Eric is upset that Matt didn't show up for church. No one in the family knows where he is. They assume it has something to do with a girl. Given that it's Matt, that's probably a good guess.
Simon wonders when Happy will have her puppies. I had almost forgotten about that plot line.
The phone rings. Matt's sorry he wasn't in church, but he won't say why, just that he's helping someone. Eric lies about being upset. He's trying to trust him.
Lucy is super concerned about doing something special for her thirteenth birthday. Mary dismisses this desire because neither her or Matt made a big deal about turning thirteen. Apparently, celebrating birthdays isn't a big deal in the Camden household until the twins are born in Season 3. Lucy wants a boy-girl party, but her parents think she's way too young. Really? She snits out of the room.
Matt, it turns out, is helping Mrs. Peacock replace some light bulbs. Not sure why she wants to keep that particular activity a secret. She is worried about getting sent to a nursing home for needing too much help, but replacing light bulbs seems fairly inocuous. Matt looks uncomfortable at the prospect of lying to his father.
Morning. Simon can't find Happy. Lucy is whining about not having a party for her birthday. She explains her family's policy on gifts, which will continue through later season. The Camdens only give gifts that they make or find or are hand-me down. Jimmy Moon takes this as permission not to give her anything. Lucy passive-aggressively agrees.
Simon bitches Matt out for letting Happy into the yard by herself. He decides he's not leaving until they take Happy to the hospital to have her puppies. His parents explain that they don't need to take Happy to the hospital. Simon is way too much of a spaz to listen. He also refers to himself as Happy's "husband, master, only man in her life." Ew.
Eric is in a hurry to get to the church before someone gets there. He still takes time to needle Matt about missing church the previous day. Eric also needs tools to take the church. Apparently he's breaking things at the church so he can pay someone named Steve to fix them. That seems fiscally responsible.
Lucy's school. Some kid is inviting students to his birthday party. He's pretty rude when they turn him down, can't imagine why they don't want to go. His name is Dwight and he's a friend of Jimmy Moon's. Dwight invites Lucy to share his birthday party, but she's not that enthused. She makes an excuse about a family dinner. She's upset that Jimmy would rather go to Dwight's party.
Eric is breaking a drain pipe. He gets caught by that Steve fellow. Eric tries to give him some money from his family fun, but Steve thinks he should use it for someone in more need.
High School. Matt has been called to the office by a call from Mrs. Peacock. She's claimed to be Eric's sister. Hee. She needs Matt to come over right away. The office aide gives him permission to leave just as Mary happens by. Matt tries to dissuade her, but Mary is all too happy to ditch school.
Mrs. Peacock won't open the door, so Mary just wanders in. Mrs. Peacock is asleep on the coach, and Matt wakes her up. She can't remember why she called Matt because she was distracted by her tv shows. She offers to take them both for ice cream. Matt sends Mary outside. He tells Mrs. Peacock that he's not sure he's up to the helping her as much as she needs. He wants to talk to his dad. He promises to call her later. She looks sad and flustered.
Outside, Mary is suddenly worried about getting caught. Matt reminds her that she wanted to come on this trip, and that he promised to keep it a secret.
Camdens. Dwight is trying to convince Annie to let Lucy go to his party. Lucy is not happy to this turn of events. Simon is upset that Annie let Happy outside alone. Annie asks Mary and Matt to convince Lucy to go to the party.
Evening. Eric is working on his sermon, but he's having trouble because he can't stop thinking about Steve. Eric can't seem to find anyone who needs help right now. I wonder if that could possibly tie in to another story line.
Simon is still overly concerned about Happy.
The phone rings. Eric answers. He understands someone's concern. Hmm.
In the kitchen, Happy has had her puppies. Annie and the kids all gather around to stare at them.
This cute scene is interupted by Eric's revelation that the school secretary called to find out about Aunt Gladys. He doesn't make the connection to Mrs. Peacock, even though her first name is Gladys. He wants to know who lied to the school. They won't reveal who called the school. Annie is under some delusion that it had something to do with Lucy's birthday.
Annie wants to trust them, but Eric points out that they skipped school and lied about an emergency. And really, since they didn't tell him why, I agree they should be punished. Annie is basing her desire to let off entirely on intuition. She tells Eric to have a little faith.
Simon and Ruthie are trying to pick names for the puppies. Nothing else happens.
Lucy is still whining about the party. Mary is trying to help gain some perspective. Lucy doesn't want to share her party and thinks she has cooler friends that Dwight and Jimmy. Lucy, you're the one dating the Moonster. Mary is appropriately disgusted with her sister's attitude.
Morning. Eric is going to check on Steve. Simon apparently got up everytime the puppies ate to feed Happy. Cause he's stupid.
The phone rings. It's Mrs. Peacock for Matt. She wants Matt to come by before school, but he doesn't have time. And he's still worried about getting in more trouble. Mrs. Peacock is quite frantic about needing him to get a coffee can of money off a high shelf. He won't agree to come by unti after school.
Eric finds out that Steve and his family are living in their van. Steve is still optimistic and feels grateful to have the van. Eric offers him money, or to stay with the Camdens. Steve just wants Eric to pray for him.
Mrs. Peacock has decided to get the can herself. She's having trouble getting her footing. She falls.
Night. Lucy tells her father that she's not going to Dwight's party because it's not the same as having her own party. Eric bitches her out for complaining, saying she should be grateful for what she has. Lucy runs out of the room crying.
Girls room. Lucy is crying on the bed. Eric comes in to apologize for snapping at her earlier. He explains about Steve's family. It's really more of a guilt trip disguised as an apology. Lucy feels properly ashamed of herself.
Phone. Matt tries to rush off to the hospital. Eric calls him out on having more secrets and not trusting him and Annie. Matt calls Eric about on how he doesn't trust his kids, but does reveal that he's going to see Mrs. Peacock. He tells him the whole situation. Eric decides to go to the hospital with Matt.
Ruthie and Simon discuss giving the puppies to Lucy. Ruthie is horrified by the possibility of splitting the puppies up.
Mrs. Peacock's doctor is telling Eric fairly confidential information about her condition.
Mrs. Peacock is trying to convince Matt to steal hospital stuff. She invites Eric to come in and join them rather than snooping. She doesn't blame Matt, though. She notes the Reverend is a nosy guy. I love Mrs. Peacock.
Eric suggests she hire Steve and his wife to do some work around her house while she recovers. The plots are coming together.
Lucy's school. Jimmy reveals that Dwight's party was really a surprise party for her. She invites Dwight and Jimmy over for cake, but Jimmy turns her down. Lucy is even more ashamed as she walks away. Dwight pops out and gives Jimmy a big thumbs up. Wonder what they're up to.
Mrs. Peacock's. Steve is working on her stairs. Matt brings over a dish from Annie. Mrs. Steve brings Mrs. Peacock her pills. Their daughter is going to be hanging out with Mrs. Peacock during the day. She asks Steve if his family would like to stay with her, and fix up her garage into a guest house. Looks like the Reverend's plan worked out.
Night. The Camdens return from Lucy's birthday dinner. She's still upset about how she treated Dwight. Annie suggests they have cake in the living room.
And it's Lucy's surprise party! She apologizes for her behavior and she thanks her parents. Eric asks her to dance and then promises t go upstairs. She tells him he's welcome to stay. Annie dances with Jimmy. Mary dances with Dwight.
Dwight cuts in on Lucy, so that he can profess his love for her. Lucy looks positively disgusted.
Bedtime. Lucy is confiding in Mary while the rest of the family is listening at the door. Mary is trying to get her to shut up so the rest of the family can come in with her presents.
Ruthie lets Lucy use her imaginary friend for the day. Simon is going to give her thirteen days of making her bed, and reveals that Dwight wants the puppies. Matt and Mary give her a basket of stuff she'll need for her teen years. Eric, near tears, gives her a baby picture, causing her to cry. Annie gives her a necklas that her mother gave her when she was thirteen. It's pretty sweet.
The episode closes with everyone telling Lucy Happy Birthday.
I'm going to assume that Annie gave Lucy the necklas because Grandma died that year and not because she was waiting for her daughter to turn thirteen. Otherwise, it's pretty cold to have passed on Mary the year before.