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.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Banned Book Week-- Fahrenheit 451

If you haven't read the book, please be advised-- spoilers abound.

There's a blaze of light in every word. It doesn't matter which you heard- the holy or the broken hallelujah. Leonard Cohen

Fahrenheit 451 begins with a fire of destruction. Our hero's (Guy Montag) job is to burn books, and he finds a great deal of pleasure watching them burn. But he is also beginning to wonder what the point of it all is. He is especially shaken when a woman elects to burn herself and her books together, rather than letting the firemen burn her books and haul her off to a sanitarium. This event takes place just after his wife's near overdose and his encounter with a questioning neighbor. Guy is a man on the cusp of decision, and events conspire to make him seriously consider the life he is leading.

He has been hoarding books for awhile, but hasn't actually brought himself to read any of them. But he becomes curious about their content, wondering what would compel someone to die rather than give them up. So he does read, and he is changed by it. So much so that he attracts the attention of his government. Eventually, he is reduced to fugitive status, and joins a band of people outside the city dedicated to preserving the content of books, if not the physical books themselves.

It is the preservers of books just outside the city that have always captured my imagination in this book. It is easy to read Fahrenheit 451 simply as a treatise against state sponsored censorship, and obviously it is that, but that's not what captures my imagination. What intrigues me is the impossibility of utterly destroying the books.

True confession time. I spent a huge amount of time studying religious history, which often involves burning of texts deemed heretical. It is amazing how many books people have tried to wipe off the earth that are being studied today. Whether they were read in secret for centuries or rediscovered after being lost for centuries, many texts have survived long after their persecutors have shuffled off this mortal coil. Aristotle was rediscovered by Europe during the Crusades, having been studied by learned Muslims for years. The Nag Hammadi texts were discovered buried in Egypt, lending current scholars insight into the development of Christianity.

And even in Bradbury's imagined future, the books have not 'gone gently into that good night.' (Dylan Thomas) People are hiding them, and almost more importantly, people remember them. Books seem to be immortal in ways humans cannot even imagine themselves becoming! They endure despite all our attempts to destroy them.

So to all you out there trying to ban or burn books, I have to ask: What is it that you think you are going to accomplish?

The titles you have been working so hard to eliminate will most likely still be read in 100 years or more. Some books have been contested for centuries, and yet they are still with us. You can't win this fight.

Bradbury shows us this by ending with a group of people dedicated to passing down books orally to preserve the memory. And that this brilliant treatise about the dangers and futility of burning books is in the top 100 banned books is ridiculous. Especially considering that some of the people challenging it think it actually advocates burning the Bible! (I mean, seriously, did you even read Fahrenheit 451).

One last thought: My mother forbade me to read exactly one book. This book was available in my school libraries and many of my friends read it as teenagers; it was also by an author I read avidly. Because my mother did not ban many books from our household, and because she had actually read the book, I did not pick it up until I was in my mid-twenties.* If you are worried about ideas your children might get from the books they are reading, take the opportunity to discuss the books with them, or at least explain why you have reservations. Because, really, the books aren't going anywhere.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dangerous Liaisons Part 1

A warning: Annie is fricking crazy in this episode, so don't read further if you are faint-hearted.

The show opens with Annie frantically scrubbing the inside of the refrigerator with a tooth brush. Eric makes a joke, giving Annie an opportunity to run through all the chores she has her family doing. Eric quite patronizing throughout the scene. Annie exposits that she's nervous about her dad visiting since it's the first time he's come to Glen Oak since her mom died. Aww, now I feel bad for her. I'm sure it won't last though. Eric tries to reassure her. Annie realizes that neither she or Eric know what Simon and Ruthie are up to...

Cut to Simon and Ruthie in the bath together, trying to lure Happy into joining them. I don't want to think about that for very long. The parents come in and see the mess they've made. Annie flips out, and Eric makes and unappreciated joke about getting his bathing suit. He promises that he'll make sure the mess is taken care of. Eric mentions again why Annie is nervous as the kids get out of the tub. I am relieved to note they are wearing swimming suits, but it still seems weird that they were in there in the first place given their ages. Simon says he feels sorry for his grandfather, thinking he must be sad and alone.

Cut to Grandpa's flight. He's assuring a nervous woman named Ginger that his family will love her because he loves her. Ruh-Roh.

Back at the Camden's. Annie is frantically making sure everything is in it's proper place. She flips her shit when she finds toys under the couch. She yells at Mary, who tells her the vaccuum didn't fit under the couch. Ruthie wanders in to find out what's going on. Annie sends them to the park. Annie at least apologizes for her insanity, and tells them to be back in half an hour. Mary offers to help and Annie tells her to find a home for a real potato jammed with Mr. Potato Head pieces. As they leave, she finds his wife. I don't think it's very sanitary to have food under your couch like that.

Simon is desperately shoving things into his closet. Lucy comes in without him noticing just in time for him to pull out the Cosmo he's hiding there. Lucy demands that he give it to her because he's too young to be reading Cosmo. He points out that it's not like it's Playboy. I want to know what kind of ten-year old boy reads Cosmo. He correctly asserts that Lucy wants it for herself. Lucy looks quite pleased with herself.

At the airport. Matt tells Eric that Grandpa's flight was delayed. Eric tells him to call Annie, but neither of them has a quarter. Ah, the days when people used payphones and they only cost a quarter. Eric gives him a dollar to break and Matt heads to the phone. He asksa girl for change, but she ignores him completely. She turns around as she passes, but doesn't respond to his question. Eric laughs at him, because that's what strong father figures do.

In her room, Lucy is looking through the illicit Cosmo. She takes some time to look at the cover model, and then gets up to play with her hair in front of her mirror. Simon sneaks in behind her and she gets all self-righteous about it, even though she did the same thing not ten minutes ago. Simon calls her on it, and then suggests she use the sample rinse in the magazine to lighten her hair. I can't figure why he cares at all.

At the park. A boy playing with a baby asks Mary about the potato she's caring. She launches into a long explanation, and then realizes that it's not interesting. The boy agrees with her and introduces himself as Wilson, and the baby as Billy. Mary introduces herself and Ruthie. Ruthie plays cars with Billy, while Mary and Wilson flirt.

Lucy comes into the kitchen to ask Annie if she can dye her hair blonde. Annie is not in the mood to deal with such things at the moment. Simon comes in and asks Annie about Lucy's hair. Seriously, why does he care?
Park. Wilson and Mary are talking when Mary realizes that she's late getting home. Wilson asks her on a date, and she says she has to ask her parents. She gives him her phone number.

Eric rushes into the house in order to tell Annie that her father brought a guest with him. Annie's is too excited about seeing her father to listen. Grandpa comes in and Annie gives him a big hug. Then he introduces her to his girlfriend. Annie is visibly shocked and Matt looks terrified waiting for his mother to react.

Cut to the kitchen. Annie is serving lunch. Or at least announcing the buffet to everyone. She sounds pissed. Mary notes that Annie's acting weird, but Matt's more honest when he says she's freaking out. Annie is in a full on pout that she's failing to hide. Everyone sits down to eat. Eric says a blessing, including a line about peace and harmony, while Annie shoot daggers at Ginger with her eyes.

Ginger tries to give her a compliment about the soup, but Annie brats that it's her mother's recipe. Annie doesn't want to give Ginger the recipe.

Eric tries to change the subject to Matt's attempted pick up at the airport. Ruthie takes this opportunity to tell everyone that Mary gave her phone number to Wilson. Mary admits that he asked her out, but that she wasn't sure because of Grandpa's visit. Simon's response: "I'm sure it'd be okay, I mean Grandpa brought a date." Hee.

Grandpa suggests that Mary should go on her date, and reveals that he and Ginger are staying in a hotel. He invites Annie and Eric out for dinner. Annie is shocked that they'll be staying in a hotel. Ginger assures her they got a 2-for-1 deal through their travel club. Simon notes that this sounds like the two plan to do some travelling together, causing Annie to make one of her many faces of disdain. The kids show their approval, and Annie pouts some more.

Upstairs. Mary likes Ginger, but Lucy is supporting her mom on this one. Because Lucy will do anything to curry favor with her parents. Ruthie is agreeing with Mary. Wilson calls Mary, causing Lucy and Ruthie to make kissy noises. She throws a pillow at them.

Living Room. Simon is asking for all the details of how Grandpa and Ginger met. He's really quite oblivious to the general tension. Basically, this scene lets us know that they've been dating for three months. Simon wants to know if their getting married and they laugh at him. It is also noted that Ginger's kids don't like Grandpa. Finally, Grandpa changes the subject by asking about Happy.

Kitchen. Matt is scrubbing the stove, while Annie frenetically scrubs the sink. He asks if she's okay, and she say no. Eric rushes in, having taken out the trash, and asks what else he can do. Annie tells him to get Ginger on the next flight out of her father's life. Matt has the balls to suggest that Annie is being to tough on Ginger. Annie turns to glare at him while he continues to talk her up. Behind Annie, Eric is making "quit-it" gestures. Matt misinterprets and tries to back track, but the idea that Grandpa is having a fling doesn't sit well with Annie. Matt is about to dig himself in deeper, when Grandpa comes in to ask for a ride to their hotel. Annie brattily offers Matt the honor. Grandpa asks what they thought of Ginger, giving Annie the opportunity to sarcastically say that she's swell. Overly cheerful, Matt suggests they head out. Eric promises to make a dinner reservation.

He then makes the mistake of trying to comfort Annie. She just wants to vent, and unloads a torrent of questions that boil down to her feeling like her father is disrespecting her mother's memory by dating so soon. Eric tries to make a joke, but Annie yells at him.

Lucy chooses this opportunity to ask again about dying her hair. Annie replies that, "It is unforgivable." But I think she's still venting about her father. Eric distractedly gives her permisison, and she takes off smiling.

Annie decides to call the hotel to find out if they're staying in the same room. But she fails because she doesn't know Ginger's last name. She chews out the poor guy who answered the phone when he doesn't know if anyone named Ginger registered for a room. Eric suggestion that she try to relax is met with a "Bite me."

In Matt's car, Grandpa is assuring Ginger that Annie will come around once she gets to know her. They also happen to spot the girl Matt tried to talk to at the airport. Grandpa encourages him to knock on her door, thinking this is romantic instead of creepy.

Unfortunately for us, Matt takes the advice. He knocks on the door and word vomits to the girl's mother until she agrees to let him talk to her daughter. He assures her that he's not a stalker. Heh.

Heather's mom goes to get her. Matt starts to word-vomit again. Until he notices that Heather keeps glancing at her mother. He glances up and sees her mom signing the conversation. Because Heather is deaf. Matt asks her out. Her mother encourages her to get to know her neighbors. Maybe
Heather's mom should date Matt. He asks her to a party and she relents.

Night. Matt is trying to get Simon to teach him any sign language learned from Sesame Street. Simon is not being very helpful, so Matt threatens not to give him advice about girls when he gets older. Simon doesn't want Matt's advice because Matt can't usually get past a third date. Finally, Simon remembers the sign for turtle. Matt is not pleased.

Eric tries to convince Annie to come out to dinner with him and her father. She's not hungry. Eric asks if she's told her father, to which she replies, "Why should I? He didn't tell me he was tom-catting around with that woman." Seriously, Annie? Tom-catting?

Eric points out that she can't ignore her father for the whole visit. But Annie believes otherwise. She's making a lot of scary faces.

Wilson comes by to pick up Mary. Eric gives him a hard time, and Mary is embarrassed. Wilson gives Mary flowers, and chocolates for Ruthie. He plans to take Mary to the Pool Hall. Wilson lays on the responsibility charm, but Eric isn't sure he wants to let Mary go out with a stranger. Turns out that Eric knows Wilson's father. Wilson offers him a beeper number, which Eric takes, granting the kids permission to go out. Eric turns to find Ruthie already digging in to her chocolats.

Eric again tries to persuade Annie to deal with her father. Grandpa calls, and Eric tries to hedge. Grandpa goes on to describe exactly how Annie's reacting to the situation. Eric hangs up, and Annie announces that she doesn't want to talk about it. But Eric can't resist giving it one more go. Annie breaks down in tears and says she really hates Ginger.

Matt and Heather's date. He insists on openin the door for her, but it's kinda awkward. She's helpfully brought a notepad so that they can communicate. Matt turns on the radio, realizes his mistake and turns it back off. Heather turns it back on, and writes that he shoudl drive. They head out.

Pool Hall. Mary is kicking Wilson's butt at pinball, when Michael Towner approaches and gives them a bunch of crap. Wilson tries to take control of the situation, but Mary takes control herself. Wilson is not happy.

Lucy and Ruthie wander into Lucy's room. Lucy has a towel on her head, and Ruthie is complaining that only Annie should be blonde. Ruthie doesn't think that Jimmy Moon won't like the change. Simon thinks otherwise and continues to show way too much interest in Lucy's hair style. He hands her a hair-dryer.

Party. Matt and Heather are dancing. Everything is going well until Heather glances up and sees some fellow party-goers making fun of her. Heather runs off, and Matt makes idle threats. He follows Heather, but she just wants to go home.

Cam-Mansion. Ginger comes over to talk to Annie, but Annie doesn't want to. Eric invites her in to talk to him instead. Eric is optimistic about his ability to fix this. Ginger exposits about how much Charles means to her, but that she thinks it's too hard since no one in their families approves. Eric encourages them to stick it out.

Lucy comes down stairs, very blonde. Eric's not sure what to think, but Lucy is clearly upset. It doesn't look great, but it doesn't look nearly as bad as her hair in later seasons. She blames Eric for giving her permisison. He's not very helpful.

Annie is curled up in bed when Simon comes in. She tries to brush him off, but he's determined to talk. Simon shares some of the insight that Grandpa shared about Ginger's kids. Annie sympathizes with them.

Mary and Wilson return, fighting about how she handled the situation with Michael Towner. Matt comes up to ask about it. Mary stomps off. Matt offers to talk to her for Wilson, and then introduces himself. Wilson expresses doubts that there will be another date.

Inside, Simon begs Matt to compliment Lucy and Mary orders him not to lecture her. Lucy and Eric come in with ice cream and Matt tries to compliment her. He doesn't do a very good job, and Lucy plans on killing Simon before she goes to bed. Eric tries to explain the situation to Matt.
Eric asks about the date. Matt admits he doesn't know quite what happened. Eric reccommends that he invite Heather and her mother to church. Matt doesn't think church is the answer to every problem, but Eric thinks it's "possible that it is." Thus explaining subsequent seasons of the program.

Matt decides to take Eric's advice. Eric eavesdrops from the other room.
Church. Annie and Mary are greeting people. Wilson comes up, with Billy, and apologizes for the night before. Mary apologizes, too. Annie introduces herself and Wilson introduces Billy. She assumes that Billy is Wilson's little brother. Annie excuses herself, and Wilson takes the opportunity to tell Mary that Billy is his son. Mary doesn't look like she knows how to react.

As everyone is sitting down for the service, Grandpa and Ginger arrive. This causes Annie to flee the church. Mary exchanges significant looks with Eric, and then gets up to follow her.

Outside. Annie has crossed the street. Mary calls out to her and starts to follow. But forgets to look both ways, and is hit by a car, complete with squealing tire sound effects. The car drives off, as Annie scream. Everyone comes out of the church as Catherine Hicks tries to convey panic.

To Be Continued...

Okay, I realize that not much time has passed since Grandma died, and that Grandpa maybe shouldn't have surprised his daughter, but wow, Annie was bitchy toward him and Ginger.

Also, if Grandpa knew how his daughter was going to react, why not give the family a heads up? Might give them time to get used to the idea.

Also, Simon, seriously, why do care what Lucy does with her hair? And why are you hiding Cosmo in your closet?

This episode marks both the beginning of Matt and Heather and the beginning of Wilson and Mary. Plotlines that will not be wrapped up until the sixth and eighth seasons. Joy.

The next episode is the season finale. I can't believe I've almost finished Season 1!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Say Goodbye

Annie brings Ruthie a snack. She brats that Annie is blocking the view of her imaginary friend. Annie is surprisingly indulgent towards this behaviour. The phone rings. The women calling Annie calls her by her maiden name. It's Rachel, an old high school friend, who has been married several times. She's just moved to Glen Oak, and is living near the Camdens.

While Annie is distracted, Simon comes into the tv room and changes the channel. Ruthie tries to interrupt Annie's phone call to tattle, but Annie basically ignores her, until she starts screaming like she's been killed. The cause of this commotion? Simon sat on the imaginary friend, and Ruthie is convinced that Hooey is squashed. That shouldn't amuse me quite so much. Annie gets off the phone to glare at Simon, even though there's no way he could have known where Ruthie's invisible friend was sitting.

Night. Simon and Eric are cleaning dishes when Annie comes in all dressed up. Simon comments that she doesn't look like a mom. She takes it as a compliment, but I have to think he meant she looks like a lady of the evening. I mean she's really dolled up, like she's going on a date. Eric worries and doesn't like the idea of letting her out of the house without him. She laughs at him.

Eric asks Simon about the Hooey-squishing. Simon denies it.
Doorbell. Matt answers the door to reveal Rachel, who mistakes Matt for Eric. I don't want to spend a lot of time contemplating that, though I guess it reveals that Rachel's first impression of Matt is far more adult than he actually is. Rachel and Annie hug and giggle. Rachel meets the family, and makes many inappropriate comments. Including asking Lucy and Mary to scout potential dates for her. She also reveals that she's been divorced twice. Shocking! Ruthie asks about Hooey, and Annie and Rachel depart for their night on the town. Just after Rachel reveals that she doesn't have a car, and is hoping Annie can drive. Man, Annie's skirt is short.

Matt mentions to Eric that, "Mom's got a new hanging buddy," and Eric pretends to be supportive. Matt just laughs at him.

Simon spends some time trying to convince Ruthie that he didn't squish her imaginary friend. It's not working, but Simon keeps trying.

Resteraunt. Rachel is unloading on Annie about how crappy her life is. Annie brags about all her college courses. Like way to make your friend who didn't finish college feel worse about it. Rachel gets a dig about Annie "just staying home with Eric and the kids." Annie defends her life choices. They offer a toast with what appears to be real wine. Because at this point the show still thought moderation was possible.

Cam-Mansion. Lucy's friend Suzanne announces that her formerly dead-beat dad found her mom a job at a car dealership. It sounds like a decent job with quite a few benefits. Suzanne is happy.

Simon begs for Eric's help fixing the situation with Ruthie and her imaginary friend. Eric actually reasonably explains that Ruthie is testing letting Hooey go. Ruthie comes in and asks Eric to have a goodbye party for him. Eric asks her to wait a few days, but agrees to have the party if she still wants to then. Simon seems way too invested in this thing judging by the way he grabs Eric by the collar and orders him to do something.

Matt and Mary play basketball. Matt wants Mary to set Rachel up with one of her basketball coaches. Because adults love being set up by the students they mentor. Mary is reluctant, but Matt talks her into betting on it. Um, y'all, just because she asked you to find her a date, doesn't mean you actually have to do it.

Lucy and Suzanne tell Eric about the job. Eric reveals that the dealership is in another town. Matt pops his head in to offer Suzanne a ride home, so he can study later. Suzanne wants to ask her mom about the move.

Annie and Rachel return, still giggling. Matt announces that he's taking Suzanne home, and Rachel talks him into driving her home, too. Annie tells Eric she had a great time. Eric pretends to be happy for her. Annie reveals that she agreed to lend Rachel Eric's car the following day. Eric comments that he admires Rachel's adventurous spirit, but Annie calls him on his lying. Annie suggests that he find her a man to spend time with if Rachel gets on his nerves.

At Rachel's house. Matt has kindly walked Rachel to her door. She has trouble finding her keys, but then drops them out of her purse. She and Matt both reach down to get the keys, leading Rachel to lean in for a kiss. Matt pulls away in shock, and Rachel invites him in. Matt turns her down, so Rachel accuses him of not finding her attractive. Matt obviously does find her attractive, but points out that she's a friend of his mother's. Rachel flirts and tricks him into asking her on a date. She's taking him to see a band, only she says it like it's a euphemism. Matt looks confused. Aww, Rachel's already found herself a man.

Morning. Rachel has joined the Camden's for breakfast. Rachel is clearly a mooch. Matt and Mary come into the kitchen, and Rachel lets the Camden parents know about the band she wants to take Matt to. Annie assumes that Rachel wants to take Matt to a bar, but it's just a coffee-house. Mary invites herself, and Matt jumps on this opportunity to make the evening seem less like a date. Rachel barely covers her disappointment. Annie's not worried because Rachel is her best friend, who we already know she hasn't seen in like twenty years.

Lucy demonstrates that she's as much a pushover as her mother by asking if she can pack an extra lunch for her friend. But I thought Suzanne's dad was paying his child support. Why would she need the Camden's to feed her? Annie asks about whether Suzanne's moving. Lucy says she can't because she needs her friend to talk her out of her craziness regarding Jimmy Moon. Mary notes that she once filled a similar role in Lucy's life, but Lucy counters that Mary's advice usually sucked. Heh.

Simon is still trying to convince Ruthie to believe in her imaginary friend. I have stopped caring.

Lucy's class. Suzanne is not there. The teacher asks Lucy if Suzanne is sick. She says it's because she knows that Lucy and Suzanne are close, but I think it's because she knows how nosy the Camden's are. Lucy looks sad.

High school. Matt tells Mary she doesn't need to find Rachel a date. Mary is suspicious about his motives, but she's relieved to be off the hook.

Simon is setting a Hooey-trap. Still can't care.

Lucy calls Suzanne. It turns out that Suzanne is moving. The girls cry it out. Suzannes promises to call back.

Coffee shop. Matt, Mary and Rachel are waiting for the band to start. Matt reveals that Mary has a great voice. An ex-boyfriend of Rachel's is in the band, and he asks her to sing since his lead singer is late. Rachel reminds him that she's tone-deaf and volunteers Mary. Looks like the date is back on.

Mary starts singing. Rachel insists Matt dance with her. Matt says he doesn't really dance, but Rachel just counters with, "Great, I'll teach you." I don't think she just means dancing y'all. She leads him out to the dance floor, and leans in real close. From the stage, Mary looks seriously wigged by this development. Matt looks positively terrified.

As Matt and Mary enter their house, she accuses him of being on a date with Rachel. Matt tries to protest, but then admits it. Just in time for Eric to reveal that he's in the kitchen. Matt tells him that Rachel hit on him. Eric obviouses that the situation is not good, leading Matt to assert that he's not completely stupid. Okay, Matt, not completely, but almost.

Eric wants to tell Annie. Matt asks him about whether he was ever attracted to an older woman. It turns out Eric was also once attracted to one of his mother's friends-- the Admiral's wife. This is seeming weirdly Oedipal. Eric wants to tell Annie, but Matt doesn't want to. Eric tells Matt to make it clear to Rachel that he isn't interested. Matt expresses that he might be interested, leading Eric to threaten him with military school.

Morning. Mary announces that the band wants her to sing again. Annie and Eric are upset that she sang with a band because they think she's too young. Annie sends the kids out of the room so she can talk to Eric. She starts ranting about the dangers of coffee houses and bands. Eric thinks it would be fun to watch their daughter sing in public. This is enough to placate Annie, but she still wants to talk to Rachel about not getting Mary "involved in these types of situations." Because singing in coffee houses is really dangerous?

Simon gives up on the Hooey thing, meaning Ruthie asks Eric to throw a goodbye party. She wants him to give the speech. Eric seems pretty honored by this. Simon is obviously jealous.

In the kitchen, Annie tells Lucy that she packed a lunch for Suzanne. Lucy tells her that she's easing off of the relationship, so that the move won't be as hard. Annie gives her some advice about cherishing the time she has with Suzanne. Lucy is in no mood to be comforted.

Lucy gives Suzanne her lunch. Lucy tries to help her see the bright side, by noting that they have the rest of the school year to hang out. Lucy's shirt has a giant rubber duck on it for some unknown reason. Suzanne informs her that they're moving over the weekend. Lucy invites her to Hooey's goodbye party, but Suzanne's dad has visitation. They hug goodbye.

Rachel comes over to the Camdens to do laundry. Because she is a mooch. Annie takes the opportunity to announce that she wants to talk to Rachel about last night. Rachel assumes that she wants to talk about Matt, and tells Annie that Matt made a pass at her. I bet Rachel feels really stupid when Annie reveals that she was talking about Mary, and she tipped her hand unnecessarily.

Night. Annie is setting up for Hooey's party. It's quite the spread, considering he's imaginary and has been squashed. Matt comes in to ask about the party, and reveals that he plans to drive Mary to her gig and pick up Rachel. Annie snaps at him, and tells him he's baby-sitting. Matt suggests that Mary doesn't want her parents to go with her. Annie puts on her scary face and bitches Matt out how Mary's too young to sing with a band by herself. Matt clues in and asks if Annie is in a bad mood. Annie reveals that Rachel threw him under the proverbial bus. Matt is too surprised to deny it, so Annie takes the opportunity to lecture him. Annie doesn't blink for the whole conversation. Freaky.

Simon and Ruthie talk about Hooey. I still don't care.

Mary is trying to get Lucy to help her pick out an outfit. Lucy is not paying attention. Mary tries to make her feel better, but fails. Matt comes in to inform Mary that Eric and Annie are coming to hear her sing. Mary is upset. Mary asks Lucy to leave, and she stomps out of the room.

Matt tells Mary what Rachel told Annie. Mary thinks Matt should have told Annie the truth. Matt thinks he can take it because he's a man. Mary thinks this is stupid and sexist. Eric comes in and Mary tries to convince him to skip her gig.

Eric sends her out of the room so he can talk to Matt. Eric also wants Matt to tell Annie the truth. Simon knocks on the door and announces that it's time...

Mary is in the living room begging Annie not to embarrass her by attending her performance. Annie won't budge.

Doorbell. Rachel comes in, and Annie apologizes for Matt. Rachel brushes it off as no big deal, but doesn't tell Annie that she lied.

Suzanne surprises Lucy, so they can hang out before she leaves.

Eric starts giving his speech about Hooey. He takes the opportunity to lecture those in attendance about how easy it is to lie, and how it's always better to tell the truth. Annie looks increasingly confused. Eric is interrupted by Hooey's return. Turns out he had simply gone to visit his wife in space. Everyone gets ice cream.

Rachel asks to talk to Annie in the kitchen. She comes clean about how she hit on Matt. Annie gets on her scary face and bitches Rachel out. Annie notes that if a guy twenty years older than Mary hit on her, they'd have him arrested. Annie, I've got news for you-- the same rules apply to men and women. You can still call the police if you think your son is being harassed. Annie really tears into Rachel. Remind me not to piss her off.

Mary is still trying to convince her parents not to come to her gig. Annie sends Matt into the kitchen to talk to Rachel. She throws in an apology for accusing him of hitting on her friend.

Suzanne admits to Lucy that she kissed Jimmy Moon in kindergarten. Eric's speech jogged her memory. Lucy pretends she doesn't care because she wants Suzanne to leave on a good note. She ruins it by announcing to her parents that Jimmy Moon is a dead man.

Rachel apologizes to Matt. He's pretty nice to her all things considered. They almost hug, but awkwardly settle for shaking hands.

Coffee house. Mary is on stage trying sing to R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Eric and Annie are impressed, until they overhear to men discussing how hot she is. They then feel the need to butt in and announce that she's 14, and that Eric's a minister. The guy judges them as crappy parents, especially given Eric's vocation, and they look worried. Heh. Mary sings us into the credits.


Good lord, the Hooey sub-plot was tedious. I can't imagine why Simon would care about it at all.

Especially since it got so much airtime, while Lucy trying to cope with her best friend's move got so little attention.

I don't understand what's wrong with singing in coffee houses, but from the general reactions of the adults, apparently this is something for adult only. Weird.

Rachel behaviour towards Matt is pretty predatory.

Eric is so sanctimonious when he's giving his speech about lying.

Annie is so scary when she's angry.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's About George

We open with the Colonel (yea!) and the rest of the family waiting to take Julie home from Rehab. The Colonel thinks they shoud have waited for Eric to finish with some meeting. George gives him a pep talk. Julie comes down and expresses nervousness about seeing her parents and meeting George. Everyone tries to be reassuring. Julie and her parents make some awkward conversation. George promises to look out for her.

Eric is playing pool while he waits for the Chief of Police. Something about reacclimating a cop by the name of Will Grayson who just got out of the witness protection program. Will and the Chief meet with Eric. Will is going back on the force. His real issue is to locate his son, who he gave up for adoption before he testified in some Mafia trial. He reveals the kid would be about 10 and his name is George. Because no coincidence is too unlikely for 7th Heaven to take on.

Back at the Camden's, Mary and Lucy are trying to prepare Jimmy Moon for meeting the Colonel. Matt thinks this pointless, as the Colonel and Ruth will most likely tear him to shreds anyway. He and Mary role play to demonstrate how the meeting will most likely go. This causes Matt to uses a breadstick as a fake cigar. They do a fair impression of their grandparents. Jimmy thinks they're exaggerating. Lucy suggests he comes back tomorrow. To which he replies, "Whatever." Whatever indeed Mr. Moon.

Upstairs, the Colonel and Ruth try to talk to Julie about her future plans. She's looking forward to spending sometime with her brother's family. Julie points out that she just got out of rehab and hasn't had time to think about it. The scene amounts to the Colonel and Ruth trying to get of sense of Julie's plans and Julie feeling pressured by it. They offer to put her up at their home, but Julie seems reluctant. Julie and her parents seem awkward and distant from each other. Julie looks like she's having trouble coping with her parents.

Garage. George and Simon still don't like each other.

Night. The family is sitting around the dinner table while Eric tells a story about the Colonel picking a fight with Mickey Mouse at Disney Land. Everyone finds it amusing. Except Julie, who suggests that the Colonel could take George to Magic Mountain and beat up Bugs Bunny. An awkward silence descends, which Annie breaks by telling everyone she's been building a boat for the Colonel and George. She leads everyone out to see it, so that Julie and Eric can talk.

She tells Eric that she's having a hard time, especially with her parents around. They have a sweet moment. Then she asks if something is wrong. Eric admits that there is, and that it's about George.

Outside, the boat looks like a disaster waiting to happen. With boards sticking out and random colors of paint. Annie tries to defend it as a work in progress, but that doesn't stop her children from laughing at her. Ruth joins in, but George asks the Colonel for permission to laugh and is denied. Instead the Colonel gives a speech about an incident in the Korean War. He tells Annie that he and George will be proud to sail in the boat. Everyone else is still laughing at Annie though.

Bedtime. Lucy and Mary are sharing their room with Julie and Ruthie. Lucy is prying into Julie's life plan, but Julie hasn't found any answers in the last few hours. She tells the girls that she needs to figure out where she wants to live. Then she changes the subject to ask about Mary's basketball career and Lucy's boyfriend. After making Lucy more nervous about the prospect of having Jimmy Moon meet the Colonel, Ruthie asks why Julie doesn't like the Colonel. Julie fudges an answer and everyone encourages her to give a chance because George has changed them so much. This causes Julie to get quiet. Everyone goes to bed. Lucy and Mary think somethings up.

The Colonel and Ruth are in the master bedroom. He's upset about how Julie's been acting. Ruth tries to make him feel better about it. They start talking about George, all happy about having him in the family.

Eric and Annie are trying to share Matt's twin bed again. Because that was so much fun the last time the Colonel was in town. Eric tells her about the situation with Will Grayson and his son. Annie thinks this is a good idea, until she learns that it's George that Eric is talking about. They both look sad.

Morning. Jimmy meets Lucy grandparents. The Colonel and Ruth replay the exact scene Matt and Mary performed earlier. It's actually pretty funny. Especially since Jimmy and Lucy both look terrified. The Colonel dismisses them and the two adults laugh at their joke. Eric pops in to ask them into his office to talk.

Outside, Jimmy and Lucy are discussing the meeting. Jimmy tries to pretend he wasn't properly prepared, but Lucy calls him on it. He agrees, saying he fell victim to his own arrogance. What teenager talks like that?

In Eric's office, Eric breaks the news about George to his parents. They take it pretty hard. The Colonel asks Eric to help them keep custody of George, but Eric says there's nothing he can do. The Colonel storms out, and Ruth asks Eric if he knew what it took for the Colonel to ask for help. She then asks Eric if he thinks that Will Grayson should get custody of George. Eric makes the mistake of indicating a yes answer, earning him a slap across the face. It's pretty awesome to watch. Ruth looks pretty shocked at her action, saying she and the Colonel don't know how to be helpless.

George reveals that is really is a Camden by coming out from hiding behind a cabinet. Eric convinces George to meet the guy. George leaves, and Eric actually starts praying. Which happens surprisingly little for a show about a minister.
George is hanging with Simon and Ruthie, preparing to meet his father. Ruth and the Colonel come in to assure him that they intend to fight for custody. Eric comes in to take George to the meeting. Ruthie gives him a hug and Simon gives him a pat on the shoulder for good measure. They both look despondent.

George is nervous about meeting his father. Eric talks him up. Will meets them there, and apologizes for uprooting him one more time. George asks for a timeline. He's pretty stoic about it. He announces that he'll wait outside. Eric and Will discuss him a bit, until Eric remembers that George has a history of running away. They both head outside, but George is nowhere to be seen.

Night. Julie is trying to comfort her mother, but makes the mistake of refering to Will as his father. Ruth corrects her, insisting that the Colonel is George's father. Annie is making tea. Julie is trying to be way to rational about the situation, which is not comforting to Ruth. Ruth confronts Julie on her behaviour towards her father. Julie calls her father 'a stone,' causing Ruth to go on a rant about how the entire situation is Julie's fault. Her rationale doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but her kid is missing, she's not thinking straight. Annie tries too late to head off the fight. Ruth tries to apologize, but Julie's not hearing it. She starts yelling at her mother about what a loser she is, but blames her mother for raising her that way. Ruth responds by denying respnsibility and leaving the room.

Church. George is stealing from Eric's office, when Eric catches him. George is feeling torn between the Camdens and his father. He thinks they're both great. How he knows Will is great after a ten second meeting, I'm not sure. Eric convinces him to come back to the Cam-mansion.

The Colonel is sitting outside alone. Mary comes out to tell him that George is back. Mary heads off to bed, pausing to tell the Colonel that she loves him.
Julie is sneaking around the kitchen with a bottle of wine. Matt catches her and talks her out of drinking it. Julie tries to make excuses, but Matt suggests she talk to her father instead.

He's outside, sitting in Annie's boat, crying. Julie goes out to comfort him. He feels as though he's lost his children, but Julie climbs in the boat next to him to tell him that she's not lost. They make up and comfort each other. Ruth watches from the window.

Morning. Julie tells Matt that she didn't take the drink. George asks Simon to look out for the Colonel and Ruth. Simon promises. The boys seem to be getting along better. Simon catches Ruthie listening at the door.

In Eric's office, the Colonel is trashing a plan that Eric has come up with. Will Grayson thinks it is ridiculous as well. The women in the room think it's a great plan. Eric tries to spin it as what's best for George. Annie suggests they fix up their guest house for George's father. Ruth reveals they were planning to offer it to Julie. This is news to the Colonel.

Will wants to know what he's supposed to do in New York, and Eric suggests that they need cops there, too. Will says applying for a transfer would take months, so Ruth offer's the Colonel's connections to speed the process. The Colonel doesn't want to, but Ruth lays down the law, even going so far as to call him John. Eventually all the adults agree.

The Colonel catches all the kids listening at the door and sends them to get their bags. He has George, Lucy and Jimmy Moon wait because he wants to talk to them. He sends the lovebirds to the living room, and offers George a choice between going back with Will or with them. He chooses the Camdens.

Julie wonders how they're going to get the boat to New York. She and Will go to look at it. It looks much more finished. He invites her to ride with him to New York, and she agrees. I sense sparks.

The Colonel and Ruth apoloogize to Jimmy Moon for their behavior at their earlier meeting. The Colonel still manages to freak him out, suggesting that if anyone were to hurt Lucy he'd hunt them down like a dog. Jimmy accepts the apology. He still thinks they're scary.

In the kitchen, Annie, Eric and Julie beg Matt and Mary to do their impression of the Colonel and Ruth. Matt and Mary are reluctant at first, but eventually give in. They really get into, and the adults find it amusing, until the Colonel and Ruth come into the kitchen. Fortunately, the grandparents find it as amusing as I do. Laughs and hugs all round.


Eric should not have been involved in George's situation due to the obvious conflict of interest. And also, how is it that none of these adults hired a lawyer?

Also, what if George had been adopted as an infant? It seems that whatever the situation, Will was unnecessarily disrupting George's life.

So, did the Camdens just leave their liquor cabinet stocked, knowing that they would be hosting a woman who just got out of rehab, or did Julie make the effort to buy that bottle of wine?

Matt and Mary's impression of their grandparents is pretty funny.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Faith, Hope, and the Bottom Line

Night at the Cam-Mansion. Simon is babbling to Ruthie about how awesome he is at baseball. I don't believe him. But he certainly is using a lot of metaphors. Ruthie is excited to have a class phone list. Simon points out that the phone numbers are probably wrong. Ruthie proves this by not remembering the Camden phone number. Ruthie is sad to discover this, but has faith that her classmates know their phone numbers. Simon tries to show off with his stellar knowledge of the Camden phone number, but Ruthie undercuts this by noting that no one ever calls him. Heh.

Eric is at a job fair, talking to a potential new organist/office assistant. The guy is a little surprised that Eric is so interested because he spent some time in prison. Eric doesn't seem to care and asks him to meet the vestry the next day. Hmm.

Annie is at the vestry meeting apologizing for Eric's lateness. Lou makes his first appearance, noting how much Eric hates the vestry meetings. They need to elect a temporary treasure, and decide to proceed without him. This would not fly at any church I've ever been to. The rector may not always get the final say, but they usually have an opinion on such matters. Especially since the vestry wants to appoint Annie to the position. Can we say conflict of interest?

Morning. Annie is making lunches for her off-spring. Eric is struggling to figure out how to put the sandwiches in the ziploc baggies. 'Cause he's not domestic. Simon comes in so that Annie can ask him if he wants to play Little League. He gives her a long winded answer that boils down to a yes. That means he needs a tetanus shot. He asks if Matt can take him to the clinic. Annie loves the idea. Eric offers to take him, but Simon points out that Eric's fear of needles causes too much anxiety in the waiting room. Eric orders Matt to take Simon of the doctor.

Upstairs, Lucy is thanking Mary for tutoring Jimmy. She also manages to insult Mary while making excuses for his lackluster science grades. Mary totally calls her on this. Lucy gives Mary some ridiculous advice about how to tell if Jimmy actually gets a concept or is just pretending to. It involves looking deeply into Jimmy's eyes. Mary is super annoyed.

Outside, Simon is trying to convince Matt to forge the shot record on his sign-up form. Matt refuses on reasonable grounds, but Simon thinks he can talk Matt into the plan.
Eric tries to discuss Annie's new church position with her. He doesn't seem that thrilled that the vestry appointed her. This is why you shouldn't skip meetings, Rev. Annie is confident that she can handle everything. Eric's worried that vestry is going to make him get a security system, but Annie points out that they are only looking into costs.

Ruthie comes down and reveals that she's certain her siblings will leave her behind someday. She then discusses her dessert. Annie suggests an elaborate trade with the other siblings, causing me to wonder why she didn't just make the lunches that way in the first place. She also talks about her phone list. It's fairly dull.

After the kids leave for school, Eric mentions the ex-con he wants the vestry to meet. Annie asks him straight out if he minds that she's acting as treasurer, and he lies that he's thrilled. Annie pretends to believe him.

Middle school. Lucy gives Jimmy advice on handling Mary. Jimmy sums it up as "smile, show some teeth, basically look pretty." I'm not sure why that would help him learn science from anyone. Lucy give terrible advice.

Church. The ex-con, Ron, is wowing everyone with his mad organ playing skills. Lou, however, is skeptical about hiring an former convict to act as church secretary. Tension...

Doctors. Simon has a pointless conversation with a girl in the waiting room. It's really just a set up for him to freak Matt out about needles and waiting rooms. Matt won't agree to forge anything on the form, but he does agree to bring Simon later. That it succeeds is a testament to Matt's stupidity. How did someone this squemish become a doctor? Simon refers to himself as "the puppet master" as they leave.

Church. Eric is trying to convince Annie about how awesome Ron is and why they should hire him. She points out that the vestry isn't sure they want to test out Ron's rehabilitation with the church's limited resources. Eric is upset that she's not on board with his intuition, and she refers to herself as the practical one. What she's basing that statement on, I can't even imagine.

Eric really steps in it when he suggests that they elected Annie treasurer in order to influence him. Annie is obviously hurt by the comment, but Eric doesn't apologize. Because he sucks.

Ruthie is on the phone with the fire department. Lucy catches her, and gives her a lecture on not calling emergency numbers when there is no emergency. Ruthie tries to blame Simon, and Lucy tells her to stay off the phone. I hope she appreciated the irony of that statement.

Mary is tutoring Jimmy. Lucy is spying on them. Mary is taking Lucy's advice by staring into Jimmy's eyes. Jimmy is also taking Lucy's advice to smile a lot. Lucy has a wacky hallucination-- Mary undoes her ponytail in what is supposed to pass for attraction and uses some breath spray, while Jimmy runs his hands through his hair, and the two move in for a kiss. Jimmy Moon displays more emotion in the fantasy sequence than he has in any other scene in the series. Lucy is jealous.

Church. Lou and the vestry are touring the facility with a guy from a security company. Eric jumps to the conclusion that the vestry has made a decision. He also accuses Lou of not giving the ex-con any more thought. Lou claims they have thought about it, but have not changed their minds. Eric reveals that he didn't even find out what Ron served time for. I find that highly ridiculous, even for 1996. What if Ron had been violent or something. Lou calls Eric on not rethinking his position. Eric thinks the church should be open to anyone, Lou is worried abou t general liability. Annie looks thoughtful.

Night at the Cam-Mansion. Lucy accuses Mary of trying to steal her boyfriend. Actually what she says is that Mary thought "if [Jimmy] had six more arms, he could be a babeloctopus." Not sure what that means, but Mary certainly finds it ridiculous. She responds with, "I didn't think that. What kind of mind would?" Lucy is not be convinced by logic or the fact that Mary thinks Jimmy is useless. She's insane with jealousy. And in case anyone thought she hit rock bottom with the "babeloctopus," she makes even less sense as the conversation continues. Mary finally leaves.

Ron is trying to get into the church. Lou is lurking. Ron asks for a hymnal, but Lou tells him they don't have the money to fill that position. He also asks Ron what his conviction was. He tries to be clever, but it boils down to embezzlement. Lou maintains an air of non-judgment, but it's clear he doesn't think much of Eric's plan to hire the man.

Eric confronts Matt about not waiting for Simon to get his shot. Eric admits that he a Simon ducked out of the shot last year. Eric suggests he brings headphones to prevent Simon from talking to him while they wait. That the two discuss it like they're going to war is a little unnerving.

Lucy is on the phone with Jimmy Moon, accusing him of having designs on her sister. Jimmy is repulsed by the idea, and points out that Lucy told him to smile, and set up the tutoring. Ruthie starts eavesdropping on the conversation, but she's not savvy enough to pick up the phone without being noticed. Jimmy hangs up on them.

Lucy goes to find out why Ruthie wants the phone. She wants to Poison Control because her imaginary friend drank Happy's water. Lucy talks her out of this idea, explaining that emergency numbers are for real people and real emergencies. Ruthie is not pleased with this.

Matt tells Simon that they're going back to the doctor tomorrow. He also describes the shot in such detail that Simon is now terrified about getting the shot. Way to go, Matt.
Church. Eric and Lou have it out about Ron and the security system. Lou thinks Eric's job is to represent the parishoners and their values. Eric sums up his job as representing the church, and it's values. I'm not sure how often he succeeds with that. Also not sure why he considers the church and parishoners separate entities. Lou suggests that if Eric persists in this, he might be looking for another parish.

Morning. Eric is ranting to Annie. She's explaining what Lou is thinking, but Eric doesn't want to hear any other view point. She points out that not everyone has as much faith as he does, and Eric finally hears her. He apologizes for being so one sided. They make up. He asks to see her report early, but she's not budging.

Matt and Mary are trying to get Simon out of his room. He's barricaded himself in to avoid the shot. Mary offers to find a screw driver to take the doorknob off. Not sure if that will work. Ruthie, upon learning about the situation, decides to use her phone tree and call the police.

Srgt Michaels knocks on the door, and demands Simon open up. The cops find out that Simon is all right. The audience and Ruthie are treated to a lecture about calling the cops when it's not an emergency. Too bad the Rev. wasn't here to benefit. Lucy takes the phone list away. About time.

Simon gets his shot, but turns out Matt needs one, too. Matt is not pleased until Simon gives him a lollipop. Seriously, how did this guy become a doctor?

Night. Mary confronts Lucy about Jimmy cancelling the tutoring. Lucy feels about her freak outs. Mary tells her that she wouldn't ever do anything to hurt her, until later seasons anyway. Lucy apologizes, and they make up. Annie comes into to announce that Jimmy is at the Camden's to talk to Lucy.

Jimmy gives Lucy a long speech that boils down to that he needs the passing science grade and that Lucy should trust him. Except he uses the phrase that he's 'not a free love kind of guy.' Jimmy, shut up. Lucy goes to get Mary.

Annie is trying to fix the door to Simon's room. Ruthie is watching. Which gives Annie the opportunity to talk to Ruthie about the phone. That they are talking about the phone list like it's a drug is unsettling, to say the least. Ruthie wants to know who told Annie. Turns out it was everybody and their brother.

Matt asks Eric if they're going to hire Ron. Eric is surprised that Matt knows about the situation. Matt notes that there are no secrets in their house. Very true. Turns out Eric hired him, and is trusting that he will show up. He also trusts that Matt took Simon to get his shot. Matt hands him the lollipop as proof.

Church. Annie is giving a speech about what to do with the budget. It's way longer than it needs to be. She doesn't actually tell us what her recommendations are though.
The service starts, sans organ. Lou is quick to note that Ron is late. When Ron shows, he explains the tardiness by blaming the bus.

The hymn closes out, as Annie hugs herself self-importantly.


Lou is pretty awesome when he's sparing with Eric. He's another character that is less inclined to bend to Eric's will.

Lucy, no one else cares about Jimmy Moon. Especially your sister. Save your jealousy for when she is actually trying to steal your boyfriends (or ex-boyfriends).

The timeline on Simon's tetanus shot is weird. If Eric took him the year before, I don't know why he'd need another one. The last time I got a tetanus shot it was good for ten years. Maybe Simon convinced his dad to sign the form without getting the shot?

I can't imagine that a vestry would be able to appoint the minister's wife to treasurer in a meeting that the minister didn't attend. I'm not sure why a vestry would even want to.

I also can't imagine Eric wouldn't have found out what Ron had been convicted of before hiring him. I know churches preach forgiveness, and certainly congregants are from many walks of life. However, to hire someone with a more checkered past, a rector would generally be inclined to do a little more research. Or at least understand the vestry's reservations.

Also, Srgt. Michael's arrived at the Camden's minutes after Ruthie called. I'm telling y'all, he is way too involved with this family.