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...


  1. So... no one noticed that Ruthie's been wearing the same clothes for a week until the teacher comments on it? Odd.

    To be honest, I can see Annie and the Rev being concerned about finding a joint. I don't think weed is the worst thing in the world, but I would have a problem if my hypothetical kids were smoking it irresponsibly or at a far too young age. Their over the top reactions are what bothers me. Okay, what you do is sit down all the kids, show them what you found, and explain why you're concerned. There's no need for a huge circus of ridiculousness. And, really, they haven't discussed this possibility yet with one another? With that many kids I'd imagine that the conversation has come up at least once.

    And, of course, the Rev's freakout over Annie's big bad weed days is just silly. Mary and Lucy thinking the joint is hers is hilarious, though.

    The pot = death thing makes me roll my eyes, but I like that Annie had a heart to heart with Matt, actually explaining why she feels the way she does instead of just laying down the law. It seems much healthier than the usual 'I'm the parent you're the kid you do as I say' mindset the show gives.

    I'm surprised Mary hasn't smoked. Then again, this is before she became the Bad Seed of the family. And of course they find Matt just as he's praying out loud that he never smoked pot. How coincidential.

    Also-- it annoys me how everyone seems to be all 'LOL Rod's a vegetarian'. I'm currently in the process of going vegetarian myself, and it's nothing to make fun of. Seriously, not all vegetarian are bleeding heart hippies. Right, *steps off soapbox*

    Great post, as always. I really enjoy this blog.

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