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.