EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

Playing House - Season 1

'Playing House' season finale recap: Babies and bikers

Season 1 | Episodes 9 & 10 | “Let’s Have a Baby” & “Bugs in Your Eyes” | Aired June 17, 2014

Season 1 of Playing House began and ended with the little red playhouse in Maggie’s backyard. It’s more than just a cute visual aid for USA to use in promos for the show; it’s a place of refuge, a place these women retreat to in times of crisis. In the beginning, it’s Maggie who’s crouched in the tiny house, crying about her husband’s online infidelity. By the end, Emma is the one breaking down. And both times, Maggie and Emma lean on each other for support. Their friendship always wins.

Playing House lives in a world of low stakes, driven solely by its characters and their day-to-day interactions. It sounds obvious, but it’s no easy task making an audience care about the mundane. Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham don’t just charm you with their hilarious banter and improv prowess; this show works on an emotional level that isn’t often reached on television. There’s an honesty to Maggie and Emma’s friendship that adds an unquantifiable dimension to this little sitcom.

The penultimate episode, “Let’s Have a Baby,” is jam-packed with familiar sitcom tropes: the belligerent secretary, the miscommunication with the doctor, and the last-minute request for an epidural have all been seen a billion and one times. But the heart beating within this episode makes it one of the best of the season, and a perfect example of why this show is so necessary.

So yes, in “Let’s Have a Baby,” Maggie has her baby. Maggie’s usual doctor wins the lottery and drops his job and all responsibilities, leaving Maggie with an unfamiliar doctor, Doctor J (LOL), to help her through the birth. Doctor J assumes Maggie and Emma are lesbians, and they don’t deny it. Rather, they make up an elaborate backstory about how they met and fell in love. Emma was wearing a tankini bathing suit top, and Maggie, a sleeveless sweatshirt tuxedo top from Hugo Boss.


Meanwhile, Zach has just returned from doula training in New Mexico, where he apparently learned how to be a man. And Bruce has just spent seven hours at a carnival trying to win an inflatable dolphin to give to Maggie as a gift. Maggie truly is surrounded by weirdos (including Emma … and herself).


Though there is a series of miscommunications and minor complications, Maggie eventually successfully delivers her baby — who is healthy, happy and super-cute — with Emma by her side. The baby is a girl, and is named Charlotte, after Maggie’s mom. What a great pair of role models that baby is going to have! Side note: I know this is TV, but was that not the quickest birth you’ve ever seen?!

Just when you think Mark can’t get anymore perfect, he shows up the hospital with flowers and a bag of groceries for Emma — he thought they might be hungry. Before he leaves, though, he hints at problems at home with Tina.

And that brings us to the second episode, “Bugs in Your Eyes,” which takes us six weeks into the future, into the middle of crying babies and a rough patch for Mark and Tina.

Maggie is being a control freak about her baby, and that’s causing some tension between her and Emma. Emma wants to be a big part of baby Charlotte’s life, and Maggie wants that too. but she’s still majorly in new mom mode, sing-screaming “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” with all her might.


Then Emma, who’s been waiting on a call from Mark about some vintage plates for Charlotte’s christening, gets a drunk call from Mark, who is at Rosie’s, drinking away his marital problems. She decides to head down there, and Maggie decides to join, arguing, “I’m not letting you go to a bar where your ex is by himself and drunk. That’s not appropriate.” GOOD POINT, MAGGIE.

When they show up, Rosie’s has been overrun by a biker gang. Between all the leather and bandanas, Mark is at the bar, sulking about losing his wedding ring in a bet. Maggie makes a pool challenge to reclaim the ring while Emma tries to get to the root of Mark’s problems. He reveals he was offered a better job as police sergeant in Stamford, Connecticut, which is three hours away. Tina doesn’t want to uproot her life, but he doesn’t want to give up an opportunity to advance his career. Not thinking, he starts to reminisce about his relationship with Emma, and they almost kiss again. But Emma does the right thing: She stops it.


Meanwhile, Maggie’s pool game is hindered by the baby carrier strapped to her chest, and she learns a lesson about letting go. Sometimes she can’t be in control of everything, and she has to be able to trust. Otherwise having a newborn will drive her totally crazy. She wins back Mark’s ring for him and they all drive home, no damage done. It seems like a happy ending, but then Mark stops by the next morning with bad news. He and Tina have decided it would be best if he didn’t see Emma, at all, in any capacity. Not even as friends. And that’s how Emma ends up in the little red house.

The episode and the season end by playing to Parham and St. Clair’s strength as a duo: emotional connection. In a tearful and tear-inducing conversation, Maggie reveals that she’s decided to give her daughter the middle name Emma. And Emma, who’s feeling more lonely than ever with the exit of Mark from her life, is overjoyed to the point of tears. These two best friends are each other’s family. It’s a sweet, heartfelt moment between two character we’ve just spend 10 episodes getting to know and love. It’s nothing huge, it’s not terribly intense, but it’s a perfectly executed little moment with a lot of heart. It’s proof that not giving this show a second season would be a big, huge mistake.

Winning one-liners:

  • “He’s the only one who knows my vagina inside and out.” — Maddie
  • “Speaking of rolled meats, I was thinking about wearing a kilt.” — Bruce
  • “Oh my god, I thought you were having an ass explosion in here!” — Emma



Here, EW superfans lead the conversation around TV shows. And there are so many shows to talk about! Our community contributors post and share throughout the week on latest episodes.

Want to join? Click on the links below.

Join Now FAQ

Latest Videos

Latest News

Most Commented

PopWatch | Entertainment Weekly's EW.com



Snapchat's getting its own web series, and it's called 'Literally Can't Even'

Comments +

Sending self-destructing pictures and videos is nice and all, but Snapchat wants to do more. The popular social network is broadening its horizons and getting into the entertainment game—by making an original web series named after a rather tired Internet meme. 

Read Full Story

'Disney Infinity 2.0' Toy Box comes to iPhones, iPads

Comments +

Disney Interactive has released the Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0 for free on iPhones and iPads, meaning it’s now possible for you to have Aladdin and Baymax race each other in Guardians of the Galaxy-themed cars when you’re on the go. 

Read Full Story

How 'Parenthood' thrived, despite a spoiler-addicted society

Comments +

In the age of live-tweeting, the most talked-about shows on television tend to be those that give viewers (and Twitter users) plenty of big, bold moments that inspire strong, immediate reactions. Which, in turn, means that the most talked-about shows inevitably end up being labeled TV’s most successful shows. Think about it: There’s Game of Thrones, with its Red Wedding, Purple Wedding, and continuous stream of unexpected deaths. We have Shonda Rhimes, who’s arguably the queen of the WTF moment with ScandalGrey’s Anatomy, and How to Get Away With Murder. And then there’s the ever-more-popular True Detective format, which is built entirely around solving a mystery—preferably one with a surprising result. Essentially, TV’s best dramas must, on some level, be edge-of-your-seat thrillers.

That is, unless they’ve got the Bravermans.

Read Full Story

Conan O'Brien, Marshawn Lynch, and Rob Gronkowski lose their minds over 'Mortal Kombat'

Comments +

For a special Super Bowl edition of Conan O’Brien’s very funny Clueless Gamer segments, the late-night host convinced Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks and Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots to face each other for a few matches of the yet-to-be-released Mortal Kombat X

Read Full Story

'Transistor,' 'Rogue Legacy' among free games for PlayStation Plus in February

Comments +

Sony is refreshing the free games available as part of PlayStation Plus next week, and the new selection will include one of 2014’s most memorable games and a brand new title.

Read Full Story

PopWatch Confessional: The thing you used to love (that now makes you cringe)

Comments +

Ahh, youth, when naivete and limitless free time conspire to form overwhelming cultural obsessions—the sort that burn bright and hot, consuming vast amounts of energy until you get a little older and realize, “Wait. What the hell was I thinking?” (This is the moment where I pause, look to the heavens, and thank whatever’s up there that I never ended up getting a Rent-inspired tattoo when I was 18.)

Which brings me to this week’s PopWatch confessional: What’s the movie/TV show/musical act/AIDS-themed rock operetta (ahem) that you were once obsessed with—to a degree that makes your present-day self want to laugh and cry simultaneously? The EW staff’s answers may surprise you. (Yeah, they probably won’t.)

Read Full Story

Chris Hardwick looks back at five years of Nerdist podcast

Comments +

Five years in, Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist podcast is only continuing to grow.

What started as three friends gathering around some microphones on Super Bowl Sunday in 2010 has turned into over 600 episodes of the flagship Nerdist podcasts, a website, and a host of other podcasts on the Nerdist Network. 

The show celebrates its fifth anniversary with episode 631, a special live show recorded at the NerdMelt Showroom. Hardwick spoke to EW about the live show, what Nerdist has meant for him over the last five years, and where he hopes to take it in the years to come.

Read Full Story

Warner Bros. to launch new Batman, Justice League animated movies based on toys

Comments +

Chances are you’ve already gotten a sneak peek at DC’s next big animated project if you’ve spent any time buying superhero toys.

Read Full Story

'Life Is Strange' Episode 1 review: 'Chrysalis'

Comments +
Life Is Strange

High school can be a daily exercise in embarrassing encounters. Stumbling through an awkward exchange with your current crush, taking a volleyball straight to the face during gym, having a teacher ask you a question while you’re daydreaming—wouldn’t it be great to rewind time and prevent these horrific moments from ever happening?

Life Is Strange allows its main character, Max Caulfield, to do just that. The episodic series from Dontnod Entertainment and Square Enix capitalizes on the collective trials of navigating teenage life. The first episode, “Chrysalis,” is not without its issues —some hokey dialogue and stilted line reading can make the centerpiece of the game, the characters, a bit unbelievable. But it also sets the stage for a relatable tale with a nice sci-fi spin and enough hanging plot threads to encourage sticking around for future episodes.

Read Full Story

The Super Bowl ads of 2015: Watch them here

Comments +
Mindy Kaling 02

Come Sunday evening, the commercials with the biggest stars, cutest animals, and best jokes might be more important than who actually wins Super Bowl XLIX. (Budweiser’s lost puppy commercial vs. Patriots/Seahawks? Our money is on the puppy.)

Read Full Story

More from Our Partners

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

TV Recaps | Entertainment Weekly's EW.com

TV Recaps

More from Our Partners

Powered by WordPress.com VIP

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,178 other followers