[For The Jim Gaffigan Show‘s “Maria” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Maria. When Jeannie’s baby sister goes on a date with Dave, Jeannie and Jim are determined to follow them.
Sitting in Katz’s, the same place where they eat lunch every single day, Dave explains to Jim that he dumped his girlfriend out of boredom with the same old thing day after day. Just then, Jeannie’s younger sister, Maria, visiting from out of town, drops by to pick Jim’s baby up from him. To Dave’s delight, Maria’s his “favorite kind of girl, beautiful AND from out of town.” Just so happens that Maria also just broke up with her boyfriend and whoopsie, next thing you know Dave is breaking his cardinal rule of never visiting Jim’s germ-ridden, kid-filled apartment. So, that way he can get to officially meet Maria, who left pretty quickly with the baby at Katz’s. Maria thinks Dave’s cute and then he invites her to his show that night and things are spinning into a pheromone frenzy right before Jeannie’s horrified eyes even as she pushes Dave out the door of their apartment.
Jim makes a special trip to Dave’s pickup bar where he’s in the process of convincing an ex to give him another chance. But just as she agrees to give it a shot Jim approaches damning Dave for hitting on Maria that very morning. Thus, another one bites the dust for ladies man Dave. Then Jim gets him to agree to not ask Maria out again, for Jeannie’s sake. Dave gives Jim his WORD he won’t.
The next morning Jeannie awakens Jim with his favorite breakfast; a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese from Russ & Daughters, an iconic NYC establishment. She holds it under his nose so he can relish the amazing aroma. But just as Jim is really awake and ready to reach for it, Jeannie cuts it into little pieces and flushes it down the toilet right in front of him. Jim declares her a psychopath… however it turns out she’s responding to the fact that she just found out Dave has a date with Maria. Apparently they hooked up on Facebook overnight and will be going out to dinner this very evening. The horror. The horror.
That night Maria’s dress is ultra skimpy and Jeannie’s expression’s completely aghast. After her sister leaves for her date with Dave wearing what appeared to be only the lining of a slip dress, Jeannie bursts into action. She forces Jim to abandon his beloved Chicago deep dish pizza, now cooling on the counter, to join her in a sister-on-a-date-with-Dave stalking mission. That Gaffigans are now officially on The Mysterious Case of Maria, Dave, and the Ultra Skimpy Dress. They follow behind the tawdry couple to the restaurant, leaving Blanca behind to watch the kids along with a completely vulnerable and unprotected Chicago deep dish.
Jim and Jeannie watch the couple from across the restaurant while Jim shovels linguine into his yap and Jeannie wrings her hands that she can’t hear anything. She just knows Maria hates Dave and must be having a horrible time, though. She has to be! Suddenly, Maria and Dave leave – barely escaping detection from the crackerjack Gaffigan duo of detectives only a few tables away. Jeannie and Jim miss their entire exit and have to get the scoop from a nosy table sitting slightly closer to the couple. That table’s busybody lady dishes to the Gaffigans that Dufus Dude and Girl in the Hooker Dress went to Bowery Ballroom.
The mission now back on track, Jim gets the rest of his linguine to go so he can eat it while walking. With Law & Order transition music and location markers onscreen to note each place, the Gaffigan detective duo follow Maria and Dave to several hopping late night NYC locations. Thanks to bartenders and clubgoers with impeccable memories and professional level facial recognition, everybody remembers Dufus Dude and Girl in the Hooker Dress. These witnesses even know exactly where the couple were going next – just like in Law & Order… Then as night slips into morning Jeannie and Jim run into Macaulay Culkin making yet another The Jim Gaffigan Show appearance exiting a strip club, his incredibly long hair somehow even longer than in the last episode.
When the Gaffigans get home that night they’re deflated – failed detectives after a prolonged chase through the sultry NYC streets. But who do they find crashed on their couch in comfy PJs? Maria! Right away Jeannie’s sister confesses that she made a terrible mistake that night. Jeannie stays big sister strong and refuses to admonish but won’t let Maria finish her sentence either. She’s too busy telling Maria how she’s an adult and her choices are her own. Then Maria explains that she actually came home right after the dinner with Dave and her big mistake was that she ate Jim’s entire deep dish pizza. Jeannie’s delighted with this news but Jim screams, “Whore!” Raising a pizza cutter to the ceiling with rage, Jim’s clearly filled with a profound yearning for revenge… and then Mariska Hargitay shows up to collar the killer of a truly special victim because it appears Maria got sliced wide open at the mercy of Jim’s deep dish vengeance.
Only one more episode of The Jim Gaffigan Show left this season. It will be sad to see it go and hopefully there will be more episodes for season two – eleven isn’t nearly enough Gaffigan! The great thing about this show is how guest stars and minor characters bring the show to a higher level and make it about more than just the Jim and Jeannie story. The cool NYC locations and colorful side characters make it feel fresh and alive, like living in the city while taking advantage of its color and multiplicity. That’s the magic of The Jim Gaffigan Show, it really knows its place and makes the audience feel like we belong there too.