Studio 60 celebrates the holidays by delivering a pretty decent episode. First of all, you heard right: Jordan is pregnant and Danny keeps thinking up new reasons to be by her side at every step. Matt becomes filled with the Christmas spirit and sets out to put on a Christmas episode of the show, despite the fact that Wes Mendel never did. Matt's somewhat stymied in his efforts by a lack of props, due to earthquake-related contrivances, as well as the fact that Tom, Simon, Lucy, Darius, and Andy have decided to pick this week to take Matt's lead and become all Johnny Knows-a-Lot about the truth behind Christmas. Buckle your seatbelts, kids: this week we're debunking the Bible! Jack's got an FCC problem thanks to the strawiest straw man who ever strawed, and for a while it seems like his choices are either to kowtow to the FCC and thus destroy the integrity of the NBS news division, not to mention himself, or else take on the FCC and risk losing the Macao deal for Ed Asner. It looks for a second like Jack may quit his job in order to keep his dignity, but fortunately, Asner is really spoiling for a fight with the FCC, so it's game on. Harriet gets offered a plum movie role by an ex-boyfriend who's directing (?) the film. She accepts, she's excited, Matt's excited, then Matt's jealous, then the ex-boyfriend says he wants Harriet back, then Harriet gets concerned, then Matt kisses Harriet backstage, then Harriet loses her ability to speak, for a moment, on air. There's a tacked-on feel-good plot about New Orleans jazz musicians that made your recapper feel really bad for rolling his eyes at it. And finally, Danny realizes that he's in love with Jordan, I suppose, and declares his intentions to make an honest woman out of her, though he expresses it not unlike Clubber Lang issuing a challenge to the champ in Rocky III. Watch out, Jordan! He's coming for YOU!
Previously: Ed Asner really wanted to build a gambling and resort empire in Macau. And incidentally, I've been spelling it "Macao," which I believe still is an alternate spelling, but not the preferred one. But "Macao" just looks better, doesn't it? I should be correct, and yet I'm not. I hate that! Anyway, this time around we see that he's partnering with Steve Wynn and the MGM Grand. Not sure if I remember that from the first time around or not (that episode fell during the dark ages when my cable got killed by a tree), but it's marginally important this week.
We open at the "West L.A. Women's Medical Group," which is festively decorated in the ornaments of a holiday celebrating a virgin birth. Real sensitive there, medical establishment! Jordan -- who we'll assume got knocked up through means significantly less ecclesiastical -- reads a magazine in the waiting area, Danny Tripp by her side. She says it's weird that Danny's there with her, he not being the father of her unborn child at all. Danny doesn't think it's all that strange, but Jordan polls the waiting couples for men who are neither the husband nor the father in their respective situations. Danny obediently raises his arm. "Put your hand down!" Jordan whispers. Danny starts reciting statistics as he reads his mom-to-be magazine, to Jordan's general annoyance. Of course, considering all the grinning and sidelong glancing she's up to, I don't entirely buy it when she says she doesn't need any help here. Danny asks why Jordan won't tell him who the father is. She says that Danny doesn't know him. "I don't want to know him," Danny pouts. Why not? "Because if he were someone I'd want to know, he'd be here." Jordan is silently impressed. "What makes you think I told him?" she finally asks. "Because I do know you," Danny returns. The nurse calls Jordan to the examination room just as Jordan tells Danny that she did tell the father. The unspoken implication that Jordan can't even rope a man when she gets pregnant with his child hangs heavy in the air for a moment. Danny then adopts his best "dude" voice and mocks, "'Well, it's entirely up to you, kiddo...'" Jordan "yep"s in acknowledgment. "'...but I'll pay for everything, no worries in that department.'" It's awful nice of Jordan to have gotten Danny the best Christmas present of all: another reason to feel superior to someone else.
Inside the exam room, Danny flat-out asks who the father is. As it turns out, it's Jordan's ex-boyfriend. You know, the one who works at the insurance company and leaked the news about Danny's drug test that helped set this whole gory story into motion. Danny is, as you can imagine, still pretty sore about that whole ordeal, so he defaults to being judgmental and mean about it. Of course, on this show, no one else ever identifies him as being judgmental and mean. So when he rags on Jordan for sleeping with the guy to get inside information, then calls out her integrity for sleeping with him at all, and THEN has the brass ones to bitch her out for not using birth control, nobody takes a moment slap him in his big, stupid face for being a condescending dickhead. We've been here before, and yet his balls remain magically unkicked. Let's hope this changes at some point in the future. Anyway, the doctor comes in and makes "I'm a big fan"-style small talk with Danny (Doc loves the Nicolas Cage sketches) until Jordan has to point out to the boys that she doesn't feel like being in a paper gown all day. Danny says that all this female stuff makes him "queasy" (couldn't be less surprised), so he waits behind the curtain.