Welcome back, show. I loved you last season. Let's see if we can maintain that, at least. We open without any previouslies; apparently they want to reinvent the show (as Peter Krause discussed) so badly that they don't even want us to remember what happened last season. Unfortunately for them, we'll always have the recaps.
But we have a limo pulling up, surrounded by paparazzi, as the strains of Under Pressure begin. Nick gets out of the limo, and is asked exactly three questions amid the chatter: "Mr. George, How did you do it?" (this one is not answered or explained); and "Will Mr. Darling be putting his power behind Patrick's Senate campaign?" Nick answers: "Yes, but to what extent remains questionable." Then someone asks him how he was able to broker "this historic reconciliation" between father and son. Nick says it was quite an adventure.
Nick enters a huge party on a fancy yacht and Letitia greets him with, "Here's the birthday boy." He tells her she looks beautiful, only he also calls her "Letitia Darling," which seems very odd. Maybe the show did this in lieu of previouslies to catch up new or forgetful viewers. Letitia apologizes that she didn't have time to plan anything "too fancy," and he says he's sure this will be just fine. That Nick sure is humble, accepting this ritzy yacht party as an appropriate birthday fete.
Patrick greets Nick with a very awkward, "Happy birthday," and Nick's thank you is equally awkward. Then they look at each other oddly, and Nick asks, "Have you seen my wife?" Letitia is surprised Lisa's not with Nick. Nick leaves to look for her, which gives Letitia the opportunity to ask Patrick where his wife is. Only, these are the Darlings, so instead she says, "Ellen's not alcoholically indisposed again, is she?" Patrick assures her that Ellen's probably just running late.
We pan out and to the top deck of the yacht (did I mention it's big and fancy?), where Tripp is talking to Matthew Perry's dad as Brian stands there uncomfortably. Tripp says, "Brian used to be a minister. He was one for ten years. But he's working for me now." But Mr. Perry is focused on Brian's severe sunburn, asking him if he got a little too much sun. Brian says that happened when he and Patrick went sailing off their house in the Hamptons. We get it; the Darlings are rich.