Melissa & Joey – Season 1 Finale Review
by Jenna Giarletta on September 24, 2011

Melissa & Joey ends the season with a couple of strong episodes that highlight what this show is all about. First, Mel and Joe team up to deal with Lennox’s semi-formal dance date, while Ryder finally stands up to Holly. Then, some of the money from the scandal is recovered, which means that Joe could move out.

In “Do as I Say, Not as I Did,” Lennox is going to a semi-formal with supposedly nice boy Brendan Flynn (Jordan Garrett), who’s she’s been dating for a while. Mel believes that Brendan is a good kid, but Joe is suspicious about Brendan’s intentions with Lennox. Of course, Mel ignores him…until she sees Brendan buying condoms in a drug store. Unsuspecting Lennox goes off to the dance before Mel can have “the talk” with her, so Joe shows up at the after-party and makes sure she knows that she can turn Brendan down. It ends with a touching remark from Lennox about how she appreciates Joe looking out for her when her father can’t.

Meanwhile, Ryder and Holly have a new literature study partner, Charlotte (Courtney Taylor Burness). Ryder appreciates Charlotte’s helpful input, but Holly tenses every time Charlotte argues with her. Holly insists that Ryder cut Charlotte from the group, but Ryder finally tells her off…and realizes that standing up for himself might be good for their relationship.

In “The Settlement,” a significant amount of money lost in the scandal has been found, which means that Joe might be getting a check for for almost two-hundred thousand dollars. In anticipation of the money, Joe plans to move into an apartment, which of course upsets Mel and the kids. Realizing that Joe might ask her out since they no longer have an employer-employee relationship, Mel makes the first move and invites him to a work dinner…just because she needs a “plus one.” His first night in his new place, Mel brings him take-out, and the two eat in the dark since the lights don’t work.

But then at a meeting with the case’s lawyers, Joe living with the Scanlon offspring is brought into question, and the lawyers wonder if there’s a shady situation. Suddenly the money’s gone, and Joe’s back as Mel’s nanny…which means their budding romance can’t continue. Meanwhile, Mel’s super-expensive new couch finally arrived, only to be crushed when the bathtub falls through the ceiling because of a leak. This inspires Mel to redo the whole house.

I’ve been saying over and over that the show’s focus should be on the kids, so I’m thrilled to see the first episode do exactly that. The last scene in Joe’s car is fantastic, and I especially love Mel popping up in the back since I truly did not expect her to be there. While Ryder finally telling Holly off isn’t as epic as it maybe should be, I’m happy that their dynamic has changed and am looking forward to seeing more next season. (Plus the whole “girls in Ryder’s room” bit was funny.)

The second episode…well, you know me, I’m not exactly a Mel/Joe “shipper.” I find it strange that Mel panics about the move while Joe doesn’t even seem to realize that their situation had changed. Well, more so that she isn’t reluctant to admit how much Joe meant to her, when she previously seemed to think of him as a brother. But then again, the show has mainly brought up Joe’s feelings up to this point, so it is nice to see Mel’s point of view on the subject for once.

Also, I’m glad they address the scandal in the finale. To be honest, I expected it to involve the capture of Lennox and Ryder’s father, but I guess they need to save something for future seasons.

So, that’s it for the first season of Melissa & Joey! The second will hopefully be even better, and we might get a new house set based on the finale’s last scene. I’ll be back next year, see you then!

 



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Jenna Giarletta

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