Ah, Susan and Roger. Not since Heathcliff and whats-her-face out on the moors has there been such a dithering, fate-tossed non-couple. The entire episode, they hang out together (he bombed out of a job interview and ended up seeking refuge at the Millers'). He fixes Susan's broken air conditioning -- and no, that is not the prelude to a porn film, although it totally sounds like it, doesn't it? --- and afterwards, they go hang out at the Deckers' pool, where many meaningful looks are exchanged. Guys, just do it already. Have sex to advance the plot! Or to kill the plot. Either works for me.
Speaking of the Deckers … Tom and Trina spend the episode on the outs because Tom boned Bobbi without clearing it through Trina first. It comes out that this was a retaliatory move on his part -- someone is still smarting over the whole Luke thing -- and by the end of the hour, Trina has decided that their open marriage is closed until they can work through all this anger and jealousy and insecurity.
Bruce, however, appears to be opening up his marriage with or without Susan's approval. After spending a day mentoring Melinda on the trading floor, the two go out for drinks. One drink turns into many drinks (a citywide blackout helps) and then Melinda flat-out propositions him. Although we don't see Bruce explicitly accepting the offer, his guilty demeanor and need to take a shower the minute Susan kisses him hello suggest that he did. We'll find out next week, no doubt.
Finally, do you know who is picking up this series and walking away with it nestled in her little plaid pocket? Janet, that's who. She finds out about Roger's firing in an embarrassing way -- by bouncing a check in the bank -- but rises magnificently to the occasion. When Roger finally gets home from his day of deceiving Janet and lusting after her best friend, Janet reminds him that she takes her marital vows seriously, and whatever he needs from her, she'll give it to him. Then they have steak. Roger has no idea exactly how lucky he is.
Line of the night: "Your husband's yummy." -- Bobbi, the rapacious Dixie stewardess, to Susan, about Roger.
Runner-up line of the night: "I'd love to see your darkroom" -- Rex the co-pilot, who may or may not be strictly referring to Trina's photographic set-up.
MVP of the night: Janet, who is making that whole sticking-to-your-marital-vows look like a gutsy choice.
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We open the episode with Tom's flight crew in a hotel in Japan, engaging in all sorts of alcohol- and sex-related shenanigans. I wonder why the rate of international aviation accidents wasn't higher during the 1970s? Truly, those who fly the friendly skies are made of superhuman stuff. Anyway, Bobbi the stewardess is draping herself all over Tom, and he's okay with that. Sadly, their southern-fried flirtation is forced to cool down when Tom has to go make a run to refill the ice bucket. And wouldn't you know it? Trina picks that moment to call. Bobbi picks up with, "Captain Decker's room. Y'all looking for the party?" We cut to an unamused Trina replying, "No, I'm looking for my husband." It's worth noting that behind her are several black-and-white photos all pinned to a line. Trina clearly doesn't plan on using the kitchen for cooking any time soon. She looks down at a photo of Tom on the bed, then another one where she's snapping a photo in a mirror as Tom walks out the door. Oh, the symbolism.
Across the street, the Millers are having a meltdown. Their A/C window unit is broken, the repair people are all backed up thanks to the heat wave Chicago's experiencing. The conversation shifts through a few humdrum gears, then Susan asks maternally if Bruce has been keeping an eye out for Melinda on the trading floor. Bruce replies, "We've been meeting before the bell so I can teach her how to work the market." Susan's delighted by how her husband's helping the lady trader. He rhapsodizes, "If anyone's going to be a trader, it's Melinda. She's smart, tough --" "Pretty too," Susan says. Bruce says, "It's not going to hurt her. She could have a great future if she plays her cards right." Susan coos that Melinda called Bruce "one of the good ones." He's all, "Um, yeah. Gotta change my shirt again!"
Then we move to the train station, and to a scene so excruciating, I can't bear to go into it blow-by-blow. Long story short: Susan's been infused with the pock rock spirit of DIY and has decided that the 105-degree weather provides the perfect learning conditions for hanging your own wallpaper; Janet is going to buy Roger some new shirts for that new management job she seems to think he has; Roger is actually going into the city anyway, for reasons we don't know yet. As the men head toward the train, Janet says, "I'm so proud of him. Things are finally looking up. And who knows -- maybe we'll be neighbors again soon." Susan says, "Nothing would make me happier." She sounds like she means it. I guess it helps when you've got the hots for one of your old neighbors, huh?