Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who Knew?

Be warned. What follows contains dramatic over-reactions on the part of the characters. Also, drugs are bad.

High school. Matt's friends invite him to a party, but Matt isn't interested because he's too busy moping about how he misses Heather. Matt's friend is pretty insensitive, but is thoughtful enough to slip Matt a joint to help him manage a weekend at home. Hey, if I lived with Camdens, I'd want to get high. Instead of telling his friend no thanks, Matt nervously put the joint in his front pocket. Oh noes!

The kids arrive home from school. Matt kneels down to talk to Happy, and stupidly drops the joint at her feet. She picks it up in her mouth, probably because she does live with the Camdens and needs something to dull that reality.

In the kitchen, Simon is pestering Annie about wanting Matt to pick him up from school. Ruthie is wearing her pajamas. Annie notices Matt drinking straight out of the carton and gives him a look. Matt inquire about some parent teacher conference at Ruthie's school. Maybe he didn't want to stay home and mope about Heather. Maybe he just wanted to spy on his siblings. He's eating a lot in throughout the scene, so that we think he has the munchies, even though we know he drop the joint.

Ruthie is in trouble because she wore the same outfit to school everyday that week. The teacher thought something was wrong at home. (How right she is!) Annie has apparently decided that Ruthie is old enough to pick out her own clothes. Except she's not because she hasn't changed in a week. Annie talks Simon into teaching Ruthie how to do her own laundry.
Mary and Lucy enter the kitchen. Lucy is dressed like a beatnik. Simon does not approve. Mary's eyes are red and watery. She blames allergies. Annie notes that it's not allergy season. Mary blames Lucy's incense. Annie does not approve.

Mary wants to know if Wilson can come over after dinner. Lucy wants to invite her friend Rod over for dinner. Annie wants the girls to check with their father, whose had a long week. Matt is still eating. Mary and Matt tease Lucy about Rod; Annie connects Lucy's new look to Lucy's new boy.

Eric comes home through the front door to find Happy waiting still holding that joint in her mouth. Apparently she's assimilated into the Camden way of life and is now ratting people out to the good Reverend. She drops the joint at his feet. Eric smells it, looking slightly murderous.

In the kitchen, Annie asks about Matt's plans. He's still eating and he doesn't have plans. Eric enters and takes in the scene. He notices that Mary's eyes are red and Matt and Lucy are inhaling cookies. Mary asks about Wilson; Lucy asks about Rod. Eric is in no mood for guests. They're disappointed and Annie sticks up for them. Eric asks to talk to Annie in another room. Surprisingly no one follows to eavesdrop.

They do speculate about who's in trouble. Matt thinks it's the girls, because of the no guests thing.

Annie is still trying to sell the Reverend on letting the girls hang with their friends at home. Eric dramatically pulls out the joint. Annie is startled. Eric lets her smell it. She quickly agrees that it is pot.

Eric thinks it belongs to Matt. Annie points out that there is no way to prove that. She lists all the reasons it could belong to Mary, Lucy or Simon-- or even one of their friends. Eric is really convinced that it's Matt. Annie warns him about confronting Matt without evidence. Eric decides that he will the girls have their guests, so that he can interregate them. They also decide to talk to their own kids. Eric asks Annie to hang onto the joint, and she nervously slips it into her dresser.

Simon, Ruthie, laundry plot. Blech.

Eric lets the girls know that they can have their boys over. The girls are grateful, until Eric mentions that he wants to talk to the boys. Then they get suspicious. Eric demonstrates a lack of conversation basics when he mentions that he only wants to talk to them until the conversation gets interesting. Maybe he's hoping Wilson will bore him into a stupor.
Mary worries about what Eric is up to, but Lucy is only interested in what she should wear for the evening. She decides to bogart one of Annie's scarves. Mary tries to warn her against going through Annie's stuff. Lucy is undeterred.

The girls raid the drawer and Lucy finds the joint. She and Mary discuss it with the door wide open, so that Matt can see them and realize that he lost his joint. The girls think it belongs to their parents. Well, the reverend is paranoid.

They go back to their room and discuss the situation. Mary thinks it might just be Annie who smokes the weed. Lucy concurs-- basing it on Annie's near constant baking, and unexplained cheeriness. Lucy decides to put the joint back where they found it. I don't know why she brought it with them in the first place.

Matt tries to get a hold of his friends in order to get out of the house. He leaves a message.

Eric finds Simon sitting on the dryer. He's waiting for Ruthie. Laundry blah. Eric nervously works in a discussion about drugs. He uses the gateway argument about pot leading to harder drugs. Simon knows that Drugs are Bad, Mmkay. He doesn't get why anyone would be that stupid. Eric doesn't understand either.

Matt comes into the kitchen just as the phone rings. Lucky, since it's for him. His friends agree to pick him up on their way to the party. Annie is surprised that Matt changed his mind about going out. She says his friends are thoughtful, but her face suggests that she's afraid that they will be participating in ritual sacrifice.

Lucy and Eric talk in the family room. Lucy has on way too much blue eye shadow. Eric does not approve. He quizzes her about Rod. Lucy asks if everything is okay between him and Annie. Mary wanders by, so Eric can talk to the dynamic duo together.

He begins by asking if they know where all the matches went. Lucy thinks he should asks mom, Mary punches her. Lucy tries to cover by saying that Annie tends to know where things are in the house. He launches into a lecture about open communication, and that he understands kids make mistakes. He asks if they have anything they want to talk about. Mary jumps into asks if he could stop checking up on her and Wilson. Lucy agrees. They want more trust. They also suggest that he might want to spend more time with Annie.

Simon. Ruthie. Laundry. Blah. Except that Simon uses Annie's bra to measure out the laundry soap. He is clear that one doesn't get enough soap if one uses Lucy's or Mary's bra. Ew!

The doorbell rings and we get our first look at Rod. He hasn't taken off his helmet yet, but he is wearing a Rastafarian t-shirt. When he does take off his helmet, we see that he has shoulder-length hair and the beginnings of a mustache. Hee. Simon, Matt and Mary are amused. The parents are horrified. The kids go out to see Rod's Mo-ped.

Eric goes into the kitchen to see if Matt knows anything about Rod. Cause seniors pay attention to freshmen. Matt is eating again. Eric wants to know why kids think Rastafarians are cool. He brings up the pot. Matt points out that Rod is probably not a real Rastafarian, but Eric is more concerned about the pot. He asks Matt for ideas about how to find out. Annie interrupts that she needs to talk to Eric for moment, and Matt hightails it out of the kitchen.

Eric is still convinced that the pot belongs to Matt. Annie dramatically says that she has something to tell him before this goes any further. Eric is still rambling about Matt. She gets his attention by confessing that she did some experimenting the summer before she went to college. Now that she has his full attention, she tells him that she's smoked pot. She looks really worried about how he will react to this. He looks like she just told him the truth about the identity of Ruthie's father.

Annie is shooting Eric death glares as they clean up after dinner. Mary wants to save a plate for Wilson. Lucy apologizes that she didn't know Rod was a vegetarian. Eric makes fun of this. Annie asks if he wants to talk about her revelation. Eric wants to know how she can drop a bomb like that and then serve dinner to everybody. I want to know too. Why not just tell him after dinner?

Annie points out that it was a long time ago, and that the longer she and Eric were together, the less she wanted to bring it up. Eric wishes she had, because then he would have married someone who was untainted by the marijuana. Okay, he doesn't say that but it's implied. Annie is surprised that Eric was never interested. She tells him that after they found the joint, not telling him began to feel dishonest. Annie, the word you are looking for is hypocritical.

Eric snarks that he's glad she finally told him, but he wants to focus on the kids at the moment. Annie mentions that Matt is going out, and Eric is quick to disabuse her of the notion. She points out that Matt is nearly 18, and that they can't make his decisions for him. Eric thinks they can, cause he's creepy and controlling like that.

Matt is calling his friends. He wants to know why they haven't picked him up yet.

Simon. Ruthie. Laundry. All the clothes are pink. Anyone care? Thought so.

Rev. Camden is wondering what happened to Jimmy Moon, because Jimmy Moon could be trusted. To that I say, shut up, Reverend. Mary and Wilson come in, laughing about Rod. Eric asks them if they think Rod's on drugs. Wilson reveals that his dad regularly tests him for drugs. Don't give the Reverend ideas, Wilson. Mary can't believe that his parents don't trust him. Wilson brings up his son as evidence of why he can't be trusted. Cause Wilson has a kid, in case you didn't know.

Mary hauls Wilson out of the kitchen to bitch him out for planting the idea of drug testing in her father's head. Word, Mary.

Annie goes out to the basketball hoop to talk to Matt. She tells him about her drug history. In a lot more detail than she told her husband. She and her friend Rachel spent the summer getting high in Rachel's boyfriend's basement. One night the boyfriend drove home, and had a terrible car accident. Because pot leads to death. Annie still feels responsible for his death. Aww, I feel bad for her. She parlays her tale into a lecture about how Matt shouldn't do drugs. She says she's not trying to accuse him, but Matt rightly thinks she judges him guilty.

In the living room, Rod and Lucy seem to be having a staring contest with Wilson and Mary. Wilson tries to make conversation, but Rod is more into short answers. He's actually kinda entertaining, but he seems kinda stoned. Eric wanders in and kicks the boys out of his house. Wilson offers Rod a ride home.

Eric stops Rod before he leaves to ask him if he smokes pot. Rod answers in the negative, saying that he hears it lowers your sperm count. Hee. The Reverend doesn't know whether to be disgusted or relieved.

Eric decides to call a family meeting. Except he sends Ruthie upstairs. Because of the topic or because she's not really family? You decide.
Everyone else gathers in the living room. Eric announces that he found a joint in the house and threatens to drug test all his kids (Dammit Wilson!) unless the guilty party confesses. Mary and Lucy rat out Annie. They don't think it's their business if the parents are smoking pot. Mary is relieved, but tries to backpedal, claiming that they didn't think Annie was a stoner. Except for the part where they totally did.

Simon wants to know who the joint belongs to. Matt owns up. Simon is distraught. Eric sends the other kids upstairs. Eric lays into Matt and says that the look he saw on Simon's face is the look of a kid who lost complete respect for his older brother. Eric also asks if this is why Matt can't keep a job. And asks how Matt could be so stupid. So much yelling. The other kids are listening from the stairs. Matt suggests that Eric ask Annie, so now the whole family knows Annie's dark secret.

Matt leaves with his friends as Eric yells at him to stay and apologize to Annie. The kids sneak back upstairs before anyone finds them snooping. Eric leans against the front door and actually drops a "Damn it." Shocking!
In the kitchen, Eric is berating Annie for telling Matt about her past. Annie thought he understood that she was going to tell him. Eric points out that they don't share their sexual history with them. Wait, the Camdens have a sexual history that was not wedding night? Why else wouldn't they share?

Annie defends herself, saying she wanted to reach out to Matt. She apologizes about the way it turned out. Eric sits at the table and doesn't say anything.

Simon glares at the ceiling in his bedroom. Ruthie asks what's going on. Simon thinks Matt is a loser. He's right, but for the wrong reasons.
Elsewhere, Matt decides he's tired of his friends. He takes off walking.
Annie and Eric have moved into the living room to PSA some more about drugs. She keeps dwelling on what a big deal it is that she smoked pot one summer 20 years ago. Actually, that doesn't seem like a big deal. Annie confesses that she's worried about whether Eric is disappointed in her. Eric apologizes for his reaction. And worries that he and Matt will never trust each other again. They decide to go for a drive.

Mary and Lucy are discussing the situation upstairs. They note that Matt doesn't hang with the druggies at school. Lucy is worried that Matt might be into other drugs. Mary hopes that he isn't. Lucy asks if Mary ever tried it. Mary hasn't. Neither has Lucy. They worry about whether or not Matt and the parents can make up. Mary notes that it's one of the mistakes that you can't back. Unless you're a Camden because...

Eric and Annie end up at the church. Where they happen upon Matt praying out loud. In tears. About how he never smoked pot and how he's worried about how his parents will ever trust him again. He then hears them and asks what they are doing there. They followed your tracking device. Not really. Annie says that they are trying to find away to get their son back. Everyone makes up. And everyone's crying. Aww.


Rod's random sarcasm is an excellent improvement over Jimmy Moon.

There should be a drinking game around how often Wilson mentions that he's a Teen Father.

I've never seen a family with less faith in each other.

Okay, so Matt, if you weren't gonna smoke it, why not just flush or throw it away? You know how nosy your family is.

Also, Eric, I get the feeling that if Annie had told you this while you were dating, you wouldn't have married her. True?

Also, Simon, shut up. And stop using your mom's bra to do laundry. That's why laundry detergent comes with a measuring cup.

I recently acquired the first two seasons of Blossom and there is an episode with very similar plotting and resolution (minus the praying and laundry) written by none other than Brenda Hampton...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Love You

We open with Lucy and Annie whining about a project that Lucy has to do for school. It basically involves going to the grocery store and pretending to plan a week of meals. Annie is insisting that Lucy make a list and use fakes coupons for her fake shopping. I suggest that Lucy fake the project to avoid any further discussion. Lucy whines some more instead. Annie is annoyed because she hates to take any of her family with her to the grocery store. Probably because it's her only chance to get away from her family.

Lucy yells a bit, and Annie draws Lucy into a hug and apologizes for being cranky. I'm shocked because Annie hardly ever apologize for her mood swings. But then she creepily chides Lucy for her tone of voice, and all is right with my world. She also drops the first "I love you" of the episode. Let the drinking game begin. Lucy loves her too.

Matt sits in the den, writing a letter. He stupidly wanders out of the room, leaving it on the desk for Simon and Ruthie to read. They pop out from behind a couch, having waited for Matt to finish his letter. Stalking behavior begins early in the Camden family. Simon reads it, mocking Matt's boringness. Ruthie is too young to know Matt is boring and wants Simon to read the whole letter. Simon gets super excited when he notices that Matt signed... "I love you" instead of "love". Mary wanders in to bust them. She tells them that the letter is private and that they shouldn't be reading it. Simon tries to appeal to her Camden genes by offering to let her read the letter. Because Mary is sometimes cool, she declines. But Simon does tell her about the "I love you" causing her to wonder why Wilson hasn't told her that he loves her yet. Cue the wacky plan.

Annie and Lucy are still trying to do Lucy's homework in the kitchen, even though the assignment was to go to the grocery store. Mary wanders down the stairs on her injured knee to ask Annie about her courtship with Eric. Specifically how long it took him to tell her he loved her. She's surprised to hear that Annie is taking Lucy to the store. Annie tells her it took Eric a year. Eric, coming home in the middle of the conversation, tells her he waited until they were married, cause that's healthy. Mary is not amused.

Matt sees Simon and Ruthie still reading his letter. Instead of busting them, he makes a thinking face. Cue the wacky plan.

At the store, Annie doesn't bother to put her produce in bags. That's gonna be fun for the poor clerk to ring up. She suggests that Lucy plan her meals for the whole month, buy in bulk and save money, in order to prepare meals. I don't think I've ever seen Annie do such a thing for her large family. Lucy is unexcited by this, giving Annie a chance to explain how much she loves planning meals for her family, as a spiritual nourishing endeavor. She waxes poetically about the first meal she ever prepared for Eric, and how much she enjoys when he enjoys her cooking. Annie is not a bored housewife. Lucy wants to know what they did after dinner. She looks disappointed when Annie doesn't tell her about the sex.
Annie continues talking about the zen of grocery shopping. Wow.

The two wander into an aisle where a mother is berating her daughter for not doing her homework before she got home. Lucy wisely suggests that they leave, so as not to further embarrass her classmate, Laurie, but Annie decides to butt in. Lucy introduces Annie as her mom, but Laurie's mom rants about how she's a busy woman, what with her working to support her daughter and all. Annie makes one of her many disapproval faces. Annie offers to let Laurie tag along with them. Laurie's mom takes her up on the offer because bad moms don't like grocery shopping and do let their children go off with adults they just met.

Laurie promises not to hold them up, and Lucy, proving that she's already on the way to becoming her mother, tells her they are enjoying the experience. I'm not sure why Lucy has groceries in her cart if they are not actually expected to buy anything.

Back at the house, Ruthie sees Matt writing another letter. Matt sees her watching. She goes to get Simon, who is starting to worry about getting caught. Ruthie pouts, and Simon eventually gives in.

Mary is on the phone with Wilson, trying to arrange a date so that they can talk. Wilson tries to figure out what she wants to talk about, but she wants to talk in person. Wilson gets off the phone when his son drops dinner on the floor. He notes that nothing good ever started with "we need to talk". Then he tells his son that he loves him. His son cannot talk to return the sentiment.

Matt finishes his letter and answers the ringing phone. His friend needs a lift to get his car from a mechanic. Eric wanders by in time for Matt to ask for permission. Eric assents, but when Matt gets off the phone, he mentions that it's a two-hour drive. Eric chides him for not telling him that when Matt asked for permission. Matt takes off, before Eric makes him call his friend to get another ride. He also gives Matt $20. Because the plot requires Matt to be unreachable for several hours.

Eric sits at the desk, and finds Matt's letter. He then reads Matt's letter, which begins with "Dear Mrs. Matt Camden. " He makes a concerned face. Simon and Ruthie overhear him read the letter. Cue the wacky misunderstanding.

Eric paces with the letter in the kitchen. Annie comes home and Eric demands to know where they were. Laurie apologizes, assuming that everything is her fault. Lucy and Laurie head off to Lucy's room to finish their homework. Eric and Annie both start venting at the same time. Annie because she's upset at the way Laurie's mom treated her; Eric because he's upset that Matt is married. Annie wants to know more about the letter. He convinces her to read the letter. The letter is all about their "secret marriage". Annie and Eric are stunned.

Upstairs, Mary is explaining why she's upset that Matt told Heather that he loves her, but Wilson hasn't said it to Mary yet. Lucy condenses this saga for Laurie. She also manages to whine about how her life sucks. Mary is coming up with a plan to force Wilson to say that he loves her, even though she admits that she's not sure she loves him yet. When Lucy is the voice of reason in the room, you know things will end badly. They role-play a bit, with much giggling.

Simon and Ruthie discuss Matt's marriage. It's as interesting as it sounds.

Eric and Annie continue to worry about Matt's marriage, while making dinner. It's as interesting as it sounds. They wonder if Heather's mother knows, and decide to have her over for dessert. She conviently calls just as they're deciding this. They neglect to mention their alterior motives.

Lucy pops in to ask if Laurie can stay over, making me think this is a Friday night and wondering why Laurie couldn't have done her homework later in the weekend. But then we wouldn't have this sub-plot. Eric volunteers to go to her house and get some things for her after dinner. This give Annie a chance to ask him to spy on Laurie's family. Because based on part of one conversation, she knows that Laurie's mom's a raging bitch. Eric promises to try, but doubts his detective skills, because of Matt's marriage.

Night. Wilson is waiting for Mary. He mentions to Eric that Mary needs to talk. Eric is clueless as to the subject. Mary is overdressed for the poolhall. Wilson is nervous.

Annie brings Simon and Ruthie dessert so that they don't interrupt Heather's mom's visit. Ruthie wants to sneak down and listen. Simon is easily swayed.

Annie brings dessert to Lucy and Laurie. Laurie is polite. Annie teases them about not doing their homework, and Laurie stutters that they'll get back to it. Annie leaves, and Laurie asks Lucy if anyone's ever told her that they loved her. Lucy says not really, but does manage to bring up Jimmy Moon. URG! Laurie has never had a boyfriend, and uses this to segway into complaints about her home life.

Eric arrives at Laurie's house. Laurie's mom starts to explain about what happened at the store, but before she can get very her far, her mother comes along and berates her for opening the door to a stranger. And for letting Laurie stay the night with people she's never met. I know we're supposed to dislike her, but I think she's got some points. She delights me by rolling her eyes when Eric tries to assure it's all good because he's minister.

Mary and Wilson eat at the pool hall. She keeps hinting about the "I love you" thing. He tries to deflect it. Mary launches into a speech about how long they've been dating. Wilson tells her that he cares about her, but doesn't drop the L-word. Mary brings up Matt and Heather. Wilson is happy for them, but still doesn't drop the L-word.

Camden kitchen. Eric is ranting about how Laurie's grandmother treated Laurie's mother. Except I still think she was right about not letting Laurie stay with strangers. Blah, blah, blah, cycle of abuse. If we would ever see Laurie again or had seen her before, I might feel like caring.
Simon escorts Heather's mom into the kitchen. It's as interesting as it sounds.

They have coffee and dessert in the kitchen. They trade polite statements about how good Matt and Heather are for each other. Heather's mom gets that the Camdens have an agenda, and they drop the marriage bomb on her. She is shocked. Simon and Ruthie are eavesdropping at the top of the stairs.

Annie goes upstairs to check on the kids. She tells Simon and Ruthie to get to bed and kisses them good night. She tells them that she loves them. Simon and Ruthie decide to spy some more.

Annie goes to tell Lucy and Laurie good night. They are dancing in Lucy's
room. As Annie enters, Laurie apologizes and turns off the music. Annie assures her that she everything's fine. Lucy says that they are waiting to ask Mary about her date. Annie hugs Lucy good night and tells her that she loves her. She also hugs Laurie and tells her that she loves her. Which would freak me out if I was staying at friends house for the first time and had met her mother that day.

Laurie, however, tears up because Annie is the only person in the world whose ever told Laurie "I love you." Cause Laurie's mom sucks that much. They get distracted by Simon and Ruthie sneaking out of their room. Simon spills the beans on Matt's marriage. Lucy feels left out and everyone heads down to spy together.

Pool hall. Mary finally comes out and tells Wilson that she loves him. Wilson thanks her. This pisses her off greatly. He explains that he's not ready to say it. He talks a bit about commitment and his dead wife. Then his beeper goes off. He leaves to call home, so Matt can show up and fix Mary's life for her.

Wilson comes back and says that his son has a fever. Matt agrees to take Mary home, and Wilson promises to call her the next day. She's pleased that she hasn't ruined the relationship.

Matt and Mary discuss snooping and I love yous. It's as interesting as it sounds. He does start to tell about his marriage joke.

The adults sit awkwardly in the Camden's living room. The moms have moved from polite compliments to blaming the other's child for the situation. I'm not sure why no one's thought to contact Heather. Matt and Mary come home and the rents send Mary upstairs.

Eric confronts Matt about the letter. Matt calls Eric on his snooping, and then tells them that it was all a joke. The kids are all listening on the stairs. They all go to bed except Mary, because she's the only Camden left to snoop in the episode. Apologies all round.

The Camdens ask whether Matt is actually thinking about marriage. He tells them that he's not ready. Mary calls him on the fact that he gave her a different answer to that question earlier. Their parents obviously overhear, decide to talk with him the next day, and exchange I love yous.

Morning. Eric is hypocritically lecturing Simon and Ruthie about invading someone's privacy. They get to do all Matt's chores for the weekend. Which means it is Saturday, so I don't understand the urgency about Laurie's homework.

Eric and Matt discuss what Matt told Mary. Matt tells Eric that he will discuss it if it ever becomes a real possibility.

Laurie is ready to head home. Matt offers to drive her, but Eric insists on driving. Matt wants to know what's wrong with Laurie. He deduced that she has a problem because Eric is driving her home. Lucy tells him abut Laurie's mom. Matt tells Lucy that he loves her. Ruthie overhears and is jealous. She is not placated when Simon tells her that he loves her.

In the kitchen, Mary is not eating her blueberry pancakes. Which concerns Annie because of her zen grocery thing. They discuss the situation with Wilson. It's as interesting as it sounds.

Outside Laurie's house. Laurie spills her guts to the good reverend. She wants to tell her mom she loves her, but is worried about whether her mom will say it back. Eric haltingly gives her advice. Eric seems to be tearing up through the whole exchange. Weird.

They walk to the door. The grandmother is still awesomely rude to Eric. He points out that Laurie is safe and sound but the grandmother is skeptical. Because she lives in the real world.

Laurie's mom thanks the reverend. Laurie plucks up the guts to tell her mom that she loves her. And, lo and behold, her mother says it back. Eric watches from his van, near tears, like the creepy stalker he is.


I'm torn about Laurie's mom. Because I know I'm supposed to hate her because she was angrily lecturing her daughter in public, but I really hate her because she thinks nothing of sending her 14-year-old daughter off with complete strangers for a whole evening.

I know I'm supposed to disapprove of the grandmother, but everything that comes out of her mouth is awesomely true.

So much could have been resolved with the Matt/Heather marriage subplot if any of the adults had used their heads for one second. 17-year-olds still need parental permission to marry.

Also, why contact Heather's mom before you talk to Matt?

So much snooping.