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American Housewife - Surprise - Review:"Skybase 17"

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How many amazing children’s birthday parties are thrown out of sheer spite? It’s probably more than you would think.

Katie first gets fired up when Oliver insults the family house. At his friend, Jack’s, he got Tom Ford sunglasses in a swag bag after a birthday party. He makes it perfectly clear that no birthday at the Otto Household could live up to that celebration. Greg even got a churro at pick-up!

While Katie and Greg can privately agree that their house needs some work, they refuse to let Oliver be snobby about it. Katie decides the best way to “knock the entitlement” out of her son is to force him to have an enjoyable party at the house. When Greg points out that there is no way Oliver would go with that plan, Katie decides to “surprise” him with one.

To their credit, Katie and Greg throw an amazing party. They take Angela’s initial escape-room idea and give it a science-fiction spin. Oliver and his friends are trapped in their basement/a doomed space-station and have to solve a series of clues to get the code to escape. I would have killed to have that be my thirteenth birthday party.

There’s just the problem of the airlock, aka the jammed door. Katie had, against Greg’s wishes, called their landlord to fix the basement door. Instead, he broke it. Now, Greg is trapped on one side with a group of snobby tweenagers and Katie’s on the other side with Tara Summers, the meanest vegan in Westport. On a list of people Katie considers scum of the earth, Tara even outranks Viv and Crossing Guard Sandy, thanks to snubbing Anna-Kat during her daughter’s own birthday.

Greg may have gotten off easy on this one. Sure, he’s stuck with Oliver’s snobby friends, but he certainly has fun going along with his son's deception. Oliver, embarrassed about the house, lies and tells his mean friends that the family is actually laying low so they don’t get caught by the feds for insider trading. Greg was shot down by Katie when he wanted to be space doctor Randall Walker. He decides to embrace the Randall Walker persona in a different way and immediately starts making up stories about fireworks over Lake Como. Unfortunately, his grandiose stories get back to Don, the landlord Katie called to open the door.

Now, the landlord decides to raise their rent and Katie and Greg are in real trouble. Greg blows up at Katie and pleads with her to stop steamrolling people. Oliver didn’t want a birthday party. Greg didn’t want her to call the landlord. Everything that happened is her fault. Katie at least seems to understand the consequences of her actions, but immediately snaps back after Oliver declares her the best mom ever. His crush, Alice, loved the party and appreciates the fact that he’s “regular people”. Katie is “Mom of the Year” and the Ottos' problems are temporarily put on hold.

While Greg and Oliver are living out their The Great Gatsby fantasies, Taylor is in the middle of Romeo and Juliet. Her parents hired Eyo Summers as her English tutor and the two teens grow closer throughout the episode. It’s too bad their mothers completely hate each other. Katie even enlists Anna-Kat as a romance-ruiner. It doesn’t work and Eyo stands up to his mother after having a blast at Oliver’s party and eating non-vegan cake. Tara Summers is not happy, but Katie is confident after helping two of her children make real connections and have a great day. The landlord problem is still not solved, but the Ottos will take it as a win.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Let me know in the comments!

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