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This week on Jennifer Falls, Jennifer had to confront her past when Gretchen's father, Adam, showed up with a birthday surprise. Both Dina and Maggie were over the moon for Adam, while Jennifer had mixed feelings. In a sub-plot, Wayne got a dog without Stephanie's approval, while she contemplated telling him about taking birth-control pills.
It was Gretchen's birthday as Jennifer voiced her regret to the audience that she couldn't take her daughter to Italy. Since she lost her investment banker job, all she could afford was a pizza in Little Italy, "as long as we don't go crazy with toppings." While she attempted to plan the perfect party, Jennifer received a call from Adam, wanting an invite to the party. Gretchen was unsure as, her father had bailed on her before. He was a touring musician who had been in and out of their lives since he got Jennifer pregnant.
That didn't stop Maggie and Dina from fawning over the musician any chance they got. They both discussed getting blowout hairstyles for his arrival. I could understand their excitement as Gretchen's father is guest star Chris D'Elia from NBC's Undateable. He pulled off the musician archetype very well with his late arrival to his daughter's party.
As Gretchen was about to leave for her next party with boyfriend, Taylor in tow, Adam showed up with his special birthday present. He presented her with a keychain in a pink box. When Gretchen praised this gift, her father opened the front door to reveal the key for it was in the ignition of her brand new car. Gretchen was thrilled, while Jennifer felt upstaged.
Jennifer assumed Adam stole the car as she questioned how he could afford a nice car. He told her he used the money from his record deal to buy it. Jennifer later admitted to Dina she found Adam more attractive since he was a successful musician. It was a step up from his money-borrowing days when she described him as a "boner-killer."
Later before the two women retired to bed, Gretchen and Jennifer touched base about Adam being in their lives. Gretchen was hopeful things would be different, and her father would be around for her more. Her mother told her not to get her hopes up, but that didn't stop her from immediately sleeping with Adam, who patiently waited for her in her bedroom.
As Adam escaped through the window, we saw Taylor exiting Gretchen's window. Adam jumped into over-protective father mode and attacked the boy for being alone with his daughter. An awkward family encounter ensued as Maggie and Gretchen found out about Jennifer and Adam's fling. The two parents got into a fight when Gretchen judged them for having sex, while she was in the next room doing the same with her boyfriend. Jennifer claimed Adam couldn't disappear for months at a time and be a father, while she was constantly present for Gretchen as a mother. Maggie wanted to know who filed a complaint against the Doyles, assuming it was their nosy neighbors, the Gundersons.
Jennifer went to Dina for more advice on how to handle the situation with Adam and Gretchen. Dina fixed up Jennifer's car, while also fixing her attitude about Adam coming back to be there for their daughter. Dina made her see that it wouldn't be so bad if Gretchen had a father in her life.
Wanting to fix things between the three of them, Jennifer hopped in her newly-repaired car to find Gretchen and Adam. While the father and daughter were on their way to get some ice cream, Jennifer caught up to them. Believing she's still mad, they dodged her, resulting in her getting a ticket. Dina forgot to attach an important part to Jennifer's car, making her a hazard on the road. She was picked up from the side of the road, and was finally able to apologize to Adam and Gretchen. When she gave their relationship her blessing, Adam decided to postpone his tour at the last-minute, so he could bond with Gretchen. Jennifer had mixed feelings, considering that meant she had to deal with her ex just a bit longer.
While Gretchen and Adam were rebuilding their relationship, Wayne adopted a dog named Hank without Stephanie's permission. She is forced to confront her own deceit about hiding her birth-control from her husband, even going as far as to confess to Hank when the bar is empty. She couldn't bring herself to tell Wayne, but decided to anyway once she told Hank. After Hank ate some of Gretchen's chocolate cake, Wayne rushed him to the veterinarian. He spent the night nursing him back to health the same way he would with a child. Stephanie realized she could trust Wayne as a parent to their child, but still didn't come clean about her secret. He mistook her sad tears for happy ones about their ability to have a family.
I enjoyed this episode because of Chris D'Elia's chemistry with Jaime Pressly. It would be nice for their characters to have a relationship and eventually be a family with Gretchen. Only time will tell with next week's episode when he and Gretchen go to a dance together, while making up for embarrassing his daughter.
Quote of the Week: "That's not the only thing he put in your slot," Dina when she and Jennifer were talking about her night with Adam.
Image courtesy of Peter West/ACE/INFphoto.com