Annie brings Ruthie a snack. She brats that Annie is blocking the view of her imaginary friend. Annie is surprisingly indulgent towards this behaviour. The phone rings. The women calling Annie calls her by her maiden name. It's Rachel, an old high school friend, who has been married several times. She's just moved to Glen Oak, and is living near the Camdens.
While Annie is distracted, Simon comes into the tv room and changes the channel. Ruthie tries to interrupt Annie's phone call to tattle, but Annie basically ignores her, until she starts screaming like she's been killed. The cause of this commotion? Simon sat on the imaginary friend, and Ruthie is convinced that Hooey is squashed. That shouldn't amuse me quite so much. Annie gets off the phone to glare at Simon, even though there's no way he could have known where Ruthie's invisible friend was sitting.
Night. Simon and Eric are cleaning dishes when Annie comes in all dressed up. Simon comments that she doesn't look like a mom. She takes it as a compliment, but I have to think he meant she looks like a lady of the evening. I mean she's really dolled up, like she's going on a date. Eric worries and doesn't like the idea of letting her out of the house without him. She laughs at him.
Eric asks Simon about the Hooey-squishing. Simon denies it.
Doorbell. Matt answers the door to reveal Rachel, who mistakes Matt for Eric. I don't want to spend a lot of time contemplating that, though I guess it reveals that Rachel's first impression of Matt is far more adult than he actually is. Rachel and Annie hug and giggle. Rachel meets the family, and makes many inappropriate comments. Including asking Lucy and Mary to scout potential dates for her. She also reveals that she's been divorced twice. Shocking! Ruthie asks about Hooey, and Annie and Rachel depart for their night on the town. Just after Rachel reveals that she doesn't have a car, and is hoping Annie can drive. Man, Annie's skirt is short.
Matt mentions to Eric that, "Mom's got a new hanging buddy," and Eric pretends to be supportive. Matt just laughs at him.
Simon spends some time trying to convince Ruthie that he didn't squish her imaginary friend. It's not working, but Simon keeps trying.
Resteraunt. Rachel is unloading on Annie about how crappy her life is. Annie brags about all her college courses. Like way to make your friend who didn't finish college feel worse about it. Rachel gets a dig about Annie "just staying home with Eric and the kids." Annie defends her life choices. They offer a toast with what appears to be real wine. Because at this point the show still thought moderation was possible.
Cam-Mansion. Lucy's friend Suzanne announces that her formerly dead-beat dad found her mom a job at a car dealership. It sounds like a decent job with quite a few benefits. Suzanne is happy.
Simon begs for Eric's help fixing the situation with Ruthie and her imaginary friend. Eric actually reasonably explains that Ruthie is testing letting Hooey go. Ruthie comes in and asks Eric to have a goodbye party for him. Eric asks her to wait a few days, but agrees to have the party if she still wants to then. Simon seems way too invested in this thing judging by the way he grabs Eric by the collar and orders him to do something.
Matt and Mary play basketball. Matt wants Mary to set Rachel up with one of her basketball coaches. Because adults love being set up by the students they mentor. Mary is reluctant, but Matt talks her into betting on it. Um, y'all, just because she asked you to find her a date, doesn't mean you actually have to do it.
Lucy and Suzanne tell Eric about the job. Eric reveals that the dealership is in another town. Matt pops his head in to offer Suzanne a ride home, so he can study later. Suzanne wants to ask her mom about the move.
Annie and Rachel return, still giggling. Matt announces that he's taking Suzanne home, and Rachel talks him into driving her home, too. Annie tells Eric she had a great time. Eric pretends to be happy for her. Annie reveals that she agreed to lend Rachel Eric's car the following day. Eric comments that he admires Rachel's adventurous spirit, but Annie calls him on his lying. Annie suggests that he find her a man to spend time with if Rachel gets on his nerves.
At Rachel's house. Matt has kindly walked Rachel to her door. She has trouble finding her keys, but then drops them out of her purse. She and Matt both reach down to get the keys, leading Rachel to lean in for a kiss. Matt pulls away in shock, and Rachel invites him in. Matt turns her down, so Rachel accuses him of not finding her attractive. Matt obviously does find her attractive, but points out that she's a friend of his mother's. Rachel flirts and tricks him into asking her on a date. She's taking him to see a band, only she says it like it's a euphemism. Matt looks confused. Aww, Rachel's already found herself a man.
Morning. Rachel has joined the Camden's for breakfast. Rachel is clearly a mooch. Matt and Mary come into the kitchen, and Rachel lets the Camden parents know about the band she wants to take Matt to. Annie assumes that Rachel wants to take Matt to a bar, but it's just a coffee-house. Mary invites herself, and Matt jumps on this opportunity to make the evening seem less like a date. Rachel barely covers her disappointment. Annie's not worried because Rachel is her best friend, who we already know she hasn't seen in like twenty years.
Lucy demonstrates that she's as much a pushover as her mother by asking if she can pack an extra lunch for her friend. But I thought Suzanne's dad was paying his child support. Why would she need the Camden's to feed her? Annie asks about whether Suzanne's moving. Lucy says she can't because she needs her friend to talk her out of her craziness regarding Jimmy Moon. Mary notes that she once filled a similar role in Lucy's life, but Lucy counters that Mary's advice usually sucked. Heh.
Simon is still trying to convince Ruthie to believe in her imaginary friend. I have stopped caring.
Lucy's class. Suzanne is not there. The teacher asks Lucy if Suzanne is sick. She says it's because she knows that Lucy and Suzanne are close, but I think it's because she knows how nosy the Camden's are. Lucy looks sad.
High school. Matt tells Mary she doesn't need to find Rachel a date. Mary is suspicious about his motives, but she's relieved to be off the hook.
Simon is setting a Hooey-trap. Still can't care.
Lucy calls Suzanne. It turns out that Suzanne is moving. The girls cry it out. Suzannes promises to call back.
Coffee shop. Matt, Mary and Rachel are waiting for the band to start. Matt reveals that Mary has a great voice. An ex-boyfriend of Rachel's is in the band, and he asks her to sing since his lead singer is late. Rachel reminds him that she's tone-deaf and volunteers Mary. Looks like the date is back on.
Mary starts singing. Rachel insists Matt dance with her. Matt says he doesn't really dance, but Rachel just counters with, "Great, I'll teach you." I don't think she just means dancing y'all. She leads him out to the dance floor, and leans in real close. From the stage, Mary looks seriously wigged by this development. Matt looks positively terrified.
As Matt and Mary enter their house, she accuses him of being on a date with Rachel. Matt tries to protest, but then admits it. Just in time for Eric to reveal that he's in the kitchen. Matt tells him that Rachel hit on him. Eric obviouses that the situation is not good, leading Matt to assert that he's not completely stupid. Okay, Matt, not completely, but almost.
Eric wants to tell Annie. Matt asks him about whether he was ever attracted to an older woman. It turns out Eric was also once attracted to one of his mother's friends-- the Admiral's wife. This is seeming weirdly Oedipal. Eric wants to tell Annie, but Matt doesn't want to. Eric tells Matt to make it clear to Rachel that he isn't interested. Matt expresses that he might be interested, leading Eric to threaten him with military school.
Morning. Mary announces that the band wants her to sing again. Annie and Eric are upset that she sang with a band because they think she's too young. Annie sends the kids out of the room so she can talk to Eric. She starts ranting about the dangers of coffee houses and bands. Eric thinks it would be fun to watch their daughter sing in public. This is enough to placate Annie, but she still wants to talk to Rachel about not getting Mary "involved in these types of situations." Because singing in coffee houses is really dangerous?
Simon gives up on the Hooey thing, meaning Ruthie asks Eric to throw a goodbye party. She wants him to give the speech. Eric seems pretty honored by this. Simon is obviously jealous.
In the kitchen, Annie tells Lucy that she packed a lunch for Suzanne. Lucy tells her that she's easing off of the relationship, so that the move won't be as hard. Annie gives her some advice about cherishing the time she has with Suzanne. Lucy is in no mood to be comforted.
Lucy gives Suzanne her lunch. Lucy tries to help her see the bright side, by noting that they have the rest of the school year to hang out. Lucy's shirt has a giant rubber duck on it for some unknown reason. Suzanne informs her that they're moving over the weekend. Lucy invites her to Hooey's goodbye party, but Suzanne's dad has visitation. They hug goodbye.
Rachel comes over to the Camdens to do laundry. Because she is a mooch. Annie takes the opportunity to announce that she wants to talk to Rachel about last night. Rachel assumes that she wants to talk about Matt, and tells Annie that Matt made a pass at her. I bet Rachel feels really stupid when Annie reveals that she was talking about Mary, and she tipped her hand unnecessarily.
Night. Annie is setting up for Hooey's party. It's quite the spread, considering he's imaginary and has been squashed. Matt comes in to ask about the party, and reveals that he plans to drive Mary to her gig and pick up Rachel. Annie snaps at him, and tells him he's baby-sitting. Matt suggests that Mary doesn't want her parents to go with her. Annie puts on her scary face and bitches Matt out how Mary's too young to sing with a band by herself. Matt clues in and asks if Annie is in a bad mood. Annie reveals that Rachel threw him under the proverbial bus. Matt is too surprised to deny it, so Annie takes the opportunity to lecture him. Annie doesn't blink for the whole conversation. Freaky.
Simon and Ruthie talk about Hooey. I still don't care.
Mary is trying to get Lucy to help her pick out an outfit. Lucy is not paying attention. Mary tries to make her feel better, but fails. Matt comes in to inform Mary that Eric and Annie are coming to hear her sing. Mary is upset. Mary asks Lucy to leave, and she stomps out of the room.
Matt tells Mary what Rachel told Annie. Mary thinks Matt should have told Annie the truth. Matt thinks he can take it because he's a man. Mary thinks this is stupid and sexist. Eric comes in and Mary tries to convince him to skip her gig.
Eric sends her out of the room so he can talk to Matt. Eric also wants Matt to tell Annie the truth. Simon knocks on the door and announces that it's time...
Mary is in the living room begging Annie not to embarrass her by attending her performance. Annie won't budge.
Doorbell. Rachel comes in, and Annie apologizes for Matt. Rachel brushes it off as no big deal, but doesn't tell Annie that she lied.
Suzanne surprises Lucy, so they can hang out before she leaves.
Eric starts giving his speech about Hooey. He takes the opportunity to lecture those in attendance about how easy it is to lie, and how it's always better to tell the truth. Annie looks increasingly confused. Eric is interrupted by Hooey's return. Turns out he had simply gone to visit his wife in space. Everyone gets ice cream.
Rachel asks to talk to Annie in the kitchen. She comes clean about how she hit on Matt. Annie gets on her scary face and bitches Rachel out. Annie notes that if a guy twenty years older than Mary hit on her, they'd have him arrested. Annie, I've got news for you-- the same rules apply to men and women. You can still call the police if you think your son is being harassed. Annie really tears into Rachel. Remind me not to piss her off.
Mary is still trying to convince her parents not to come to her gig. Annie sends Matt into the kitchen to talk to Rachel. She throws in an apology for accusing him of hitting on her friend.
Suzanne admits to Lucy that she kissed Jimmy Moon in kindergarten. Eric's speech jogged her memory. Lucy pretends she doesn't care because she wants Suzanne to leave on a good note. She ruins it by announcing to her parents that Jimmy Moon is a dead man.
Rachel apologizes to Matt. He's pretty nice to her all things considered. They almost hug, but awkwardly settle for shaking hands.
Coffee house. Mary is on stage trying sing to R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Eric and Annie are impressed, until they overhear to men discussing how hot she is. They then feel the need to butt in and announce that she's 14, and that Eric's a minister. The guy judges them as crappy parents, especially given Eric's vocation, and they look worried. Heh. Mary sings us into the credits.
Good lord, the Hooey sub-plot was tedious. I can't imagine why Simon would care about it at all.
Especially since it got so much airtime, while Lucy trying to cope with her best friend's move got so little attention.
I don't understand what's wrong with singing in coffee houses, but from the general reactions of the adults, apparently this is something for adult only. Weird.
Rachel behaviour towards Matt is pretty predatory.
Eric is so sanctimonious when he's giving his speech about lying.
Annie is so scary when she's angry.