By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz
"Perfect Crime" may not reach the experimental levels of other episodes, but it also doesn't suffer from the same generic pitfalls of "Perfect Couples"'s previous entries. It rests comfortably in the middle, and it's all the better for it. Episode five takes the cliches of gender roles and irritating friends and throws some pretty dark spins on them, showing the characters in a more malicious and fearful light that seems to fit their characterizations well, mostly because they grow out of great character moments.
After the gang gets a stomach flu, Dave attempts to nurse Julia back to help. However, ever the powerhouse, Julia decides to drink some juice and run a mile to sweat out the toxins. Emasculated and worthless, Dave feels unwanted, so he stages a computer problem, as this is the only problem he can fix that Julia can not. But in the middle of executing the plan, Julia discovers a dead possum in the garage and demands Dave takes care of it. What Julia doesn't know is that Dave is deathly afraid of these nocturnal marsupials.
Meanwhile, Amy hires Lee to plan their wedding, which doesn't sit right with Vance. So, Dave hatches a plan to uncover Lee's weaknesses to prove that he is quite capable of planning his own wedding.
One thing that works really well in this episode is the tight plotting. Each story arc requires little thought, leaving room for some great gags. Dave gets the chance to try and name at least one astronaut (though, fails), and we're treated to a few shots of a dead possum -- both of which provide for some of the series' funniest moments.
Likewise, the simplicity of the plot allows for great character moments, whether that be Amy's knowledge of possums -- being from Louisiana and all -- or Dave's fear of them (Vance planted a dead one in his bunk when the two were boys). Working off their history, the characters can grow and flesh out the grown-ups they are today.
"Perfect Crime" excels at being funny. It's an example of the show firing on all cylinders, even though it's not a V-8. Still, you'll find yourself laughing out loud more often than not, which is more than anyone can say for "Outsourced."