High School. Mary nervously approaches detention. Mary you got two detentions in the last episode, you shouldn't be so nervous. She sits down next to Keri Russell, aka Felicity, (character name in this show Camille). Felicity assures her that no one bites. They introduce themselves and swap stories about why they're doing time. Mary is shocked that Felicity was smoking in the boys locker room. I can only assume that she is shocked by the smoking since she spent much of the last episode in a Men's restroom. Felicity invites her to hang out at the mall, and suggests that Mary find a way to get her parents to loosen up. Felicity, the Camden's are control freaks-- they will never loosen up.
Camden Mansion. Ruthie is begging her mom to get her a pet. Annie is not on board with this plan. The kids come home from school, sans Mary. Matt covers for her, saying she's at an off-season basket ball practice. Annie is impressed.
Annie tells Lucy that Eric wants to talk to her. Lucy worries that she's in trouble, and Annie wants to know why she'd think that.
A cab pulls up to the Camden Mansion. The man drops a $50 as he's paying the driver. He rings the doorbell, and Annie greets him with such excitement that I wonder if this explains the mystery of Ruthie's origin. That Eric is decidely unpleased to see him doesn't do much to change my mind.
Annie serves her guest, Tom, tea, while Eric tries to hold it together. Tom used to be Eric's associate rector. Annie can't stop gushing. Tom wants his old job back, and Eric seems not at all sorry to tell him that there's no openings. Tom offers to get a hotel, but Annie insists that he stay with the Camdens. Maybe she's hoping for another go? Though if that's the case, a hotel would be easier to sneak out to than trying to keep secrets at home. Maybe she's trying to avoid temptation.
Eric tells her that he's never liked Tom, and Annie is shocked. Eric revelation that Tom seems to be hiding something causes Annie to hightail it out of the room. Annie, you're not helping ease my suspicions.
Lucy comes in to talk to Eric. He tells her that she can start confirmation classes. Lucy is relieved that she's not in trouble.
Simon and Ruthie are walking Happy. They find Tom's $50. They debate about whether to keep it. I think we can all see where this is headed.
Mary tries to sneak in through the kitchen, but Annie catches her and asks about practice. Mary asks about going to the mall with Felicity, and Matt seems to think he has a say. He denies her permission before Annie can even respond. Annie asks some questions, but does give permission. She also reveals that Tom is visiting. Who Mary describes as the really good looking guy. Annie concurs, and leaves to set the table. This gives Matt an opportunity to try to control Mary's social circle, but she doesn't let him. Because Mary is almost normal in season one.
Simon and Ruthie decide to keep the money. They debate it for awhile, but eventually that is the conclusion they come to.
Tom is reading in the living room, when Lucy pops in to say hello. She asks him to help her study for confirmation classes, at her mother's suggestion. He manages to impress upon her the seriousness of the choice. Lucy is surprised to hear she has a choice...
Eric is picking at the salad Annie preparing for dinner and whining about how he knows Tom has a secret. Annie starts extolling his virtues to such a degree that I'm sure Eric is unaware of the mystery of Ruthie's origin. Because otherwise, she's being quite insensitive. Eric is surprised to hear that his wife finds Tom attractive, and Annie does little to ease his mind when she sarcastically tells Eric that he is more good looking than Tom.
Tom interupts to offer to help with dinner. He and Annie bond over recipes and don't notice when Eric sneaks out of the kitchen.
Simon and Ruthie ask Eric to take them to the mall, but Matt suggests that they go with Mary and her friend. Matt, butt out, it's just the mall. Mary expresses her annoyance by chucking her basketball at Matt's head.
Annie and Tom giggle in the kitchen. He almost spills his secret, but decides that he's not ready. When Annie goes to set the table, Tom pulls out a bottle of pills and takes one. Dun, dun, dun.
Evening. Eric is avoiding Tom by claiming he has paperwork to do. Annie tries to encourage him to hang out with Tom. Lucy interupts them to ask her dad for a book on Buddhism. She's interested in looking at all her religious options. She picked Buddhism because of Richarch Gere. Eric pretends to be cool with his daughter's exploration.
At the mall, Simon and Ruthie are tired of watching Mary and Felicity shop for clothes. They ask permission to go to the nearby pet store. Felicity convinces Mary to let them.
The girls go to try on dresses and Felicity invites Mary to a fraternity party. She also introduces Mary to the concept of sneaking out.
Tom and Annie are playing cards. Annie is having way too much fun. Eric comes in and announces that a parishoner called and asked him to drop by. There's a lot of back story, but since we never see this woman again, I don't care that much. Eric invites Tom to come with him, but Tom refuses. He heads to bed abruptly. Eric reiterates that Tom has a secret, and Annie offers to go visit the parishoner with him.
Annie asks Matt to watch Lucy on her way out and Matt agrees on the grounds that he "has no life." Matt, you have never been more right.
At the pet store, Simon and Ruthie try to buy hamsters, but the store owner is sensible enough to refuse to sell them anything without a parent. Ruthie is overly concerned that the hamsters be married. I think it's supposed to be cute.
Having been refused, they are easily convinced to buy some black market ferrets from a guy lurking outside the pet store. They spend the whole fifty on the pair. This will end well.
Lucy and Matt are reading in Lucy's room. I guess Matt took his instructions to watch her very seriously, otherwise he'd be reading in his own room. Lucy tries to engage him in conversation about Buddhism, but he brushes her off. Matt tells her that she'll be in confirmation classes on Sunday. Lucy is naive enough to believe her dad is open minded about her exploration.
Eric and Annie talk to the random parishoner. She's sorry Tom didn't come with them. She also describes Tom as the good looking one.
Mary, Simon and Ruthie arrive home. Simon and Ruthie rush up to bed in order to hide their ferrets. Mary also heads to bed. Matt is suspicious of the early hour, but Mary insists she's tired.
Once upstairs, Mary begs Lucy to distract Matt while she sneaks out of the house. Lucy agrees, saying Mary owes her.
Lucy distracts Matt by trying to engage him in a conversation about religion. Matt has no patience for the discussion, but Lucy persists.
Mary sneaks out of the house. Happy chases the ferrets down stairs.
Outside, Felicity hands Mary a stolen dress. She rips off the security tag, giving the dress a slit up the leg. Mary starts to change as they head to the party.
Inside, Matt is bored with Lucy very interesting concerns about choosing a religion. Maybe because he's too stupid to follow her line of thought. He's relieved to see his parents come home. Matt reveals that Simon and Ruthie having been coming down for snacks and that Tom went out for a walk. Lucy tells them that Mary went to bed, which concerns Annie. She wants to know if her eldest daughter is feeling okay. Lucy offers to go check.
Eric decides to have a snack. Annie notices that something has chewed through a cereal box. She thinks it's mice. Matt is disgusted that Eric eats the cereal anyway. As am I.
Pool hall. Tom is drinking Slice, and chatting with the bartender. He notices that he's missing $50. The bartender asks him if he's sure he's okay and Tom replies that he never said he was. Deep.
Frat house. Turns out the party is Mary, Felicity and two guys. Mary is not comfortable with the situation, and refuses the offer of a beer. Felicity suggest that she relax. Felicity and her date leave Mary and her date alone. Mary is nervous.
Simon and Ruthie notice that the ferrets are missing. Annie tells them about the mice.
Annie pops in to say goodnight to Mary and Lucy. Lucy covers by asking about confirmation class. Annie buys it.
Lucy returns Eric's Buddha book, and asks for a book on Quakers. They talk briefly about different religions until Lucy gets tired. She asks again if he minds her looking into other faiths. Eric says it doesn't bother him, but then he nearly breaks his chair when he sits down. Eric is a terrible liar.
Annie tells Eric if he's upset about Lucy's inquiry he should say something. He lies some more and says he doesn't want her to pick his church just because it's his church. Annie comments that's very liberal of him and sends Eric out to look for Tom. She thinks he's hiding something.
Frat house. Mary and her date are sitting awkwardly on a couch. He offers her a beer, but she still doesn't want one. When she gets up to talk to Felicity, her date expresses doubt that she's really 18. Probably because she's 14.
Mary asks Felicity to take her home. Felicity suggests she ask her date for a ride, but Mary notes that he's been drinking all night. Felicity joins the boys, and Mary looks upset.
Camden Mansion. Annie sees the ferrets in her drawer and starts screaming about mice. Simon rushes in to explain about the ferrets. Annie is not happy.
Lucy is on the phone with Mary, who orders her to, "Get Matt now."
Simon is trying to sell his mom on the excellent investment he and Ruthie made when they purchased the ferrets. Annie isn't buying it. Lucy comes in and tells Matt to take the phone call in another room. She notes that the mice seem mutated.
Matt comes back in and tells Annie that he needs to pick up a friend at a party. Annie lets him go, admonishing him to go straight there and come straight home.
Church. Eric finds Tom praying. Tom reveals that his big secret is epilepsy, and he had a seizure in the middle of a sermon. Eric suggests that he give the congregation a chance. Eric also no longer doesn't like Tom.
Matt picks Mary up at the frat house. He starts to give her a lecture. Felicity comes out to ask if Mary's leaving. Matt insists that he's taking Felicity home as well. Felicity isn't buying it. Matt threatens to put her in the car and starts counting down. I'm sure that it's supposed to seem protective, but it just seems creepy. Felicity gets in the car, sparing the viewers Matt's attempt to force her.
Annie is talking to the ferrets when Eric comes home with Tom. He wants the ferrets, so he's not mad that Simon and Ruthie spent his money. Annie is pleased that Eric likes Tom now.
Matt and Mary come home, giving Annie a chance to figure out that Matt picked up Mary at the party. Mary explains the situation, to which Eric replies, "How many ways could you go wrong in one sentence?" Heh. Matt orders Mary to talk to him after the parents finish they're lecture. Because he is under the impression that he is Mary's third parent.
Annie asks if Mary is okay, and Mary says she is. Annie chews her out. And grounds her for a month. They ask if Lucy was covering for her. Mary starts to head upstairs, when Annie calls her back to say that they're glad she's home safe and that they love her. Only she says it in a super pissed off tone, which strains the credibility of the statement. Mary offers a weak, 'yeah,' before heading upstairs.
Annie wants to ground Lucy for two weeks for covering for her. Eric wants to use the situation to force Lucy into confirmation class. Because he was lying when he encouraged her to search. Annie pretends to be surprised by this.
Mary actually did go up and talk to Matt. So he's lecturing her on the difference between guys and girls. He's shocked at her dress. He tells her he's going to be watching her like a hawk. Mary pretends this is protective instead of creepy.
Eric is eavesdropping on them. Annie pretends to disapprove.
Eric pops his head in to say goodnight to Lucy. She in the middle of covering for Mary, when Mary walks into the room. Lucy decides that she will be in confirmation class on Sunday. Huh, I guess his plan worked.
Tom is preaching. He's using the Camdens latest adventures as examples of facing choices. They don't mind, since they're listening to a rehearsal. The parishoner Eric and Annie visited is there, too. She wants to stay and think in the church awhile. The Camdens head to take Tom to the airport. Simon wans to know if they still have to come to church on Sunday.
We close with a shot of the ferrets running through the church.
Annie is way too excited to see Tom. And she has way more chemistry with him than her husband.
It was cool of Matt to pick Mary up from the party, but it seems less cool that he intimidated her friend into getting in his car. I almost wish the girl hadn't gotten in the car, just to see whether he really would have put her in the car.
The ferret subplot was ridiculous.
It was pretty hilarious to watch Eric try and fail to be supportive of Lucy's religious exploration. Just like every other time he tries to be supportive of his kids making independent choices.