Three road-trips. Rebecca wants a fun day out at a barbecue restaurant, but the only one of her friends who is available is Darryl, a sweet guy but way too emo/extra/whatever. Predictably, he spends the entire journey trying to start conversations about precisely the topics that Rebecca has made it clear she wants to avoid, then sulks when she finally calls him on it. Yeah, she has to apologise, of course. Then they eat their BBQ, head home, and… almost make out? WTF? No matter how much they might make it clear that they don’t see themselves as being romantically suited, I can promise them that I am even less sold on that idea than they are. Just don’t, writers. Don’t.
Paula, wanting to study for her finals, finds the perfect desk on Craigslist, and hires a “bro with a truck” online to go with her to get it. The bro turns out to be Josh, and once again it’s painfully clear that since Rebecca stopped being fixated on him he really hasn’t had much to do, and isn’t that interesting anyway. It’s pretty clear, even – eventually – to Josh, that Paula is procrastinating due to her fear of failure. They don’t almost make out, thank the Lord.
And Nathaniel, who really doesn’t want to speak to anyone, is picked up by Heather when his car breaks down. She takes him, at his request, to Santa Monica, while he clutches an envelope and refuses to talk about it. I was looking forward to this plot most of all – first up, Heather is still in the show, which is good news, because she’s great. (Valencia is still there too.) And Nathaniel is by far the most fascinating of this show’s male characters, at least since Greg left anyway – I know, hold that thought. So putting Heather and Nathaniel together should be an easy win. And, actually, it’s the best of the three plots by some distance; although, sadly, the bar isn’t particularly high this week.
The show has a bit of fun with the opposites-attract-road-trip-cliche by giving everyone a leaning-in-for-a-kiss moment, and the Beach Boys parody manages, spectacularly, to provide a brisk summary of the band’s whole career. (The ‘Kokomo’ part is deadly.) But as an episode it doesn’t really work. It all felt forced rather than organic; as if, with not long to go, the writers decided to throw three unlikely couples together in the hope that something entertaining would happen.