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...

Thoughts:
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!

4 comments:

  1. I always thought it was odd that ppl kept saying Lucy looked bad as a blonde...but wasn't she already blonde? Sure, it was kind of darker/dirty blonde, but I never thought of her as a brunette.

    And I thought Annie was always insanely bitchy about Ginger. Even on Ginger/Grandpa's wedding day--when she refused to do the reception because she assumed it wouldn't happen. And Ginger was so nice! Why did no one ever call Annie on that?

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  2. I can only assume it was because the family was afraid she would kill them in their sleep if they challenged her.

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  3. The whole Annie thing could have been handled with much more subtlety. I mean, I get that she's upset over her dad replacing her mom while she's still grieving, that's actually really understandable. But to go that crazy? Christ.

    I didn't remember that Heather and Wilson were intro'ed in the same episode. Weird.

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