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'Mike & Molly' fan recap: Where there's a will, there's a wake-up call

Season 6 | Episode 5 | “Joyce’s Will Be Done” | Aired Feb 3, 2016

What happens when our number is up, so to speak? Where do we go? Who gets our things? That’s a loaded question Mike & Molly posed on Wednesday night’s episode, “Joyce’s Will Be Done.”

After the girls’ yoga teacher turns her downward dog into downward dead, the Flynn household contemplates mortality, a place Mike & Molly hasn’t gone in its six years on the air. But of course, in classic sitcom fashion, it wasn’t truly about heaven, hell, and the space between. The Chicagoans got down to brass tacks and slapped stickers on the most coveted items in the house. That’s right. It’s all about the will.

They did, however, spiral a fair amount about health and avoiding their untimely deaths. Although they drink like any proud descendant of the Irish does, they eat clean and exercise regularly. (Well, everyone apart from Mike.) But the deceased yoga teacher upped the ante. She was vegan and worked out every day, and she still couldn’t avoid death’s knock.

That’s all Mike needs to hear to start living like he’s dying. Armed with the knowledge that even veganism doesn’t pardon one from the afterlife, Mike orders an apple fritter with lunch. Carl talks Mike down from the #YOLO ledge and dissuades him from eating the “deep-fried death sentence.”

Elsewhere, Joyce gets her affairs in order to ensure that she’ll put the “fun” in funeral—she’s already planned for a Calypso band to play her out, because this is Joyce—and her kids won’t be left in the lurch. Joyce hands down her mother’s engagement ring to Molly, a gift she accepts with glee. But Molly’s mood turns sour when she learns her mother has left the house to Victoria.

Joyce’s decision reopens old wounds that the show hasn’t explored with any true depth until now. Molly has always considered herself better than Victoria. Even as she swims in debt, changes careers on a whim, and lives at home well into her 30s and half a decade into her marriage, she sees Victoria’s cloud of pot smoke and blows her own smoke of superiority.

She’s seen her little sister sleep around and do drugs, maybe live life with the free, reckless abandon Molly could never succumb to. When her mother gives the house to the notorious “screw up,” it feels like a punch in the face—with her grandmother’s rock.

Molly internalizes her feelings with some help from a bucket of beers, and in her drunken stupor releases her bottled emotions. She wasn’t the only one vocalizing emotions. Mike and Vince ponder religion and what comes after death. Sure, they joke about spirit animals, but Vince speaks honestly for once. And Mike calls him “princess,” a sign of the dormant homophobia and sexism most older-skewing sitcoms can’t shake.

Anyway, Molly stumbles into the house, chipper as ever, like she didn’t even get the short end of the deal. She had come to terms with her mother gifting the hapless black sheep with a place to live, but she couldn’t stop the word-vomit. Molly slurs to a stone-cold sober Victoria that Joyce left her the house because she doesn’t know left from right. Victoria rightfully takes offense to the comment.

Molly had been so consumed with her ego for their entire lives that she didn’t even realize that Victoria actually has her sh– together. She has a steady job, no debt, and a ton of savings. In this confrontation, she’s the sober one and Molly’s the mess. Who’s really better than the other?

Leave it to a sober Victoria to give Molly the wake up call she needs. (But let’s be real here, a stoned Victoria could rock a life lesson, too.) Molly realizes that she might be the real screw up of the family, but Joyce settles her worries once and for all. She left the house to Victoria because she’ll sell it before the dirt covers the casket and Mike and Molly will have their chance to get out. Start their own lives. Make their own traditions.

I know we’re dealing with a textbook sitcom here, but I can’t help but remember that this is the final run of episodes. What are we foreshadowing? Between Peggy’s heart attack and Joyce finalizing her will, will Mike & Molly end with bittersweet heartbreak? Or will it end on a happier note, perhaps with a baby?

Mike & Molly airs Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30C on CBS.

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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