Hurrah! Trina and Janet have kissed and made up! Really, everything else in this episode is ancillary.
Oh, fine, here's what else happened. Bruce confessed to Susan that he and Melinda have played tonsil hockey. This compels her to reason that she'd rather have Bruce's wandering eyes out where she can see him, so why don't they just go to a swinger's club? A few contrived circumstances later, Trina, Janet and Susan are meeting their spouses in what appears to be the hideous wreckage from a chiffon factory explosion. The libidinous Midwesterners getting down at the party prompt three different reactions: the Deckers throw a party back at their place, the Thompsons wander around looking like someone hit them in the back of the head, and the Millers decide to take Brad and Sylvia Davis home for a little swinging.
Unfortunately, Laurie and Doug are back at the Miller homestead, dividing their time between watching the GOP convention and necking on the couch. So while the senior Millers and the Davises are busy working around to Brad's "So … how would you like to hump my wife while I watch?" conversation, Laurie and Doug are the horrified, hidden bystanders. Then, in a sequence that looks like it was lifted straight from Three's Company, Bruce catches Doug and Laurie trying to sneak out. Oh, there's shouting and recrimination, and by the end of the episode, Bruce is pretty much opposed to anything that we've seen in the prior eight episodes.
Would you like to know which member of the Miller family has a functional love life? BJ takes Sam to a party that Ricky's throwing in his basement, and when a game of spin-the-bottle throws Sam and Ricky into a closet, she calls him out on his boy-crush upon BJ and Ricky overcompensates by ramming his tongue down Sam's throat. She floors him with a well-aimed punch and takes off. When BJ catches up, he points out that unlike Ricky, he doesn't need to overcompensate or play games, and sweeps Sam off her feet. That kid's got game.
Finally, circling back to Janet and Roger: she tries very hard to let go and let Roger do what he needs to, but at the end of the evening, she's a one-man woman, and she wants to be the one woman for Roger. How does she confirm this? Tom plants one on her and it does not open her up to the wide world of swinging.
Line of the night: "Well. This ought to be one for the scrapbook." -- Janet, upon entering her first swingers' club.
MVP of the night: Trina and Tom, who really are America's Fun Couple.
We open the episode over at the Deckers', during the cocktail hour. It's a small dinner party: Brad & Sylvia Davis, Bruce & Susan Miller, and, of course, the Deckers. Brad is telling a joke: "What's the difference between Ford and Nixon? Nixon couldn't tell the truth -- Ford couldn't tell the difference." Bruce politely smiles and tries to float a Carter joke, but it falls flat with this crowd. Sylvia launches into a soliloquy on the horrors of our two-party system -- you just know she'll eventually vote for Ralph Nader in 2000 and be completely defensive about it even now -- and Tom is like, "Sylvia's talking politics? Time for another drink!" Susan melts into the kitchen to keep Trina apprised of the party. As Trina finishes making shrimp cocktails (mmm!), she asks Susan whether things are cool with Janet. Between Susan and Janet, things are improving. However, Susan says, "I don't think she seriously believed [Trina meant to seduce Roger.] I think she felt more excluded than betrayed. It might take her longer to forgive me than you." Trina muses that she'd like to do something nice for Janet -- a pedicure or a shopping spree. Dang, Trina needs to become my friend if that's what the gig entails. Susan gently says Trina's headed in the right direction, but "you might want to think of something a little more Janet."
We cut to Roger typing up a list labeled "JOB OPTIONS." The ones that pique his interest: city planner, firefighter, electrician, real estate agent, reporter. And let me just say this now: unless Roger has a hidden stubborn streak we haven't seen, plus near-psychotic nosiness, a passion for accuracy and a compulsion to tell everyone everything he's learned, he'll make a terrible reporter. (Disclosure: I say this as a reporter, married to a reporter.) Janet comes into the den and comments, "Can't remember the last time I saw you at the typewriter. It must be serious business." Roger says he's nailing down his options. His hunt-and-peck typing is killing Janet, so she sits down, reminds him that she can still type 100 words per minute, and takes over. Roger totally lets her. First of all: I love that we have a crumb of backstory on Janet, as this suggests some time in an office. Second of all: Janet, you need to not mow over your husband ... like you're doing now. Third of all: Given how easily Roger caved, I'm thinking he'd be the kind of reporter who just takes a publicist's word as law. Take that as you will. Anyway, Janet manages to pull it out of Roger that he's applied to DeVry to finish his engineering education, and he's talking to Bruce about working on the Exchange. You'd think he would have told her in an effort to get some breathing room. Argh -- these two! Maybe they should start swinging, given that it apparently makes you talk, talk, talk constantly about your relationship.