|Season 1, Episode 9|
|Date Aired:||December 7, 2011|
Driving Miss Dalia
"The Nutcracker" is the ninth episode of season one, it aired on December 7, 2011.
It is about Tessa overhearing George break up with his old flame, Zoe, via Skype and blaming herself about the incident. So, George later falls for Chatswin High's art teacher and has a tree-trimming party in order to spend more time with her. During the party, George faces his ex and a possible future girlfriend and ends up kissing Dallas under the miseltoe.
We see Tessa and George driving home from a Christmas tree farm with a tree strapped to the roof of their car. Tessa explains that Christmas in the suburbs is so phony because of all the plastic lawn decor and professionaly-hung lights. George starts to compliment the tree and Tessa starts to give him "the ice treatment" about spending Christmas in the Big Apple with his girlfriend, Zoe. That night, we see George Skyping his flame, Zoe, who is in an emotional state of dispair - hysterical crying, snooty nose and screaming. She starts to react the way any girl should - "You're dumping me?" George says it's not her, it's Tessa because dating Zoe makes George feel like a bad father because of him cheating on the suburbs with Manhattan. So, Zoe starts to bawl and George slams his laptop shut. As it turns out, Tessa was eavesdropping the entire time. She tells George he didn't have to break up with Zoe just because of her. Tessa says that he liked her, though George says he sacrificed something he liked for her. So he grabs a beer and drinks the entire thing in his bedroom.Christmas, the Chatswin way! The episode starts out with Tessa giving George the silent treatment. She still hasn’t forgiven him completely for sneaking off to go visit his girlfriend, Zoe, in NYC without telling her.
Seeing how upset Tessa has become over the Zoe situation, George decides to call it quits with her, via Skype. She doesn’t take it so well— hysterical crying, snotty nose and screaming! Tessa walks in on the break-up and immediately feels bad about it. George tells her that though he really liked Zoe, sometimes parents make sacrifices for their children to be happy.
So, next we see Lisa and Tessa in a coffee shop drinking candy cane milkshakes while Tessa is searching men's clothing for George's Christmas gift. Tessa had told Lisa the entire story, then Lisa asks if George really did drink the beer in his room...Tessa thinks he did. So, Tessa says she is going to make it up to George by purchasing him the best gift ever. Lisa suggests she gets him an eyeglass repair kit, though Tessa says that doesn't exactly say "Sorry you gave up life for me." So, Tessa says there is nothing on the entire Internet, so she asks Lisa what she is getting for her father. She says nothing. The Shays make gifts. Tessa says that's cool, though Lisa argues it isn't...she wants clothes.
Tessa tries to make it up to George because she feels bad, so she makes him a tuna fish sandwich. George says tuna reminds him of Zoe. Tessa starts to worry he’s sinking into a depression and then worries even more when he watches the Food Netwoork all day in his pajamas and signs up for an adult wreathmaking workshop at Chatswin High, which is taught by Aimee Ainsley, Tessa's art teacher.
What Tessa doesn’t know is that George is actually interested in Aimee. George likes the fact that Aimee is positive, sweet, crafty and light-hearted instead of crazily cynical New York women like the ones he dated in the past. George decides he will ask Amy out. The Mr. Wold warns George that Amy just got out of a bad relationship with the shop teacher so George shouldn’t come on too strong if he’s really interested in her. Aimee walks around the classroom, compliments George and Mr. Wolf's wreaths, and then proceeds to pull a hot glue gun from a mother's hair. George overhears Amy telling her that she doesn’t have a Christmas tree this year because her roomates are Jahova's witnesses so she misses the smell of pine. George takes this as a great opening and informs her that he has a great big tree— that smells like pine. He invites her to swing by and help him decorate. She looks a little weirded out so he informs her that there will be many neighbors there. He states that it will be a tree trimming event. Aimee accepts his invitation. Next, Mr. Wolf instantly invites himself to the tree trimming party as well.
In the meantime, Tessa, still feeling guilty about breaking George and Zoe up, decides there’s only one thing she can give George for Christmas to make everything better again. She invites Zoe over to help them celebrate Christmas. Though it isn’t easy to convince Zoe at first, once Tessa promises that she won’t be an obstacle and that George really does miss her, Zoe confesses that the sex was “rockin” with George and she does get horny around Christmas— she’s in!
At Dallas’ house, her house is festively decorated with four pink light-up Christmas Trees. Stephen goes into the room to bet that his calves have grown since last year, though she doubts it and he leaves the room. She is writing Christmas cards and as she licks George's envelope close, she imagines him, right before he walks in to invite her to the tree trimming. Though she thanks him for the invite, she’s on her way to Aspen to go skiing— a Royce Family tradition. George tells her she’ll be missed and leaves her a gift.
Back at the house it’s Christmas Eve, Tessa is feeling proud of the Zoe surprise she has in store for George. That is until she sees George flirting and giggling with Aimee. Lisa arrives, with no coat, because her mother demanded that she wears one even though she lives directly across the street. Tessa asks her to stand outside and wait for Zoe to get there and try to distract her, while Tessa tries to get rid of Amy. Tessa dumps the egg nog and tells George that they ran out. While George goes to make a new batch, Tessa uses this time to tell Amy how much of a slob Geroge is and warns her that she should leave asap— seeing as how the snow is coming down really hard and she may get stuck in a snow bank and die. A freezing cold Lisa catches Tessa’s attention through the window and informs her that Zoe has arrived. George asks Tessa what’s wrong and she confesses that she’s been trying to get rid of Aimee because she’s a rebound- Lisa says she's been there hard.
She tells George that she knows he was so crushed about his break-up with Zoe that he only used Aimee to help him move on. George confesses to Tessa that he actually broke up with Zoe, not because of Tessa, but because Zoe is “really really annoying, and violent, and negative and a little bit of a slutty lush”. George tells Tessa that he does like Amy. The doorbell rings. George answers, Zoe walks in, plants a huge kiss on him and Amy sees it all. Amy runs out embarrassed. George explains to her that though it’s not good to blame your kids, this time, it really was Tessa’s fault for the whole misunderstanding. We even see a drunk Zoe blabbing on about her wild trips to nude beaches in front of George's kind Asian neighbors, the Yees, who do not speak English fluently. George is in a predicament. If he tells Zoe the truth, he knows she’ll make a scene in front of everyone. However, if he doesn’t ask Zoe to leave, he knows that Amy will run out. Noah says he’s used to delivering bad news to people— he does it everyday at his dental practice. He volunteers to tell Zoe.
Tessa walks into the kitchen and sees that Lisa is still outside— without a coat. She opens the door for Lisa and makes her a batch of hot tea. Lisa tells Tessa that while she was outside, alone, in the cold, with no coat, she had some time to think and she realized that the reason Tessa may be taking the whole Zoe situation so personally is because subconsciously, she knows that she may have come between George and a lot of other “Zoe’s” in the past. Lisa then ends by telling Tessa that her dad is hot, he deserves to get banged.
In the meantime, Noah delivers the bad news to Zoe and walks her to a taxi outside. She tries to come on to him instead but he tells her he’s married. She flips out and starts pelting his face with snowballs for leading her on.
Back at Dallas’ house, they find out that all of the planes have been grounded due to weather. Dallas decides to open up the gift that George left. It’s a pair of bright red mittens. She’s instantly happy. Dallas stops by to thank George for the mittens. More importantly, for remembering the story she told him about how her mother used to make her wear bright red mittens so they wouldn’t get lost in the snow. Before she leaves to go back home, she kisses George under the misteltoe. George kisses back. Again, Amy sees the whole thing. Now, she flips out and starts screaming her head off, storming out the door, which knocks down George's hand-made wreath.
In the end, we learn that George has a gift for turning even the sanest woman into crazies and Tessa apologizes for George not having a special someone to spend the holidays with. George tells her that he never gets tired of it just being him and Tessa for the holidays.
- Jeremy Sisto as George Altman
- Jane Levy as Tessa Altman
- Carly Chaikin as Dalia Royce
- Rex Lee as Mr. Wolfe
- Allie Grant as Lisa Shay
- Alan Tudyk as Noah Werner
- Cheryl Hines as Dallas Royce
- Jay Mohr as Steven Royce
- Gloria Votsis as Zoe
- Ellen Woglom as Aimee Ainsley
- Deena Dill as Bliss
- Alice Lo as Mrs. Yee
- Raymond Ma as Mr. Yee
- Family of the Year, OMG It's X-Mas - 1st Use: Tessa and George drive through the neighborhood. 2nd Use: Noah shows up to a party. 3rd Use: Tessa and George reconcile.
- Nico Stai, Covered Too - Tessa and Lisa figure out George's gift.