We open with the Camdens preparing to go to church. Annie has changed his sermon without asking. That seems rude. Lucy announces she's trying out for cheerleading. Mary does not approve. Simon is trying to become invisible. Matt announces that he's bringing a date to church. The family seems prepared to tease him mercilessly. Matt gives his sisters crap for listening in on his phone calls. Hypocrit.
After church. Lucy can't wait to start practicing for her cheerleading tryout, which disgusts Mary. She thinks that cheerleading is stupid.
Matt's girlfriend, Tia, is sucking up to the Camden parents. She gets invited to Sunday dinner. She would rather eat with his entire family than spend time alone with Matt-- she even offers to help Annie cook. Matt, this is clue #1 that she's not that into you.
Simon wants to ride home with Matt and Tia. She thinks it's a great idea. Matt, clue #2.
Simon asks if Tia thinks it's possible to become invisible. Tia thinks it's entirely possible.
Annie and Eric are cooking. He goes in for a kiss, but Annie pulls away. She's apparently feeling a lack of romance. She misses surprises. He's not picking up on the clues.
Mary is practicing basketball, and won't help Lucy with cheerleading. She thinks cheerleading trivializes women and women's sports. Way to dismiss your sister's dream there. Clearly she's never seen Bring it On.
Tia arrives and assumes they're playing basketball. She speculates on the joys of having a sibling. Mary takes another opportunity to insult Lucy, and starts to leave. Tia thinks it's about her, and Lucy tries to tell her it's not about her. Tia does not believe Lucy, but changes the subject to cheerleading. Lucy tries a cart wheel and falls on her face. Tia and I laugh at her.
Simon is still trying to become invisible, while Ruthie helps with the cooking. Matt comes in looking for Tia. Annie waxes poetic about meeting Eric and then stammers out that they were much older than Matt. Matt leaves the kitchen as quickly as possible.
After dinner. Tia offers to help with the dishes. She's still sucking up to Eric about his sermon. She asks him to requote Robert Frost. When he does, she bursts into tears. Annie sends Matt after her.
Matt and Tia talk. Her parents just got divorced, and she really thinks he's really lucky to have such a solid family.
High school. Tia asks Matt for a ride to her dad's, and invites Matt over for a study date. But manages to turn it into an invite to his house. She has a car there that she's not allowed to drive to her mom's. She'll follow Matt to his house after they pick up her car. She also invites herself for dinner. Matt, clue #3.
Eric comes home early. And he's trying to use the the rare opportunity to be romantic, but it's not enough for Annie. She wants him to plan something special.
Lucy overhears her friends trashing her cheerleading ability and tries to rush Matt away from the school. Matt, being nosy, won't drive until she tells him what's wrong. He promises to get her on the squad. He also takes credit for getting Mary on the basketball team. Guess the Camden girls can't do anything without the aid of their big brother.
Simon appears in the backseat and his brother encourages his delusions of invisibility.
Tia and her mother and her mother's cell phone arrive at the Camdens' before Matt. Her mother overshares about her divorce and how she can't stand the possibility of running into her ex if she took her daughter herself. Then she rushes off, managing to insinuate that her condo will sell faster if the buyers don't know she has a teenage daughter. They're moving to a singles complex. Tia makes a sad face, while Annie gets all judgmental. The mom remains oblivious. Annie manages to be sympatheic to Tia though.
Eric picks Mary up from practice. She's whining about Lucy's interest in cheerleading. Mary, itt's really none of your business. Get a hobby. Eric tries to talk her into being more supportive, but she's not having it. Probably because he thinks cheerleading is stupid too and is only lecturing her on Annie's orders. Way to undermine your own point, Rev.
Simon is still trying to be invisible. Ruthie is talking, but can't be seen. She convinces Simon that she's achieved invisibility. Simon looks for her, but doesn't find her hiding behind the bedroom door. Well Simon, you just got outsmarted by a four year old, how do you feel?
Matt and Tia are still studying. His parents suggest that it's time for Tia to go home. She invites herself over for dinner tomorrow, claiming that she's sorry she didn't get more of a chance to talk to the Camden parents. Matt, clue #4.
Tia thanks Matt for the ride earlier, and Matt offers to follow her home if she's nervous about the late hour. She turns him down, but takes the time to mention how much she likes hanging out with his family. Matt, clue #5.
Later. The phone rings, waking Eric up. It's Tia's father and he's wondering if Tia is still at the Camdens. Eric and Annie go to check on what might have happened. They find her sleeping in her car, still parked in their driveway. She didn't want to go to her dad's. Eric says he's worried, but Tia points out it took him until 2:30 to notice her absense. Hey, at least he didn't assume it wasn't his custody night.
They go inside to call Tia's dad, who is more than happy to let her spend the night at the Camdens. This way it won't interfere with his date. He declines to talk with her. Ass. Annie makes up a bed on the couch, while Eric encourages her to talk to her parents.
Morning. Matt is surprised to find Tia still at his house. Simon wants to talk to Tia about invisibility. Mary wonders if Tia ever leaves. Simon offers her Mary's wardrobe, giving Tia the opportunity to make a comment about having sisters. Matt, clue #6.
Eric and Annie talk to Matt about Tia's situation. Eric asks permission from Matt to interfere in Tia's life. Seems like he should be asking Tia instead. The Camdens judge her parents. Matt thinks Tia could be the one, which freaks out Eric. Annie has picked up on the fact that Tia is using the Camdens as a replacement family. They elect not to mention it to Matt.
Eric leaves, kissing Annie on the forehead. She looks annoyed. He looks pleased with himself.
School. Matt breaks a date with Tia to help Lucy with her cheerleading. Tia's understanding and says she'll be at her dad's. They make a date for the weekend. Tia wants to go to church with Matt again. Matt mentions having some alone time together, and Tia says she doesn't mind if they don't because she likes his family. Matt, clue #7.
Eric goes to talk to Tia's dad. He's on the phone, and their talk is continually interrupted by more phone calls. He's really too busy to talk.
Matt takes Lucy to a gymnastics studio. They have the place to themselves. Matt's trying to build her confidence. We have a montage of Lucy becoming a competent cheerleader with Matt's help. Aww.
Night at the Camdens. Tia is hanging out with Mary and Lucy discussing Mary's new jacket. Matt comes up to talk to Tia, but she'd rather hang out with his sisters. Matt, clue #8.
Matt bumps into Simon in the hallway. Simon tells him that Tia wants to be a Camden. Matt is stupid enough to think Simon is talking about marriage. Simon, however, has realized that Tia would love the Camdens to adopt her. Matt is perplexed.
Eric and Annie discuss Tia's parents and their obliviousness. Eric wants to get them in the same room to discuss their daughter. They start kissing, and Annie goes to turn out the lights. Eric turns over to go to sleep. Annie is disappointed. Eric looks more pleased with himself.
Morning. Lucy thinks she's not pretty enough to be a cheerleader. Matt gives her a pep talk. It's actually kind of sweet.
Cheerleader tryouts. The whole family plus Tia has turned out to watch the event. Lucy is doing well, and the family is amazed. Mary doesn't think it's that stupid anymore. Aww.
Night. Matt and Tia decide to cool it because she's more into his family. Tia makes it all about her parents divorce.
In the living room. Eric and Annie are listening to Tia's mom excitedly discuss the blind date she thinks they're setting her up on. The Camdens are clearly judging her. The doorbell rings and her ex-husband comes in. They seem shocked to see each other. The Camdens leave to go get the person they want them both to meet-- Tia.
Eric gives them a condescending speech about how they're ignoring her. They start fighting before Tia has a chance to get a word in. Eric gives Tia a chance to say what's on her mind. In sum, she feels ignored and unloved by both her parents. She leaves the room so that Eric can lecture and give a psa on all the terrible things that can happen to kids whose parents are in the middle of a divorce. Then Eric leaves Tia's parents alone to discuss their daughter.
Tia's dad thinks the Rev has a holier than thou attitude. How right Tia's dad is. But Tia's mom thinks he's right about their daughter. They decide to get counseling from Eric, thus validating his intrusive behavior.
Annie tries to get her husbands attention, but he seems really busy.
Mary bought Lucy a sports bra to show her support for her sister's new sport.
Turns out Eric has planned a surprise picnic for Annie on the roof. He starts serenading her with "Up on the Roof." She joins him singing as the episode ends. I wonder how the neighbors feel about this.
Tia's parents are such caricatures of newly single people, that it's hard to take them seriously.
Annie and Eric are super judgemental of Tia's parents based on meeting each of them once.
Matt apparently knows enough about gymnastics and cheerleading to take Lucy from klutz to talented in a single afternoon. I wonder where he learned it all.
Mary is ridiculously obsessed with Lucy cheerleading for someone who plays a sport that often has cheerleaders present. Maybe in Glen Oak they only have cheerleaders at the boys' games.
Simon's invisibility plot is too ridiculous for words, but I guess they included it to have some tie in with how invisible Tia feels.
I like that the early episodes feature very little of Ruthie.