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.


  1. Is Lou the one who ends up later embezzling money, but it's okay because it's for his autistic son to get into a group home? I always thought it was interesting how Eric was *so* forgiving about the money issue and yet freaked out any time his kids even thought about converting/considering other religions. Or flipped someone off. (Well, I guess that was mostly Annie.)

    Speaking of that embezzling episode, it was weird how Eric just decided to forgive him. Doesn't the Church as a whole have to deal with this wayward employee and decide how to discipline him? or was Eric just going rogue in that one?

  2. Lou does later get caught embezzling money from the church. Eric's reaction to that was definitely understated, especially in light of his reactions to his kids' behavior. Different denominations would have different ways of handling such situations, but I have to imagine that Eric simply didn't report the incident to his vestry. 'Cause Eric Camden is a law unto himself.