CASEY: Don’t encourage him, dad. He should call his girlfriend and sort things out.
DENNIS: Casey, we men, we’re not really… talkers.
Okay, so, we talk about this scene a lot, but we don’t really talk about it.
What makes this episode great isn’t the “Derek calls her dad back!” part. For me, it’s what’s behind his motivation to call him back. Like always, Derek puts Casey before everything else. He and his girlfriend, Kendra, have just gotten into a fight, and he’s avoiding her because he can’t deal with girly tears and emotions. Kendra is pretty much in the same situation as Casey, upset and distraught, but Derek doesn’t bat an eyelash.
Cue Casey starting to have a breakdown about not being able to spend any time with her dad on her perfect night—Derek being the only one in their family of seven to notice this—and you know what he does? He stops it with his whole ‘I don’t care’ shtick, calls her dad, and convinces him to skip his plane ride back to Toronto and come back. Instead of going to his room and fixing things with Kendra, instead of waiting for Casey’s feeling to blow over themselves, Derek puts Casey’s needs and sadness over everything.
The clincher here is that Casey only realizes that Derek called her dad back when he mentioned that “guy talk is so much easier,” relating back to their earlier conversation when Derek was blowing off Kendra because he doesn’t do girl talk, and he’s not good at sorting things out. The thing is? He kind of just did. But to Casey. It’s always Casey for Derek; he knows how much this meant to her, so he went ahead and came through for her.
The only thing this episode was missing was Derek watching Dennis and Casey from the staircase. God, that would’ve been a perfect ending.