The New Normal

Episode 1.10 : The XY Factor

  • The New Normal
    • Episode Premiere : November 27, 2012
    • Distributor : NBC
    • Genre : Comedy
    • Seasons : 1
    • Show Period : 2012 - 2013
    • Production Company: Ryan Murphy Productions
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

David reminisces about all the expectations he had for his adult life when he was a young boy. He pictured playing catch with his son in a lush green yard as his wife, Shannen Doherty, brought out fresh-squeezed lemonade. While he's fallen for Brian instead of 90210 gal Brenda, his dream for a son has never strayed. As an OB/GYN, David gets to tell parents their babies' gender every day, and though it's quickly masked, there's always a bit of disappointment on one end or the other. Everyone has a preference. That's why David collects World Series baseballs, so that one day he can pass them on to his son. Brian, on the hand, is obviously dreaming of a girl. However, the couple's decided to keep the gender a surprise, agreeing that they don't care as long as the baby is healthy.

The following morning, Brian experiences frustration trying to fashion a gender-neutral nursery. To help get his creative juices flowing, Goldie and Shania ask his help in choosing an influential woman in history for Shania to do a school project on. Goldie suggests Susan B. Anthony or Marie Curie, but Shania aims for someone more contemporary. Brian agrees; once you get your face on a coin or discover radioactive isotopes, your 15 minutes are up. When Brian's trying to choose between a monkey and a frog for the wall decoration, Goldie remarks that he'll love either one. He?! The baby is a boy? The cat's out of the bag, and Brian isn't exactly thrilled.

When David comes home in a chipper mood after a game of basketball, Brian leads him out of the kitchen and tells him about Goldie's hormonal slip up. He asks David if he wants to know the gender now too, and even though the answer is "no," Brian tells him anyway. David's contemplates this quietly for a moment, letting it sink in, and then goes absolutely wild. His childhood dream has come true! David runs around the kitchen with his friends, whooping with joy about all the jungle gym forts and light saber fights and peewee games in his future. Brian looks on, confused. He's never seen David this excited. The guys tackle Brian in a huge hug, but even so, Brian cannot crack a smile.

It's the day of Shania's inspirational woman presentation, and Brian and Goldie are sitting through a rather dry performance of Mary Todd Lincoln. When it's Shania's turn, the lights fade and a spotlight shines on our girl, dressed in a sparkling, hot-pink mermaid dress with a wig of long, black hair and an enormous white and pink Native American headdress. It's Cher, complete with not only her signature speaking voice, but also a full-on jazz band with members of the elementary school. After a bit of history, Shania-Cher delivers an enthusiastic performance of "Half-Breed," exploring Cher's childhood conflictions with a white father and a Cherokee mother. At the conclusion of the song, Brian and Goldie applaud wildly, while the rest of the audience looks unsure of what they've just seen.

The following Saturday morning, clipboard in hand and a whistle hanging off his neck, David enjoys every minute of filling in for Amir as the coach of the Spartans. It's pretty evident that he's a natural. On the sidelines, Brian, who's clad in a fedora and reading a magazine, strikes up a conversation with the two mothers next to him who each have a glass of white wine in hand. These games are brutal; what they wouldn't do to be at the American Girl Doll store instead! Brian agrees, but instead of allowing himself to wallow over the fact that he won't be able to do that with his child, he runs up to David and informs him that he'd like to coach. David's leery, considering Brian doesn't know a thing about football, but Brian wastes no time in blowing the whistle and asking the boys to "cuddle up." He introduces himself as David's understudy, devises them a secret play, and then tells them to get out there and break a leg.

Brian's "Secret Ball" game plan doesn't pan out quite the way he planned; the other team scores twice. As David and his friends rush off to repair the damage, poor Brian couldn't feel further out of his element. Back at home, Shania tells Goldie that not only did she end up getting an F on her Cher presentation, but that she's being suspended for breaking the school's policy on hate speech. Goldie can't believe that a school is punishing Shania for singing a song about how bad it is to call someone a half-breed, and she decides to fight it. She brings out her lawyer suit. After all, if she wants to become a lawyer someday she may as well start practicing now. A few alterations will even help the suit fit her pregnant belly.

Walking into the baby's room, Brian is disturbed to see that David's putting male flourishes all over Brian's original design scheme: dark blue curtains, his collection of baseballs, even his glove from his time in peewee. Noticing how upset Brian is, David asks him what's up. Hurt, Brian tells David that he wants their baby to love both of them equally. What if him and the baby won't be able to relate on anything at all? Tearing up, Brian admits that he knows what it's like to grow up with a father you can't connect with, and that's not what he wants for himself, or for his child. The following day, though Goldie gives an inspired, moving argument to the school principal, she's unable to lift Shania's suspension. At home, Goldie admits to Brian that she doesn't even really want to be a lawyer. Life's hardly turning out the way Goldie had pictured. Brian agrees; this whole having a boy thing has really thrown him for a loop, but Goldie assures him that he'd be an incredible father to any gender. After receiving a text from David that the game got rained out and the whole team is coming over for pizza, Brian's bummed and, frankly, nervous. Now boys will outnumber him in his own home.

The football team comes over and Brian couldn't have done a better job with the luncheon. Not only did he have vintage video games delivered from his studio, but he created a beautiful make-your-own-pizza station, compete with prosciutto, truffles, and chef hats! Warmly, David assures him that he doesn't have worry about not connecting with his son just because his dad couldn't connect with him; just the fact that he's trying already makes him an incredible father. Days later, Brian surprises David with a finished, absolutely breathtaking boys' room full of circus animals, blues, footballs, and gorgeous wooden furniture. Meanwhile, Goldie puts away her lawyer suit and carefully takes out the beautiful, intricate costumes she's sewn for Shania over the years. She eyes the sewing machine. Maybe life doesn't always turn out the way you expect. Maybe it turns out even better.






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