"The New Normal" Recap: "The XY Factor"

By Marissa Willstein,

When David was young and still in the closet, he had an ideal image of a perfect family. He envisioned himself playing catch with his son while his wife, 90210’s Shannen Doherty, made them lemonade. David’s dream of having a boy is still possible but clearly Bryan has replaced Shannen Doherty.

David has been collecting World Series baseballs in hopes of one day handing them down to his son. This would be fine and dandy if his partner felt the same but Bryan is rooting for a girl so he can pass down his love of fashion and party planning.

The couple has agreed to keep their baby’s gender a secret except Bryan becomes unsatisfied with the limited options that come with designing a gender-neutral nursery. To spark creativity, Goldie asks Bryan to help brainstorm for Shania’s school project involving the selection of an influential woman in history.

Bryan then holds up two choices of wall art and asks Goldie and Shania to choose their favorite. Goldie suffers from word vomit and uttered the one tragic word Bryan never wanted to hear, ”He” as in “He’ll love either one.”

Yes everyone, it’s a BOY!

Following a victorious basketball game, David returns home with two teammates. Bryan lays the news on him even though David states he does not want to learn this life-changing information just yet.

Already in a joyous mood, David’s enthusiasm grows tenfold once he hears they are having a boy.

David and his houseguests jump up and down while letting out ear-piercing sounds. Meanwhile, Bryan is disheartened. David and his boys drag Bryan into their celebratory embrace.

Soon after, Shania’s school presentation begins. Following a student’s monologue as Mary Todd Lincoln, which was a real snoozer, it was Shania’s turn.

Judging by her Native American headdress, sequined jumpsuit, and jet-black long locks, Shania has clearly chosen Cher for her project. Shania seems to be nailing it until she breaks out into song. Her song choice, “Half-Breed,” doesn’t sit well with the audience.

As a way to prepare for fatherhood, David fills in for a friend as football coach of the Spartans. David looks at home on the sidelines while Bryan looks like a fish out of water. After skimming through the latest magazines, Bryan starts chatting with Real Housewives of Beverly Hills wannabes.

He bonds with the wine-drinking mothers over their mutual hatred for sports and desire to be at the American Girl Doll store instead. Before slipping into depression, Bryan takes the situation he has been given and makes the best of it.

He scurries over to David and tells him he would like to give coaching a try. A very hesitant David lets Bryan do his thing.

The outcome? Two touchdowns scored by the opposing team. This failure intensifies Bryan’s fear of not connecting with his son.

Shania is also dealing with some issues of her own. She tells Goldie that her rendition of Cher landed her an F and suspension for the violation of the school’s policy on hate speech. Outraged by this injustice, Goldie is determined to use her “lawyer suit” to free innocent Shania of this harsh crime.

As an aspiring lawyer, Goldie figures she should start practicing now. With her lawyer lingo, she tries to convince the principal to rethink the punishment. It was a battle well fought but no justice was served.

Bryan becomes visibly upset when he visits the nursery and finds David adding baseballs and other boyish décor to the room. He tells David his fear of not being able to relate to their son because of his failed relationship with his father. Bryan explains that ultimately he is afraid that their child will have a better father-son relationship with David.

After Goldie tells Bryan that being a lawyer is no longer her passion and that life is not shaping up to be what she envisioned, he starts disclosing his own worries. She knows just what to say as usual.

Bryan receives a text from David saying the football game was rained out so he is bringing the team back to their place for a pizza party. Fear instantly takes over Bryan.

Instead of ordering a few pizza pies, Bryan sets up a create-your-own pizza station with an assortment of fancy toppings and chef hats. He even borrowed arcade-like video games from work.

David tells Bryan that he has nothing to worry about. David explains that good parenting is all about the effort and caring about your child.

Bryan later reveals their baby’s beautiful nursery filled with David’s precious World Series baseballs, circus animals, and footballs, all with Bryan’s creativeness and good taste mixed in.

We see Goldie pack up her lawyer suit and in its place pull out costumes she has made for Shania. She then glances over at her sewing machine with wide eyes. Could costume design be in her future?



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