Susan throws a surprise birthday party for Janet while trying to handle her feelings about Roger's kiss. Bruce rediscovers his affection for Melinda. Janet is considering a career as an ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Thompson (as Nicholas J. Benson)


Susan throws a surprise birthday party for Janet while trying to handle her feelings about Roger's kiss. Bruce rediscovers his affection for Melinda. Janet is considering a career as an advice columnist while Roger is offered a job in Cincinnati. Laurie confronts Doug about their future together, B.J. hears unexpected news about Sam, and Rick decides to get wasted. Written by Peter Brandt Nielsen

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Release Date:

28 August 2008 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Surprise lived up to the episode's name in this edition of "Swingtown"
15 September 2008 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

Having finally watched this episode after surviving Hurrricane Gustav (a tree fell in my parents' house but neither me nor my dad were anywhere near the master bedroom where the disaster happened, thank God, and my mom was at work at Women's Hospital at the time), here's the synopsis in a nutshell: This being the day of Janet's surprise birthday party, Susan tells Roger that they should not see each other for awhile after that since she's mixed about their kiss the last time. During lunch hour, Janet is seen by her male co-worker at the paper she's a secretary at giving advice to many of her fellow female associates who hang on to her every word. That gives him an idea to offer her the replacement stint of the "Dear Trudy" column since the last one took a sabbatical because of her drinking problem. Janet wants to "sleep on it" and turns down a drink offer from her co-worker but invites him to her "surprise" party. Meanwhile, as the swinging Deckers say goodbye to the black couple that we saw a couple of episodes ago, Susan comes over to discuss with Trina her kiss with Roger. She also mentions to her how easy it seems with her and Tom, then apologizes when Trina says how she likes to think she's more complicated than that. While this is going on, at work Bruce strikes a conversation with Melinda as she passes by his bar. Bruce tells her about overhearing her offer to move to another company and he tells her not to. Melinda wants a very good reason not to and asks her to come see her later that night at the bar. Bruce tells her about the dinner he and Susan are supposed to have with the Thompsons later (he's unaware of the surprise party his wife and Roger are planning) as Melinda tells her offer to him might not be so open the next day. With school just two weeks away, B.J. and Samantha and Ricky and Samantha's cousin Lisa fool around with Ricky's family's C.B. unit. (with Sam's C.B. name being "Goldilocks" and Ricky's "Lady Killer"!) With B.J. and Sam at their neighborhood and Ricky and Lisa at the beach their signals are still clear indeed. So clear that when Ricky accidentally keeps his radio on, he and Lisa reveal secrets (Ricky ran away when Lisa took her top off, Sam's going to move due to Mom's drug problems) that first amuse and then startle Sam and B.J. Supposedly during that time, B.J.'s sister Laurie is with former teacher/now lover Doug playing volleyball and during one moment when Doug gets a drink for her, Laurie says "I love you too" when Doug was actually saying "I only have Yoo-Hoo". Since their voices weren't very clear at the time, they both shrug it off as they go to their game. During that game, one of Doug's teammates mentions how Laurie seems to last longer than a milk carton "with only a month left of the expiration date" compared to his previous relationships. That gets her wondering about her future with Doug. Doug eventually tells her he's rejecting his teaching position to be with her. They kiss. Before we get to that night's party, let's see about Roger's landscaping job offer he revealed that morning: he's accepted but the project is in Cincinnati. He reveals this to Susan but not Janet who's also still unaware of their kiss and thinks they've been together during much of her absence because of the planning. Roger wants Susan to tell him of her feelings for this possible change. Susan tells him he should discuss this with his wife as she leaves to check on Bruce who's talking on the phone with Melinda as his wife overhears him saying how much he needs her. Susan then comes back to Roger and tells he should take the job. During much of this, Ricky has taken more than a few drinks and almost ruins the party but mother Janet sets him straight and tells him to do something about his friendship with B.J. if he doesn't want to lose him to Samantha forever. Trina, having just talked with Bruce about his problems with Tom likewise with Susan, watches this and marvels at Janet at how she handles things. Janet mentions how she just takes things as they come. It's at this point that we found out why Trina seemed somber faced in some scenes: she's pregnant! Janet congratulates her before asking if she knows who the father is. Trina confirms it's Tom's mentioning "We abstained at the right time." After the party's over, Trina hints to Tom about her condition but Tom shrugs it off as joking. Bruce tells Susan he needs to go back to work and not to expect him home so soon with neither revealing the phone call. Janet does indeed accept her new job offer. And Ricky gives B.J. and Sam his C.B. unit so they can talk long-distance...First off, I wonder just what Doug is thinking when he decides to refuse his teaching offer just to be with Laurie. This can't go well, I tell you. And Ricky has actually grown a spine with the way he handled his jealously over B.J. and Samantha. Good for him. And I agree with someone at about how the writers on the show can suddenly treat the Deckers like idiots by having Trina become pregnant when they know about protection like the pill that was prevalent during this '70s setting. While part of me thought the hug between Janet and Trina was a bit soon, it was nice to see nonetheless and hope their friendship only grows. That Bruce really is selfish here, isn't he? Poor Susan. Her mixed emotions between her husband and Roger are really testing her, aren't they? Judging from previews for the next episode, they're going to be even more intense. Until next time...

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