playground to “watch children,” buy children’s candy out of a stranger’s trunk, and lure them into the backyard so he can give them candy from the hot tub, and, of course, the revelation that Jane…has a blog?! (ABC, make this happen. If CBS can do it for Barney Stinson, you can do it for Jane.)

So what did you think of the new episode of Happy Endings? Who had the best costume of the night? How about the best one-liner? Do you think they’re trying to get us to root for an Alex and Dave reunion? Will Jane and Brad actually start trying for a family soon? Or is that sitcom poison and the only baby that should be on Happy Endings is Creepy Baby Max? Do you agree that the Happy Endings gang would fight right in at EW? Rate the episode below and share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Happy Endings

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