706/Weekend In L.A.
Paul has an invitation to fly out to Los Angeles to meet with an agent (Gardner Malloy) who is interested in representing him. He thinks it's his opportunity to become "a person". Jamie, on the other hand, is not at all looking forward to leaving Mabel behind - especially since Mabel will be staying with Paul's parents. But they're off, and they make it, but their luggage doesn't. A sign of things to come? Not necessarily. In fact things, for the most part, go very well. The atmosphere has Jamie relaxing and Paul getting himself an agent. Paul was worried about the agent not wanting him, and we come to find out that the agent was worried about Paul not wanting to be represented by him. After Paul breaks the good new to Jamie, Gardner takes the Buchman's out to, first a gun range (where we learn Jamie is a natural with a pistol), then to dinner - in New York. On the flight to New York, Jamie says something about her lifestyle which upsets Paul enough to let Jamie go on to Boston without him. Later, Jamie tells Paul she very much regrets saying what she said. Then Jamie has to tell Mabel she couldn't really mean what she said.
I felt myself with mixed feelings about this one all the way through - especially towards the end. But my feelings gravitated towards a certain warmth. It was nice to see the Buchman's getting out of town for the weekend. And though I'd normally be against leaving Mabel behind, it was ok to do so for the weekend. What was sad was to see Jamie seemingly forgetting what a blessing motherhood can be. I understood her desires to be free to "live it up", but I also understood Paul being upset with her. Fortunately Paul didn't make a big deal out of everything. I guess all the therapy is working.
But you see what I mean about me having mixed feelings? The warmth came from 2 main sources; a)the fact that Paul and Jamie have a parting of the ways, but it doesn't degenerate into the kind of meaness we've seen in the last couple of seasons, and; b)the ending scene - Paul was amazingly patient and Jamie singing to Mabel was quite touching. It was almost enough to make me get emotional. Perhaps it takes some imagination to get emotional during a sitcom, but there it is. I still love this series enough to live somewhat vicariously through the Buchman's.
Other things to like about this episode were the agent Gardner Malloy (played by Craig Bierko), the thing with the swans, and especially the firing range. Jamie saying she probably learned to shoot so well at camp, and Paul saying, "so that would be like Dirty Harry camp?". There were also numerous other funny one-liners. And, unlike my complaints the last couple of weeks about a lack of direction, this one was tight and focused. This was an episode which also knew when to laugh at itself and when to take itself seriously. I enjoyed this episode very much - mixed feelings aside. I give it an 8.