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'Undateable' recap: Don't just stand there, bust 'The Move'

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “The Move” | Aired June 19, 2014

She was not dressed in yellow and he did not say “hello,” but there were definitely a lot of busted moves in this episode. Nicki is coming back to town for a visit for the first time since she left to be close to her mother, and Justin has big plans to remain horizontal for the majority of her stay. Danny cautions Justin to take a step back in order to respect Nicki’s feminine emotions. He shouldn’t shuffle her into the bedroom just as she walks through the door.

Has he never met Danny before?

Nicki rushes in and jumps into Justin’s waiting arms. He pushes her off, explaining that he values her brains as well as her brawn. I love that she takes him by the shoulders and asks, “Did Danny mess with your head?” Baby Bird nods in embarrassment, Danny laughs hysterically and Nicki literally throws Justin over her shoulder and carries him into the bedroom. All that was missing was an animal-skin toga and a wooden club.

Nicki enters the bar the next day and is immediately scooped up into a friend sandwich consisting of Burski, Brett and Shelly. (Sorry, Burski. The boob you grabbed was Shelly’s. Better luck next time.) Nicki excuses herself to call her mom when Justin begins freaking out, claiming that Nicki must be cheating on him. Apparently she brought some advanced, Cirque du Soleil-quality moves to the boudoir, and he was genuinely afraid for his life. Leslie assures Justin that he has nothing to worry about. Nicki simply read something in a magazine that she wanted to try.

Justin becomes insecure, thinking he needs to return the favor with an equally impressive move. Never fear, Baby Bird. Danny has just The Move for this situation. It’s part Daniel Larusso and part principal ballet dancer. Danny dips into a deep plié, showcasing the flexibility required for The Move. Justin attempts to mirror his mentor, but he’s about as flexible as wrought iron in frozen tundra. Annoyed, Justin scoffs at Danny, claiming he doesn’t need The Move.

Moments later, we find Justin desperately begging Danny for The Move. Danny allows the power to wash over him and insists that Justin apologize to The Move — with an Italian accent, since Danny invented The Move in Italy. After a hilarious conversation in which Brent Morin performs what sounded like an amalgamation of Spanish and Indian, Danny is convinced he’s ready to see the diagram that details the intricacies of The Move.

UndateableThe next day, Nicki can’t stop talking about The Move. Danny is mad that he is receiving zero credit for schooling Justin on how to show Nicki a good time. Just as Danny is about to claim The Move as his own, Justin makes him promise he will never tell Nicki that he is the actual engineer of The Move. Danny answers with an eye roll and deep plié.

That night, Justin and Nicki prepare to go to Pleasure Town. Nicki sidles up next to him, asking if he will do The Danny.

Mamma mia!

An irate Justin storms into the bar — because where else would you go in a moment like this? — furious that Danny told Nicki he was the father of The Move. Brett is intrigued and asks if The Move works on guys.

Danny assures him that The Move does not discriminate. He suggests Brett sing to The Move, and in a heartbeat, David Fynn busts out a truly remarkable version of “Funiculi, Funicula.” I was majorly impressed and equally intrigued as to why the show doesn’t utilize him more.

Justin is flustered. Why did Danny blatantly ignore his request? It was simple: Don’t tell Nicki that The Move was his brainchild. Danny was confused, claiming that he only wanted credit for what he invented. Justin leaves, vowing to never perform The Move again. Nicki follows, begging him to reconsider his declaration.

Leslie scolds her brother for turning on Justin, even though he knows that Baby Bird is insecure when it comes to women. Danny stares at her with a blank face. Leslie rolls her eyes and begins to explain what the word “insecure” means. The entire exchange was a well-written bit, and Chris D’Elia’s careful delivery of the word “in-sack-ure” had me rolling (see the “Quotables,” below).

Danny later apologizes to Justin, admitting that doing things for others out of the goodness of his heart is a new concept to him. He tells Justin that Nicki is totally out of his league, but he deserves her. Then he instructs Baby Bird to create a move called The Justin. I’m guessing it will be part Barry Manilow and part accountant.

The B-story was extremely entertaining as well. According to Shelly, they’ve taken nature’s miracle of the female reproduction system and made a bar game out of it. Brett claims he can make Leslie cry by uttering only four words: soldier, dad, surprise and homecoming. But all bets are off when they discover that Burski hasn’t cried since he was 5 years old. Shelly claims Burski is emotionally constipated and is shocked when even the video about the lion remembering his owners doesn’t elicit a tear.

Burski is still devoid of emotion when his friend tells him the story of a young Shelly who was diagnosed with what doctors described as “a big-ass head.” Even that doesn’t work. What finally breaks Burski is when Danny pays him a compliment. Cue the waterworks!

Undateable Quotables:

Justin: Are you really trying to help me or just messing with my head?
Danny: Why can’t it be both?

Leslie: She read something sexy in a magazine that she wanted to try.
Justin: It was scary. It was terrifying.
Shelly: Uh-oh. Somebody’s thumb went somewhere!

Danny: I’ve got a move that is insanely crazy. But you have to be just like the Karate Kid. Part of your body waxes on while the other part waxes off.

Leslie: You know Justin feels insecure.
[Danny looks confused.]
Leslie: Oh, right. You see, being insecure is when you doubt yourself and your abilities.
Danny: That’s so sad. Is that a real thing?
Brett: Yes, and that’s why I’ve yet to wear my European bathing suit in the States.
Leslie: You need to put yourself ahead of your friends’ feelings.
Danny: I don’t like that. It makes me feel in-sack-ure.
Leslie: That’s not what that means.

Undateable, rated TV-14, airs Thursdays at 9/8 C on NBC


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