Once and Again
Destiny Turns On The Radio

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Destiny Turns On The Radio

See, I knew those eye exercises would come in handy.

Cut to Rick's truck pulling into Manning Manor. He pulls alongside Lily's truck, where Eli's sitting, listening raptly to the radio. Rick taps on the window to ask what he's doing, and Jessie hops in on the passenger side of the truck. "You gotta hear this," Eli says, turning up the radio. Lily's voice floods the truck.

"Give it time, Susan. When my husband met my girls, it wasn't love at first sight, believe me! Time helps," Lily says, as we cut to the station. She adds, "For instance, my stepdaughter, who's fifteen and just so adorable, is about to go out on her first date, and I truly couldn't be more thrilled for her if she were my own daughter."

The whole gang's piled into the truck, now, listening. Jessie looks less than thrilled to have the news of her date broadcast around the city.

Lily gets the "wind-it-up" gesture from the producer, and says, "Listen, thank you so much, everyone, for your phone calls." She glances at the booth and gets the "cut it off" sign, so she says an abrupt, jumpy "thank you" by way of signing off. She fidgets in her seat and looks nervous all of a sudden to remind us that, despite looking and sounding like a pro, Lily's never done this before. She exhales loudly and slumps in the seat. "That was great, Lily," the producer tells her through her headphones. Outside the doors to her booth, everyone from the station has gathered to applaud. The producer starts clapping in the booth, too, and the Curmudgeon looks like he's not quite sure what to do. The employees start piling into the booth, still applauding. Lily smiles in a show of modesty and then high-fives one of the guys. She shakes a couple of hands, saying, "Wow. Wow. Thank you guys. Thank you. Whew!" The Curmudgeon takes it all in, unsmiling, and then walks away.

Cut to Lily in the driveway, sitting in the truck in the dark. I'm not sure how she got to be in the truck, when Eli was driving it earlier. Whatever. Rick comes up and taps on the window, giving her a mild coronary. He asks whether she's afraid to come inside. She climbs out of the truck, laughingly asking why she'd be afraid. "We heard you," he says. She thinks that's a good thing, and excitedly grabs his arms. He tries to ask how she got on the air, but apparently he's still so stunned by it that he's having trouble speaking. She tells him he wouldn't even believe it, and he waves an agitated hand and says shortly, "You were great." He leans against the truck with his arms folded. "You were something," he adds, thinking, "something of a big-mouth." Lily looks bewildered and asks, "What?" Rick says he thinks it was "difficult for the kids to hear themselves being discussed like that." "'Discussed'?" Lily parrots, as if she's never head the term before. She thinks for a second and then says, "Oh." Rick says he doesn't know what she was thinking, and she tries to tell him there wasn't time to think. He starts to say something about "next time," but she interrupts him to let him know there won't be a next time. Her brain skips back a track, and she asks, "Why, what did I say?" Rick reminds her that she talked about him, Grace, and Zoe not getting along at first, and that she talked about Jessie going on a date when he hasn't even decided if she can go yet. Lily snaps that Jessie thinks she's going on the date -- it's all she's talked about and she's even borrowing Grace's necklace. Rick pointedly asks whose idea that was. "What difference does that make?" Lily shrills. He asks why they're even arguing about it. I wonder that, too. What makes her such a parenting guru that she's entitled to tell him and Karen how they should be raising their kids? I'm sure she'd just love it if Rick started pointing out everything she does wrong with her own kids, darling little angels that they are. Lily storms away, and Rick trails after her, saying, "Ever since that kid called, we've been at odds." Lily yells, "Because you keep acting like you're not going to let [Jessie] go!" Rick asks her why it's so important to her. "Oh, Rick. She's blossoming! Before your eyes she's changing, and growing, and blooming!" Which reminds me: I need to water my plants. Lily adds that Jessie needs Rick to tell her it's okay. She turns to go inside while Rick guppy-faces all over the front stoop as he realizes for the eight hundredth time this season that Lily is a wise, wise woman who's a better parent to his kids than he and Karen are. Lily stops and pouts that he "never even asked what it was like being on the radio." The sad guitars let us know that we should feel really sorry for Lily. Feeling like the wretched human being that he is, Rick asks how it was. She says it was indescribable, and then marches inside like a martyr. Rick's mascara is in serious jeopardy, as he stares after her like a whipped puppy.

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Once and Again

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