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Jane By Design Recap: "The Surprise"


This week’s episode of Jane By Design, “The Surprise,” lived up to its name. While the Teri Hatcher cameo was the opposite of a well-kept secret, that was hardly the only revelation this episode delivered.

Jane is more cheerful than usual when she wakes up and Ben and Billy are there to greet her with hugs and presents for her birthday. Of course, that was all a dream. In reality, Ben is excited about the high school playoffs and Billy has a present in his bag, but he tells Jane it’s for Zoe, who he has plans with that night. Ben plans on celebrating with the team and makes it clear that Jane isn’t really welcome to join in. Neither of them mentions Jane’s birthday and Ben asks her to take out the trash on the way out. Jane is not amused they both forgot her birthday.

At school, Zoe is not impressed with Billy and Ben’s plan to make Jane think they forgot her birthday. He insists that she’s going to love the surprise and asks Zoe to hold onto the gift. Zoe reluctantly takes it as Billy introduces Zoe to Jane. It’s awkward, especially since Jane thinks Billy and Zoe have some kind of inside joke regarding the gift and Zoe has no clue what she’s talking about. Jane excuses herself quickly and Zoe isn’t happy about being dragged into the plan.

Ben calls Nick into his office to talk about his future. Ben sent an MLB scout game footage of one of Nick’s games. He wants to know how Nick’s arm is because he arranged for the scout to come to the school at lunchtime and watch Nick pitch. He’s confused at first, but then he assures Ben that his arm is good to go and he seems pretty excited at the prospect of pitching for the scout.

Rita comes into Ben’s office to ask if he’s avoiding her. He thought that was what she wanted, but she tells him she wanted to slow things down. (It’s really awkward). He’s still not clear on the definition of slowing things down. Rita is upset and Ben is trying to play it cool and he tells her he wants to go back to the way things were before when he could just come into her office and see her. She says that was always a little weird, but in a good way. He invites her to Jane’s surprise birthday party. Rita tells him it’s an awful idea to pretend they forgot Jane’s birthday. She tries to talk some sense into him, but Ben is distracted by a red envelope. He tells Rita that it’s a birthday card for Jane – from their mother.

On the field, Nick asks Ben for last minute advice. He’s distracted, but Nick presses and asks what his coach said to him. Ben tells him that the scout isn’t there to watch him do anything other than what he does in practice and tells him not to blow it because most people don’t get an opportunity like that. Nick throws a bunch of great pitches and the scout is impressed. Once Nick walks away, the scout tells Ben that Nick reminds him off him. Ben says there’s no use hanging onto the past when the scout wants to see him pitch. He reminds him that it was his dream and he loved it. Ben agrees on one pitch and the scout is blown away, but Ben repeats that it was only one pitch.

Rita comes to see Ben and he tells her he’s proud of Nick. She asks about the card from their mom. He decided not to give it to her and says it’s too late for her to come back into their lives. Rita asks if he should get to decide that. He says it’s his decision because their mom gave him that power when she abandoned them. Ben is angry and tells Rita that he’d appreciate it if she supported his decision.

At Donovan Decker, India is on Jeremy’s case, wanting to know what’s taking so long for him to get the information she wants. He tells her that Gray had a meeting that morning, but he has no idea who it was with because he doesn’t have access to her calendar. India reminds him that she will tell Gray the truth if he doesn’t give her what she wants and she suggests he use Jane to get the password to Gray’s computer. Jeremy offers to help a confused Jane with Gray’s schedule, but she reminds him that he needs to focus on his designs. Jane panics when she sees Birdie talking to Gray and Birdie tells her that there’s a discrepancy with Jane’s personnel file and Gray is not happy. (Uh-oh).

Jane wants to know what’s going on, but Gray basically tells her that it’s none of her business and she tells her that she doesn’t need her help that day. Jane is convinced that she’s getting fired and admits to Eli that she feels like a fraud and she’s just waiting for people to find out the truth about her. She also tells him that it’s her birthday and no one remembered. He convinces her to run errands with him and “errands” turn out to be various touristy things around the city. (These two are so cute together). He gives her a balloon and wishes her a happy birthday and Jane is touched. They get back to the office and everyone is waiting to surprise Jane with a cake. She’s thrilled until she realizes Eli was just stalling her and it wasn’t a real date at all. (Poor Jane is having the worst birthday ever).

After Gray caught him going through her desk and India gave him a hard time again, Jeremy’s solution to his problems is to get drunk. India mocks him about Eli stealing his place with the company and then he admits that she’s blackmailing him in front of Jane. India locks him in a closet and tells him to pull himself together. She points out to Jane that the real reason Gray threw her the party was so she could look good in front of the reporter who was doing a puff piece on her. Eli tells Jane that he liked hanging out with her and he wants to do it again. He gives her a kiss on the cheek and tells her to think about it. (Aw)! Jane lets Jeremy out of the closet, but when he confesses he was the mole, not India, she slams the door on him again.

Meanwhile, at The Rack, Billy and Ben are wondering where Jane is. Ben says he already texted her seven times and they realize that their plan was not the best. (Seriously, it was the worst). Harper has somehow been put in charge of the party and she invited a bunch of people who don’t even know who Jane is. Lulu arrives and fights with Nick about not telling her that he was coming. She’s not happy to see Billy with Zoe and her and Nick keep arguing. He’s mad she didn’t ask how his tryout for the scout went and he ends things with her. Lulu retaliates by marching over to Billy and Zoe and telling Zoe that Billy is just going to hurt her because he’s in love with his best friend.

Zoe is confused because she’d asked Billy if there was anything between him and Jane and he’d said no. He explains that there’s a reason Lulu is his ex. Then he goes off on a tangent about Lulu being some rich girl that he never should have gotten involved with. The look on Zoe’s face makes it pretty clear that she’s a rich girl too, but Billy is too busy ranting to notice. Nick and Billy play a round of pool and Nick admits that he did something to his shoulder when he was pitching for the scout. (That’s not a good sign). Later, when Billy drops Zoe off, she tells him she lives in one house, but then she skips through a few yards and heads into a large house. )I can’t really blame the girl for lying after Billy went on and on about two different worlds, but at the same time, this isn’t going to end well).

Poor Rita wasn’t having the best night either, when the prom queen from her and Ben’s class, Amanda Clark, showed up at The Rack. She shamelessly flirts with Ben and she doesn’t remember Rita, other than the headgear she used to wear. After Ben leaves to go pick up Jane, Amanda asks Rita if Ben has a girlfriend. Rita starts to tell her that he does, but then she has to tell him that he doesn’t and she does not look happy about it. (Rita, it’s not too late to fix this)!

Ben shows up at the Donovan Decker party to get Jane. She’s upset, but he tells her that he didn’t forget her birthday, but he did make a mistake. Jane points out that he’s the one who loves surprises, not her. He gives her the card from their mother and Jane doesn’t open it since her day has already been hard enough. Ben tells her that there are people who love her and some who might know who she is, waiting at The Rack to wish her a happy birthday. When they get back, everyone has already left and their mother (Teri Hatcher) is waiting for them.

It looks like we’ll be getting more than a two-second appearance by Teri Hatcher next week (seriously, the commercials spoiled the entire scene). How will Jane and Ben react to their mom being back? How long before Jeremy cracks and tells Gray that he was the mole or will India spill the beans first? Will this Amanda Clark be as awful as the one on Revenge (so far all signs point to yes)? Feel free to hit the comment section with your thoughts on this week’s episode and what’s coming up next.

Mandy Treccia
Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that.

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