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'Married' recap: Sometimes you need to lie

Season 1 | Episode 9 | “Halloween” | Aired Sept 11, 2014

Sometimes, when you’re unhappy in life, it’s fun to play pretend. Whether it’s fantasizing a different reality or adopting an entirely new image, separating yourself from a harsh reality can be a sigh of relief in a disappointing time. This week, it’s Halloween on Married, and everyone is masking their feelings. There’s not a trick-or-treater or childhood Halloween tradition in sight, but there is a pot-smoking Russ and a rehab-destined AJ.

When Lina refuses to buy a third Halloween costume for indecisive Ella, Russ steps in to play good cop. A new costume is simply out of the question because both parents are too busy to run out and get it. Lina is visiting her old friend Eva, who’s in town for a business trip, and Russ has to help Jess check AJ into rehab.

Meanwhile, Jess and Shep are still fighting, this time about masculinity and Jess’s “work drinks.” Because Shep goes to bed so early, Jess goes out after work almost every night. Though she says it’s for drinks with work friends, she reveals to Russ that she’s really going out to clubs and wild parties.

giphyRuss confesses to Jess that he’s been lying to his spouse too. While he’s been telling Lina that he’s staying late at work to focus on his own projects, he hasn’t been doing that at all. Instead he’s been going out with some of the younger guys from the office. “Sometimes you need to lie,” Jess says. Sounds like a great new tagline for the show!

And so Russ, the dude who smokes joints on the front lawn of his family home, and Jess, the girl who lost her sense of smell due to a “cocaine accident,” head out to meet AJ and check him into a rehab facility for his alcohol/drug addiction—and the depression brought on by his recent divorce. This Halloween, they’re dressed up as the “Responsible Friends.” But AJ isn’t as easy to catch as they thought he’d be. While Russ and Jess wait in AJ’s living room for him to pack, AJ sneaks out his window and runs away.

giphy (1)On the other side of the hill, Lina, with straightened hair and a fresh blazer, meets her old friend for a coffee date. But just as she’s opening up about how she’s feeling about her marriage, her friend interrupts her. She scheduled another meeting on top of her meeting with Lina, and she has to take it. Lina, clearly burned, offers to move so a man in a suit can take her seat.

Jess and Russ find AJ buying a mocha at his favorite coffee shop and drag him to a dollar store, where Russ is supposed to buy a pirate costume for Ella. Russ doesn’t know her size, but he knows she’s always 12. Jess wants all the pertinent updates, like whether or not Ella has her period, etc. “It could be any day …” Russ says with mock concern. Jess picks out a sexy pirate costume with a corset, and Russ shuts her down immediately. According to Jess, this is what kids wear in L.A. AJ convinces Russ and Jess to stop by his office, where he picks up a sock filled with drugs and then explodes at his coworkers for having a partner meeting without him. He is then, of course, escorted out of the office. And, finally, escorted to rehab by Jess and Russ.

Lina bails on her coffee date when she realizes that she is not the priority, but her friend comes through in the end. She chases after Lina, who is waiting for her car in tears, and offers to go get a drink. Lina lays out her issues with Russ, and Eva comforts her by letting her know that she is not alone. She also advises Lina to spice up their sex life. She invites Lina to stay in the hotel with her and get a massage—have a girls’ night. But Lina declines at the last minute. Trick-or-treating with her kids is way more important.

And even though Ella ends up going trick-or-treating with her friends instead of with the family, Lina and Russ are happy to be together for the holiday. There’s no rehab or friend drama—there’s no one to impress. It’s just your average marital experience, but it’s the most real they’ve been all episode. No masks necessary.

Married airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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