So it turns out that Bruce didn't sleep with Melinda last week, despite all our wild speculation. He turned her down -- not because he's not interested in her, but because getting involved with her feels way too much like cheating on Susan. However, that didn't stop him from making out with her a little at a newsstand.
What were they doing there? Playing Puzzlerama, a scavenger hunt game Trina invented whereupon people decipher gossipy clues, then race to the clue-subjects' houses to pick up the tokens they need to win. Since Bruce's clue is linked to his Big Box o' Porn, that's why he was at the newsstand.
Anyway, Trina had mixed up different people into teams with the idea of keeping it interesting -- Susan with Roger, Bruce with Melinda -- and she assigned Tom to keep an eye on Janet. Those two have some great on-screen chemistry -- and Tom helps guide Janet to victory via a tie-breaking question that leads her to inadvertently discover Roger's mid-day sortie to the Deckers' pool. Janet does not take it well. I honestly don't know which part upset me more: that she and Roger are on the outs, or that she was pretty verbally snippy with Trina. Because let's admit: Janet and Trina have great chemistry too. This may be the lateness of the hour (or the Pimm's cups) talking, but I sort of wish Janet would leave Roger's jobless and unmotivated ass and move into with the Deckers as a sort of domestic manager. Can you imagine? It's a beautiful dream.
Anyway, by the end of the night, Bruce has managed to fend off Melinda and tamp down his attraction to her, Susan has appeared to decide that the rewards for acting on her feelings for Roger won't be worth the consequences, the Thompsons are on the outs, and Trina feels a little remorseful over the whole thing. But on the bright side: she and Tom appear to have worked through some of their issues. Yay!
Line of the night: "The freaks keep coming." -- Sam, who will likely grow up to disdain HOAs.
MVP of the episode: Trina. She's got emotional depth, that one.
Talk about the move to Friday's and more in our forums.
We open with a dream sequence. Really? For the second time in eight weeks? That seems a little lazy, if you ask me. Also, it seems to violate the storytelling spirit of "show, don't tell." I would prefer to see that Susan's feeling acutely guilty over her attraction to Roger via how she interacts with Bruce and Janet when she's awake. Instead, we get this sequence:
Susan is floating on a raft in the middle of the Deckers' pool. Tom comes over and purrs, "You look like you could use some suntan oil, Susan." Why not? It's 1976 and skin cancer hasn't been invented yet! Susan's ready for a PABA-scented rubdown, and Trina comes over to say, "I'll do the other side." "Don't forget her legs," Tom commands, then gets distracted necking with Sherie Hyatt; John Hyatt has attached himself, remora-like to Trina. (Funny how these ancillary characters, introduced once in a party where Susan stomped out in a snit, feature so prominently in her subconscious.) This is where Roger pops in, smiling, "Mind if I take over?" Susan doesn't mind at all. However, right as Roger leans down to kiss her, the shrieking violins from Psycho start up, and a dry, fully-dressed Janet rises out of the water, shouting her husband's name. We get a priceless take from Tom. Then a dry, fully-dressed Bruce pops up, asking, "Susan, what are you doing?" Susan feebly protests, "It isn't what it looks like, is it?" but Trina and Roger just shrug at her. Janet huffs, "My husband and my best friend," and then Bruce says, "So much for open and honest." Susan calls his name ...
... And then we switch to her waking up. Bruce stops guiltily in mid-exit: "I was trying not to wake you. It's early. I couldn't sleep because of my adulterous longing for my co-worker so I thought I'd catch the first train in to the city, the sooner to see the woman whom I'm so attracted to." He may not have included the stuff in italics. Bruce bids Susan a very tender goodbye, but she's up for the morning now.
Cut to the Deckers' house, where there is a giant, rainbow stained-glass question mark hanging up and a giant, man-wearing mustache expositing about how it's already been a whole year since the last Puzzlerama. Oh, wait -- it's Tom. Someone needs a trim. Trina justifies the annual romp with "New year, new neighbors, new secrets." When a ticked-off neighbor inevitably throws a rock through her window, it's going to come wrapped in a copy of Robert Frost's "Mending Wall." Tom frets that Bruce and Susan might not be able to handle this party: "Things got kind of heated last year." Trina promises to prep them. The two then get flirty regarding the secrets she's writing, and Trina notes, "The same rules apply to us as to everyone else." Tom grins, "You're wicked." Trina claims, "I'm an open book. It's secrets that are wicked. "