December 28, 2019

My So-Called Life 18, Weekend: Life of the Patty

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:24 pm by Jenn

Look at all of us, displaying perfectly normal behavior! There is nothing weird about this!

Summary: Angela voices over…oh, no. No, no, no. Danielle is narrating this episode. Sigh. Okay. Danielle voices over that her whole life has been spent waiting for something to happen. She pretends to play on a Gameboy while Patty and Camille discuss clothes. Camille insists that Patty will drive Graham crazy (in a good way) if she wears a backless dress. Patty doesn’t think it’s her style. She mentions that Graham is at a meeting with Hallie, then tells Camille to shut up.

She claims to be okay with it, just annoyed that he’s not home when Neil and his girlfriend Marla are coming over soon. Camille can’t believe that Neil and Marla have been together for six years. Patty says it’s like a prison sentence. Danielle voices over that she has the power of invisibility. Suddenly that power fails and Patty remembers she’s there. She tries to send Danielle to the kitchen, but Danielle says Angela and Rickie kicked her out of there. Patty sends her away anyway. Danielle claims that her life is just different people kicking her out of different rooms.

Patty tells Camille that she and Graham haven’t had any time alone for a while. She knows they won’t really be alone, since they’re spending a weekend away with Neil and Marla, but she’s comfortable with them (or at least with Marla). She thinks their marriage needs this little trip. Camille has a better idea of what they need and gives Patty a box containing some handcuffs.

Danielle goes to the kitchen, where Angela immediately tries to send her off somewhere else. Rayanne calls asking for Rickie; he tells her not to put him in the middle of her fight with Angela. After Camille leaves, Patty chastises Angela for kicking Danielle out of the kitchen. She wants to make sure Angela is a responsible caregiver while Patty and Graham are gone. Angela says nothing will happen; it’ll just be her, Danielle, and Rickie hanging out all weekend.

Rickie’s still on the phone when Angela goes back to him, calling him Enrique. Rickie decides to hang up and avoid any awkwardness. Patty stashes the handcuffs under a pillow on the bed as Graham comes home and tells her he’s late because Hallie had car trouble. He looked under her hood (Patty seizes on that), trying to be all manly and stuff, since Hallie and Brad broke up. Patty doesn’t think he told her that before.

Neil arrives, but not with Marla. His new girlfriend is Cheryl. He gives Danielle a present, which she pretends to love, though she voices over that he gives horrible gifts. Graham pulls his brother aside for an interrogation, and Patty ditches Cheryl in the foyer to join the conversation. Neil says he and Marla broke up again, but he’s sure Patty and Graham will love Cheryl.

Cheryl talks the entire car ride to the bed and breakfast where the couples are staying. She excitedly tells the story of how she and Neil met, then laughs like some sort of wild animal. She searches her purse for pot, which, honestly, would probably make Patty and Graham bearable for the weekend. Angela tells Rickie he can go hang out with Rayanne, but he promises he wants to stay with the Chases. Angela asks if Rayanne asks about her. Danielle is thrilled to be with her older sister and her cool friend, even if Angela barely acknowledges her existence.

Camille made a good call picking out lingerie for Patty, but it’s hard for her and Graham to get in the mood when they can hear Cheryl laughing through the wall. Graham wants to forget about her and not let her ruin their weekend. Instead, they keep laughing over Cheryl’s mannerisms and loudness.

The next morning, Rayanne goes to the Chases’ claiming she’s there to get money Rickie owes her. She finds him on the phone in Patty and Graham’s room and makes herself comfortable on their bed. Rickie reminds her that he’s staying there the whole weekend, so he can’t hang out with her. She asks if Angela asks about her.

Rayanne finds the handcuffs and thinks Graham and Patty have been putting them to good use. She handcuffs herself to the headboard, joking about the dirty talk the couple must exchange. Rickie suddenly realizes the key is missing. When Angela comes in, Rayanne tells her she might be staying a little longer than expected.

Patty calls Camille and asks her to go to the house and check on the girls. She’d also like Camille to make sure the handcuffs get hidden in a safe place. At breakfast, Cheryl and Neil argue about what he says are crazy beliefs. No, not her spirituality or belief in aliens or anything like that – she doesn’t agree that the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates were as great as he thinks. Patty suggests that the couples go ice-skating. She wants to plan out all the day’s activities. The guys disagree, but Cheryl thinks ice-skating is a cute idea, and Patty is equally cute.

Rayanne tells Angela that the handcuffs she’s currently trapped by belong to her parents. Angela denies this, of course. Danielle joins the group, refusing to leave a room in her own house. Rayanne and Rickie cuddle on the bed, trying to hide the handcuffs from her. Camille and Sharon come by, and Camille tries to sneak up to the bedroom while Sharon shows Angela her new jumpsuit. Angela stops Camille from going upstairs by asking to talk about justice.

Cheryl is impressed that Patty runs her own business. It’s something Cheryl would love to do someday – “that, or have a cappuccino cart.” She has lots of paths open to her, but Patty has a settle life, with all her choices behind her. Cheryl thinks that must be comforting. Patty says it is. She shares the day’s schedule with the others, and Cheryl asks Patty to plan her whole life for her. Neil and Cheryl quickly screw things up by deciding to go into town to buy booze, since the bed and breakfast doesn’t offer any. Patty sends the others off while she rents their skates.

Angela’s idea of a conversation about justice is really about whether she should be allowed to return clothes she doesn’t like. Sharon thinks she means a shirt she gave Angela for her birthday. Camille finally gets fed up and goes upstairs, where she finds Rayanne pretending to be sick and convalescing in Graham and Patty’s bed.

Angela cracks up so hard that Rickie thinks she’s choking. (The story is that a crew member got this reaction out of Claire Danes by appearing just off-camera in his boxers.) Camille is skeptical, even though all the kids back up the story, and pulls Angela outside to ask if Rayanne’s “illness” has anything to do with her drinking problem. Angela says no, and Patty definitely knows she’s there. Camille decides to let it go.

Patty’s been waiting for the rest of her group for a while, but they’re still off on their shopping trip. She tries to chat with Warren, the owner of the bed and breakfast, who, for someone in the hospitality industry, could stand to be a little more hospitable. Patty admires a happy, romantic couple who are keeping their plans to go ice-skating, unlike Patty, who has to skip it because apparently she can’t just go do stuff by herself.

Angela, Sharon, and Rickie try to explain the handcuffs to Danielle, who says she’s not interested. She’s lying. Patty makes an origami swan. Warren isn’t interested, for real. Her group returns with brandy and an inside joke. Cheryl’s wearing Graham’s sweater, since Neil wasn’t chivalrous to give her his jacket.

Rayanne asks Rickie to leave the bedroom so she can talk to Angela alone. Angela doesn’t want to talk about the whole Rayanne/Jordan thing, since talking won’t change what happened. Rayanne doesn’t want to talk about it, either – she has to pee, and she needs Angela to get her something to do it in.

Guess who has the handcuff key? Patty! She tells Graham about the handcuffs, and he seems bummed that she didn’t bring them. He’s also surprised that they’re something Camille has. Angela keeps denying that they belong to her parents. Sharon has an idea of who could help them get Rayanne out of the handcuffs without a key. Angela adamantly says no.

But, oh, yes, here comes Brian to try to brain things out. Danielle’s response to him brushing by her and touching her shoulder is exactly how Angela reacted to Jordan at the beginning of the series. Brian suggests wire shears, which any “normal dad,” like Graham (but not Brian’s father), would have. Danielle says he doesn’t. Brian says they can go to the hardware store on Monday.

Graham, Neil, and Cheryl pass the brandy around at dinner while Patty talks about all the stuff they can do tomorrow. She skips the booze, not wanting to break the rules. Cheryl says Patty’s the most adult person she’s ever met. But even adults give in to peer pressure every now and then, and Patty asks for the “hooch.”

Danielle gazes at Brian adoringly while he tries to puzzle through the handcuffs conundrum. He suggests finding a place that sells the same kind and getting a new key. Sharon says a store called the Pleasure Center could suit their needs. Everyone nominates Brian to go check it out, and Sharon agrees to take him.

Patty’s had plenty of brandy and has to try to play it cool when Warren comes over to chat with the group. Graham says he likes the food, but Patty stage-whispers that he’s lying because he’s a food snob and hates anything he doesn’t cook himself. Either Warren is too clueless to notice that the table’s been drinking or he doesn’t care. Patty celebrates with more hooch.

Brian and Sharon return to the Chases’ with Kyle and a friend (the guy Rayanne hooked up with previously), having run into them near the Pleasure Center. Sharon makes out with him on the porch while Brian tries to unlock Rayanne’s handcuffs. Rayanne realizes the key is the wrong size. Cut to Kyle entering the bedroom just as Rayanne yells, “No, it’s too big!” To make things weirder, Angela, Rickie, and Danielle are all piled on a chair in the corner. Kyle tells his buddy and the two laugh at the antics.

Patty (wearing a flower in her hair) and Cheryl are definitely buddies now, and Graham seems unamused. Warren returns to the table, trying to politely get the couples to leave so they’ll stop bugging the other guests. He does agree to get Patty an ice cream sundae, though. Patty spills brandy on her shirt and jokingly asks to borrow a sweater. When she starts to take off her shirt, Warren gets fed up and sends the couples to their rooms. Patty argues that she’s an adult, but Warren isn’t so sure. Graham and Neil carry her out of the dining room as she babbles about ice cream. “I really admire her,” Cheryl coos.

Danielle goes to check on Rayanne during the night, and Rayanne asks for some booze. Danielle tells her underage drinking is wrong, and her parents say Rayanne is a bad influence. She asks why Rayanne does the things she does. Rayanne says that when she looks at herself, everything’s in slow motion. She thinks something has to happen, but it doesn’t, so she has to make it happen.

Patty wakes up hungover the next morning and learns that the couples have been asked to leave the bed and breakfast. Angela finds Danielle and Rayanne sharing Patty and Graham’s bed. Patty apologizes to Neil and Cheryl for her behavior the night before and invites them to do something when they get home. But Neil and Cheryl have broken up, and he’s apparently ready to go back to Marla.

Brian’s next plan is to take apart the headboard to slip off the handcuffs. Instead, he breaks the bed. At a gas station on their way home, Patty apologizes to Graham for making a fool of herself, but she’s annoyed that he ditched her at the bed and breakfast. Really, though, she’s mad that he was late getting home two nights ago because he was with Hallie. Cheryl interrupts to say that she had a great weekend and they should do it again sometime. Just without Neil.

Brian finally frees Rayanne, who wants to run off to try to make the most out of what’s left of the weekend. Angela yells at her for causing trouble, then leaving Angela to deal with the fallout. She calls Rayanne a curse on her life. As Rickie and Sharon are trying to keep the two of them from killing each other, Danielle answers a phone call and reports that Graham and Patty will be home in 20 minutes.

Everyone cleans up the house and fixes the bed together, and when Patty and Graham arrive, it all looks normal. The kids all pile on the bed and pretend they’ve just been watching TV together. Patty puts the handcuff key on her dresser and Danielle nabs it and slips it to Angela. The girls give their mother a big hug to distract her while the others unlock the handcuffs still stuck on Rayanne’s wrist. Then everyone takes off.

Patty realizes that with everything else going on all weekend, she and Graham never got the chance to reconnect. They head to the bed together and find the handcuffs, realizing that Camille never picked them up. They decide to put them to use. Graham asks too late where the key is.

Angela sees her guests off but asks Rayanne to stay behind, though it’s just to get the key back. Angela dubs this the weekend from hell. Danielle says it was the best of her life. Angela thanks her for being cool but doesn’t want to go so far as to spend next weekend with her, too. Upstairs, the fishing show the kids were pretending to watch is still on as Graham looks for the missing key to free a handcuffed Patty. He gets distracted by a big fish, then suggests finding wire shears. He thinks he can borrow some from Brian’s father.

Thoughts: Cheryl is played by Laura Innes, in a role that’s about as far from Kerry Weaver as you can get.

I hate when TV characters use other people’s full names when there’s no need to. Stop saying “Hallie Lowenthal”! We know her last name! We know who you’re talking about! We’re not going to mix her up with Halle Berry!

There’s a nice little throwaway moment where Rickie calls Mr. K to say he’ll be home for dinner the next night. His aunt and uncle never cared where he was, but Mr. K does.

1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    Ahhh, I’d been waiting for this one! Sadly I think I liked it more back 27 years ago, only because now I feel like the Patty/Graham/Cheryl/Neil scenes were painful to watch and kind of overshadowed my enjoyment of the rest of them. They were entertaining, but watching Graham and Patty’s relationship continue to deteriorate from lack of communication is a struggle.

    The kids were terrific, though, and I liked that Sharon stuck around after Camille left, and Brian came over, and everybody came together to help Angela and Rayanne out. I had to go back and look to see if Sharon and Brian actually stayed over because I thought I remembered that everyone crashed out on the bed, but Sharon’s wearing a different (fancy) outfit instead of her little tank dress thing from the night prior. She had a really cute overalls-and-fuzzy-sweater look in the Betrayal episode but she rarely dresses down. Anyway.

    I think the one who benefitted from this episode the most was probably Rickie! Getting asked from both sides whether or not the other was asking about her was cute but clearly so frustrating for him. Angela’s mental gymnastics to try to deter Camille were impressive, but of course Camille wasn’t buying it for a second. But again Rayanne gets to work her acting chops by pretending to be sick, which was pretty brilliant. I LOVED the backstory on Angela’s reaction to the crewmember’s boxers! It definitely worked. And Rickie with the fast thinking too. Loved that he called Mr. K to check in, as you pointed out. It was a small thing, but you know he appreciated someone giving a shit about where he was.

    Soooo weird to see Kerry Weaver as a bubbly ditz. Laura Innes did a great job, though it would take a lot of acting to convince me that she found Neil appealing at all. As soon as Graham spoiled the punchline of their meet-cute story, she should have figured out that’s his typical schtick. Watching her gush over Patty’s planned life was surreal as I’m like 8 seasons into my ER rewatch so I’m trying to think of Cheryl as in her early 30s maybe?

    Graham being so willing to leave Patty behind while they go on a liquor run was kind of a dick move and Patty was right to be pissed after being left alone for several hours. And his ‘excuse’ when they got back was pathetic. “I didn’t know how long it would take!” And you couldn’t call at all? Or try to get back? I mean, the basic point is that he didn’t want to get back to Patty’s planned day. I’m glad she got blitzed later. She deserved it. But I would have just gone iceskating by myself anyway. I was surprised Drunk Patty didn’t bring up Hallie, though Sober Patty blurted it out later.

    I’ve noticed the Hallie Lowenthal naming thing is a lot similar to Angela always calling him Jordan Catalano. I don’t think anybody else uses his full name as much as she does. So it’s an interesting link to Graham always calling her Hallie Lowenthal even though nobody else uses the full name (Patty, Camille).

    We’re almost done with the series again. 😦


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