As Swingtown winds down its summer season, it almost feels as if they are trying to clean up as much of the story-lines as possible. Which is no easy feat, given the amount of different plots that are flying around this show. This week, they added even more while continuing the theme of everything going wrong. For everyone.
OK, not everyone, but close. Things are going pretty well for Janet, who gets happy-smiley pancakes for birthday breakfast. She takes time out to subtly undermine her husband’s confidence when he tells her that he has a job interview for a position as a risk assessor for a multi-million dollar construction firm and she tells him that he should concentrate on more realistic options since he’s been out of work for over a month. Ouch! Then she goes off to work herself, where she is offered the job of the advice columnist, the current "Ms. Trudy" having to leave the position due to her alcoholism. And drinking vanilla extract – which is gross, but better then the Stern-o that was drank in The Andromeda Strain!
Susan arrives just moments after Janet leaves and her and Roger make small talk, leading me to yell at my TV "WHAT ABOUT THE KISS?!" Soon enough they broach the subject, which means it was not some weird dream sequence and Roger really did kiss his wife’s best friend. Susan tells him that she doesn’t blame him because he was obviously confused. He counters that he knew exactly what he was doing. Susan tells him that they shouldn’t see each other for awhile and he points out that they are having dinner that night. They decide to change the birthday dinner to a surprise party. Added bonus, it might make Bruce a little happier, since he was a bit morose over the prospect of sitting across the "Sad sack Roger". Everyone is so supportive of Roger!
From there, Susan goes to visit Trina, arriving just as Tom escorts their overnight guests out. Which is awkward. He rushes out to get Trina a hangover cure and Susan goes in to talk to her. She tells Trina about the kiss but says it won’t go further. When Trina asks if she is sure, she lashes out, saying ‘I’m not like you, it’s not a switch I can turn on and off every time someone new strolls into my bedroom!’ Trina responds that she thinks she is a little more complicated then that and Susan immediately apologizes. Across town, Bruce nurses a drink (maybe he’s Mr. Trudy?) and watches Melinda talk to traders from another firm. When she passes he blurts out ‘Don’t get into bed with those bozos’ and she saucily shoots back that it’s none of his business who she gets into bed with.
Roger ends up landing the job he was so excited about, but it comes with a catch. He is expected to relocate to Cincinnati. He’s not the only one that may be moving either. BJ, Rick, Lisa and Sam play with CB radios and BJ and Sam end up overhearing Rick and Lisa not only discussing how he ran away when she took her top off, but also how BJ is in love with Sam. Lisa comments that it’s sad, because Sam will be moving to live with her family because her mom is such a mess. Which no one has bothered to tell Sam.
As the day winds down, Bruce talks to Melinda some more, leading her to invite him to go someplace a little more quiet. He tells her he can’t because he has plans with his family. She takes a calculated risk, telling him that he needs to convince her not to jump firms and that tonight is his window of opportunity. He goes home anyway, but mopes and goes right to the bottle.
Which seems to be another theme. Rick and BJ get into a fight about Sam leaving and him revealing BJs feelings for her. Rick, being the callous sort he is, assumes that BJ is bent out of shape because he wanted "to nail her" and now realize that he wasted his whole summer. BJ tells him that he’s an idiot and Rick goes inside and starts drinking all the unattended cocktails he can find. Which is not the first time we’ve seen him tipping back a few this season.
No one is paying attention to the 13 year old with the drinking problem, but Tom & Trina are watching Bruce & Susan and their obvious discord. Tom goes to talk to Susan, getting very zen about airplane safety instructions and telling her to breathe and take care of herself first. Trina tries to talk to Bruce, but instead she gets a lecture on how her relationship with Tom is "effortless" and god forbid they should ever have a real problem. We see the grass is always greener as he walks away and she fights back tears.
Susan and Roger stand in the kitchen lighting candles on the cake and Roger tells her that he needs to know how she feels about him before he can make a decision about the job. She tells him he should talk to his wife about that. He ups the ante by telling her that he is falling in love with her and she responds by saying "I can’t" and walking upstairs. She may not be able to, but Bruce apparently has greater ability. She over hears him on the phone with Melinda, saying that he can’t imagine going to work and not seeing her everyday and asking if the window is still open.
Back downstairs, Rick is drunk and tries to pick a fight with Tom, which is pretty comical. Janet drags him off for a lecture, where he reveals all about BJ and Sam and their flagging friendship. She somehow reassures him using a strange whack-a-mole analogy and then cautions him never to drink like this again. Trina watches the whole exchange and comes to talk to Janet about being a good mother, revealing she is pregnant in the process. Janet immediately takes away the cocktail and cigarette in Trina’s hand and asks her if t is Tom’s. Which makes me giggle and Trina asserts that it is thanks to the convenient plot point of their few weeks of exclusivity.
Bruce makes a weak excuse about forgetting his briefcase at the office and deciding to go back in and get caught up on some work. Susan lets him go, telling Trina & Tom about it as they leave. Trina tells her they are across the street if she needs anything. Janet offers to send Rick over in the morning to help clean but Susan assures her she can take care of it. A moment later, Janet leaves and Susan and Roger are alone. Susan tells him to take the job before giving him a lingering hug. As he walks away, she notices Bruce’s briefcase in the hall. Busted!
There was also the ongoing and consistently weak side story of Laurie and Doug. She thought he said "I love you" while getting her a coke from their cooler at the beach. She responds "I love you too" only to find out what he actually said was "I have Yoo-Hoo". What follows is a lot of angst, compounded by the fact that a friend of his tells her Doug has a history of short lived relationships. By the end of the episode, they patch it all up and Doug decides not to take the teaching job because he doesn’t want to hide his relationship with her.
Can they pack any more into an episode? Will they be able to clear this all up next week? Will any of the couples be happy in the end?