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BREAKING IN Finds Its Footing and Its Pudding
Breaking In “Cyrano de Nerdgerac” Recap/Review
It didn’t take me very long to realize “Cyrano de Nerdgerac” was this season’s strongest episode out of what we’ve seen so far. Breaking In has been fun, but you could really feel the bumps as it was trying to re-figure itself out as an office comedy, as well as with bringing in the two new leads. This episode was a great example of how everyone can work together as a unit and deliver a truly satisfying half-hour of comedy based around the simplest of concepts: someone stole Oz’s pudding cup. That’s the catalyst for this laugh-a-minute of comedic accomplishment.
Like I said, everything starts with someone eating a pudding cup that belonged to Oz (who keeps a special pudding spoon in a wooden box). Being Oz, he takes this matter very seriously and quickly comes to the conclusion the culprit was Veronica. She doesn’t admit it, but it’s very obviously her, based on her attempts to calm Oz down by saying the pudding isn’t that important. It’s always the guilty ones who underestimate pudding. Because Oz is a vengeful man, he decides to take something away from Veronica that she’ll miss as much as he misses her pudding: her assistant, Molly. He enlists the help of Cash and Cam to be really nice to Molly and make her see how cruel Veronica is, hopefully causing her to want to be Oz’s assistant instead.
The episode does a great job making Molly and Veronica feel like they’ve been on the show for a lot longer than they actually have. This was the best showcase for Veronica’s bizarre personality, which so far has been hard to place. Making her into this needy, air-headed, selfish person has been a tricky journey, but “Nerdgerac” put it all together in a consistent way that actually made me really enjoy this character. I likened her to The Office’s Michael Scott last week, but that description doesn’t really fit her this week. She came off more like a wide-eyed child filled with wonder than a petty, lonely person. Her giddiness at being on a mission with Cash and Cam was delightful, especially when she couldn’t help but press buttons. It’s a silly character trait, but Megan Mullally makes it work, thanks in part to her high voice making her seem even more childlike.
As for Molly, she spent much of the episode reacting to what everyone else was doing rather than having any real affect to what was happening. If I have one issue with the episode it’s the way this was done to her. I would have liked to see her more involved considering the episode featured her heavily in Oz’s revenge plot, but that might have been tricky with so much already going on. There isn’t even a B or C plot. It’s all just one big story. But Molly still managed to shine through in little moments, particularly when she was interacting with Creepy Carol.
On top of that, the romantic entanglements became even more tangled as a love triangle has formed between Oz, Molly, and Cash. I really didn’t think the show would try and set Cash up with Molly, saving her for the now Melanie-less Cam, but I was proved at least half wrong. It does appear Cash has a thing for Molly (and Cam may as well, but his is probably a hormonal thing), and apparently she’s the perfect woman for him, enjoying such nerdy things as magic, discussing what super powers Superman and Wonder Woman’s baby would have, and Chronicles of Riddick. Unfortunately, it was Oz she was bonding over these things with Molly, not Cash. She develops a crush on Oz after he’s so nice to her, not knowing it’s all part of his plot against Veronica. Naturally she discovers the truth and is hurt, going so far as to quit Contra. Oz and Veronica manage to change her mind at the last second however, thanks to Veronica’s awkward auto-tuned apology and Oz’s surprise party for Molly.
My fingers are crossed this won’t be the high point for the season. It really feels like the writers have finally figured out how the new format is going to work with Molly and Veronica. It’s just a matter of seeing whether or not they can keep it consistent. “Cyrano de Nerdgerac” showed how strong Breaking In could be when it utilizes its cast as much as possible in the same story. I would like to see more of this; everyone involved in one big episode-spanning plot. Even the idea of a love triangle was handled subtly and with care, unlike some of the mushy stuff from earlier in the season (yes I’m talking about you Melanie). My expectations have been officially raised for Breaking In.