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Cougar Town: “Down South” Review

BUSY PHILIPPS, JOSH HOPKINS, COURTENEY COX, BRIAN VAN HOLT, IAN GOMEZ, CHRISTA MILLER, DAN BYRD
ABC/BOB D'AMICO

Hurricane party! “Down South” is the latest episode of ‘Cougar Town,’ and it showcases why its one of the best shows on network TV. Mixing comedy with earned emotions, it may not have been the best episode of their run, but it shows that – even with the ratings and scheduling problems – it’s been a great season.

It starts off at Grayson’s bar where Jules, Ellie and Grayson find out there’s a hurricane heading their way. Grayson uses the classic “It’s closing time. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here” which Ellie ridicules, telling him he should think of something better. Jules notes that she loves hurricanes: “They’re like adult snow days.”

Then of course we’re exposed to one of the many highlights of ‘Cougar Town,’ which is the text surrounding the show’s title. This time we’ve got a bit of ‘Community’ flavor sprinkled onto it in the image here (provided by Cinema Blend).

Poor Tom – as always – is helping out Jules, this time by boarding up her house before the hurricane hits. When he boards up the one window he always sticks his head in, Jules tries her best to ignore him but he can still hear her, and tells her so. Tom never gets any Cul-de-sac love (sad face).

Speaking of love, Laurie’s having some problems with her online army boyfriend Wade. She vents to Jules, telling her that they got into a big fight because Wade decided to re-enlist, which means she won’t meet him face-to-face for at least another year. Holly makes a quick appearance, hanging around Jules’ house and blanking out as usual on the whereabouts of her daughter Tampa and Grayson. Once Laurie walks out of earshot, Holly recommends that Travis should go after Laurie, which ticks Jules off, especially since Laurie is one of her best friends and Travis is her son. Travis doesn’t care, he agrees with Holly and decides to pursue Laurie, which isn’t a surprise to fans since it’s been obvious that he’s had a monster crush on her ever since the first episode.

Jules panics and walks on over to Grayson’s house where the guys (Grayson, Bobby and Andy) are hanging out. Jules asks Bobby what he thinks about the possibility of Travis and Laurie hooking up, and he’s totally all right with it, which makes her even more upset. Of course Andy stands behind Bobby’s thoughts on Travis, but Ellie stands by Jules. They ask Grayson what he thinks and he refuses to be the tie breaker… as usual.

Bobby ends up going to Travis and talking to him about the possible relationship that could blossom with Laurie. He already knows that Laurie is something special to Travis, even commenting on how he stares at her breasts. “It’s different from the way that you stare at other breasts. It’s more respectful.” He sees the twinkle in Travis’ eyes and the childish smile that Bobby thought was once gone and encourages him to go for it. Bonding moment!

It’s been awhile since we’ve last seen the gang re-enact one of their favorite movies, and they do it again with acting out ‘The Perfect Storm.’ Jules, Bobby, Grayson and Andy are all in it while Ellie participates by throwing buckets of water at them even though it’s already raining pretty hard. Then the fun is interrupted when Jules gets a call from Travis, saying that he’s going to wait out the storm with Laurie at her place. Jules can’t ignore it anymore and goes back to her house with the others, trying to get her “Hurricane Party” going.

We get a quick cameo appearance from the ever-famous Penny Can as Jules and company try to decide what kind of game they’ll play. They end up deciding on the game Celebrity, a guessing game which Bobby completely rules at, and possibly because most of the hints Andy shouts out include actors with great mustaches. Travis shows up with Laurie and Jules lets the both of them go to her room by themselves. Everyone is surprised by the move, but once Jules realizes what she’s done she goes upstairs at one point to block Travis’ very subtle advances on Laurie.

Now the ladies are fed up with the game and the sudden lack of wine, so much so that they’re beginning to suck on the wine corks. They force Grayson, Bobby and Andy to go back to the bar and bring more wine before this hurricane party becomes too much for them. The three men show up at the bar with Bobby and Andy complaining about how Grayson kept on stopping during the walk over because he’d pose and dance like Michael Jackson. Yes, Grayson re-enacts some of those awesome dance moves with the wind blowing into the bar at full force. But then three very attractive young women burst into the bar, asking if it’s all right for them to stay there while they wait out the storm. Nobody minds, obviously.

In the meantime Jules and Ellie are trying to practice Celebrity, determined to beat the guys. Then Ellie asks why is it that Grayson hasn’t given Jules a call yet. The two girls run into the bar to find their men a little too cozy with the pretty women. Andy immediately says to the two “Before you get mad, these girls might not be real.” Grayson tries another line to use when he’s closing a bar, which Ellie thinks it’s the worst one yet. Jules and Ellie then begin winning at celebrity, only because they’re cheating. Jules even begins to name people who don’t exist. When they tell them that they were cheating, Andy shouts “I knew David Barstool wasn’t an actor!”

Back at Jules’ house Travis continues to comfort Laurie which is working to a degree. He’s trying to paint himself in a favorable light as the shoulder to cry on for her, getting closer and snuggling up with her until Wade calls in on her iPad.

Laurie has a serious fight with Wade under the assumption that their relationship is done. She storms off but Travis ends up talking to Wade, convincing Wade to still try and win her back, despite Travis’s feelings for her. Travis shows up in front of Laurie wearing the iPad with Wade on it over his face. The three begin dancing and Wade wins Laurie back. But after a minute or two Travis reaches his limits of surrogacy. When Laurie asks what’s wrong, she still doesn’t realize what Travis is really feeling.

In the end Laurie ends up back with Wade and even though Travis is hurt, he just wanted what’s best for her. Jules and Bobby are proud over the decision he made and their happiness also has to do with the boxes of wine that they just brought in.

Although this isn’t the most memorable ‘Cougar Town’ episode, pretty much reiterating that Travis and Laurie will never actually hook up, it was still sweet and filled with tons of great lines along the way. It was also great to hear the one closing bar line that Grayson decided to stick with: “Please get out of my bar. I just want to go home and wrap up in a cozy blanket and drink my tea with the sleepy bear on the bottom… Good night. Don’t drink and drive. You might kill your dad.”

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