"I'm gonna drop a dad bomb," Santa threatens, and everyone laughs as Ian looks bewildered. And it is a little bit of a foul expression, particularly because it reminds me of the dirty kid in my elementary school (you know that kid, right? The dirty one?) who used to tell people that if they didn't stop picking on him, he was going to give them something called "a breath blast." And then he would breathe on them, and that would be their karmic punishment for telling the dirty kid to take a damn shower because his hair mites were snowing all over their notebooks. Damn that kid. He was the reason I got thrown out of a class the single time I ever did anything bad in high school. I don't mean to be one of the bullies, but dude! Shower! Sigh. Kids can be so cruel. And other kids? Dirty. But anyway: "What's a dad bomb?" Ian asks. Way to play along, junior. Unable to explain, Santa just modifies the subject line, instead asking, "I want you to tell me why you're attracted to my daughter." Ian takes a cool, Bond-esque sip of something with flat tonic in it (you can still hear the dad's "Well, lemme check...I think we might have some down in the garage") and responds, "Look at her!" I think the thing is that Ian might be really funny. Every once in a while it seems like a really wry, normal personality is going to poke through the thick veneer of reality cheese that gets poured all over everything. If Ian is funny, don't you think showing it would be the best way to make us feel close to their burgeoning relationship? Why do we have to be so condescended to that Ian is reduced to the singular personality characteristic of "really likes Meredith"? We already know that. Fleiss? To you? A breath blast.
"I'll tell you about your daughter," Ian responds, and says that Meredith makes him laugh and smile and dance and frolic and love. "I'm not here to learn about an experience. I'm here because of your daughter." Meredith's mom actually clasps her hands together in rapturous joy at this speech, and in an excellent confessional, she tells us, "As much as she likes Matthew -- I mean, she adores him -- with Ian, it seems to be he's sweeping her off her feet." Right on, Meredith's mom. Like we learned last week "Matthew is the kind of guy you take home to your family." But nobody ever said if that's a good thing.
Dinner. Again. Ian talks ambiguously about the end of his job and life in New York City, telling them, "Everything that I own is in storage." Meredith's mom even makes an inside joke and says, "That sounds familiar!" Why is it so suave when Ian said it, but when Chad said the same thing everyone was all, "Allowance for mowing the lawn is not a job, Buffalo Boy." In the nation of Meredith, Ian is the cool but slacker New York, and Chad was the earnest but overly-industrial Buffalo. In a confessional, Ian frets on, "I think that her parents probably hoped for a guy who was very home-grown, grounded, has a steady, focused career...that worries me." Ian. Dude. THEY LOVE YOU. You could totally be like, "You know what tastes of chicken? Endangered baby seal tastes of chicken. The more endangered, the chickenier" and they'd all squeal, "That sounds familiar!" And Meredith unpacks the very fallacies on which the show is based, and Ian charms them into airing it. She tells her family, "I don't need a faaaahntasy suite. I don't need an exotic date." Don't you? "I could be in a shoebox and be fine with Ian." Not much spying to do in a shoebox. Except on that old lady, to learn how she seems to be producing so many children without the help of a man.