'The New Normal' recap: Rewind to Halloween in 'Para-New Normal Activity'

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In October, NBC shelved the Halloween episode of "The New Normal" to show news coverage of Hurricane Sandy's aftermath. The lost episode, which finally aired Tuesday night, is noticeably dated as Goldie's baby bump is barely visible, and Clay is still trying to force the family to return to Ohio. The Halloween hijinks include guest appearances from Nicole Richie and George Takei, in addition to a poignant parody of "Honey Boo Boo" Alana Thompson's family.

Honey Boo Boo Halloween

For Bryan, Halloween is magical holiday complete with special traditions, like picking pumpkins with Richie. His enthusiasm leads him to dictate everyone's costume choices. He wants the gang to dress as the cast of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." He casts Goldie as a pregnant Chickadee, David as Sugar Bear, Shania as Honey Boo Boo, and himself as Mama June. Shania practices the reality TV starlet's catchphrase ("You'd better redneck-ognize!"), but David refuses to take part in the group costume.

While watching their pal Ian celebrate Halloween with his son, Bryan and David realize this is their last kid-free Halloween. Bryan's bossiness and temperamental attitude will soon take a backseat to the needs of a child.

Family reunion

The Halloween episode takes place in the midst of a family feud. Goldie told Jane to go away after she ruined Shania's pretend wedding and broke the little girl's heart. Goldie's relationship with Clay is on the rocks because he launched a custody battle forcing Shania to return to Ohio in one week.

Clay makes an unexpected return so he can share the holiday with his daughter. He wants to be a good parent, but he doesn't know how, because Goldie automatically parents single-handedly as a preemptive strike against his irresponsible and immature behavior. Clay ultimately decides he needs to be a good father by making decisions that are best for his child. He drops the custody suit so Shania and Goldie can stay together.

Jane also returns in time for the holiday, which makes Goldie realize how much her grandmother gave of herself over the years. Goldie decides she is a caring mother because Jane was always there for her. She welcomes Jane back into the family.

Halloween night

Thanks to "Sing" make-up artist Sam (Takei), Bryan captures the essence of Mama June, complete with what her daughter calls "neck crust." Unfortunately, the rest of the gang has second thoughts. Shania decides she cannot exploit the sexualization of girls (Honey Boo Boo's pageant participation, perhaps?) or denigrate a family's lack of economic resources. Instead, she feels Frankenstein better reflects her new family because they are pieces that came together as one. Shania and Clay don matching daddy-daughter Frankenstein costumes, Goldie is a pale Bride of Frankenstein, and Bryan ditches the facial prosthetics in favor of a simple Dr. Frankenstein costume. David dresses as sports hero Tom Brady.

Birth of a friendship

Rocky defies Bryan's costume assignment and dresses as Serena Williams instead of Matt Lauer. The family bonding leaves her and Jane feeling out of place. Rocky invites Jane, who's dressed as Endora from "Bewitched," out for drinks.

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