Bruce confesses to Susan that he and Melinda have been seeing each other. Rather than distance herself from him, Susan suggests they go to the Pendulum Club with Brad and Sylvia; The Deckers and the Thompsons join them. Laurie invites Doug over that night, and they're surprised when they see Laurie's parents come home early with Brad and Sylvia as company. B.J. and Sam hang out with Rick, but conflict arises over a game of spin-the-bottle.
In a seeming series of role-reversals, Susan reacts to Brcue's confession Melinda semi-seduced him by planning trip to swingers club 'The Pendulum', while the Deckers, have suspended their open marriage, agree only to come as 'guides', and Janet, who accidentally overheard the date, invites Roger and herself along, ignoring the 'shocking' nature of the establishment. Ultimately everyone is relieved to return home but in the mood for dancing and pot. Bruce however gets his worse shock there, discovering after a while Laurie was hiding with her new lover, none other then her summer school philosophy teacher, who came to watch the Republican presidential convention and celebrated the 'wrong' choice kissing. Rivalry for B.J. opposes Rick bitterly to Samantha in font of boy mates, all of whom witness a painful complication and, even more surprising, the elder couples' noisy breaking-up.
- "Swingtown" - "Swingus Interruptus" - August 1, 2008
Previously On: Janet got mad at Roger and Susan for lying about his layoff and going to a party at the Decker house; Susan and Bruce were introduced to Sylvia and Brad Decker, swinger friends of Trina and Tom; Bruce made out with Melinda from work; Laurie introduced Doug to Susan and Roger; Laurie and Doug did it; Trina got mad at Tom for breaking the swinging rules and they decided to try monogamy for awhile
At a cocktail party at Tom and Trina's, Brad is asking Susan what the difference is between Nixon and Ford. (Nixon can't tell the truth, Ford can't tell the difference.) Bruce says Carter is "just plain nuts." Nyuk, nyuk. Sylvia says the whole two party system is a joke. Apparently, it's the eve of the discovery of the Republican nominee for president.
In the kitchen Trina is doing up some shrimp cocktail as Susan checks in with a report: Bruce is on his second drink and Sylvia is starting to talk politics. Trina decides to hurry it up. She wonders if Susan has spoken to Janet since the blow-up at the Puzzlerama party last weekend. Apparently, they had lunch. Trina's worried she's back to square one with Janet. Susan assures Trina she did nothing wrong and that Janet never believed Trina was trying to seduce Roger. She thinks Janet felt more excluded than betrayed and that she'll probably be madder at Susan than Trina for awhile. Trina vows to do something to smooth it over. Like a pedicure or a shopping spree. Susan counsels her to think of something "more Janet."
At the Thompson house Roger is typing up a list, it seems, of prospective jobs. On the list: City planner, firefighter, electrician, real estate agent, reporter... He's listening to a presidential debate, I think, on the television. Janet comes in and says it must be serious since she hasn't seen a typewriter in awhile. He says he's just nailing down his options. She offers to help since she can still do 100 wpm. He declines saying he's just brainstorming. Seeing as it's her future too, Janet would like to be included. She likes the firefighter idea. She asks if he looked into any engineering schools. He applied at Devry for the fall. She also likes stockbroker and wonders if he's talked to Bruce. In fact, he's meeting him in the city tomorrow to pick his brain. She asks what else? He types gravedigger. She's mildly amused. He goes to get a beer before "Barney Miller."
At the Decker house Trina is wielding a magazine at the head of the dinner table reading the headline, "The Sexual Revolution in Modern Marriage" by Brad Davis. She reads aloud about how more and more married couples in middle America are opening their bedroom doors to other couples. She wonders where he got that idea. They all smile. He says it might've had something to do with their basement. Sylvia announces that Simon and Schuster just optioned the article for a book. Susan congratulates him. Brad thinks it will make for interesting research. Sylvia says, in the name of research, Brad has all access to the "Pendulum Club" tomorrow night if "anyone is up for an adventure." Trina looks at Tom. Bruce is all "the sex club?" Sylvia says it's more like an "erotic cabaret." Trina says it was the wrong month for her and Tom to close their marriage. Bruce is surprised. Tom says that it turns out there are worse things than monogamy. Sylvia wonders what. Trina answers infidelity. Brad says it seems like it all comes down to the difference between swinging and cheating. He wants to interview them all for the book. Susan and Bruce quickly decline, simultaneously and awkwardly. Tom changes the subject to booze. As Bruce goes to open a new bottle of brandy Susan looks pensive and then they toast Brad's book deal.
Later that night in bed, both unable to sleep, Susan wonders if she and Bruce need to talk. He says they do. Bruce says he's been debating about telling her something because it's not that big a deal or it shouldn't be since they both slept with another couple this summer. Susan is all "what's up?" He asks if she remembers the night of the blackout. He says he wasn't out all night with the guys. She wonders where he was then. He admits that he went over to Melinda's apartment.
Credits As Susan looks like she wants to strangle Bruce Liz tells us to give it up for love.
It's morning in the Miller bedroom and Bruce and Susan are dressing. Bruce apologizes, apparently again. He says all they did was kiss that one time at her apartment. "And the train station," she points out. "Right," he says, chagrined. He says he'd feel better if she yelled at him. (She's taking the calm, making the bed as normal approach.) Susan says she's glad he told her and wishes that it hadn't happened. Bruce says he will tell Melinda in no uncertain terms that nothing's going to happen. Susan would prefer he didn't speak to her at all if he thinks he can manage that. He tells her he's meeting Roger after work and then he's coming straight home. He kisses her forehead and then she grabs to kiss him smack on mouth. She says she has a wild idea, why don't they meet Brad and Sylvia at the sex club? He can't believe she's serious. She says she doesn't want sex to control their marriage, she wants them to control it, together, just like the first night at Tom and Trina's. She's not proposing doing anything, just that it might be good for them. He says okay.
Susan informs the kids they're on their own for dinner. No problem, B.J. is staying at Rick's and Laurie is staying at "Stacy's." Susan says she hasn't heard Stacy's name all summer. Which is why, says Laurie, they're hanging out. (Even though we all secretly know she'll be boffing Doug). Laurie asks where mom and pops are going. Susan says "downtown." Oh, what a tangled web.
Trina shows up at Janet's house. Janet is surprised. Trina says she hopes she doesn't mind, she got the address from Susan. Janet says it's a shame she didn't get her phone number since that could've saved her a trip. Trina points out that she baked muffins. Janet congratulates her. Trina asks for 5 minutes and says she hasn't baked anything since high school home ec. Which is clear when Janet can't get the muffins out of the ungreased/unlined pans. Trina apologizes about the picture Janet found and says all Roger did that day was swim and have fun. "Without me," Janet points out. Trina says that losing a job is major and he was just blowing off steam, saying she's sure he wished Janet was there. Janet isn't sure and admits she's worried that Roger is changing and not just his job. Trina says change is good. Maybe for people like Trina, says Janet. She says she's not the kind of person who can "find herself" by losing an earring in someone else's bedroom. Trina says trying something new shouldn't be "losing" anything. Trina says Susan and Bruce are in a moment of transition and trying something new brought them closer together. She says the same could be true for Roger and Janet. Janet thinks she's proposing swinging and reminds her who she's talking to. Trina says she's talking to the woman who let loose in Susan's cabin and watched "Deep Throat" with a bunch of strangers at her house. Janet says you can't smoke pot and watch porno every night and that those weekends weren't really "her." Trina says they all underestimate who the real Janet is.
Bruce and Roger meet for a drink. Roger says Janet is taking it pretty well, she just wishes he'd told her sooner. Bruce is impressed and says sometimes it isn't as bad as you think it's going to be with women and relates the whole "I kissed Melinda"-"Let's go to a sex club" exchange with Susan. Roger is surprised Susan wants to go. Bruce is half-worried he's being set-up. They move on to business and Roger says he's looking for a job opportunity but not any favors. Bruce asks if he wants to be a trader and Roger says he's open to it. Bruce says he can put in a word but to be honest but says it's clear Roger's not a born risk-taker, not the kind who could withstand the pressure of losing his shirt in an afternoon. Roger agrees he's probably not that guy. Bruce goes to get more drinks.
Over at casa Doug, he's in bed while Laurie is "huh"-ing through his record collection. (Ooh, good taste they're listening to Big Star, "September Gurls.") Laurie points out that he has more John Denver albums than her mother. He says he knew he liked her and asks how she feels about Roxy Music. They read the paper and talk poltiics. Doug proclaims to be fascinated by the Republican National Convention. Laurie feels secure in saying there is nothing fascinating about Gerald Ford or Ronald Reagan. He offers "morbidly fascinating." She thought he was a conscientous objector to television. He calls the RNC a rare exception. She offers to watch it at "her place" - an actual Republian living room- since mom, dad, and little bro will be out.
Trina answers her door and it's Susan in a pretty lavender dress. Susan says they're going to the Pendulum Club, essentially because Bruce kissed Melinda. "Twice, actually." Trina says she's sorry. Susan says she believes him that nothing more serious happened, just a work crush like with Tom and the stewardess. Trina wonders if Susan is sure that going to the Pendulum Club is the cure for what ails her. Susan says not at all and that's why she needs Trina as moral support and tour guide. Trina tries to beg off saying she and Tom are taking a break. Susan coaxes her into it by saying if Bruce is feeling temptation it's something she wants him to share with her not hide. The doorbell rings and it's Janet. Janet is surprised to see Susan. Janet is returning the muffin tin complete with liners, recipes, and a tip to use applesauce. ("It makes them unspeakably moist.") Janet wonders why Susan looks so nice. Trina says they're heading down to meet Tom and Bruce in the city. Excluded again, Janet is hurt. Susan says they would've invited her but the club they're going to... "Wouldn't want somebody like me as a member?" Janet asks. She tells Susan not to underestimate her and that she should see if Roger is still with Bruce and then they can all go together. Unless there's a dress code, she asks. Trina smirks that in fact there is and offers to give Janet something out of her closet. They then tell her about the club as they walk to the closet. Trina says not to worry and to just stick close.
Cut to the club. Susan in her lavender, Janet in a sexy red number and Trina in metallic black and silver. The club seems to have an Egyptian theme, and whaddayaknow they're playing Roxy Music's "Love is the Drug." Janet, who is made up beautifully, looks around and says, "well, this oughta be one for the scrapbook."
At the club a man greets Trina. Janet is scandalized she asked Roger to meet her here. We get a quick shot of the three guys at the bar as Sylvia greets the girls with an "isn't this place a scream?" Trina reintroduces Janet and Sylvia mentions that she remembers her from the "Deep Throat" party and that Harry Reems "absolutely adored" Janet. Janet tells her to say hello.
This being CBS we get various shots of fully clad people in various coupled positions with some moaning. A lady in red is giving the Roger eye and Tom observes there's a "unicorn on his tail." Roger says "in this place, you shouldn't joke." She comes over to chat with Roger. Roger looks nervous.
Brad is mingling, interviewing couples. Janet goes off to find Roger.
Susan kisses Bruce who marvels at how "out there" the place is.
Tom greets Trina saying he feels like a kid in a candy store...in handcuffs. And not the fun fuzzy kind Trina agrees. A woman purrs over Tom.
The lady in red tells Roger she's digging the whole fish-out-of-water vibe he's giving off. He says he's never been there before. Neither has his wife. Red wants to know which one she is. Roger points her out. Janet introduces herself, Red calls her a lucky girl and offers a tour of the back room.
In the Thompson basement Ricky and friends are playing Pong when B.J. shows up with Samantha in tow. Ricky says it's okay, and throws his arm around Samantha and brings her to the boys and says "see guys I told you there's be chicks here." Samantha and Ricky go for a Pong face-off.
At the Miller house, Doug and Laurie watch Ford get the nod. Laurie thinks the conventioneers are faking it, wondering how anyone could get this riled up about Gerald Ford. Doug says he's riled up since the Dems dodged a bullet since Reagan would've been a much better candidate since he's a born politician and he's glad he won't be the leader of the free world. Laurie wonders why we're always calling our president the leader of the free world, and if anyone has consulted the president of France. He asks if she even knows who that is. She says his name, and in a really cute way, he responds to her familiarity with world leaders by saying "that is so hot" and totally making out with her. (Okay it's still creepy but I'm kind of coming around to Teach).
Back at the sex club people are making out while Sylvia, Susan, and Bruce watch. Susan observes that this makes their night at the Playboy club seem like a Girl Scout meeting.
Brad is seeing off a couple he just interviewed imploring them to call him. Sylvia wonders if he's getting what he needed. He is. Apparently there's a judge out and about in the club. Bruce heads off to the men's room with the caveat that if he isn't back in five to send out a search party. Sylvia calls Bruce adorable. Susan returns the compliment that Brad is quite charming. Brad returns that compliment by saying she's quite something too. She demurs. Sylvia says pshaw, they totally dig her and Bruce. Susan says they are the interesting ones with their "glamourous" lives. Sylvia says it seems they're all mutually intrigued.
Samantha kicks Ricky's ass in Pong and cleans him out. Some other girls have actually showed up to the party. Samantha says it's time for her to go home. Ricky says it's early and there are plenty of other games to play. Like, spin the bottle.
Back at the sex club Bruce is trying to poke his nose in a back room when a clipboard-wielding wench says "no unescorted males allowed." Tom shows up to save him by saying Bruce doesn't know all the rules. Clipboard wench, of course, knows Tom and Trina. A restlessly curious Bruce just wants a quick peek. Clipboard wench shuts him down. Susan shows up and kisses Bruce and CW asks if they want to go back. The curtain opens and we see a guy sandwiched between two women and several naked body parts. Susan says, actually she's invited Brad and Sylvia back to their house. For an, um, interview for Brad's book and to "see how it goes." Tom and Trina exchange looks. Bruce is all "you mean...." Susan shrugs. He says okay. Susan asks T-n-T if they've seen Roger and Janet. They haven't. Trina tells them to catch a ride with Brad and Sylvia and they'll make sure Roger and Janet get home. Susan kisses her and thanks her. Tom encircles Trina and says he feels like a parent on prom night. Trina says they have to get out of here because the place is killing her. He agrees just as Red brings Bruce out of the backroom "tour." Roger looks likes he's in shock. Trina wonders where Janet is just as she busts out of the backroom equally stunned saying "oh my god." Trina offers to get them home. Roger says they have their own car and they stumble off somewhere between mortified and titillated.
Back in the Miller living room as Doug and Laurie make out Reagan speechifies. She agrees between kisses that he is, in fact, way better than Ford. Laurie hears her parents in the driveway and flops off the couch. As he goes to shut off the TV, Doug knocks over the coffee table and the popcorn. We hear Susan say "the kids are out for the night so we have the place to ourselves." Laurie runs to the living room door and says "oh my god, they're not alone."
The Millers and the Davis' enter the living room and Sylvia admires the new wallpaper. Susan says Brad's caricature did not go unappreciated. He jokes that it was a significant piece of art. Bruce offers a drink. He opens the den door, where Doug and Laurie are hiding under something, the liquor cabinet maybe? He says it looks like a bomb went off in here. Sylvia says not to let Brad see since he's a neat freak but she says she doesn't mind a little mess. In the cabinet Laurie wonders what the hell is going on. In the kitchen, Sylvia turns on the radio and light on "Crimson and Clover" a song she loves and she reminisces about having an out-of-body experience while tripping on acid in the Haight. Bruce is surprised that the "laywer lady" dropped acid. She hopes he doesn't really think of her as "the lawyer lady." He says he's getting past it as they clink drinks.
Trina answers her doorbell and it's Roger and Janet. It appears the Deckers are having a party. Janet says she just wanted to return the dress. The party from the club has spilled over into the Decker house and Red is excited to see Roger, who says they're just staying for a minute. She says "one dance." Tom looks on approvingly.
Back at the Miller house, Brad is interviewing Susan on the couch complete with tape recorder and microphone. He asks what modern marriage means to her. She says she thinks it's equal and open to change. He asks if it's passionate. She says it is. He asks how passionate. She asks if he's asking how often or how intense. In her hiding place, Laurie claps her hands over her ears and says they have to get out there or she's going to scream. Doug asks her not to scream. From the kitchen we hear Sylvia and Brad singing along to "Crimson & Clover" and Laurie concludes "I'm in hell."
At the Decker house Trina is smiling as she goes through photos. Janet comes back with the dress and is concerned about a stain. Janet wonders if Trina took all these photos. She says she did, most a long time ago. She hold up a more recent one of Tom, from the day they decided to close their marriage. Janet is surprised they're not swinging anymore. Trina says for now. Janet wonders if Trina has always had this honesty compulsion. Trina says she used to love dissecting things in school, pulling apart the layers and seeing what's underneath. Janet say she realizes she had Trina all wrong. She thought she wanted to be the center of attention but realizes that Trina is really an observer. Janet admits she underestimated Trina too. Trina says people are always more interesting when they think no one's looking. She tells Janet she should be proud of the step she took by going to the club. Janet says she only did it for Roger. They laugh.
Over at the Thompson basement Ricky spins the bottle and it lands on Samantha. They have to spend two minutes in the closet. B.J. looks unhappy. Ricky tells him not to start the timer until the door is shut. The door shuts and Ricky puts out the light. Samantha says she isn't kissing him. Ricky is all "who says I even want to." Ricky asks why she came. Because B.J. asked her too. Ricky says B.J. has a thing for strays, he should know since he's been his friend his entire life. Samantha says it's pretty obvious how Ricky feels about B.J., at least to her. She says it's fine, and that nobody's trying to take him away from Ricky. At that Ricky grabs her and kisses her. (And the confused gay teen storyline begins?) B.J. is watching the clock outside the door as we hear a smack and Ricky say "ow." Samantha storms out of the closet and the basement. Ricky comes out of the closet- only literally- with a bloody nose. B.J. asks what he did. Ricky said nothing and that Samantha "tongued" him. Ew. "And then punched you?" B.J. asks incredulously. B.J. runs after Samantha. The group looks at the bleeding Ricky and he says "I did this on the door."
Back in the Miller kitchen, as "Let's Get it On" plays in the background, Susan and Bruce and Brad and Sylvia are smoking a joint as Bruce asks "so what's with the 'season of passion' theory?" Sylvia explains that Brad thinks that human sexuality is perennial, like flowers. He says Sylvia is a hothouse orchid, always in bloom. Susan asks what his season is. Sylvia says he's deciduous.
In their hiding place, Doug say this is ridiculous, they should just walk out there and deal with it like adults. She asks if he's insane. He wants to say he was helping her. She asks with what, "some kind of philosophy emergency?" He asks what about the truth, that they came to watch the GOP nomination. He thinks her dad might be cool with that. Laurie realizes with alarm that her parents are smoking pot.
In the kitchen, the two couples dance. Bruce asks Susan what she thinks. She laughs and says they should go for it. Laurie and Doug begin to crawl out their hiding place and from their POV we get a shot of the couples switching dance partners in the kitchen. Laurie urges Doug to go and he shushes her. Sylvia says "let's take this in the other room" and Doug shrinks back. Laurie wants to know what's going on.
Over at the Decker house. Red is practically giving Roger a lap dance. Tom spies Janet catch sight of it and run out. He goes to her standing by the pool and asks if she's okay. Janet says she's fine. Tom says Roger is just having a good time and to not make it bigger than it is. Janet says she used to think she knew what she needed but if what's going on in there is what he needs she's not so sure. Tom says whatever's going on can include her, and it's better if it does. Janet laughs and says people might want Roger but that she isn't someone any of his friends would want like that. (Ooh, girl has some self-esteem issues.) Tom kisses her to prove her wrong and says she's a beautiful woman, to never forget it and then Roger is a very lucky man and he would be a fool not to know and that a little attention from someone else is only going to bring it all back to her. He leaves her, stunned but boosted.