Getting the disappointment out of the way first, it’s important for you to know that there’s no fighting in this episode. However, there is some nasty concern-troll gossip and a little scripted heart-warmth.
Austin and Jake investigate a venue for their one-year anniversary party. Austin makes Jake shout “I love Austin Armacost!” from the deck of some party boat they’re on. Then, when Jake tells Austin he has to do the same, for a split second you think he’s going to shout that he, too, loves Austin Armacost.
They’re already married in England but thanks to Jake’s immigration status, they can’t really get married in the United States. When they participate in Mike Ruiz’s convenient photo shoot of bi-national gay couples, Jake’s face is blurred out. Because he’s got to be anonymous now? Is La Migra not watching this show? Is Logo paying him in Swiss francs? I’m going to tell the gay bi-national couples I know that they don’t have to sneak around immigration anymore: All they have to do is get on a reality show and they can hide in plain sight.
Austin and Jake’s situation dominates the episode because everyone else has been instructed to do nothing but gossip about them. A brief list of “allegedlies”:
1. Jake cheated on Austin before their Brit-wedding.
2. Austin cheated on Jake after their Brit-wedding.
3. There is punching: One or both of these men like to solve life’s little misunderstandings via mixed martial arts/slapfights/gymkata. The actual process is unclear because the camera is never on when these two are going all Warrior on each other. But Austin has a bruise on his lip and says he walked into a cupboard. If he’d only finish the sentence with “because I needed some midnight Tanqueray” or “because I sleep-eat entire boxes of Teddy Grahams,” the rest of the cast would buy it and it’d be a nice callback to every single other “Austin Is Fat And Also Drunk”-themed episode.
The episode is so much about Austin and Jake’s relationship suddenly turning into all anybody can talk about, that short shrift is given to all other pressing matters.
The program abdicates it’s responsibility to fully explore the ramifications of Nyasha’s experimentation with a catchphrase (“Awkward, party of one”) or Rodiney’s concurrent experimentation with a catchphrase. (“Bitch, please.”) Nobody but Reichen’s mother wants to talk about Reichen’s Internet penis-display adventure and Nyasha’s attempts to fulfill the contractual commitment she has with her vagina (“She’s a business, too,”) are only the casual concern of Ryan, Derek and TJ. The best man-finding advice they give her is to make sure she leaves “scrapbooking” off her list of hobbies. They can’t even be bothered to help her come up with an online dating site handle better suited to her personality than “Cupcake Cutie.”
Unless they’re playing a trick on her and a “cupcake cutie” is some filthy sex act involving poop that I’ve never heard of. That would be great.
Oh, and Austin and Derek finally hug it out. This is meant to be the climax of the show, a final confrontation after Austin greets Derek with the following peace offering: “What’s up, Misery Guts?”
But it’s really not a climax at all. You knew it was coming. Fake fights need fake resolutions. TJ brings a fruit bouquet for the occasion.