Sometimes it takes certain events in your life to remind you to get your priorities straight.
P.J. (Jordana Spiro
) will have to get started with that soon, as Jack Briscoe decided to retire from the Sun-Times, which means P.J. could have his front-page (which is on the back page) column. Mike has to plan a birthday party for Marcia (Rachael Harris
MARCIA: I'm excited for you to meet my friends. They don't drink as much as you, but then who does.
Mike (Jamie Kaler
) wants to have the party at Crowley's, except Crowley is selling the building and shutting down the bar. He wanted to burn it down for the insurance, but his parents lived upstairs. Although they decide they can have the party at Andy's, since he'll never find out, they still don't know what to do about Crowley's. But that's the second piece of good news Stephanie (Kellee Stewart
) got, the first being she is going to London for three months to be on a panel talk show for the BBC. (I refuse to describe it, and you'll thank me later.) Kenny (Michael Bunin
) doesn't really want to go, but Stephanie doesn't want him messing with the relationship, especially since he apparently also doesn't like having phone sex. Which Mike can't picture, even though he's pictured them having sex-sex. Which he has done with P.J. and Bobby (Kyle Howard
), and how he has a girlfriend is beyond me. But P.J. has to go and get some sleep before her breakfast meeting with Jack Briscoe. Although she and Bobby won't go right to sleep...
STEPHANIE: [disgusted] Oh, now I'm picturing it!
At the breakfast meeting, Jack tells her that she's not doing enough to get his column. She has to do more tweeting and blogging...and other verbs that didn't exist five years ago. She has to be everywhere all of the time.
P.J.: I guess I'll need three more ex-wives and a lot more Hawaiian shirts if I want to be the next Jack Briscoe.
JACK: Don't leave the second one. I really liked Bridget.
Mike comes to the poker game with assignments for everybody for the party. Stephanie gets the wine, Bobby gets paper products, Kenny gets the meat (he knows a guy), and Brando handles the music. P.J. has to deal with the cake, but she's busier trying to be everywhere at once and not even playing poker. They don't like bloggy P.J. (their word, definitely not mine), and Brando can't even get her to talk to him about something serious. But they made a dinner appointment to discuss it.
Crowley's is getting worse since he isn't stocking the good beer, and Stephanie went to get the paper plates, forgetting she had the wine. Brando (Reid Scott
) suggests Mike needs a party planner, and Mike nominates organizer-extraordinare Kenny to do it...under his protests. P.J. arrives after spending the day in South Bend, Evanston, Mount Carmel (presumably the high school, the town is in southern Illinois), then to Wrigley. However, Jack Briscoe still finds her at Crowley's and is not happy. But he offers to take P.J. to Boston with him for the series with the Red Sox to introduce her around. She wants to decline, but Briscoe insists she has to miss birthdays (and births for that matter). She begrudgingly agrees to go and to miss Mike's birthday.
As the gang make origami ducks (cranes, or swans, or penguins, whatevs), P.J. comes in and has to blow off every single thing, such as planning the party, getting the cake, and meeting with Brando. She has to pack for Boston. Nobody wants her to do it, but she needs to get the job. Stephanie and Bobby warn her that Jack Briscoe never really had a life and it was only a job. P.J. insists she won't forget how important her friends are. She proves it by asking Bobby to tell Mike she can't make his party. Stephanie takes off before she has to deal anymore with Kenny refusing to go to London.
P.J. falls asleep at the computer...and we have a dream sequence. At The Angry Badger, P.J. sees Mike and Marcia with five kids, Bobby is on the Supreme Court and married Jessica Biel, and P.J. had a triple-bypass and is wearing Jack's clothes. And there's a creepy laugh from everybody.
At Andy's, Brando is congratulated for getting all of the food and beer, even though Bobby got it. And everybody goes nuts when Bobby forgot to tell them P.J. wasn't coming to the party. But she arrives after telling Jack she doesn't want his job, as her friends are far more important. Mike proposes a toast outside...because he proposed to Marcia and she said yes. Actually, they decide to get married right then and there. Before the minister from the Universal Life Church (must be one of those Internet things) pronounces them husband and wife, they come clean with each other. Mike used to smoke for ten years, Marcia was married to a Vegas blackjack dealer for two months, Mike may or may not have a daughter in Denmark, her family has a history of depression, Mike sometimes wears biking shorts to suck everything in, and she has a ferret somewhere. But they got that out of the way and got married. And there was cake! A Yoda cake from Dominick's. It was that or a bad Spongebob cake.
P.J. lost the job, but she is more sorry for blowing off everybody. Bobby was forgiving, Brando figured out what he needed to do, and Mike obviously grew up and surprised everybody by being the first to marry. And Mike getting married prompts Kenny to join Stephanie in London. They love these decisions, so Brando decides to have everybody go celebrate...at his new bar: Crowley's. (not sure how he got the money, but OK)Sometimes it takes getting your priorities straight for you to appreciate what you have.