Again, I don’t know how this show is doing, ratings-wise, but Girlfriends’ Guide continues to impress week after week. This episode offers a take on interesting concepts of family, when Abby’s parasitic parents come for a visit (the excellently cast Barry Bostwick and Lesley Ann Warren) in the midst of a pregnancy crisis from Becca, the young woman pregnant with her ex-husband’s baby.
Abby is a giver, and an enabler, as we’ve seen: A lot of the drama in season one revolved around how much she had to support and take care of her artistic husband, when her income was a lot more stable than his. Abby’s parents now spy the same money source in her, while offering very little in return (not even watching 8-year-old Charlie for one frickin’ night when her sitter cancels). In a long-overdue tirade, Abby reveals what is so lacking in her parents and just why she is agreeing to take care of her ex-husband’s baby mommy: Because family is often inconvenient, and messy (Charlie, for example, is regressing all the way to bed-wetting and pacifiers). The fact that they’re family, especially with the children part of that family, means that these ties are endless, no matter how ugly things get. With Becca’s bedrest condition, I suspect that this means that she’ll be moving into Abby’s guesthouse soon. But somehow Lisa Edelstein plays this so well that Abby is not seen as a doormat, but as a strong, maternal character who knows how to take care of people. Although she initially wants to bolt from her meeting with Becca, once the girl is in medical trouble with no family in sight, Abby knows that only someone truly heartless could walk away.
It helps to have a McDreamy doctor on her side as well. Fortunately we’ve already seen some conflict in Mark Valley’s Dr. Harris, otherwise his white-knight save at the hospital would read as too good to be true. As it stands, it seems like quite a leap from the guy who blew off Abby’s prom a few weeks ago, but Lord knows that she could use something good and fun in her life, and Harris is fitting the bill for now. Although it was pretty funny (and noteworthy) how quickly Abby’s parents turned around on babysitting when it was to further their daughter’s relationship wth a TV doctor.
The parental ribbon runs though a few other storylines as well: Phoebe unfortunately is only dating her cute professor Graham for one hot minute, as he has mommy issues and possibly some other deep dark secret going on with his kind-of brother Joaquin. Still, it was fun to see Phoebe getting creative and exploring some other options, all the while looking amazing in a series of metallic mesh outfits.
Jo’s family also comes up, as she needs to prove that she got her bakery through an inheritance so that she can keep it in the custody battle with her ex. Like Abby, Jo tries to turn to her relatives for support, and finds them lacking. In the midst of losing her business and her child, Jo lashes out in classic Jo fashion, lining up Tinder hookup after Tinder hookup until her luck runs out and she finds herself with a very scary sex partner. Another heart-to-heart with Jake helps put her on the right path, and it’s nice that these two neighbors are able to help each other out. But I also get the sinking feeling that the powers-that-be are trying to align these two for their own future relationship, which would be horrible, but plot-wise, an instant ticket to drama and a way to keep Jake around. Still, I hope I’m wrong about this.
Almost as destructive as Jo is Delia, who is playing fire with her upcoming marriage, her boss, and her job through her hookup with Albert. This relationship squicks me out for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is his tendency to call her “kid”: He always seemed like a paternal mentor figure to her, which makes their affair a little grows, even if they weren’t cheating on their respective partners. It’s all bound to blow up in spectacular fashion, but honestly, Delia is a grown-ass woman. Is it really that hard just to say, “I don’t want to get married?”
Because marriage and relationships are messy, as Abby is continually finding out. If Delia isn’t on board now, there’s no chance of her relationship solidifying after the wedding. And yet there’s still something so valuable, to have someone there when we need them. Which makes, out of all our girlfriends, Abby’s relationships with Harris and surprisingly, Becca, about the most solid the show has right now.
- Anyone else getting that feeling that they’re setting up Jo and Jake? In which case my love for this show woudl take a deep dive. She’d be better off with the frequently naked pastry chef, although so far his role in this show has been just to be naked. With an accent.
- Best outfit: Abby’s zebra-print dress. Delia’s wedding dress was no slouch either (although isn’t the strapless wedding dress pretty cliched at this point?); too bad she’s never going to actually wear it. Also, props to Jo for rocking that black leather bustier dress. Another thing I like about this show is that they are displaying really fashionable outfits for shorter women like Abby and Jo, those of us who are not walking clothes hangers like Delia and Phoebe.
- This week’s power rankings:
- Abby: Taking her parents down a peg, apologizing to Jake, moving on with her own kids and Becca. No wonder everyone turns to her for advice.
- Phoeebe: Quickly ditches her closeted date for fun renegade art party, but somehow I feel that the weird backstory between Graham and Joaquin is bound to pop up again.
- Delia: Instead of telling her fiancee she’s getting cold feet, she lures her boss/lover into a three-way. No way this can all end well. But in the bad-decisions department, even Delia must take a back seat to:
- Jo: Hooking up with dangerous randos. She’s right, she’s a mother, she needs to be more careful.