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Dan Vs. “The Family Thanksgiving” Recap

by on November 22, 2011

is shocked when Elise’s parents invite him to their family Thanksgiving.
Then even more shocked when they treat him better than the rest of
their family.

love Thanksgiving. A Holiday set aside to be thankful and pray is such a wonderful thing. Even if you’re
not religious you can still be thankful for what you do have in life.
What makes it even more special is the fact that only three Countries
celebrate the holiday (the USA, Canada, and the Philippines).
Unfortunately Thanksgiving seems to be pushed aside more and more by
Christmas every year, so whenever actually does a
Thanksgiving special it gains more respect in my eyes. So when I found out that not only was there a new Dan Vs. but that it was
also a Thanksgiving special, I was overjoyed. This is a great episode but it doesn’t follow the
normal Dan Vs. routine.

Family Thanksgiving” starts normally enough. Dan is just shopping and
minding his own business. He calls his friend, Chris, and soon talks
about how excited he is for their annual Thanksgiving get together.
When Chris is finally able to get a word in he reminds Dan that the
plans have changed to going to Elise’s parents house for the Holiday.
Dan is annoyed that Chris and Elise would dare leave without him and
vows revenge against the Family Thanksgiving! Normally the episode would be about Dan trying to get his revenge, but this time the show offers a different approach. Dan rushes off to Chris and Elise’s house where he begins
pelting it (and Chris) with eggs, only to stop when Elise reminds him
that he’s invited. Dan is shocked that anyone would actually
willingly invite him and accepts the invitation. So Chris and his
wife Elise set off with Dan and his female cat Mr. Mumbles (you read
that right) to Elise’s parents house. Upon their arrival, Elise’s parents
treat Dan like the prodigal son returned home. Dan of course is
naturally suspicious and distrustful, but eventually he grows to
accept it. Elise however investigates and figures out what is really
going on. It leads to Dan justifiably feeling betrayed and vowing
revenge…again. Finally Elise’s parents apologize. And Dan,
for one of the only times in his life, is uncertain whether
to choose revenge or forgiveness. In order to avoid spoilers I shall
write no more of the plot.

episode focuses on six characters: Dan, Chris, Elise, Mr. Mumbles,
Elise’s Parents, and Ben. Ben is a new character who is Elise’s
brother and still lives with their parents. I find the character
rather unoriginal as I’ve seen characters like that before,
especially on sitcoms for some reason. However I’m not complaining
about Ben due to his allergy to cats, which is something well played
for laughs in a certain scene. Beyond that, Ben hardly has much of a
role in the episode. Mr. Mumbles however has a rather active role in
the episode, adding a lot of humor to it. I always love it when she’s
more involved in the plot. The best part of the episode is Dan
himself. I’m used to seeing him angry and bitter to various degrees,
but he very rarely ever shows any other emotions. But in this episode,
after the initial wave of suspicion and paranoia, he actually feels
accepted somewhere – which of course amplifies the pain and sense of
betrayal later. The fact that a character such as Dan actually finds it
hard to choose between revenge and forgiveness is impressive. I now have more sympathy for him after viewing this episode.

should also be mentioned that although this episode was hilarious, it
wasn’t quite as funny as the show normally is since it doesn’t follow the pattern of Dan seeking revenge
throughout the whole episode. Now I did enjoy the change of pace and
the chance to see the main character in a different light, it was
quite unique. But I still prefer how the show normally is, otherwise it runs the risk of seeming too much like a normal sitcom.
However, feeling more sympathy for the main character causes me to be
more invested in him, thus helping me to enjoy the show more. So, it’s a fair trade off and I can’t complain. And seeing
more of Dan than the usual anger and bitterness feels highly
appropriate in a holiday episode.

Ultimately “The Family Thanksgiving” is a great episode, though I only recommend it to fans of the show. It’s
not a good place for those new to the series to start since it
deviates from the show’s typical pattern. It was great to get a new Dan Vs.episode and I’m excited for more when the time comes, as well as more holiday-themed episodes in the future.

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