Sign in / Join
A to Z

A TO Z (NBC) - D is for Debbie

"D is for Debbie"

When Zelda's beloved aunt Debbie dies, Andrew decides to crash the family memorial...[button color="black" size="small" link="http://www.nbc.com/a-to-z/episode-guide/season-a-to-z-season-1/d-is-for-debbie/104" target="blank" ]Watch The Full Episode![/button]

Synopsis

As Andrew has no doubt noticed, Zelda has something of a neurotic streak. This can most likely be attributed to her rather crazy childhood. After her hippie parents divorced, Zelda's mom would disappear for weeks at a time, leaving young Zelda to sort things out while she went off find herself. Zelda was often left with her mom's close friend Debbie, a nurturing earth mother, who loved her, sustained her and taught her how to cope.

So when Debbie suddenly dies, it's a big blow for Zelda. Zelda shares her sorrow with Andrew, who immediately cancels their joint plans to attend an L.A. Kings hockey match to offer his support. As Andrew listens sympathetically, Zelda explains all about Debbie's place in her life, and how she was practically a surrogate mother to her. It's a tender exchange.

But left undiscussed is the question of attending the funeral and memorial service. Andrew really wants to be there and wonders to Stu if Zelda will invite him. But Stu can't offer much insight because he's been caught in a honey trap at work. What's a honey trap? An insidious, irresistible attraction designed to lure the unsuspecting to their deaths.

Ms. Honey Pot, aka Big Bird, has, in her conniving management style, placed a Foosball table in the common area of Wallflower's offices. Dinesh and Lora know better than to touch it, but Stu can't resist. As soon as he begins playing with it, he's called on the carpet to Big Bird's office. HR is there. He's being given until the end of the day to prove why he shouldn't be fired. As the head of Products and Innovation, Stu has been wasting most of his workdays working on his fantasy sports leagues and focusing on everything but innovative new products.

Zelda chooses not to invite Andrew to the service. She explains to Stephie that she's afraid to expose Andrew to her out-there extended family. It seems Debbie and her friends come from the fringes: new age, earth-bound, self-actualizing - pretty much everything Zelda is not. She's afraid exposure to the neo-hippies will frighten Andrew off. Zelda makes plans to head to the service with Stephie, consciously avoiding the topic altogether with Andrew. Stephie's glad to be going, not just to support her best friend but also because she knows internet heartthrob Tyler Ward will be there. Maybe she'll get lucky.

Andrew, being Andrew, follows his heart; he so wants to be there for Zelda. He puts on a suit, grabs some flowers and makes his way up into the hills to crash the service. Zelda's shocked at the sight of him. Andrew realizes he's made a mistake by jumping into a family gathering at such an early stage of the relationship. But Zelda's extended family - especially her Uncle Dave - immediately loves Andrew, offering hugs and laughs and invitations to his chant-based grieving ceremony.

And there's another crasher at the gate: Stu. It seems the only viable idea he's come up with to save his job at Wallflower is to convince a celebrity to post on the dating site, bringing a legion of fans with him. Brilliant! When he learns that Tyler Ward will be at the service for Aunt Debbie, he heads for the hills himself. He sneaks in unannounced and makes a beeline for the star, ready to pitch his bacon-saving business idea. But Stu is quickly headed off by Stephie, who's projecting her romantic intentions on Tyler. Soon the two are fighting over access to the young celeb. It's all too weird for Tyler, especially when Stu blurts out that he slept with Stephie.

Meanwhile, Zelda's Uncle Dave confesses to her and Andrew that he's grieving in his own way, i.e. he's taken a bunch of magic mushrooms and is in no shape to deliver a eulogy; he conscripts Zelda into the job. The prospect of sharing her feelings with a whole house full of touchy-feely family members immediately terrifies Zelda. She begins to shut down. Luckily, Andrew is there to help her work up some remarks. It's painful, halting and has the feel of a lawyer's closing statement in a murder trial, but somehow Zelda gets through the speech.

Finally, the eulogy behind her, Zelda begins to process her loss. At a nearby café, she bawls. She goes on to explain that the real reason she didn't want Andrew at the service wasn't so much about him being turned off by her family as it was her fear that he would see her in an emotional, embarrassing state. Now she's grateful he came - and that he's seeing her at her most emotionally wrought.

Back at Wallflower, Lydia's been caught in something of a honey trap of her own, one casually set by the HR rep. She gets off the hook and after Stu pleads with her for his job, she reluctantly lets Stu off the hook too.

Stu, Stephie, Andrew and Zelda all gather again at Debbie's house for an appreciation, a little nosh and some singing. It's been a big day of loss, renewal, growth and togetherness. Just the way Aunt Debbie would have wanted it.

A to Z

1 comment

  1. darci 4 November, 2014 at 15:36 Reply

    So many comedy shows try to blend in some serious or dark themes/plot elements, but this almost always fails. This episode pulled it off great and I thought the Zelda’s whole thought process when deciding whether or not to invite Andrew to the funeral was both amusing and soooo realistic and dead on. I also liked during the funeral when Stephanie asks Zelda what she ever decided to do about Andrew that they used “Let You Go” by Kyle Neal – big fan of Neal’s ever since I heard him on Hart of Dixie.

    I think the writer’s of this show must be fans of the (amazing) British show Coupling – this episode has lots of elements of a Coupling episode that I loved called “Sex, Death & Nudity.”

Leave a reply