TV Recap

'Swingtown': Key Stroke

After Janet has a falling out with Susan, the Millers wind up spending an evening at the Playboy Club with the Deckers, who introduce them to another couple

Grant Show, Lana Parrilla, ... | CUT TO THE CHASTE Tom and Trina Decker didn't get any action tonight
CUT TO THE CHASTE Tom and Trina Decker didn't get any action tonight

'Swingtown' recap: They love the nightlife

After we were lured in by last week's orgy-tastic, coke-fueled premiere, tonight's episode of Swingtown seemed downright square in comparison. At a minimum, the show failed to live up to its title — no swinging tonight, kids; Mom and Dad made a pact (more on that later). But even without recreational drug use or titillating threesomes, the hour managed to provide a few deliciously choice — not to mention awkward — moments as the Millers and Thompsons continued to grow apart.

Well, I may have spoken too soon about those orgies if we're counting the jaw-dropping opening dream sequence. Apparently pie is an aphrodisiac. I half expected a pubescent Jason Biggs and the glam-metal band Warrant, of ''Cherry Pie'' fame, to appear mid-orgy (anachronistic, I know, but oh so fitting). Though Janet was obviously startled by her Decker-on-Thompson dream, I can't help thinking Janet (not Jan) is becoming curious about this unscrupulous lifestyle. Perhaps not as curious as her husband, though, who would agree to a threesome quicker than you could say ''your place or mine'' if he knew Susan was involved. The slight hint of sexual tension between the two last week at the Deckers' party was only underscored by the way Roger coyly eyed Susan and her décolletage at the train station. ''Wow, you look great. A little dressy for a bridge game, but great.'' Cool your jets, tiger.

Meanwhile, back at the Millers', Susan declared that she was not a swinger and made Bruce all but pinkie swear their first two-couple romp would be their last. Um, you know you're on a show called Swingtown, right? Let's bet how many episodes it'll take before that pact is broken. I say one and a half.

The awkwardness of the morning was not lost on brainiac daughter Laurie, who astutely asked, ''Are you guys acting weird?'' (There's a reason this girl's taking a summer philosophy class.) They sure were acting weird, Laurie, and the uncomfortable vibe only intensified as Bruce ran into a jogging Trina for the first time since their night together. ''I figured you and Tom more for the evening types,'' Bruce stuttered as he uncomfortably fiddled with his Pop Tart. Smooth.

As Gary Susman (your usual Swingtown recapper, who's out on vacation) observed last week, Swingtown is at heart really about class. And once again Janet was the only one to point out the elephant in the room when she ran into Susan at the grocery store. ''I thought you'd be shopping on the other side of town now,'' she said sheepishly. To make things worse, Susan was there with loosey-goosey Trina. Susan's punishment? No bridge night for you! No matter, though — that left Mrs. Miller wide open for dinner (a quiet, Quaalude-free dinner at that) with the Deckers. Seriously, though, are we to believe the former flight attendant knows the difference between a broiler and a baster? Or has even used an oven? I smell some Chinese takeout.

But as we learned, dinner wasn't meant to be. After a boffo day on the trading floor, Bruce celebrated his spoils with some coworkers at the Playboy Club, and wouldn't you know, Susan and the Deckers showed up because, wouldn't you know, Tom had a key.

Surprisingly, instead of being irritated that his wife crashed his boys' night, Bruce welcomed her with open arms. ''You just keep surprising me,'' he cooed.

At the club, the Deckers introduced the Millers to another couple (fellow swingers, I presume), Sylvia and Brad Davis. Sylvia's a lawyer and former Bunny and Brad is a sex psychologist. When Sylvia asked Susan what she did for a living, I could feel the feminist rhetoric coming on. And Sylvia, a regular Susan B. Anthony, delivered. In 2008, this conversation sounds trite, like a Ms.-magazine-sponsored after-school special. Especially when a few scenes earlier, Tom had been given a promotion largely because he had a threesome with a hot, young stewardess.

NEXT: Who are the kids watching?

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