Monday, May 30, 2011

Says Who?

We open with Eric struggling to prepare sack lunches for his brood. This doesn't seem complicated, but he is certainly having quite a bit of trouble. He hasn't even tied his tie, and he's wearing his reading glasses to aid his concentration. Simon comes down to brush his teeth in the kitchen sink. Ew.

Eric wonders if everything is okay upstairs. Ruthie has locked herself in the bathroom, meaning no one else can get ready for school. The downside of large families sharing one bathroom.

Eric apparently having given up on the lunches, picks up the newspaper, so that Simon can ask him about a well-placed headline. This one being about the Heaven's Gate cult. Which was actually current in 1997. This isn't gonna be pretty, this show rarely does 'topical' well.

Eric tries to explain about cults, but Simon thinks he's talking about church. Which considering how the Camdens end up running things in Glen Oak seems apt. Eric disagrees with me though. He says that cults isolate members, which the church doesn't do. He goes on to say that the church still has room for people who don't share all their views, unless that person is Mary Seasons 5-11.

Simon's still more interested about the mass suicide thing, and Eric realizes that he's out of his depth, so he decides to encourage Simon to play mind games with his siblings to see if he can figure it out on his own. That couldn't possibly go wrong. (Interestingly, Eric thinks Ruthie should be exempt from the experiment, citing her young age.)

Matt wanders in and Simon oh-so-subtly thinks Matt looks taller. Simon says that he must be shrinking. Matt looks confused. Credits.

Lunch at the high school. Matt, Lucy and Mary are all eating together, like normal teenagers who hang out with siblings at school. Lucy realizes that Eric packed the lunches when she pulls a cork screw out of her paper sack. Seriously. A freaking corkscrew.

Attention is diverted when a friend notes that some girl at another table is clearly headed to the rest room to purge. The girl they gossip about gets a name (Shelby), but friend doesn't. Word is that Shelby is bulimic, because she barely eats anything and rushes to the bathroom after every meal. Except that if I remember 8th grade health class, bulimics tend to binge on large quantities of food, and the throw up. Matt gets bored and leaves. Mary is skeptical as well, but decides to argue with the friend. Lucy comes up with a plan to find out if Shelby is actually bulimic or not. Mary makes indicating that this plan is stupid. She's not wrong.

Scene change. Eric and Mrs. Peacock (yea!) are headed to a retirement home. Mrs. Peacock is upset because Mrs. Hinkle has put her house up for sale, and has moved into this place. Eric pretends to be shocked that Mrs. Peacock stole the official change of address card, but you know he's making mental notes on how better to stalk the community. Mrs. Peacock thinks that her children have forced into the place and thinks she's being held hostage. Hee.
They head to the front desk to see if they can visit Mrs. Hinkle. The desk is unhelpful, honoring Mrs. Hinkle's request that she not be disturb. Clearly they must be evil. Or simply professional. I crack up when Eric tries to use his status as minister to bypass this request, only to be under the guise of respecting their tenant's wishes. Eric asks to leave a note, so the gullible clerk hands him a pad and pen. When Eric hands the note back, he takes the time to note the room number the clerk writes on it. He and Mrs. Peacock sneak down the hallway. Cause Eric respects no one's personal boundaries.

School. Lucy invites Shelby to dinner on the pretense of studying algebra. Shelby accepts the invite. Lucy's friends are impressed that she's going through with her plan. Mary thinks Lucy is an idiot. Lucy tries to spin it like she's being concerned, but Mary says she's just being catty and nosy. Word Mary.

In the Camden's living room, Simon and Ruthie try to convince Matt that he is shrinking by noting that his feet used to reach the floor when sitting on the couch. Matt is confused, then gets frustrated and leaves. Simon and Ruthie dub themselves geniuses. Next.

Kitchen. Lucy and Mary help Annie with dinner. Lucy asks permission to have her friend over. Simon can't reach the glasses and everyone looks at him like he's weird. Mary gets the glass for him.

Living room. Matt goes back to check the couch cushions. Cause he's stupid. Simon and Ruthie are excited that Matt's mind is almost theirs but that doesn't strike me as much of an accomplishment.

Church. Eric is on the phone explaining that he didn't actually get to see Mrs. Hinkle. He's waiting to see if she responds to his note before they bust in on her. Annie wants to know what the next step is if Mrs. Hinkle doesn't call. Annie, have you met your husband? What does he usually do when someone doesn't want to see him?

Mrs. Peacock pages Eric and convinces him to sneak into Mrs. Hinkle's retirement home with her. It's a pretty easy sell.

At the retirement home, Mrs. Peacock is imagining the worst. They knock on her door. Mrs. Hinkle answers, looking perfectly fine. Mrs Peacock tells her it was a nice try. Mrs. Hinkle invites them in. She gives them very plausible explanations about why she's selling her house, but Mrs. Peacock isn't buying it, thinking that Mrs. Hinkle's kids convinced her to move because they wanted the money. Mrs. Hinkle busts them on breaking in. Mrs. Peacock busts her on not telling them the whole story. They leave.

Night at the Camden's. Lucy is claiming that she doesn't have enough self-discipline to be bulimic. So many things wrong with that statement. Mary agrees with me, offering this gem: "You and this conversation have gone way past annoying and into the land of I'm gonna have to kill you if you don't shut up." Hee. I like old school Mary.

Simon is putting lifts in Ruthie's shoes. To make her look taller compared to him. Cause he's playing mind games with his siblings to figure out why people join suicide cults. Annie comes in and asks what they're doing. They explain the situation. Ruthie is creepy. She pretends it makes sense, but refuses to help. Matt overhears. I anticipate more wacky hijinks.

Mrs. Peacock is still whinging about Mrs. Hinkle's move. Eric is trying to calm her down. He tells Mrs. Peacock they have to butt out. I laugh at the hypocrisy. I also laugh when Mrs. Peacock slams her door in Eric's face. Hee. The show needed more of that in the later seasons.

Morning. Eric is complaining that neither Mrs. Peacock or Mrs. Hinkle will talk to him. Eric says a lot that makes me think, pot meet kettle. Especially when he says that it's not okay for Mrs. Peacock to barge in on Mrs. Hinkle everyday until she gives in. Though Eric plans to do that to Mrs. Peacock. Annie suggests he go by Mrs. Hinkle's open house.

Lucy offers Shelby a snack. Shelby asks where the bathroom is.

Lucy proves that she is being catty and nosy by immediately sharing this information with Mary. Annie overhears and wants to know what they're talking about. So Lucy actually tells her. Annie is pretty pissed at her behavior. She tries to bust on Mary, too, but Mary says that she didn't know how to stop it.

Eric arrives at Mrs. Hinkle's open house. He meets her kids. They give the same spiel about why she moved and seem very supportive. Eric's suspicion has been peaked.

Simon and Ruthie are bowling in the hallway. Mary wanders in and asks what's wrong with his pants. She says maybe his legs are shrinking, and Simon looks nervous. Cause he's stupid.

Eric arrives at Mrs. Peacock's house to discuss his suspicions. Her summary of what he's getting at is awesome: "I'm supposed to interupt my day, tag along with you to barge in on my best friend for another chat, just because you said so. Let me get my bag." More Mrs. Peacock, please.

Simon can't reach his clothes. Matt comes in and overacts like Simon is shorter. He believes that Simon is shrinking down to nothingness. Simon now believes that he is shrinking. Cause he's stupid.

Retirement home. Eric suggests that he and Mrs. Peacock should try to be subtle. She agrees and then verbally runs over Mrs. Hinkle when she answers the door. She explains that, "Subtle never really worked" for her. They bust her on lying about her reasons for moving. Mrs. Hinkle admits that her kids are selfish assholes, and are wanting the money from the house sale, as a n early inheritance.

Mrs. Hinkle decides that she doesn't want to sell her house, and notes that the security at her retirement home sucks. Which it does.

Camden's. Simon is whining to Annie about how he's shrinking into nothingness. She figures out that Matt has done something to convince him that he's shrinking. She makes Matt take him to the doctor. Matt is upset that Annie didn't care that Simon was messing with his mind. Annie says that she doubted that Matt would be stupid enough to fall for Simon's tricks. Apparently she doesn't know her children well at all.

Mrs. Hinkle tells her kids that she's not selling and busts her kids for being assholes. Mrs. Peacock offers her pepperspray. They leave. The ladies decide to go for a drink. Eric offers to drive them. Aw.

Dinner. Simon is not shrinking into nothingness. Yea? Shelby is inhaling her food. She excuses herself. Annie follows her. Mary and Lucy look around awkwardly.

Annie asks Shelby if everything's okay. Shelby reveals that she has to brush her teeth after eating to keep her braces clean. She keeps her tooth brush in her pocket, which just seems unsanitary. Her big secret is that her family doesn't have enough to eat, but she'd rather the girls think she has an eating disorder. But I don't understand how a family that can afford orthodontia can't afford food. Annie offers church assistance which is decent of her.

Lucy has learned her lesson about gossip. Aw

Outside. Simon and Matt explain to Eric what happened with the experiment. Eric busts on Matt for messing with Simon's mind. Matt gets it. Everyone agrees no more mind games. Except for when Simon decides to convince Matt that he's going bald. Matt falls for it. Hee.


I half remember a promo for this episode, claiming that it would show how to talk about suicide cults with your children. Except Eric didn't really do that here. Instead he encouraged his son to play mind games with all his siblings. And that just seems like a terrible way to go about it. Unless Eric was secretly hoping to thin the herd.

Ruthie seemed way to excited at the possibility of controling her siblings minds. Sociopath in training that one.

Lucy, you suck. Shut up.

Eric is the worst minister ever. Like it's any of his business if a parishoner sells her house.

Mrs. Peacock is awesome and needs to be used to make fun of the Camdens at every opportunity.

Up next: Matt runs away from home, and thinks look shaky for Mary and Wilson.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who Knew?

Be warned. What follows contains dramatic over-reactions on the part of the characters. Also, drugs are bad.

High school. Matt's friends invite him to a party, but Matt isn't interested because he's too busy moping about how he misses Heather. Matt's friend is pretty insensitive, but is thoughtful enough to slip Matt a joint to help him manage a weekend at home. Hey, if I lived with Camdens, I'd want to get high. Instead of telling his friend no thanks, Matt nervously put the joint in his front pocket. Oh noes!

The kids arrive home from school. Matt kneels down to talk to Happy, and stupidly drops the joint at her feet. She picks it up in her mouth, probably because she does live with the Camdens and needs something to dull that reality.

In the kitchen, Simon is pestering Annie about wanting Matt to pick him up from school. Ruthie is wearing her pajamas. Annie notices Matt drinking straight out of the carton and gives him a look. Matt inquire about some parent teacher conference at Ruthie's school. Maybe he didn't want to stay home and mope about Heather. Maybe he just wanted to spy on his siblings. He's eating a lot in throughout the scene, so that we think he has the munchies, even though we know he drop the joint.

Ruthie is in trouble because she wore the same outfit to school everyday that week. The teacher thought something was wrong at home. (How right she is!) Annie has apparently decided that Ruthie is old enough to pick out her own clothes. Except she's not because she hasn't changed in a week. Annie talks Simon into teaching Ruthie how to do her own laundry.
Mary and Lucy enter the kitchen. Lucy is dressed like a beatnik. Simon does not approve. Mary's eyes are red and watery. She blames allergies. Annie notes that it's not allergy season. Mary blames Lucy's incense. Annie does not approve.

Mary wants to know if Wilson can come over after dinner. Lucy wants to invite her friend Rod over for dinner. Annie wants the girls to check with their father, whose had a long week. Matt is still eating. Mary and Matt tease Lucy about Rod; Annie connects Lucy's new look to Lucy's new boy.

Eric comes home through the front door to find Happy waiting still holding that joint in her mouth. Apparently she's assimilated into the Camden way of life and is now ratting people out to the good Reverend. She drops the joint at his feet. Eric smells it, looking slightly murderous.

In the kitchen, Annie asks about Matt's plans. He's still eating and he doesn't have plans. Eric enters and takes in the scene. He notices that Mary's eyes are red and Matt and Lucy are inhaling cookies. Mary asks about Wilson; Lucy asks about Rod. Eric is in no mood for guests. They're disappointed and Annie sticks up for them. Eric asks to talk to Annie in another room. Surprisingly no one follows to eavesdrop.

They do speculate about who's in trouble. Matt thinks it's the girls, because of the no guests thing.

Annie is still trying to sell the Reverend on letting the girls hang with their friends at home. Eric dramatically pulls out the joint. Annie is startled. Eric lets her smell it. She quickly agrees that it is pot.

Eric thinks it belongs to Matt. Annie points out that there is no way to prove that. She lists all the reasons it could belong to Mary, Lucy or Simon-- or even one of their friends. Eric is really convinced that it's Matt. Annie warns him about confronting Matt without evidence. Eric decides that he will the girls have their guests, so that he can interregate them. They also decide to talk to their own kids. Eric asks Annie to hang onto the joint, and she nervously slips it into her dresser.

Simon, Ruthie, laundry plot. Blech.

Eric lets the girls know that they can have their boys over. The girls are grateful, until Eric mentions that he wants to talk to the boys. Then they get suspicious. Eric demonstrates a lack of conversation basics when he mentions that he only wants to talk to them until the conversation gets interesting. Maybe he's hoping Wilson will bore him into a stupor.
Mary worries about what Eric is up to, but Lucy is only interested in what she should wear for the evening. She decides to bogart one of Annie's scarves. Mary tries to warn her against going through Annie's stuff. Lucy is undeterred.

The girls raid the drawer and Lucy finds the joint. She and Mary discuss it with the door wide open, so that Matt can see them and realize that he lost his joint. The girls think it belongs to their parents. Well, the reverend is paranoid.

They go back to their room and discuss the situation. Mary thinks it might just be Annie who smokes the weed. Lucy concurs-- basing it on Annie's near constant baking, and unexplained cheeriness. Lucy decides to put the joint back where they found it. I don't know why she brought it with them in the first place.

Matt tries to get a hold of his friends in order to get out of the house. He leaves a message.

Eric finds Simon sitting on the dryer. He's waiting for Ruthie. Laundry blah. Eric nervously works in a discussion about drugs. He uses the gateway argument about pot leading to harder drugs. Simon knows that Drugs are Bad, Mmkay. He doesn't get why anyone would be that stupid. Eric doesn't understand either.

Matt comes into the kitchen just as the phone rings. Lucky, since it's for him. His friends agree to pick him up on their way to the party. Annie is surprised that Matt changed his mind about going out. She says his friends are thoughtful, but her face suggests that she's afraid that they will be participating in ritual sacrifice.

Lucy and Eric talk in the family room. Lucy has on way too much blue eye shadow. Eric does not approve. He quizzes her about Rod. Lucy asks if everything is okay between him and Annie. Mary wanders by, so Eric can talk to the dynamic duo together.

He begins by asking if they know where all the matches went. Lucy thinks he should asks mom, Mary punches her. Lucy tries to cover by saying that Annie tends to know where things are in the house. He launches into a lecture about open communication, and that he understands kids make mistakes. He asks if they have anything they want to talk about. Mary jumps into asks if he could stop checking up on her and Wilson. Lucy agrees. They want more trust. They also suggest that he might want to spend more time with Annie.

Simon. Ruthie. Laundry. Blah. Except that Simon uses Annie's bra to measure out the laundry soap. He is clear that one doesn't get enough soap if one uses Lucy's or Mary's bra. Ew!

The doorbell rings and we get our first look at Rod. He hasn't taken off his helmet yet, but he is wearing a Rastafarian t-shirt. When he does take off his helmet, we see that he has shoulder-length hair and the beginnings of a mustache. Hee. Simon, Matt and Mary are amused. The parents are horrified. The kids go out to see Rod's Mo-ped.

Eric goes into the kitchen to see if Matt knows anything about Rod. Cause seniors pay attention to freshmen. Matt is eating again. Eric wants to know why kids think Rastafarians are cool. He brings up the pot. Matt points out that Rod is probably not a real Rastafarian, but Eric is more concerned about the pot. He asks Matt for ideas about how to find out. Annie interrupts that she needs to talk to Eric for moment, and Matt hightails it out of the kitchen.

Eric is still convinced that the pot belongs to Matt. Annie dramatically says that she has something to tell him before this goes any further. Eric is still rambling about Matt. She gets his attention by confessing that she did some experimenting the summer before she went to college. Now that she has his full attention, she tells him that she's smoked pot. She looks really worried about how he will react to this. He looks like she just told him the truth about the identity of Ruthie's father.

Annie is shooting Eric death glares as they clean up after dinner. Mary wants to save a plate for Wilson. Lucy apologizes that she didn't know Rod was a vegetarian. Eric makes fun of this. Annie asks if he wants to talk about her revelation. Eric wants to know how she can drop a bomb like that and then serve dinner to everybody. I want to know too. Why not just tell him after dinner?

Annie points out that it was a long time ago, and that the longer she and Eric were together, the less she wanted to bring it up. Eric wishes she had, because then he would have married someone who was untainted by the marijuana. Okay, he doesn't say that but it's implied. Annie is surprised that Eric was never interested. She tells him that after they found the joint, not telling him began to feel dishonest. Annie, the word you are looking for is hypocritical.

Eric snarks that he's glad she finally told him, but he wants to focus on the kids at the moment. Annie mentions that Matt is going out, and Eric is quick to disabuse her of the notion. She points out that Matt is nearly 18, and that they can't make his decisions for him. Eric thinks they can, cause he's creepy and controlling like that.

Matt is calling his friends. He wants to know why they haven't picked him up yet.

Simon. Ruthie. Laundry. All the clothes are pink. Anyone care? Thought so.

Rev. Camden is wondering what happened to Jimmy Moon, because Jimmy Moon could be trusted. To that I say, shut up, Reverend. Mary and Wilson come in, laughing about Rod. Eric asks them if they think Rod's on drugs. Wilson reveals that his dad regularly tests him for drugs. Don't give the Reverend ideas, Wilson. Mary can't believe that his parents don't trust him. Wilson brings up his son as evidence of why he can't be trusted. Cause Wilson has a kid, in case you didn't know.

Mary hauls Wilson out of the kitchen to bitch him out for planting the idea of drug testing in her father's head. Word, Mary.

Annie goes out to the basketball hoop to talk to Matt. She tells him about her drug history. In a lot more detail than she told her husband. She and her friend Rachel spent the summer getting high in Rachel's boyfriend's basement. One night the boyfriend drove home, and had a terrible car accident. Because pot leads to death. Annie still feels responsible for his death. Aww, I feel bad for her. She parlays her tale into a lecture about how Matt shouldn't do drugs. She says she's not trying to accuse him, but Matt rightly thinks she judges him guilty.

In the living room, Rod and Lucy seem to be having a staring contest with Wilson and Mary. Wilson tries to make conversation, but Rod is more into short answers. He's actually kinda entertaining, but he seems kinda stoned. Eric wanders in and kicks the boys out of his house. Wilson offers Rod a ride home.

Eric stops Rod before he leaves to ask him if he smokes pot. Rod answers in the negative, saying that he hears it lowers your sperm count. Hee. The Reverend doesn't know whether to be disgusted or relieved.

Eric decides to call a family meeting. Except he sends Ruthie upstairs. Because of the topic or because she's not really family? You decide.
Everyone else gathers in the living room. Eric announces that he found a joint in the house and threatens to drug test all his kids (Dammit Wilson!) unless the guilty party confesses. Mary and Lucy rat out Annie. They don't think it's their business if the parents are smoking pot. Mary is relieved, but tries to backpedal, claiming that they didn't think Annie was a stoner. Except for the part where they totally did.

Simon wants to know who the joint belongs to. Matt owns up. Simon is distraught. Eric sends the other kids upstairs. Eric lays into Matt and says that the look he saw on Simon's face is the look of a kid who lost complete respect for his older brother. Eric also asks if this is why Matt can't keep a job. And asks how Matt could be so stupid. So much yelling. The other kids are listening from the stairs. Matt suggests that Eric ask Annie, so now the whole family knows Annie's dark secret.

Matt leaves with his friends as Eric yells at him to stay and apologize to Annie. The kids sneak back upstairs before anyone finds them snooping. Eric leans against the front door and actually drops a "Damn it." Shocking!
In the kitchen, Eric is berating Annie for telling Matt about her past. Annie thought he understood that she was going to tell him. Eric points out that they don't share their sexual history with them. Wait, the Camdens have a sexual history that was not wedding night? Why else wouldn't they share?

Annie defends herself, saying she wanted to reach out to Matt. She apologizes about the way it turned out. Eric sits at the table and doesn't say anything.

Simon glares at the ceiling in his bedroom. Ruthie asks what's going on. Simon thinks Matt is a loser. He's right, but for the wrong reasons.
Elsewhere, Matt decides he's tired of his friends. He takes off walking.
Annie and Eric have moved into the living room to PSA some more about drugs. She keeps dwelling on what a big deal it is that she smoked pot one summer 20 years ago. Actually, that doesn't seem like a big deal. Annie confesses that she's worried about whether Eric is disappointed in her. Eric apologizes for his reaction. And worries that he and Matt will never trust each other again. They decide to go for a drive.

Mary and Lucy are discussing the situation upstairs. They note that Matt doesn't hang with the druggies at school. Lucy is worried that Matt might be into other drugs. Mary hopes that he isn't. Lucy asks if Mary ever tried it. Mary hasn't. Neither has Lucy. They worry about whether or not Matt and the parents can make up. Mary notes that it's one of the mistakes that you can't back. Unless you're a Camden because...

Eric and Annie end up at the church. Where they happen upon Matt praying out loud. In tears. About how he never smoked pot and how he's worried about how his parents will ever trust him again. He then hears them and asks what they are doing there. They followed your tracking device. Not really. Annie says that they are trying to find away to get their son back. Everyone makes up. And everyone's crying. Aww.


Rod's random sarcasm is an excellent improvement over Jimmy Moon.

There should be a drinking game around how often Wilson mentions that he's a Teen Father.

I've never seen a family with less faith in each other.

Okay, so Matt, if you weren't gonna smoke it, why not just flush or throw it away? You know how nosy your family is.

Also, Eric, I get the feeling that if Annie had told you this while you were dating, you wouldn't have married her. True?

Also, Simon, shut up. And stop using your mom's bra to do laundry. That's why laundry detergent comes with a measuring cup.

I recently acquired the first two seasons of Blossom and there is an episode with very similar plotting and resolution (minus the praying and laundry) written by none other than Brenda Hampton...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Love You

We open with Lucy and Annie whining about a project that Lucy has to do for school. It basically involves going to the grocery store and pretending to plan a week of meals. Annie is insisting that Lucy make a list and use fakes coupons for her fake shopping. I suggest that Lucy fake the project to avoid any further discussion. Lucy whines some more instead. Annie is annoyed because she hates to take any of her family with her to the grocery store. Probably because it's her only chance to get away from her family.

Lucy yells a bit, and Annie draws Lucy into a hug and apologizes for being cranky. I'm shocked because Annie hardly ever apologize for her mood swings. But then she creepily chides Lucy for her tone of voice, and all is right with my world. She also drops the first "I love you" of the episode. Let the drinking game begin. Lucy loves her too.

Matt sits in the den, writing a letter. He stupidly wanders out of the room, leaving it on the desk for Simon and Ruthie to read. They pop out from behind a couch, having waited for Matt to finish his letter. Stalking behavior begins early in the Camden family. Simon reads it, mocking Matt's boringness. Ruthie is too young to know Matt is boring and wants Simon to read the whole letter. Simon gets super excited when he notices that Matt signed... "I love you" instead of "love". Mary wanders in to bust them. She tells them that the letter is private and that they shouldn't be reading it. Simon tries to appeal to her Camden genes by offering to let her read the letter. Because Mary is sometimes cool, she declines. But Simon does tell her about the "I love you" causing her to wonder why Wilson hasn't told her that he loves her yet. Cue the wacky plan.

Annie and Lucy are still trying to do Lucy's homework in the kitchen, even though the assignment was to go to the grocery store. Mary wanders down the stairs on her injured knee to ask Annie about her courtship with Eric. Specifically how long it took him to tell her he loved her. She's surprised to hear that Annie is taking Lucy to the store. Annie tells her it took Eric a year. Eric, coming home in the middle of the conversation, tells her he waited until they were married, cause that's healthy. Mary is not amused.

Matt sees Simon and Ruthie still reading his letter. Instead of busting them, he makes a thinking face. Cue the wacky plan.

At the store, Annie doesn't bother to put her produce in bags. That's gonna be fun for the poor clerk to ring up. She suggests that Lucy plan her meals for the whole month, buy in bulk and save money, in order to prepare meals. I don't think I've ever seen Annie do such a thing for her large family. Lucy is unexcited by this, giving Annie a chance to explain how much she loves planning meals for her family, as a spiritual nourishing endeavor. She waxes poetically about the first meal she ever prepared for Eric, and how much she enjoys when he enjoys her cooking. Annie is not a bored housewife. Lucy wants to know what they did after dinner. She looks disappointed when Annie doesn't tell her about the sex.
Annie continues talking about the zen of grocery shopping. Wow.

The two wander into an aisle where a mother is berating her daughter for not doing her homework before she got home. Lucy wisely suggests that they leave, so as not to further embarrass her classmate, Laurie, but Annie decides to butt in. Lucy introduces Annie as her mom, but Laurie's mom rants about how she's a busy woman, what with her working to support her daughter and all. Annie makes one of her many disapproval faces. Annie offers to let Laurie tag along with them. Laurie's mom takes her up on the offer because bad moms don't like grocery shopping and do let their children go off with adults they just met.

Laurie promises not to hold them up, and Lucy, proving that she's already on the way to becoming her mother, tells her they are enjoying the experience. I'm not sure why Lucy has groceries in her cart if they are not actually expected to buy anything.

Back at the house, Ruthie sees Matt writing another letter. Matt sees her watching. She goes to get Simon, who is starting to worry about getting caught. Ruthie pouts, and Simon eventually gives in.

Mary is on the phone with Wilson, trying to arrange a date so that they can talk. Wilson tries to figure out what she wants to talk about, but she wants to talk in person. Wilson gets off the phone when his son drops dinner on the floor. He notes that nothing good ever started with "we need to talk". Then he tells his son that he loves him. His son cannot talk to return the sentiment.

Matt finishes his letter and answers the ringing phone. His friend needs a lift to get his car from a mechanic. Eric wanders by in time for Matt to ask for permission. Eric assents, but when Matt gets off the phone, he mentions that it's a two-hour drive. Eric chides him for not telling him that when Matt asked for permission. Matt takes off, before Eric makes him call his friend to get another ride. He also gives Matt $20. Because the plot requires Matt to be unreachable for several hours.

Eric sits at the desk, and finds Matt's letter. He then reads Matt's letter, which begins with "Dear Mrs. Matt Camden. " He makes a concerned face. Simon and Ruthie overhear him read the letter. Cue the wacky misunderstanding.

Eric paces with the letter in the kitchen. Annie comes home and Eric demands to know where they were. Laurie apologizes, assuming that everything is her fault. Lucy and Laurie head off to Lucy's room to finish their homework. Eric and Annie both start venting at the same time. Annie because she's upset at the way Laurie's mom treated her; Eric because he's upset that Matt is married. Annie wants to know more about the letter. He convinces her to read the letter. The letter is all about their "secret marriage". Annie and Eric are stunned.

Upstairs, Mary is explaining why she's upset that Matt told Heather that he loves her, but Wilson hasn't said it to Mary yet. Lucy condenses this saga for Laurie. She also manages to whine about how her life sucks. Mary is coming up with a plan to force Wilson to say that he loves her, even though she admits that she's not sure she loves him yet. When Lucy is the voice of reason in the room, you know things will end badly. They role-play a bit, with much giggling.

Simon and Ruthie discuss Matt's marriage. It's as interesting as it sounds.

Eric and Annie continue to worry about Matt's marriage, while making dinner. It's as interesting as it sounds. They wonder if Heather's mother knows, and decide to have her over for dessert. She conviently calls just as they're deciding this. They neglect to mention their alterior motives.

Lucy pops in to ask if Laurie can stay over, making me think this is a Friday night and wondering why Laurie couldn't have done her homework later in the weekend. But then we wouldn't have this sub-plot. Eric volunteers to go to her house and get some things for her after dinner. This give Annie a chance to ask him to spy on Laurie's family. Because based on part of one conversation, she knows that Laurie's mom's a raging bitch. Eric promises to try, but doubts his detective skills, because of Matt's marriage.

Night. Wilson is waiting for Mary. He mentions to Eric that Mary needs to talk. Eric is clueless as to the subject. Mary is overdressed for the poolhall. Wilson is nervous.

Annie brings Simon and Ruthie dessert so that they don't interrupt Heather's mom's visit. Ruthie wants to sneak down and listen. Simon is easily swayed.

Annie brings dessert to Lucy and Laurie. Laurie is polite. Annie teases them about not doing their homework, and Laurie stutters that they'll get back to it. Annie leaves, and Laurie asks Lucy if anyone's ever told her that they loved her. Lucy says not really, but does manage to bring up Jimmy Moon. URG! Laurie has never had a boyfriend, and uses this to segway into complaints about her home life.

Eric arrives at Laurie's house. Laurie's mom starts to explain about what happened at the store, but before she can get very her far, her mother comes along and berates her for opening the door to a stranger. And for letting Laurie stay the night with people she's never met. I know we're supposed to dislike her, but I think she's got some points. She delights me by rolling her eyes when Eric tries to assure it's all good because he's minister.

Mary and Wilson eat at the pool hall. She keeps hinting about the "I love you" thing. He tries to deflect it. Mary launches into a speech about how long they've been dating. Wilson tells her that he cares about her, but doesn't drop the L-word. Mary brings up Matt and Heather. Wilson is happy for them, but still doesn't drop the L-word.

Camden kitchen. Eric is ranting about how Laurie's grandmother treated Laurie's mother. Except I still think she was right about not letting Laurie stay with strangers. Blah, blah, blah, cycle of abuse. If we would ever see Laurie again or had seen her before, I might feel like caring.
Simon escorts Heather's mom into the kitchen. It's as interesting as it sounds.

They have coffee and dessert in the kitchen. They trade polite statements about how good Matt and Heather are for each other. Heather's mom gets that the Camdens have an agenda, and they drop the marriage bomb on her. She is shocked. Simon and Ruthie are eavesdropping at the top of the stairs.

Annie goes upstairs to check on the kids. She tells Simon and Ruthie to get to bed and kisses them good night. She tells them that she loves them. Simon and Ruthie decide to spy some more.

Annie goes to tell Lucy and Laurie good night. They are dancing in Lucy's
room. As Annie enters, Laurie apologizes and turns off the music. Annie assures her that she everything's fine. Lucy says that they are waiting to ask Mary about her date. Annie hugs Lucy good night and tells her that she loves her. She also hugs Laurie and tells her that she loves her. Which would freak me out if I was staying at friends house for the first time and had met her mother that day.

Laurie, however, tears up because Annie is the only person in the world whose ever told Laurie "I love you." Cause Laurie's mom sucks that much. They get distracted by Simon and Ruthie sneaking out of their room. Simon spills the beans on Matt's marriage. Lucy feels left out and everyone heads down to spy together.

Pool hall. Mary finally comes out and tells Wilson that she loves him. Wilson thanks her. This pisses her off greatly. He explains that he's not ready to say it. He talks a bit about commitment and his dead wife. Then his beeper goes off. He leaves to call home, so Matt can show up and fix Mary's life for her.

Wilson comes back and says that his son has a fever. Matt agrees to take Mary home, and Wilson promises to call her the next day. She's pleased that she hasn't ruined the relationship.

Matt and Mary discuss snooping and I love yous. It's as interesting as it sounds. He does start to tell about his marriage joke.

The adults sit awkwardly in the Camden's living room. The moms have moved from polite compliments to blaming the other's child for the situation. I'm not sure why no one's thought to contact Heather. Matt and Mary come home and the rents send Mary upstairs.

Eric confronts Matt about the letter. Matt calls Eric on his snooping, and then tells them that it was all a joke. The kids are all listening on the stairs. They all go to bed except Mary, because she's the only Camden left to snoop in the episode. Apologies all round.

The Camdens ask whether Matt is actually thinking about marriage. He tells them that he's not ready. Mary calls him on the fact that he gave her a different answer to that question earlier. Their parents obviously overhear, decide to talk with him the next day, and exchange I love yous.

Morning. Eric is hypocritically lecturing Simon and Ruthie about invading someone's privacy. They get to do all Matt's chores for the weekend. Which means it is Saturday, so I don't understand the urgency about Laurie's homework.

Eric and Matt discuss what Matt told Mary. Matt tells Eric that he will discuss it if it ever becomes a real possibility.

Laurie is ready to head home. Matt offers to drive her, but Eric insists on driving. Matt wants to know what's wrong with Laurie. He deduced that she has a problem because Eric is driving her home. Lucy tells him abut Laurie's mom. Matt tells Lucy that he loves her. Ruthie overhears and is jealous. She is not placated when Simon tells her that he loves her.

In the kitchen, Mary is not eating her blueberry pancakes. Which concerns Annie because of her zen grocery thing. They discuss the situation with Wilson. It's as interesting as it sounds.

Outside Laurie's house. Laurie spills her guts to the good reverend. She wants to tell her mom she loves her, but is worried about whether her mom will say it back. Eric haltingly gives her advice. Eric seems to be tearing up through the whole exchange. Weird.

They walk to the door. The grandmother is still awesomely rude to Eric. He points out that Laurie is safe and sound but the grandmother is skeptical. Because she lives in the real world.

Laurie's mom thanks the reverend. Laurie plucks up the guts to tell her mom that she loves her. And, lo and behold, her mother says it back. Eric watches from his van, near tears, like the creepy stalker he is.


I'm torn about Laurie's mom. Because I know I'm supposed to hate her because she was angrily lecturing her daughter in public, but I really hate her because she thinks nothing of sending her 14-year-old daughter off with complete strangers for a whole evening.

I know I'm supposed to disapprove of the grandmother, but everything that comes out of her mouth is awesomely true.

So much could have been resolved with the Matt/Heather marriage subplot if any of the adults had used their heads for one second. 17-year-olds still need parental permission to marry.

Also, why contact Heather's mom before you talk to Matt?

So much snooping.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

See You In September

We open with Eric and Annie excited that all of the kids will be in school all day. Eric has promised to take the day off and spend the whole day with Annie. He promises that there will be no emergency interruptions, thus ensuring that he will be called away for some reason. Annie is positively giddy at the thought of an empty house.

Lucy stomps in, freaking out about her first day of high school. Eric tries to distract her, but she snaps that he's not helpful. He then makes the mistake of asking her to tell him why she's so scared of high school. She starts with being afraid that she won't be able to open her locker. As though lockers are more difficult to manage in high school. Eric tries to make her feel better by reminding her she has his lucky lock. This fails to comfort Lucy. Then she freaks out about running into Jimmy Moon and Ashley. Ugh. Seriously, Lucy, it's time to move on.

Mary is asking Ruthie if she's nervous about her first day of school. Except it's not her first day of school as indicated (here). Ruthie is afraid of snakes in the toilet. Something Simon told her about. This really shouldn't be a problem because she's been in school for months at this point. Mary tells her it's not true, and convinces her not to let anyone scare her about school.
Matt comes in and asks Mary if she's feeling weird about not being on the basketball team. She says she's fine, but she's pretty defensive about it. Matt offers to show some new kid around for Mary, but even Mary knows that she has no choice if RevCamden asks you to do a favor. She limps out of the room.

Simon comes into the kitchen. He finds some leftover chicken in the fridge and decides to add it to his lunch. I'm sad to say that this will be important later. He's optimistic about starting middle school. Lucy tries to scare him about it, but he's not phased by her pessimism. He and his friend Nigel are planning to stick together. He compares it to the buddy system, but seems to think that it's meant to drag someone down with you instead of keeping everyone safe. Eric tries to correct this, but Lucy agrees with Simon. Going so far as to declare, "Life is Hell." She quickly amends it to heck when Eric shoots her a death glare.

Matt, Mary, and Ruthie come into the kitchen. Eric thinks Matt is borrowing his jacket, but it's apparently a jacket of Matt's that Eric likes to borrow. Matt offers to go change, but Eric allows him to wear his own jacket to school. I'm sorry to say that this will be important later.

Everyone leaves for school. The parents are visibly excited to have their kids out of the house all day. As Annie asks Ruthie if she wants Mommy to take her to school, she turns the baseball hat Ruthie is wearing around so that it's backwards. I'm sorry to say that this will be important later.

The Camdens toast their child-free day with orange juice. Credits.

Eric is reading the paper, when Annie comes in to announce that she's taking a long bath. She promises to be back. Their both overjoyed to have no kids in the house. Annie hopes the kids are okay, and Eric is sure their fine.

Ruthie's class. Her teacher calls her Ruth, which she doesn't appreciate. The teacher also removes her hat, because backwards caps are considered gang paraphenelia. Ruthie argues that it's not a gang hat, but the teacher is firm. Ruthie gets up to tell Lynn that the teacher thinks she's in a gang and the girls giggle at the thought. The teacher is not amused.

Simon's school. Simon and Nigel are trying to find their classes. A big kid orders them to move. SImon calls him a jerk, which the kid calls him on. Simon tries to wiggle out of it, but the kid doesn't seem to be buying it. Simon and Nigel agree to save each other seats at lunch. They seem worried about the rest of the day.

High school. Lucy can't open her locker. Eric's lucky lock is apparently broken. Jimmy Moon and his girlfriend ask if she's having trouble. Jimmy Moon's girlfriend has the locker next to Lucy's. Lucy tries to pretend she's cool with that, but clearly she's rattled. Jimmy notes that she looks ill.

Mary is showing a new boy around. The new kid won't stop talking about basketball and her injured knee. Mary is visibly annoyed. They bump into Lucy and Mary makes the mistake of asking how she's doing. Lucy tells Mary that God hates her and storms off. The new boy tries to hit on her, but Matt interrupts to ask what's wrong with Lucy. Mary quotes Lucy to him and Matt notes that God has hated Lucy for 13 years. Heh. Mary tells the new boy about Wilson, but the guy thinks he's got a shot because Wilson goes to another school. Mary thinks she can ditch him when she gets to her class, but the boy has that class too.

Matt arrives late to his English class. He's surprised to see that Ms. Peabody is not teaching the class. He asks the teacher a bunch of questions that the teacher doesn't appreciate. He orders Matt to take a seat. Then he does that thing where he has everyone look at the people sitting next to them, and promises that he's going to fail most of the class, thus preventing their graduation. Do people really do that? Matt looks terrified.

Back at the Camdens, Annie is watching a movie that Eric slept through. She's folding laundry. They start to head upstairs, when the phone rings. Annie answers the phone and quickly hands it to Eric, telling him that whatever the problem is she's going with him. It's Sargent Michaels, calling with a problem on the powers of RevCamden can solve. He wants the Reverend to help him talk a jumper down.

High school. Lucy still can't open her locker. One of Matt's friends comes up to share some gossip. A kid in her class is threatening to jump off the roof of his apartment building. He's trying to do her a favor by including her. Jimmy and his girlfriend drop by. Lucy tries to share the gossip, but they already know about it. She heads to her class, but Matt stops her to tell her about the jumper. She snaps at him that she already knows.

They see that Mary is still showing the new kid around. He still needling her about basketball in an effort to ask her out. Matt notes that she looks like she's not having fun. Lucy snaps at him a bit more. He asks her why she's carrying so many books, giving her the opportunity to rant about her locker.
Matt offers to try, but since Jimmy and Ashley are kissing right there, Lucy turns him down. The bell rings and Matt's English teacher wanders by to give him crap about being tardy.

On the roof. Mark from Home Improvement is sitting, looking pensive. Below, his mother is trying to make sense of the situation. She's really defensive about her parenting. She reveals that they argued about his clothes and other things that morning. Annie tries to be sympathetic, but you can tell she's judging. Mark stands up, sees the commotion below, and mutters "Oh, no," before the scene ends.

Middle School. Nigel tells Simon some gossip about the jumper situation. I am shocked at how quickly news spreads in Glen Oak. Nigel wants to check it out at lunch, but Simon points out they have no ride. The bell rings, and Simon finds himself alone in the hallway. He runs off to class.

Ruthie's class. It's storytime. Ruthie takes this to mean that she can put her hat back on. She gets in trouble again. The teacher threatens her with a time out. The teacher invites the kids to ask questions before they begin, so of course, Ruthie asks if any of her classmates are gangmembers. The teacher insists that the rules are the same for everyone. Another kid starts talking about the jumper. The teacher turns it into a brief lesson on calling the cops in an emergency. The kids thinks the cops were going to call in a super hero. The teacher seems annoyed by the turn in conversation, but since she asked if they had questions, she has only herself to blame.

Rooftop. Mark's mother announces she's going up. Eric tries to talk her out of it. His mother thinks he's not suicidal, but that he's just trying to make a point. She starts yelling at him to come down immediately. Mark shouts down at Eric not to let his mom come up.

Annie suggests that Mark's mother take a walk with her. This gives Eric a chance to talk to Mark without interference. Mark just wants to be left alone. Eric and Sargent Michael's plot to get closer to Mark. Eric tells Mark that he's coming up. Mark tells him not to, and Eric agrees to wait until Mark is ready.

Ruthie's class. The teacher is just finishing the story. She announces that it's time for recess, and every kid in the class gets up and puts on a backwards baseball cap. Only Ruthie gets a time out though. Ruthie's friend asks for a time out too. The teacher gives her permission.

Middle school. Simon and Nigel are eating lunch. The big kid from earlier hassles them about sitting at his table. Simon offers to share his lunch, thus placating the bully. Simon starts to use a butterknife to cut his chicken in half, and is immediately busted. A lunch aide sends him to the principal's office. The bully explains to Nigel that Simon had a weapon, and then proceeds to eat Simon's lunch.

High school. The new boy is still following Mary around. She's finally had enough, and heads for the ladies' room. She finds Lucy with her giant stack of books. Lucy vents about her locker, and complains about how carrying all her books is starting to hurt her arms. Mary offers to let Lucy put her books in Mary's locker and tells her that she has some aspirin.

The new boy is waiting for them, and asks if they're done putting on their faces. The guy continues to be skeevy, and Mary finally ends the tour. She then gives Lucy a couple aspirin, which Lucy takes at a nearby water fountain. This catches the eye of the principal and both girls are sent to the office. Upon noticing that Jimmy and his girlfriend witnessed this, Lucy threatens to puke. Mary just rolls her eyes.

Matt and his friend are complaining about their new English teacher. The teacher's name is Koper. As they're whining, Koper wonders up behind them. Clearly overhearing their conversation. Before Matt can make excuses, a beeper goes off. This gives Koper the chance to bust him for carrying drug paraphenelia. Koper clearly takes a lot of pleasure in sending Matt to the principal's office.

Annie and Mark's mother are still on their walk. The mother is giving her whole backstory about how hard it is to raise a kid on her own, and how useless Mark's father was. Annie tries to be sympathetic. She fails. Mark's mother decides that she's had enough and is going up to talk to her son. Annie tries to talk her out of it, but Mark's mother is having none of her advice. She resents it when people in authority try to tell her what to do with her own child.

Annie rushes up to tell her husband that she lost Mark's mom. They see her on the roof and all start running. Mark is upset that his mom didn't listen to him. She tells him that she's the mom, and she's not about to start taking orders from her teen-aged son. She tells him that it's time to get to school, and that they will talk about this when she gets off work. Mark doesn't see the point since his mom doesn't listen to him. Then he starts complaining about his pants and how they're the wrong brand. And that he can't wear them to school. His mother fails to understand what is wrong with the pants. They are then joined by Eric, Annie and Sargent Michaels.

Mark confesses that he wasn't going to jump. He just wanted to be heard. And he doesn't want to go to school because nobody understands how hard it is to go to school. He begs his mom not to make him go and sits down. Eric goes to sit next to him and offer a condescending shoulder pat that Elizabeth Wakefield can only aspire to.

Ruthie's school. Ruthie and Lynn are trying to flush her hat down the toilet. The teacher catches them. They explain that they thought flushing would get the hat out of the toilet. The teacher agrees to help if Ruthie promises not to wear it to school anymore. Ruthie agrees and convinces the teacher to let her go by "Ruthie" instead of "Ruth." Lynn notes that Ruthie's never wearing a hat that's been in the toilet. Ruthie agrees and plans to give it Simon.

Rooftop. Eric and Mark are talking about the situation. Mark tells him that he just came up to the roof to ditch because he hates his clothes so much. Eric doesn't understand what's wrong with the clothes. I'm not sure either, except that the white t-shirt with jeans are a little boring. And the pants seem too big, but that was the style in 1997. Apparently, Mark is very brand conscious. Eric pretends to understand. At this point Mark's mom decides that she wants to understand. She tries to give him a pep talk about how bright he is, but Mark notes that makes him a geek. He blames her for his geekiness. Mom tries to rope the Reverend into telling Mark that he's not a geek. The Reverend dodges the question, leading Mark's mother to admonish him for letting what the other kids say get to him. None of this is helpful to Mark, but Eric makes a couple snarky comments. Eventually they come to an understanding.

Middle school. Simon tells the bully that he got suspended. He's worried about getting in trouble until he remembers that Annie put the knife in his lunch box. Nigel asks why the school couldn't get ahold of Eric. Simon's not sure, claiming they've beeped him about 50 times.

Cut to the high school where Eric's beeper continues to incriminate Matt. The principal's understanding, but says she has to apply the same rules to everyone.
Mary and Lucy are waiting in the outer office. Koper introduces himself as the new assistent basketball coach. He offers to help her with her rehabilitation. She's really excited. He then gives Matt an assignment to work on during his suspension. He then tells Matt that he has some talent as a writer. The principal gives each of the Camdens a one day suspension. She also gives Lucy a new lock. And tells her a story about how Jimmy's girlfriend flashed the cafeteria in Pocahontas underwear. Because this principal totally plays favorites where the Camdens are concerned.

Eric and Annie start heading home. He exposits that Mark and his mother will be coming in for weekly counciling with him. They note that they're lucky to have such great kids and smugly suggest that their doing a good job raising them. Sargent Michaels interrupts this to let them know that the schools have been trying to reach them for awhile now.

Night at the Camdens. The kids are blaming their parents for their various suspensions. Which, in these cases, is acurate. Ruthie does give Simon her hat and giggles when he puts it on. Ew. I hope it got washed first.
The kids bring up the jumper. They accurately think he was up there because he didn't want to go to school. Eric tells them a crazy story involving burglars. I can't believe that any of the kids buy it. Though Matt sees it for the ploy it is. Eric asks him to spread it around anyway.

The episode ends with the parents counting down the hours until the suspensions are over.


I guess the writers are against zero-tolerance policies.

It seems funny that beepers were once considered drug paraphenalia in light of all the communication devises that kids have now.

Principal Russell is way too open about her favoritism toward the Camdens.

Mr. Koper is such a character of a tough teacher. Who really tells a class that half of them won't pass?

The plot surrounding the jumper was really uneven. The mom was clearly over-bearing and unsympathetic. And she didn't seem to get the seriousness of the situation. But the kid caused a public commotion because he didn't like his jeans, so it's hard to take him very seriously.

I can't believe the speed of gossip in this town.

Lucy it is well past time for you to be over Jimmy Moon. Please never mention him again.

I will try to post more frequently. There's just a lot to do at work right now.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't Take My Love Away

We open at the church. Eric is interrupted from typing by a parishoner. They make small talk so that he can reveal he doesn't have a car today. The parishoner, Nora, wants to talk about her wedding anniversary, but Eric makes it all about him by mentioning that his wedding anniversary is the same day. I hope he feels like a jerk when Nora reminds him that her husband was murdered during a gas station hold up three years prior. A situation that the caring Reverend apparently blocked from his mind. Cause he's that awesome of a pastor. Nora wants to see the boy who killed her husband, but the boy refuses. She wants Eric to get her a visit. 'Cause he's just that connected. He says he'll do his best. Nora leaves, nicely wishing him a happy anniversary. Eric looks at a picture of him and Annie, then frantically calls home, demanding that Annie not go anywhere. Annie is confused.

Simon takes this info and runs upstairs to tell all his siblings. They all hurry downstairs, as we cut to scenes of Eric running home. Matt even gets off the phone with Heather's mom to hear whatever the news might be firsthand. Eric busts into the kitchen, gets down on his knees and asks Annie to marry him, even though they're already married. She looks ecstatic, but the kids just look confused.

Night at the CamMansion. Annie is nervous about putting on a wedding in a couple days. It is revealed that they're first wedding fell apart. Eric promises to take care of everything, and that Annie just has to show up. He's hoping she can wear some "hippy-dippy" dress that she wore to their actual wedding. Annie reminises about how she wanted to wear her mom's dress at their wedding, but Eric's mom wanted her to wear the dress Ruth wore. One of the many things that caused them to basically elope. Annie agrees to wear the "hippy-dippy" dress.

Simon interrupts his parents snogging. He has to whine at them a couple times to get their attention. He's worried about whether she'll have finished the attic before school starts, as he is eager to stop sharing a room with Ruthie. Ruthie is not as thrilled to have her own room.

She announces that she may not make it to the wedding, blaming her other siblings' lack of interest and unwillingness to give up the last weekend of the summer. Eric tells her they all have to go. Annie pretends to be the voice of reason, wondering if they're crazy for having a second wedding. Eric agrees, but wants to go through with it anyway.

Annie changes the subject to Nora and whether Eric thinks he can get her a visit with the kid who killed her husband. Eric thinks he can because he found out the kid misses fastfood. Annie calls him out on the obvious bribery, but Eric says that since the kid's already a killer, there's no way for a pastor to corrupt him. Annie gives him a look, and he admits it's a small sin for a good cause. Yea, situational ethics!

Pool hall. Matt is inviting Heather to his parents' wedding ceremony. She agrees to go. They get all sappy and kissy.

Wilson is walking Mary and her crutches to her door. He wants to know what's up with her bad mood. He thinks he knows why she's in a bad mood, but she's not admiting that she's upset. He encourages her to talk to somebody. They kiss goodnight.

Lucy is staring at a picture of Jimmy Moon and crying. Aw, I thought we'd gotten rid of him. She decides to call him, but gets his machine, which includes a helpful suggestion to try him at his new girlfriend's number. Lucy flops down on her bed to cry some more. Come on Lucy, you've had months to move on. He's not worth it.

Lucy pretends to be sleeping when Mary comes in. Mary calls her out on the lying and chastises her for crying over Jimmy Moon all summer. She tells her to get over it. They fight about Jimmy and whether Mary is in a bad mood. Mary is in a bad mood, but she's right about Lucy's wallowing.

Annie is painting the attic. Simon and Ruthie wander in so that Simon can plan out how his new room will look and Ruthie can be annoyed by it. Annie informs Simon that he and Matt will be picking out tuxedos the next day. Simon is less than thrilled. Annie tells him she's always dreamed of having a big wedding, complete with her two sons waiting at the end of the aisle. Simon thinks this is weird. Word, Simon.

Ruthie wants a tuxedo. Annie offers to make her a dress in less than a week, but she would prefer the tuxedo. Annie agrees to think about it.

Eric is on the phone with Annie's dad. Whispering. Annie wanders in and puts paint brushes in the freezer, because she's going to use them the next day. She says it's an old painters' trick, but I'm not sure I believe her. After she leaves, Eric asks Grandpa to send Grandma's wedding dress if there's time.
Matt and Heather are macking in his station wagon. He's upset that she's going back to school in Pennsylvania. A knock on the car hood interrupts. Heather rushes out to give the guy knocking a giant hug. Matt looks sad.

Morning at the CamMansion. Wilson is waiting in the living room. Lucy greets him. She lets something slip about the wedding. Mary follows her into the room and hits Lucy with one of her crutches. Wilson wants to take Mary to the pool for some rehab exercises, and wants to know about the wedding. She tells him about the wedding, but snits that she never agreed to go to the pool. He hassles her about how he thinks she's ready to give up the crutches. Mary seems less sure, and is pretty crabby about it. Wilson wants to know if he's invited to the wedding. Mary gives him a non-answer about how she doesn't even want to go. Wilson decides to give her some space.

Tux shop. Matt and Simon are waiting for Ruthie to pick out a tux. I guess Annie decided this was less work than making a dress. This gives Simon the opportunity to butt in to Matt's love life. Matt explains that the guy from last night was a friend from school, and that Heather will be traveling back to school with this guy. Simon thinks this doesn't mean anything good for Matt and Heather.

Ruthie comes out in a tux, and everyone encourages her to get it. She's not ready. Matt goes to talk to her. She admits that she doesn't want Simon to move out of her room. Then she wonders if she and Matt can share a room. Matt tries and fails to convince her that having her own room might be nice. Matt agrees to convince Simon not to move if she picks out a tux.

CamMansion. Annie is still painting the attic. Lucy comes up to chat about how she doesn't want to go to the wedding because she doesn't have a boyfriend. She wants to invite Jimmy to the wedding. Annie looks like she doesn't think this is a good idea, but she doesn't actually tell Lucy.

Juvenile Detention Center. Eric brings the murderer kid a burger. They chat. The kids pretty surly. Eric explains why Nora wants to talk to him. The kid makes a random threat towards Nora, which would make me think it would be better to drop the whole thing right then and there. The kid goes on to blame his life and television for his current state. Eric gets in his face and starts yelling at him. The kid dumps out all the letters Nora sent him. He refuses to see Nora, but at least he got his burger.

Night. Lucy and Mary snip at each other some more. The phone rings. Mary gets it over Lucy's protests. Jimmy Moon is calling Lucy back. Mary tries to cover, but Jimmy is wise to it. She snits at Lucy and hands her the phone. Jimmy calls Lucy out on the lying. Lucy invites him to the wedding. Jimmy agrees to come and bring Ashley. Lucy is an idiot. She blames Mary for the mess, and snits that she hates her. Mary shares the sentiment and throws a fluffy pink dress at Lucy's head, claiming that they have to try them on.

Matt picks Heather up for their date. She wants to bring her friend because she feels bad about leaving her friend alone. She kisses him, and Matt agrees.
Simon is explaining to Ruthie his decorating plans for the room. He likes
super heroes. Ruthie plants a story in his head about the attic being haunted. Simon is stupid enough to be taken in by it.

Downstairs, Annie is cooing over the fluffy dresses she's making Mary and Lucy wear. Neither girl looks thrilled by this. Eric comes in and announces all the plans he's made since yesterday.

Annie asks him about the meeting, but he doesn't say much. He tries to change the subject by asking if Mary invited Wilson. Lucy answers for her, saying that Mary didn't invite him. Annie tries to ask, but all Mary will say is that she doesn't want him there. Lucy takes this opportunity to blame Mary for forcing her to invite Jimmy and Ashley to the wedding. I saw it Luce, Mary didn't make you do anything. They nearly come to blows, and Mary tells her parents that they're the only ones having fun with the wedding plans.

Eric asks about the tuxedos. Eric takes an opportunity to approve of Matt's shorter hair. The doorbell puts an end to this conversation.

It's Wilson, but Mary doesn't want to hobble downstairs to see him. Eric offers to talk to her, but Annie takes charge. Eric wants to know what's going on with his daughters. Annie notes that they're in a self-pity contest. She promises to declare them both losers. Not something one wants to hear from one's mother.

Wilson is throwing rocks at Mary's window. Lucy thinks Mary is lucky to have a boyfriend. Mary thinks Lucy is lucky that she can walk. Wilson breaks the window right as Annie comes into the room. He offers to pay for it, and Annie promises to send Mary downstairs. She tells Mary she owes it to Wilson to tell him if she doesn't want him around anymore and that she shouldn't ignore him and be rude to him. Mary grudgingly heads downstairs. Um, wouldn't it be easier for the person whose not on crutches to navigate stairs?

Lucy makes a snide comment, giving Annie an opening to tell her to get over Jimmy Moon. Annie tells Lucy that Jimmy and Ashley can't come the wedding. Lucy calls, but gets the machine. She leaves a convuluted message that basically uninvites the couple, but offers an invite if Jimmy wants to come alone. Oh, Lucy.

Mary and Wilson talk. He tries apologize. She starts crying. She admits that she's afraid to stop using her crutches. Wilson tries to be encouraging, but Mary isn't convinced.

Matt comes home and he and Wilson bond a bit over girl troubles. Wilson leaves.
Matt talks to Eric about his insecurity around Heather. Eric doesn't really do much to assure him. The Camdens give such crappy advice.

Simon is up in the attic trying to convince himself that he's not scared of it. He fails. Annie comes up, and he explains about the ghost. Annie assures him that no one died in the house, and explains that Ruthie isn't ready to let Simon go. Simon agrees to share with Ruthie a little longer.

The phone rings. It's the killer kid's social worker. Apparently, the kid has agreed to see Nora. Eric agrees to go as long as he can get to his wedding on time.

Morning. Annie's dress is delivered. She's thrilled to be able to wear her mother's dress. Much kissing ensues.

Matt picks up Heather for the wedding. He invites her friend, so that Heather has someone to sit with. And so he can prove he's secure in his relationship with Heather. Everyone is all smiles.

Simon tells Ruthie that he's not moving out for another six months. She's happy, until she finds out she doesn't get the top bunk.

Detention center. Nora and Eric wait for the kid. He comes in, still surly. She wants to know more about what happened the night her husband died. She finds out that her husband died trying to protect someone, which she finds sllightly comforting. She tells the kid all the ways he's changed her life. The kid rolls his eyes 'cause he's bad. Then she tells him that she forgives him. The kid yells at her, saying that he never asked for her forgiveness. She leaves.

Eric tells him that she forgave him so that she could move on and starts to follow her out. The kid asks if God will forgive him. Eric tells the kid to pray that God does, but that he Eric probably never will. Because Eric is a crappy pastor.

Church. Mary and Lucy are fighting somemore. Mostly about who has more of a right to feel sorry for herself. I hate to say it, but Annie's right-- they're both losers. They start to have a catfight-- complete with hair pulling and tackling. Matt tries to break them up, but Annie stops him. When the finally stop fighting, Annie asks them if they feel better and leaves the room without waiting for a response. Lucy offers to help Mary up.

The Wedding. The church is full. Happy is wearing a tie. Lucy is helping Mary walk down the aisle without her crutches. All is well. Simon tells Eric that he missed a great chick fight. Shut up Simon.

Annie walks down the aisle, ready to renew her vows. Everyone smiles when she gets there. The episode fades out before the ceremony starts.


That was quite the wedding to be pulled off in two days.

Lucy, shut up about Jimmy Moon. You've had at least three months to get over him.

Ruthie, why do you want to share your room with your brothers?

Simon, why are you being outwitted by a five year old?

Mary's fears about giving up her crutches seem pretty realistic. Including how bitchy she was being to everybody. Doesn't make it that pleasant to watch though.

I'm surprised Eric and Annie eloped. Annie seems like the type to insist on her perfect wedding.

Eric, how do you forget that your parishoner's husband was stabbed to death three years ago? That's not the kind of thing that usually slips one's mind.

Welcome to Season 2!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

You know I learned something today...

Before I dive into Season 2, here's an overview of Season 1:

Life Lessons:

It's okay to ditch your wife at her mother's funeral reception as long as you apologize with a wedding ceremony at the end of the day.

It's okay to threaten to force a girl into your car as long as you tell yourself it's for her own protection.

If you are bitchy to your father's girlfriend, your daughter will be hit by a car.

If someone is harrassing you, you will not get in trouble for assaulting them.

Marijuana will ruin your life.

The best way to help your sister quit drinking is to lock her in your bedroom until she agrees to rehab.

If you steal a $2 glass, you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, unless the entire school confesses to a similar crime, in which case there will be no punishment for anyone.


Matt: 6

Mary: 3

Lucy: 1 (but it's Jimmy Moon)

Simon: 1

Ruthie: 0


Annie's mother died in their house.
Aunt Julie assaulted Simon.
Matt and Annie were robbed at gun point.
Matt crashed into a cop car.
Matt was arrested for stealing.
Matt was harrassed by Annie's best friend.
Mary was sexually harrassed.
Mary was hit by a car.
Happy was hit by a car.
Lucy and Jimmy broke up. (Though their dating was probably more traumatic for the audience.)
Annie's father brought his girlfriend to visit.
The grandparent's nearly lost their adopted son.
A neighborhood church was burned in a hate crime.

Maybe the subsequent insanity of later seasons can be explained by post-traumatic stress.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dangerous Liaisons Part 2

Previouslies-- recapped here: Dangerous Liaisons Part 1

Night at the Cam-mansion. Matt and the rest of the kids sit in the living room, waiting for news about Mary. Nobody is talking until Simon thinks it's not fair that their parents wouldn't let them hang out at the hospital during Mary's surgery. Matt snaps at him and defends the parents which surprises Lucy. She accuses Matt of towing the party line. Which he will continue to do for years to come. His siblings tease him about being a rebel.

The phone interupts their conversation. It's Eric checking in. He tells Matt that Mary is still in surgery and encourages Matt to take them out for food. He also asks about Heather because there is always time to hassle your kids about their potential love interest. Eric tells him to take everyone to a new cafe. Matt asks if the cops know who hit Mary, but there's no word. Srgt. Michael's must be slacking.

Matt gets off the phone and orders his siblings into the car.
The doorbell rings. It's Jimmy Moon. Lucy tries to figure out a way to hide her hair before Simon lets him in, but fails. Jimmy came to see how Lucy was doing in light of Mary's accident, but gets distracted by her hair. She yells at him and runs off. He asks Simon is the hair is permenant, and Simon replies, "If we're totally lucky." I can't imagine what he means by that.

Hospital. Wilson cons a nurse into giving him an update on Mary by claiming to be her brother. Grandpa overhears this, but doesn't correct the nurse. He then teases Wilson about not buying his "grandpa" a birthday present last year, saying he likes the color blue. Weird. Mary is still in surgery.

Grandpa starts spouting platitudes about how tomorrow is another day, but catches himself, saying sarcastically, "I may break into song any minute." I really like the grandparents on this show.

Grandpa catches Eric to ask about any news. Eric doesn't have any. Grandpa asks about his daughter, but Eric isn't in the mood to moderate and suggests he ask her himself. Grandpa doesn't think this is a good idea, but takes Eric's advice anyway. He also reveals that Ginger is packing at their hotel.

Wilson offers to get Annie and Eric some food. Eric takes him up on this offer. Still no word on the driver. What could Srgt. Michael's be doing with his time?

Grandpa enters the waiting room, only to be berated by Annie for showing up. He tells Annie that he loves Mary, and wanted to know what was going on. Annie gets her bitch on and starts to confront him about moving on from her mom so quickly. He explains that he has been grieving and that he needed Ginger's support to step back into the world. He also takes her to task about her behavior towards Ginger. They are interrupted by Eric announcing that Mary is out of surgery. Annie starts out of the room and Grandpa asks her to at least let him know how she is. Annie pauses, but doesn't answer. Because she is just that bitchy. Eric kinda nods.

At the cafe. The rest of the Camdens are just getting their menus. It is unusually quiet. Because everyone in the resteraunt is using sign language. Lucy has apparently heard about the place and says it's run by people who are deaf. Apparently, Glen Oak has quite the deaf community, but no school for the deaf, which is the only reason I can think of that Heather goes to school in Pennsylvania. Matt notes that Eric is trying to teach him a lesson. Because even when his daughter's in surgery, RevCamden can find the time to help his son stalk girls. Simon finds this impressive instead of creepy. They worry about how they are going to order, and Matt suggests that they point at the menu.

Hospital. Mary is being wheeled to her room from surgery. She's still groggy. Eric and Annie talk to the doctor. He starts telling them about the damage to her knee. He's very positive about Mary's recovery. They go in to talk to Mary. Wilson chooses this moment to deliver the burgers, giving Mary the opportunity to say, "I hope the accident didn't scare your son." Wilson looks a little panicky, but the Camparents think she meant his little brother. Wilson doesn't correct them.

Annie blames herself for the accident, but Eric reassures her that it was nobody's fault.

Resteraunt. The kids are eating when Matt sees Heather come in. She pointedly ignores him. This causes his siblings to tease him, and Matt orders them to finish eating 'cause he's ready to leave. Considering that it looks like they've just been served, that could take awhile.

Hotel. Ginger is getting into a cab, and breaking up with Grandpa. Grandpa looks sad. I dislike Annie even more.

Resteraunt. Matt flags down the waiter to ask how to sign "I'm sorry." The waiter shows him, and his siblings tease him some more. Ruthie offers to show him some other signs from Sesame Street, but Matt isn't interested. He gets up to apologize to Heather. Her friends laugh at him. Ruthie runs over and signs that Matt loves Heather, which Heather finds endearing instead of creepy. Aww.

Morning. Lucy is freaking out about going to school as a blonde. Considering her hair looks much better here than in later seasons, I'm not sure what the problem is. Annie tries to assure her that it looks fine, but Lucy doesn't calm down until Matt tells her the hair is sexy. Ew. She is super pleased by this. Double ew. She then asks her dad if it looks sexy. Triple ew. He tells her it looks nice, and that if his thirteen year-old daughter had sexy hair he'd shave her head. This scene is wigging me out, so let's move on.

Eric reveals that Mary is coming home tomorrow, and everyone gets ready to head for school. Matt thanks him for the resteraunt reccommendation, wondering how he knew Heather would be there. Matt, you're dad is a creepy stalker who keeps tabs on the whole town. Eric claims to have guessed because it's the only resteraunt in town that serves deaf people apparently.

Hospital. Grandpa is visiting Mary. He wanted to check in on her before he went back to Phoenix. She asks about Ginger and is sorry to hear that they've split up. Mrs. Peacock also drops into visit, bringing fast food. She's flirty with Grandpa, and offers him a ride to the airport. Grandpa looks less than thrilled.

Middle school. Lucy is twirling, finally excited about her new hair. Jimmy is upset about the change, especially since she didn't talk to him about it first. Jimmy is giving off quite the controlling vibe here. He doesn't like blondes. He tells her to call him when it's washed out. She threatens to find someone who likes her as a blonde. Tense.

Cam-Mansion. Annie is doing laundry. Eric tries to talk to her about her father. Annie still has her bitch on, even after Eric tells her that Ginger left. He tries to encourage her to see things from her father's point of view, and notes that happily married people often remarry quickly after the death of their spouse. Annie assumes that Eric is telling her he will remarry quickly, but I have to assume that Eric will be so glad to be free of his shrewish wife, that he'll embrace the single life. She does seem to hear him when he suggests that her behavior could result in a severed relationship with her father.

Hotel. Grandpa has convinced Mrs. Peacock to let him take a cab to the airport. She encourages him to follow his heart instead of letting Annie dictate how he should run his life. She tells him a whole story about her daughter driving away a love interest. Grandpa looks thoughtful.
Hospital. Annie and Mary talk about Wilson. Mary has decided after one date that he might be the one. She's worried that Eric and Annie might have a problem with him. Annie can't imagine why they would, and Mary does not elect to tell her...

Because Wilson is in Eric's office explaining that Billy is his son. He does that thing where he starts talking about a "friend." It takes Eric awhile to figure this out. Turns out that Billy's mother, who Wilson did marry, died in childbirth. After Wilson is finished with his story, he asks Eric's permission to date Mary, promising that he's now committed to sex in the context of marriage. Eric doesn't give him an answer.

High school. Matt greets Heather with a kiss. They make a date. Michael Towner approaches and asks him how Mary is doing. He ends up revealing that he was driving the car, causing Matt to lose his temper. Which given the circumstances is fairly understandable. Michael tries to convince Matt to pick a place and time if Matt is going to get violent, but Matt can't wait and starts punching him on school grounds. Heather freaks out and drives off. A teacher rushes over to break up the fight, but Michael covers for Matt. After everyone disperses, Matt realizes Heather is gone.

Night. Annie is folding laundry when Ruthie comes in with the promise of a surprise. It's Grandpa. He and Annie finally talk it out. He also mentions the story Mrs. Peacock told him. After he leaves, Annie calls Mrs. Peacock to thank her, and to confirm that Mrs. Peacock doesn't have a daughter. Heh. When they hang up, Mrs. Peacock pronounces them all nuts. True that.

Hospital. Michael Towner brings Mary a teddy bear. Judging by his bruise, Matt really clocked him good. He confesses, and tells her that the Camdens decided not to press charges. If Eric didn't own Srgt. Michaels, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have a say in the matter. He apologizes, and Mary tells him that she thinks he's a jerk but that she doesn't hate him. Michael promises that he's going to change his life. He even apologizes for hasseling Wilson when the boy enters the room.

Wilson reveals that he told the Reverend about his son. Mary is worried about her mom's reaction. Probably 'cause she knows Annie is crazy.
Matt is waiting for Heather at the cafe. She seems to be standing him up. But then she shows up and tells him that they don't know each other very well. And that he scared her when he beat up Michael. She asks him to write to her at school to give them time to get to know each other. Then she leaves.

Cam-Mansion. Simon, Ruthie and Eric are listening to Lucy cry through her bedroom door. Eric gets ready to go talk to her, but Simon decides he wants to handle it, since he's the expert on her hair. Lucy tells him that Jimmy took her friend Ashley on a date, meaning they have broken up. Lucy is predicting that the next day is going to be the worst day of her life. Mind you, she says this the day after her sister nearly got killed in a car accident. Lucy, get some perspective.

Simon gives her a pep talk about how Jimmy Moon isn't good enough for her, reasoning that he's not enough like Eric. Weird. And ew. Lucy seems to feel better, and Simon signs that he's sorry.

Matt and Annie talk. She lectures him about resorting to violence, and demands that he quash rumors about Michael running over Mary on purpose. Annie also threatens to hunt him herself if Michael doesn't learn from the experience. I'd be worried if I were Michael.

Hospital. Mary is getting ready to leave. The doctor sets a follow-up appointment, and Mary makes a comment about getting back in the game. The doctor pulls Eric aside to mention that Mary might have a tough road to recovery. Eric takes this to indicate that she might not be ready to go home and yells at the doctor, without really giving him a chance to explain. The scene cuts away before we find out what the problem is.

Back at the house, Annie has a surprise for her father. She invited Ginger to Mary's homecoming party. Ginger enlists Grandpa's help with party decorations, noting that Simon pulled something blowing up balloons. The less said about that the better. Looks like everything's resolved on that front. Except that Annie stil looks pretty tense.

Matt asks if they can be late for school, and Annie says that everyone's taking the day off. She also mentions that Heather left a message and pretends to forget what the message was. Turns out that Heather is at the Camden's.

Heather is teaching Lucy some sign language. Matt comes in, and they kiss while Lucy looks on smiling.

Eric and Mary pull up to the house. She wants to know what the doctor said earlier. Basically, her knee injury might be extensive enough to prevent her from ever playing basketball again. They're both in near tears for most of the conversation. Mary expresses her determination to fully recover and breaks down in to full on tears. Eric encourages her, and is sure that she can do anything she sets her mind to. She doesn't want to tell the rest of the family just yet, and orders Eric to look happier.

There's a party set up in the backyard. Simon and Ruthie are prying into Grandpa and Ginger's relationship, seeming to push them towards marriage. Wilson asks Annie if she's heard about his situation. Annie tells him that he can visit Mary while she's recovering, giving the family time to get to know him. Surprisingly fair, coming from the Camdens.

Eric wheels Mary into the yard. Hugs all around. They start playing basketball. Wilson is pushing her wheelchair. Annie asks Eric what's wrong, so Eric tells her what the doctor said. Annie notes that Mary is already playing basketball.

They join the game, as the scene fades out, ending the first of many seasons.


It's completely improbable that Michael Towner would be the driver of the car, but I guess this enables him to learn the lesson he didn't learn in the episode he spent harrassing Mary.

I still can't get over how rude Annie is to her father and Ginger.

The fight scene between Matt and Michael actually resembled the kind of fights people have in high school.

If I were Heather, I would find Matt's showing up at that resteraunt creepy instead of cute.

Also, I really don't understand why Jimmy Moon is so upset about Lucy's hair.

Or why Lucy is so excited when Matt says her hair is sexy. Or why Lucy is hoping her father will find it sexy. Ew, because it can't be said enough.

One season down. Ten to go.