Dec 23 2014

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce – “Rule 426 – Fantasyland: A Great Place to Visit” Retrospective. Abby’s First Date.


Season 1, Episode 4

Air Date: Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 10/9 on Bravo



What a wonderful relationship Abby and Max have.

What a wonderful relationship Abby and Max have.

Everyone has problems. In this week’s installment of Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (GG2D), Abby (Lisa Edelstein) must figure out how to move forward now that she’s accepted the demise of her marriage to Jake (Paul Adelstein). Lyla (Janeane Garofalo) needs to deal with the anger she feels courtesy of her ex-husband Dan (Michael Weaver); and Phoebe (Beau Garrett) gets a lesson in who she really is.

Lyla’s Anger Problem

As “Rule 426 – Fantasyland: A Great Place to Visit” (“Rule 426”) opens, poor Lyla sure does have her hands full. Not only is Dan suing her for custody of their children – using dirty tactics, I might add – Principal Vicky Barrows (Carmen Moore) is supporting him by an affidavit stating Lyla “has a chronic anger management problem.” Lyla cracks me up; talk about being in a state of denial. I guess she forgot about the way she went off on the good principal last week in “Rule 47: Take Advantage of “Me” Time.” Even best friends Abby and Phoebe think Lyla has a problem. Phoebe thinks her “physical therapist, body worker guy,” Damon Cash (guest star Isaac Haig) is the answer. I wouldn’t mind having a massage from Cash.

While Lyla initially doesn’t want to accept Phoebe’s gift, she gives in and thoroughly enjoys Cash’s massage. But when he tries to give her the kind of “service” he provides for all of Phoebe’s friends, Lyla gives him something in return…a bloody nose! Although she proclaims it’s an accident (sure), Lyla should have expected something like this, given how well she knows Phoebe. Live and learn, right? To make matters worse, shoved in with the delicious homemade meal Dan sends home for her with the kids is a very large bill for their divorce mediator with “Please pay ASAP! Thanks. xoxo Dan” written across the top. Lyla, you fool! Why deprive yourself of your favorite meal? The least you could have done is enjoy it. Who would have been the wiser?

Abby Goes Out

Abby and Nate's date seems to be going well.

Abby and Nate’s date seems to be going well.

The banter among Lyla, Abby, and Phoebe is always fun, even when they try to be sarcastic. Take Lyla, for instance. You know she adores Phoebe, yet she tells Abby, “Take what she says with a grain of salt; she has a very casual relationship with reality.” I also enjoyed Lyla’s retort when Abby tries to justify her budding relationship. I must say, Garofalo gets some great lines and delivers them beautifully.

Abby: “Phoebe was kissing the male – the married male.”

Lyla: “And you’re texting the married male.”

Yes, remember Nate (C. Thomas Howell), the married guy who wants to date Abby, the one she turned down previously? Well, he’s back and he and his wife have separated.

Abby does something she’s never done before when getting ready for her date with Nate – she takes off her wedding ring. I thought Abby would be more affected by doing that than she is but apparently, she’s ready to move on. Removing her wedding ring isn’t her only first, though. It’s also the first time Abby and Nate kiss. After a seemingly perfect first date, somehow they don’t connect in the lip lock department. Although, if Nate would shut up and stop trying to find the perfect location for the kiss, maybe things would go better.

Not exactly the best place for a kiss, Nate.

Not exactly the best place for a kiss, Nate.

Not to be deprived, Abby and Nate press forward with another date, and this time, they end up in bed. Just watching them, I wanted to shout: “OMG, Nate! Just shut up already!” Yeah, the second date doesn’t go all that well. Anyone up for a third? If Abby’s fake yawn doesn’t tell Nate what the deal is, I don’t know what will. What a shame—they seem so perfect for each other. Perhaps they should have morning sex. That’s the time of day Nate doesn’t want to talk. “The mornings aren’t for talking. They’re for contemplating suicide.” Um, run, Abby, run! Just kidding. I wonder whether these two will be able to sustain the friendship they’ve built. Something tells me, no.

Marital Problems

Abby’s brother Max (Patrick Heusinger) is always complaining about his husband Ford (J. August Richards). For some reason, Max doesn’t understand how important it is to Ford that he be dressed properly for the Family Equality Council 15th Annual Gala. It’s a big deal because they are receiving the Leadership Award for their work for marriage equality for gays. While it may seem like the only thing Max cares about is the Little League team he coaches, I think something else is going on.

Delia (Necar Zadegan), Abby and Lyla’s divorce lawyer, cracks me up when she meets Max at the event. In one breath, she compliments him on the award he and Ford are about to receive, and in the next, she tells him she’s all for marriage equality because marriage leads to divorce and that’s where she comes in. Talk about being self-centered! Delia is the queen of self-worth! But isn’t that what we love about her? Well, that and her clothes. That woman knows how to dress!

Adele welcomes Ford and Max to the stage.

Adele welcomes Ford and Max to the stage.

Drama takes center stage at the gala. While Lt. Adele Northrup (guest star Laverne Cox), last year’s award recipient, stands at the dais talking about equal rights, “people finding each other, falling in love, and getting married,” Abby and Max follow Lyla and Phoebe into the bathroom where the ladies are yelling at each other over what happened with Cash, which then leads to a fight over Lyla’s anger problem. Leave it to them to ruin the moment for Ford because just when Northrup announces Max and Ford’s names, Max is nowhere to be found. Well, we know he’s in the bathroom with Abby trying to calm Lyla and Phoebe down but Ford doesn’t. This leads to a shocking argument between Max and Ford, during which Max tries to explain how he feels, ending with the question, “Do you want to be married to me?” I think Ford’s heartfelt acceptance speech more than adequately answers Max’s question.

A Dose of Reality

As “Rule 426” comes to a close, all three ladies return from fantasyland and examine their lives. Phoebe decides she can’t possibly be a “home wrecker,” as Lyla calls her during their argument. I agree, given the bathroom scene. Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me. Lyla is done with her popcorn and wine dinners, finally realizing she needs to be nicer to herself, while Abby settles down to watch Notting Hill by herself after deciding she doesn’t need to lean on Nate anymore.


“Rule 426 – Fantasyland: A Great Place to Visit” is a lovely episode filled with the brilliant humor and sorrowful dramatic moments we have come to expect from creator/writer Marti Noxon. As usual, the dialogue is witty and the acting superb. Heusinger, in particular, shines when expressing Max’s feelings to Ford. I have been remiss in not mentioning the wardrobe department in my previous reviews because the outfits all three ladies wear are clothing items I would die to have in my closet. Well, maybe not the dress Phoebe wears to the gala; that one is a little too much.

Not only is this a fun comedy, “Rule 426” touches on a very serious topic, gay marriage equality, and does it in a grand way. The episode doesn’t send the in-your-face kind of message many heterosexuals complain about. Instead, it takes a very sensitive and highly debated issue and presents it in a very loving way.

What did you think of “Rule 426 – Fantasyland: A Great Place to Visit?” Hit me up on Twitter @SeasideTV, or leave me a comment below.

Tune in to Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, Tuesdays at 10/9c, only on Bravo.

For more on the show, visit GG2D’s official website at

LIKE GG2D on Facebook.

Follow GG2D on Twitter @BravoTV using hashtag #GG2D, as well as @BravoGG2D, and @GG2DNews. You should also follow Lisa Edelstein @LisaEdelstein, Paul Adelstein @adelsteinPaul, J. August Richards @jaugustrichards, Beau Garrett @beaujgarrett, Necar Zadegan @zadeganand, and writer/creator Marti Noxon @martinoxon.


All photos © 2014 Bravo Network, a division of NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


© 2014, Linda. All rights reserved.


Love TV, movies, and books--mostly mysteries, with a good love story thrown in every now and then. I have four adopted dogs who I adore. I love trying new recipes, and enjoy eating what I make. English language perfectionist. Reading in bed, Italian food, warm weather, the beach, all types of games = favs!


    • Trish on December 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm
    • Reply

    I wasn’t impressed with this episode.

      • Linda Seide on December 24, 2014 at 7:20 pm
      • Reply

      Care to elaborate on why? Was there something in particular that turned you off? Let’s discuss!

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