This episode, as you might be able to figure out, is airing way out of sequence. Like, waaaay out of sequence. It was supposed to air last spring as part of season two, and got held over for whatever reason and slotted in here so Happy Endings could keep up with its twice-a-week schedule while shooting season three normally.
On the one hand, it’s nice that this fun half hour saw the light of day, but it did have an inevitably jarring edge to it. The show had this problem before, with the wacko scheduling of season one that pushed a bunch of early episodes to the end of the year and vaguely tried to make them work as flashbacks.
In all, the differences were not that noticeable. Alex is in her old apartment, obviously, but we barely see any of it. Penny is very much a single lady on the prowl going for the whole “Year of Penny” thing, and now, in the middle of season three, she has a boyfriend, so there’s that. I noticed even more subtle stuff with Alex’s character-she’s vaguely level-headed here and the leader of the group, giving motivational speeches and so forth. It’s not completely out of the ordinary, but I do think it’d be handled a little differently now, since her character has gotten more broad and surreal (in a good way).
But, whatever. This is a perfectly funny episode that had a bunch of nice surprises-Matt Walsh as the weary kickball announcer who has never seen anything so shocking in his 36 hours on the job. Or the return of Seth Morris (who hasn’t appeared once in season three thanks to his Go On commitments) as the psychotic Scotty, absolutely the best recurring character this show ever cooked up. His weak spine and knees (“I need steroids!”) reminded me a little of Morris’ most famous character, Bob Ducca, and that tickled me plenty (if you don’t know the character, type it into YouTube. You won’t be disappointed).