I’m happy to report that Happy! has bounced back from a weaker episode with a strong offering in “The Scrap Yard of Childish Things.” Nick and Happy went on their separate journeys of realizing they need one another and then reunited for what is presumably a roller coaster ride final two episodes of the season.
With Nick, our resident hardass is a little lonely without Happy, though he has a Mikey Scaramucci-shaped problem to take care of before he can worry too much about missing his little blue buddy. It turns out Mikey is not a hallucination (I honestly wasn’t sure at the end of last week), but he’s more like... a reanimated corpse? He’s definitely not simply “still alive,” as evidenced by the Exorcist-like growly Latin happening in the confessional booth at the church where Nick leaves him while he runs an errand.
What Mikey’s return also reveals is that Nick doesn’t actually have the password, whatever that turns out to be. Nick says Mikey was “trying” to tell him the password when he was shot, but now Nick actually wants the password, so he hopes Mikey can give it to him. But Mikey is a half-step up from a vegetable and all he can say is “Blue.” Now, maybe that’s the password? But I get the feeling we’re not supposed to know what the password is or what it’s going to be used for, so I figure just ride it out until the show reveals it.
It’s hard to tell if Mikey has been reanimated with a set purpose or if he’s just wandering around aimlessly, but eventually his mother’s red sauce hocus-pocus calls him to her home. Isabella welcomes him with open arms, while Assunta (the old witchy lady) starts screaming. Assunta knows what’s up and it’s probably only a matter of time before she starts flinging holy water at him and shouting, “Il potere di Cristo ti costringe!”
While all this is happening, Nick is busy trying to broker a deal with Blue for Hailey’s return. He thinks they can trade his daughter for Mikey, which goes a bit sideways when Blue finds out Nick doesn’t have Mikey because the shambling zombie is at Isabella’s. Three of Blue’s henchmen take Nick into the garage to kill him, but one of them is such a fan of Nick’s work that it gives him enough of a distraction to get himself out of there (with an assist from Happy and Blue’s son, Jerry), easily taking out Blue’s henchmen. It doesn’t quite qualify as a “Christmassacre,” because there are no jaunty holiday tunes playing, but there is a pretty great chainsaw visual.
This dovetails with Nick bringing poor Happy back from the brink of death by telling Happy he believes in him, but let’s rewind a bit.
After Nick’s stunt on the subway tracks, Happy finds a support group meeting for imaginary friends, which is terrific. There he meets a Cerberus-like imaginary friend who lures Happy back to Blue’s house. Turns out Blue’s son is a little sociopath (shocking, right?) who enjoys torturing imaginary friends. Poor Happy gets his little blue butt kicked while also being emotionally terrorized, but when he hears Nick upstairs, he screws up his courage and charges in to help his partner.
So now our two heroes are back together, ready to kick some ass and take some names. They’re also going to get an assist from Meredith, whose mother reveals to her that Blue has been threatening their family for Meredith’s entire life, including killing Meredith’s father when he wouldn’t play ball with the corrupt cops. She then kills herself, to take away what Blue was holding over Meredith. So now the cop who already wanted to find the kids is out to make Blue pay for essentially killing both her parents.
And just in time too, because Smoothie has been busy dressing the children up in costumes and makeup, which just makes this situation creepier and creepier without getting too dark (and this mom thanks the show for that). The kids try to mount an escape, led by Hailey, who is definitely her mother and father’s daughter, but what the kids think is the “outside” turns out to be a soundstage backdrop. When Smoothie catches them, they try to run for it and he looks positively gleeful at the prospect of hunting them down and hurting them. Ugh, he is such a creep. Patrick Fischler is such a good creepy guy! How does he look at himself in the mirror every day?! Kidding, kidding, he’s probably a lovely man—but I can’t wait until Smoothie meets a very bloody end.
- I wish the writers had taken these two episodes (last week and this week) and given more time to the events of this week and less time to last week. This episode was crammed full, to the point where people were rapidly bouncing from location to location with nary a transition, so it felt very rushed, whereas last week was a little all over the place. I think a better balance could have been struck. But I still really enjoyed the episode this week.
- Little Bo Peep: “It’s not monsters under the bed, it’s penises! Great, big, nasty penises! Also, f*ck Judy Bloom! Two weeks with those books, now my friend’s knocked up and her water’s breaking in Algebra I!”
Happy: “Was it Freckle Juice?”
- It rubbed me the wrong way that Nick only wanted to trade for Hailey. Can we assume he would have tried to find the other kids after she was safe? Because there are other kids in danger, dude! He’s a bitter misanthrope, but he’s not heartless, right? He should want to save all the kids.
- The shot of the lone kid who was too scared to run and peed his pants was so upsetting. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever bad things happen to kids, all I can think about is how scared they must be and how much they must want their moms and dads and it just wrecks me. So that shot really stuck with me. Sorry if I’m bringin’ everybody down.
- On the other hand, what didn’t have me all emotional was Meredith’s mom. I think we just haven’t spent enough time with her for there to be much of an emotional connection. My reaction when her mom said she was going to protect Meredith for a change was, “Oh, she’s going to kill herself. OK, well, that’s fine, because now Meredith can get back in the game and be awesome.”
- Nick: “Now you listen to me, you little blue jackass. The Sax family crest is two lions holding a banner reading ‘Death before Intimacy,’ so what I’m about to say is very difficult and I’m only gonna say it once. I believe in you. ... What I’m saying is if you’re alive, Hailey’s alive, so you get your imaginary sh*t together ‘cause you and me, we got a job to finish.”