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TV Recap

'Ben and Kate' Recap: Episode Four, '21st Birthday'

'Ben and Kate' Recap: Episode Four, '21st Birthday'
Photo Source: Fox

Lots and lots of things happened in last night’s episode of “Ben and Kate,” including tequila guzzling, tree stealing, and drug buying. Let’s try to make sense of everything, shall we?

We first meet our friends in the bar where Kate (Dakota Johnson) and BJ (Lucy Punch) work. We learn that Kate’s about to turn 26, and that she’s planning to spend this birthday in the same way she’s spent every birthday since she got pregnant at 21: eating a sundae by herself in a lonely ice cream parlor.

This, Ben (Nat Faxon) and Tommy (Echo Kellum) point out, is totally lame. Their solution? To throw Kate the 21stbirthday bash she never had. Kate’s not thrilled about the idea—she’s a mom now! So her brother and friends decide they’ll have to plan the party behind Kate’s back, and make it a surprise.

But before the party starts, it’s time for a subplot. While BJ and Ben drive Maddie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) to Tommy’s parents’ house - because a rollicking 21st birthday bash is no place for a 6-year-old - Ben spots his ex-girlfriend Darcy’s parents’ house, and it looks like somebody else is moving in! To Ben’s despair, the people moving into the house turn out to be Darcy and her new husband, George. Ben is distraught because it used to be his dream to move into that house with Darcy. He even had plans to carve a canoe out of the tree in the backyard, he tells BJ. Weird.

Let’s get to the party. Surprise, Kate! We know you didn’t want a crazy 21stbirthday party, so we decided to throw you a crazy 21stbirthday party! Strangely, Kate’s actually pretty happy—especially when she sees that her college friend Molly, a wild partier, has shown up (with a handle of tequila).

But you know who’s not happy about Molly’s arrival? Tommy. Apparently, Molly once took $15 from him, and never paid him back. His extreme anger about the incident seems really irrational…for now.

Meanwhile, Ben and BJ embark (perhaps drunkenly?) on a mission to steal the “canoe tree” from the backyard of Darcy’s new house. Mid-stealth, Darcy spots them, and invites them inside in a way that is FAR TOO NICE FOR SOMEONE WHO JUST FOUND HER EX-BOYFRIEND TRYING TO STEAL FAUNA FROM HER BACKYARD. Anyway, once inside, Darcy devastates Ben by admitting that she never took their relationship as seriously as he did, calling him a “wandering circus.”

BJ jumps to Ben’s defense, embarking on a hilarious rant that begins with, “Call him a circus, because if he is, I want a ticket.” To conclude, she declares that she and Ben are lovers, and the two engage in what might be this season’s most awkward TV make-out sesh. And it’s great.

Back to Kate’s party. Molly wants to take Kate out on the town, so she gets Tommy to drive them to some seedy-looking club somewhere. The next thing Kate knows, Molly gets Kate to pay $40 to a bouncer…so they can buy drugs! Kate totally freaks out, and realizes that she and Molly are just at totally different points in their lives. Kate doesn’t feel like reverting to her college lifestyle—she’s happy being a mom. And if that means ending her and Molly’s friendship, she’s kind of OK with that.

And now, finally—finally—we get some backstory on Tommy’s obsession with Kate. Tommy explains how, back in college, he was going to ask Kate out, but Molly stole the $15 he was going to use for the date, so it never happened. (Um…could they not have gone for a FREE walk in the park or something? Oh well.) And then Kate got pregnant, and he never got another chance to do it, and it’s been eating at him ever since. Sigh.

At the end of the night, when it’s nearly dawn, Ben and Kate reunite. Realizing Kate had a lousy time at her party, Ben takes her out for breakfast sundaes. Of course, the rest of the gang show up, and it’s totally cute. Oh, we also learn that Kate was never alone during all those birthdays she spent at the ice cream parlor—she had Maddie with her! Awww!

And then—brace yourselves, people—Tommy tries to pay for everybody’s ice cream, but Kate tells him to save his money, and to use it to take somebody out who appreciates how incredible he is…someone like her. And then she kisses him on the cheek.

WHAT WILL THIS MEAN?!?! Obviously, stay tuned. 

Lines of the Night:

“Maddie, wake up. Nobody wants mermaids when they’re 21.” – BJ, shooting down Maddie’s idea for Kate’s birthday party theme

“You’ve told me what you do every year since you were pregnant, and it kinda sucks.” – Ben

“BJ, I’m gonna remove my glasses so you can understand how serious I am.” – Tommy, on why he dislikes Molly so much

“I can’t believe Darcy’s moving into that house with her super, super likeable husband.” – Ben

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