Watching last night’s episode of Happy Town was like witnessing the epic failure of Liza Minnelli’s sad cameo in Sex and the City 2 as she attempted to sing and hoof her way through “Single Ladies.” I couldn’t help but feel a sense of deja vu and wonder, how are you still alive and kicking?? Just as I wasn’t laughing WITH but rather AT Carrie Bradshaw & Co., I found myself laughing at Happy Town‘s sheer audacity and downright nutty insanity. It’s literally one talking doll and an orangutan nurse short of being the nighttime version of NBC’s now-defunct soap, Passions.
Rachel’s sleeping with the fishes. (Much like how this show will soon be, too!)
The episode opens on a bizarre montage of the merry widows doing target practice in the backyard to arm themselves against the threat of the Magic Man. Pretty weak sauce, considering they never reappear in the rest of the episode …
The merry widows should take aim at the show’s bad writing and use it for target practice.
Meanwhile, Tommy can’t sleep because the whole town is on edge, gripped by fear that the Magic Man has returned. (And that this shit show will probably get shit-canned.) He’s also not thrilled with the idea of Rachel returning to work at the Bready so soon after her abduction, but Rachel wants to get her life back to normal.
Peggy Haplin calls Henley and tells her that she is prepared to meet the terms of her blackmail scheme.
Concerned citizens harass Tommy, demanding answers. They kinda hold it against him that his wife was returned safely, while their loved ones are all still missing. Hell, I’d be pretty irate, too!
Rachel skulks through an abandoned Bready. Lame. John Haplin “startles” Rachel and starts harassing her with questions about her abduction, but she maintains that she can’t remember anything. “You better get good at remembering SOMETHING!” he bellows, and this show finally sends a shiver down my spine.
I’m half expecting a plague of locusts to come flying out of his mouth.
Henley meets with Peggy to broker the exchange, and is shocked to find her briefcase contains double the amount she asked for. Peggy turns the tables on her however, and says that by accepting the half million, she can never go back home to Seattle, and must instead remain within the city limits of Haplin. “How can you keep me here?” Henley scoffs. “The same way I do everything else,” Peggy assures her coolly. “With ease.” DAMN. Score one for the sassy old broad!
Peggy is such a bitch! (And my new hero!)
Tommy and the cops turn their attention towards Greggy Stiviletto. He was dating Lauryn Ward when she went missing … the disappearances stopped five years ago when he went to jail … and Rachel went missing the night he came back to town. Personally, it’s just all a little too convenient. I smell a red herring. But Tommy tells Root Beer to bring him in for questioning anyways.
John insists that his son Andrew be chauffeured around town like a total douche. Andrew is rightly pissed. At school, Andrew is being shadowed by his obnoxious bodyguard, Perry. Luckily, he manages to shake him loose and sneaks off with Georgia to play hooky.
Rachel is at home when a shadowy figure appears at the door and tries to stick his hands through the mail slot. GASP! Cue the fake tension! Natch, it’s just the bumbling, old mailman trying to stuff his big, fat package in her tight, little box. Hehe. (Sorry, I had to go there!)
Henley tries to flee town by car when she encounters a road block. A state trooper informs her that the only road out of town is unsafe to drive … and could take weeks to get fixed. LMFAO. You’ve got to be kidding me! Peggy’s powers are that far-reaching?! Okay … I will suspend all disbelief. Score two for the Pegster!
Henley’s feeling trapped … by her overwrought facial expressions.
Andrew pitches a tent at the sight of Georgia. No, literally. They are playing house together in a tent out in the woods. While a crazy madman is on the loose. Real smart, kiddies!
Henley attempts to flee town again – this time by train. But, once again, she is foiled and informed that a transformer blew, shutting down all trains in either direction. Bwahahahaha!
Tommy questions Greggy, but of course he’s got nothing on him. Greggy gives Tommy a hard time for turning his back on his childhood friend and ratting him out to the authorities. Tommy squirms uncomfortably. Roger has Greggy sign away his right to an attorney, and learns that Tommy is left-handed, a sign that perhaps he wrote the forged letter from Lauryn, claiming she was running away from home.
At the local bank, Henley is informed by the bank manager that they are happy to deposit her insane pile of cash, but they are unable to process her wire transfer. Henley is furious at this point, and I can’t help but laugh. The Pegster is on a roll!
Rachel splashes water on her face and starts having a hallucinogenic breakdown. Tommy comes home to find her packing her bags and trying to leave town for her parents’ house in St. Paul. Um, good luck trying to get out of town!!
Amy Acker doesn’t know how she keeps getting cast on these duds.
Henley calls her mysterious mother and catches her up to speed, then vows she will think of some way to get out of this damn town.
Greggy tells Tommy that Lauryn broke up with him the day before she disappeared because she was seeing another guy. Greggy doesn’t know who he was, but he’s willing to bet that’s the guy who forged the letter, and he may very well also be the Magic Man!
Rachel tries to fill a prescription for her daughter before leaving town when she bumps into Merritt Grieves who insists she join him at his shop for a cup of tea. Merritt lends a sympathetic ear and offers up a rich backstory: he had a wife and son, the son went missing from a crowded park, they received a bouquet of dead flowers, his wife never recovered and died of cancer, blah blah blah. The M.O. was similar to that of the Magic Man, and that is what drew him to Haplin. He asks Rachel to let him help her remember, so that they can both recover. Rachel agrees to try.
Peggy puts a damper on her afternoon tea with John when she insists that he reopen the Bready and stop grasping at straws for clues to the Magic Man and his missing daughter.
Tommy gets a call from the hospital – his father has miraculously snapped out of his coma! In fact, he’s in high spirits and cracking jokes! WTF?! His dad has no idea what possessed him to cut off his hand, but luckily it’s now sewn back on, and he has full motor control again, despite being in a coma for weeks. SO PREPOSTEROUS!!!
Try not to cut this new hand off, pops!
Merritt basically uses some cheap hypnosis on Rachel to help her remember. Rachel imagines walking through a field and coming to a blue door (her memory) which is locked. Merritt urges her to open the door and Rachel steps through into a murky underwater nightmare filled with fish, a giant eel, and the victims of the Magic Man. Suddenly, someone is grabbing Rachel from behind and choking her, and Merritt is forced to snap Rachel out of it. Terrified, Rachel bolts out of the store past Henley, who heckles Merritt for scaring off a customer. She then begs him to help her safely get the contents of her briefcase out of town to their rightful owner.
What is up with the whole blue door thing?!
It’s night out, and dumb-asses Andrew and Georgia are lost. They happen upon a mysterious, unlocked trailer as a sinister hawk can be heard overhead. Georgia begrudgingly follows Andrew inside, where they discover vials of truth serum and a baby tee belonging to Andrew’s abducted sister. My money’s on Dan Farmer. Suddenly, the trailer lurches and roars to life as someone drives off with the helpless teens in the back!
Maybe they wouldn’t be so dumb if they weren’t skipping school?
Root Beer checks out Lauryn Ward’s cell phone records (are they JUST NOW getting around to investigating this?!) and discovers that John Haplin was calling her several times a day before she disappeared. Does this mean he could be the other man? YES. Does this mean he could be the Magic Man? NO. But Roger wonders if John abducted his own daughter as a form of misdirection. Wow. If that’s true, then John is one sick bastard!
Officer Shell Jenkins (really?!) is tasked with keeping an eye on Lauryn Ward’s hand, which is on ice in a cooler. PS, worst job ever! Anyways, curiosity gets the better of the plucky officer, and she decides to sneak a peek. I’m half expecting the hand to pop to life and choke her, which would be kind of amazing, but also force me to stop watching this ludicrous show altogether. Better still, she notices something moving under the flesh in the hand … and out wriggles a baby eel! Quite possibly the nastiest thing I have seen on television all year! (And that includes all the women of The Real Housewives of New York.)
So wrong … it’s right!
Tommy comes home to find Rachel cozied up by the fireplace. She says she returned because she remembers now and she wants to help him catch the guy. Yes! Finally! Start talking, bitch! Oh, wait. Doltz decides now is the ideal time to slip her missing wedding ring back on her finger. I hope he washed the severed hand cooties off of it first!
As I predicted, Dan Farmer drives down the road in his truck with the silver trailer attached behind him. He smiles maliciously, and keeps looking in the rearview mirror, all the while singing along with the radio, “Off you go with the Magic Man!” Could HE be the Magic Man?! Naw. That would be too easy.
Merritt is sitting on a train reading his newspaper, with Henley’s briefcase safely beside him. You think all is well. But just then, a mysterious figure sneaks up behind Merritt and begins to violently choke him to death!!!
Please don’t kill off the show’s one good actor!!!