2013 is definitely shaping up to be the Year of Penny.
Happy Endings' unlucky-in-love single lady's dreams will finally come true on Tuesday's episode (9/8c, ABC) when Pete (Nick Zano) pops the question. No, it's not a joke. What is a joke, though, is how the engagement goes awry, and Penny (Casey Wilson) gets engaged the only way she can: in a wedding dress.
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"[It's] an odd engagement. ... The moment she's been waiting for her entire life is ruined by Max [Adam Pally]," Wilson tells TVGuide.com. "He's trying to get back at us for this small prank we did to him with these horrible pranks and so he manages to somehow ruin her engagement."
But not even Max's antics can deter Pete. Penny says yes, which dramatically decreases the possibility of a Penny-Dave (Zachary Knighton) romance that had been hinted at since last season. That coupling was put on the backburner when Dave and Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) started things up again, but few fans could've predicted that Penny would be potentially off the market a year later.
"It felt important to explore and show the audience Dave and Alex together so it wasn't just theoretical. Honestly, as we went through this season, we kind of were enjoying them together," executive producer Jonathan Groff says. "So we felt we sort of needed to double-down on that and ... we didn't want to keep Penny frustrated all year pining for Dave. And also, it felt like, let's see Penny in a relationship. I think Casey, as an actor, was eager to see that, so that's why we created this Pete character."
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But is Pete really the one for Penny? After all, he came into the picture just a month ago. "We acknowledge that," Groff says. "For Penny, it all seems a little perfect and so Penny's instincts are to think about that and question that, especially when it's pointed out to her how fast [it is]." Nevertheless, Pete is "pretty perfect," Groff says, adding that Zano "fits right into our group."
Though the sitcom's fate for the rest of the season is uncertain (Tuesday lead-out Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 has already been pulled because of low ratings), Groff and the writers are already planning Penny and Pete's wedding, which may or may not take place in the finale ("A wedding is [in] the season finale," Groff teases). "We know that she and Jane [Eliza Coupe] have planned where the flower girls come down the aisle to the strains of 'Seasons of Love' from Rent played by an all-male Hawaiian ukulele trio," he says. "There's going to be a big showtunes Broadway undercurrent to Penny's wedding as it's being planned right now."
Wilson adds: "I'm sure Penny annoys everyone, like, 'I went to all your weddings. You better throw a party for me!' She's a bridezilla for sure."
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But a wedding doesn't mean the couple will actually get married. So what are the chances that Dave will see the light and interrupt Penny and Pete's nuptials, like how skater boy did to his and Alex's?
"I don't know if we've done enough Dave and Penny stuff to merit that yet," Groff says. "I would say that [hope for Penny and Dave] is not impossible. That is quite not impossible."
Happy Endings airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC. Watch an exclusive sneak peek from Tuesday's episode below.
Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams