Single Parents season 1, episode 12 recap: All Aboard the Two-Parent Struggle Bus


The single parents deal with exes!

“All Aboard the Two-Parent Struggle Bus” sees the return of Will’s ex-wife, Mia (Taran Killam’s SNL costar Vanessa Bayer), just in time for Sophie’s birthday. It was only a matter of time before Single Parents dealt with the difficulty of co-parenting. Unfortunately, Will and Mia haven’t spent enough time together to be on the same page. A majority of the episode is dedicated to Will trying to navigate this new hurdle.

Just as Will set up Sophie’s surprise birthday scavenger hunt, they’re interrupted by Mia’s return. Sophie thinks her mother is the surprise, but she actually ruined Will’s real gift. At the school, Mia easily wins over the other parents by complimenting them. Well, everyone except Angie who earns a subtle dig about her height. Could Mia be a bit jealous of Angie? Her growing friendship with Will means Angie gets to spend more time with Sophie than Mia does. Nevertheless, she gives everyone tokens from one of her cases.

Single Parents sets up Mia as a force of good but in a bit of an obnoxious way. She’s constantly spouting off the good deeds she’s done and doesn’t think Will’s rules are necessary. Why should she limit Sophie’s sugar intake or when she can open her birthday presents? In other countries, the kids suffer much more so Mia sees all these constraints as trivial.

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Will is pushed to the edge, and finally, he caves by going to Angie for help. She had offered to host a girls night, which is exactly what helped Poppy during her divorce. Despite Douglas believing a girls night consists of “eating yogurt and tickling each other”, it turns out to be more like a college party. Angie forces Will into a game of Edward Fortyhands and encourages him to treat her like Mia. Everything he wants to say to his ex-wife, he should say to her instead. In fact, Angie and Poppy tell him to treat his relationship with Mia like a business, and all of their interactions should be emotionless and professional.

This is easier said than done since Mia continues to break rules at Sophie’s birthday party. She lets her daughter eat as much candy as she wants before cake because “she doesn’t believe in courses”. Sadly, Angie’s plan doesn’t work and Poppy reveals that it didn’t work for her either. In fact, she said after their first girls night, Poppy called her ex-husband for a booty call. Will tries to keep her secret but when he sees Mia also allowed Sophie to get her ears pierced early, he loses it. He rats out Poppy’s secret to Angie before demanding a private discussion with Mia.

Naturally, he finally breaks and tells Mia what’s on his mind. She can’t just enter the house and disregard all of the rules because she wants to. The fact is, he’s the one who raises Sophie fulltime and she needs to respect that. Also, he’s tired of her sending all of her mail to a house where she doesn’t even live. Will goes to blow off some steam by doing pushups in Sophie’s room.

SINGLE PARENTS – “All Aboard The Two-Parent Struggle Bus”- Network. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

The party takes a turn for the worse when Sophie succumbs to her sugar high from all the sweets. She’s jumping on the table and screaming but Mia has no idea what to do. Luckily, Will takes control immediately and has Sophie count backward from ten in Japanese to calm her down. Witnessing how easily Will can handle Sophie makes Mia sincerely thank him for all of his hard work. She admits it’s hard for her to come back and get to know her daughter all over again in such a short time. Sophie is also struggling with the lack of memories of the three of them. She asks for the three to hang out more so she can remember them all as a family.

Single Parents ends the episode with Sophie, Will, and Mia going out to a pizza place. They take a family photo in a photo booth before Sophie goes to order some mozzarella sticks. When she goes away, Mia kisses Will inside the booth which is bound to complicate things. Is she going to come back and recommit to her family? Either way, both of them are going to have to tread carefully some Sophie doesn’t get hurt.

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As for Miggy, Douglas, and Graham, they get their only mini-plot. Miggy and Graham donate their prized possessions after the former feels enlightened by Mia. Unfortunately, they immediately regret their decision. Graham is able to get back his favorite stuffed lion, but Miggy loses his best sneakers. Douglas tries to get it back but loses his own shoes and jacket. At least the two have their friendship even if they no longer have shoes.

What did you think of this episode of Single Parents? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!