HAPPY ENDINGS, “Kickball 2: The Kickening” Episode Recap
Last season, a scheduling snafu led to an episode of Happy Endings being left unaired in the States, and it finally got the chance to see the light of day (on this side of the pond), but it had to go up against the Golden Globes on a Sunday night. Way to rub salt in the wounds, ABC.
As a way for her to get the word out about her boutique, Alex signed the gang up to play in the annual kickball tournament. After some initial protests, everyone was on board except for Jane who had agreed to play for an auto shop. This act of betrayal brought out the worst of the Kerkovich sisters, Jane’s competitiveness and Alex’s jealousy, so it was on. After the obligatory montage of grown-ups drunkenly playing a child’s game, the siblings faced off once and for all, and Jane’s team won after she played some mind games. It looked like Team Xela was done for good, but it was revealed in a last minute swerve that the body shop’s team was DQed for corking their shoes with steel, and they’d be going on to the finals to face a gang of Russian manicurists. Thankfully, Jane had returned to her friends (after she squealed on her old team) just in time to play in the championship game, which of course they lost.
By Happy Endings‘ standards, “Kickball 2” was a pretty straightforward episode that fits in well in the current irony-obsessed landscape where it’s acceptable for adults to waste time playing schoolyard games. It didn’t juggle too many plotlines while also cramming in an over abundance of pop culture references, and it was all the better for it. That’s not to say that it was unfunny, because it was, but it was resonating on a very different wavelength compared to some of the other outings, and this more grounded method of storytelling made for a fun and coherent episode. Plus, it expanded on Jane and Alex’s very underutilized relationship. Sure, we’ve gotten a few examples of them being sisters, but I always get a kick out of learning more about their childhoods and when the show taps into their sibling rivalry.
Other Odds and Ends:
- In a very minor subplot, Dave had to fight the yips he picked up after he hit Penny in the head during a previous kickball game. Down-and-Out Dave’s my favorite version of the character, so watching him wildly miss a slow-rolling ball was pretty entertaining.
- Dave’s yips also gave us an oddly sweet moment between him and Penny, which would’ve played much better last season when they were both single and the chances of them hooking up were higher.
- I miss Scotty.
- Bunt Cake!
- Nice Lance Briggs cameo. Who’s next? Urlacher? Rose? Kukoc?
- Jane should always be in a cut-off tee and tiny baseball shorts.
- While the jokes were not as rapid-fire as usual, we still got some good sports movie shout-outs/cliches.
- Jane: “You see, I like to win. So, I’m taking my talents to Southside Kaz Auto Body Shop.”
Penny: “That is cold-blooded, LaBlonde Jane.”
- “Unbelievable folks, a gigantic homerun from a child-sized woman!”
- “And I hate being humiliated by Jane unless it’s on my terms… with safe-words.”
- “You got the right guy Max because I despite Soviets. You know why? Because they rendered every single one of my old globes obsolete.”
Ideally, “The Kickening” should’ve aired in its natural spot because it would’ve been a nice addition to Season 2, but I’m just glad we got a chance to see it in spite of the continuity issues. But I suppose it doesn’t matter anyway since most people probably won’t watch it because they’re unaware that the show’s on Sundays. Thanks again, ABC. What did everyone else think of Happy Endings “lost” episode?