Surprise, surprise, this episode begins with Phil and Carol not getting along. Imagine that.
In the beginning, the Phil-Carol relationship was amusing because of how mismatched they were—she the rule followerer; he the rule breaker. And then the show kept reminding us over and over how incompatible they are. An odd couple’s oddness can only entertain for so long, and Phil and Carol’s hit that breaking point episodes ago.
Phil’s never been a fan of their relationship, but now he’s really, really tired of it. He ends up begging God for a do-over, and right as he finishes his plea, two women show up. Here’s that do-over he wanted.
The two women are named Gale (Mary Steenburgen) and Erica (Cleopatra Coleman), and they’re pumped to see another human—and even more pumped that it’s a man. They are giggly and very attractive, and Phil sees this as a chance to cut ties with his other self. So he lies and says he’s the only other person there. Because that’s not going to come back and bite him in the ass like, oh, every other lie he’s told.
Phil goes back to Gale and Erica’s place to celebrate with some champagne—”Oprah-quality,” as Gale comments—and there, his two new friends notice his wedding ring and ask about it. He lies, again, and says his wife is dead. Then he starts to feel a little guilt and runs away before he can say anything else—but not before Gale and Erica invite him to come back over dinner, an offer the constantly horny Phil can’t resist.
First though, he lies to Carol and tells her he’s going camping. Melissa thinks it’s weird when Carol explains where he is later while they’re eating dinner, but Carol thinks his absence is completely acceptable. He’s gotta find his smile, as Carol would say.
And finding his smile, he is: Gale and Erica are also pretty starved for sex, it seems. They moan when they eat; they are aggressively flirty. Everything’s going well at dinner until Phil reveals what he thought when he saw them get out of their car for the first time. “Talk about a bucket list,” he starts, “Hot older lady, black girl.” They immediately take offense, and Phil’s left trying to pick up the pieces—and his move is to tell even more lies.
“She passed away many moons ago,” he says of his late wife, Carol. “She died a long, protracted death. I nursed her through it.” Now they’re back on his side—because telling a sob story is all you have to do to make up for offending someone, apparently—and they all hop in the car to go skinny-dipping at the hot springs. Phil’s fantasies are coming true! Which really just means Phil’s life is about to come crashing down.
NEXT: Phil’s life comes crashing down.