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American Housewife - Saving Christmas - Review: "You Can Fix Anything With Duct-Tape"

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Christmas has come to the Otto House and it's brought more than a few surprises...

After grabbing their last-minute termite tree (“We wait till we get a better price on the reject trees!”), The Ottos are getting ready for Christmas when Katie opens the door to find the first surprise of the Christmas season - her dad! Katie’s dad Marty is the polar opposite of Kathryn - a freewheeling, fun-loving guy who basically raised Katie on his own while Kathryn was out gallivanting the world, trying to avoid parenthood. As thrilled as she is to have him, his surprise arrival does present one unexpected Christmas challenge. Despite the fact that it's been 25 years since her parents divorced, they still hate each other.

While Katie takes Kathryn to work with her, she hands Greg the responsibility of entertaining her dad. Greg takes this as a chance to beg Marty to try and get along with Kathryn for the sake of a peaceful Christmas. Unfortunately, Marty and Kathryn take this suggestion a little bit too far. In fact, they take it all the way to Fourth Base, which Katie, Greg, and Oliver so happen to walk in on! Katie’s less than thrilled to hear that her parents have decided to give it another go. Greg, however, is all for it when he hears that means Kathryn will be moving in with Marty... and out of his office!

Katie vents to Angela and Doris about her parents’ unexpected reunion. She's terrified of her dad getting his heart broken by her mom again. Doris advises she use something unexpected to drive them apart. Remembering back to her childhood, in which Katie had to set up two Christmas trees so her parents wouldn't argue over how to decorate one, Katie decides to send them over the edge by having them help decorate the termite tree!

While Katie is dealing with her parents’ drama, Oliver is fretting over his part in the school Christmas play and Anna-Kat is busy scheming. Oliver is upset that he didn't get the lead in the Nutcracker and is instead the Mouse King, which means he has to wear a mask the whole time and no one will know who he is. Anna-Kat meanwhile, is equally upset when she figures out that Pierce, Taylor's new sorta-maybe boyfriend, isn't interested in playing “Real Horsewives of Connecticut” with her the same way that happy, go lucky Trip was. So she concocts a plan to help Trip get Taylor back, by having him “Secret Santa” Taylor and put the one thing she wants for Christmas (a Tiffany Infinity Bracelet) in her locker as a surprise.

Trip puts the bracelet in Taylor' locker, only to have Pierce swoop in and take credit for it before he can. Anna-Kat realizes the only way to make the Secret Santa thing really work is to get a gift that will expose Pierce - one that only Trip would know to get her. On their first date, Trip and Taylor went bowling. Taylor made her name on the scoreboard Lois Lane, so Anna-Kat decides to have Trip get her a shirt that says Lois Lane, that way, when Pierce takes credit for it, his lying will be obvious.

The night of Oliver's Christmas play, Katie stages her Christmas tree plot. Except, instead of fighting over which lights to use or whether to put an angel or a star on top of the tree, Kathryn and Marty are perfectly agreeable with each other. Shocked and angry that her parents' reunion really may be permanent (and still convinced that her mother will break her father's heart again), it's Katie who ends up going over the edge, and in the midst of her little breakdown, destroying the Christmas tree, as well as Oliver’s Mouse King mask (which had already been repaired once after being in the way during Marty and Kathryn’s little “reunion.”

At the Nutcracker, Marty hurries to try and fix Oliver's mask, as Katie attempts (and eventually) succeeds at convincing him that Kathryn is just using him because she has no place to go. When Marty tells Kathryn that he doesn't want her to move in with him and is going to leave after the performance, Kathryn confronts Katie, who tells her that she still believes Kathryn is going to break his heart just like when she was a child. Kathryn claims it's different this time, but Katie has no reason to believe her until Katherine admits that Katie herself is the reason. After living with Katie and Greg and seeing them constantly work out their differences, Kathryn is finally starting to learn what it takes to have a healthy relationship. Katie realizes that despite her reservations, her parents might actually have a chance this time

Anna-Kat sets her plan into action. She has one of the “elf” waiters deliver Trip’s present to Taylor, but Pierce manages to intercept it and send it back and replace it with his own gift of Broadway tickets, once again fooling Taylor.

Marty duct tapes up the Mouse King mask and Oliver goes on stage, but the duct tape has blocked his field of vision, so instead of dancing gracefully around the stage, he dances right off it. Don't worry though, Marty’s again there with his duct tape - this time to fix Oliver's leg!

The Ottos finally enjoy a peaceful Christmas morning, with Katie finally realizing that maybe everything can work out in the end. Oh, even though Trip has yet to win Taylor back, he and Anna-Kat do come up with a way for them to continue the “Real Horsewives of Connecticut” saga, via Skyping him in!

Random Thoughts:
- I love that Marty got Anna-Kat a Portable Belt Sander for Christmas! What a weird Grandpa for weird grandkid!

- Best lines go to Katie, when discussing her parents’ combative relationship (“They could have sharpened candy canes and shived each other!”), and Anna-Kat, after Katie's little Christmas tree meltdown (“Oh good. Now I'm not the only one in class whose mom hasn’t had a nervous breakdown!”)

Are Kathryn and Marty going to last? Do you think Taylor and Trip will ever get back together? Let me know below and Merry Christmas ya'll!

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