Once and Again

Episode Report Card
Niki: D | Grade It Now!

B/W Phil and Barb admit they know that Jake isn't perfect. As Phil says, he "looks before he leaps sometimes." Barbara, of course, jumps in to correct him, saying, "Leaps before he looks, you mean." "What did I say?" Phil asks. Okay, people, back to the point please. Much as I hate to admit it, these two remind me of my grandparents. Maybe some stereotypes do exist for a reason. Anyway, they continue to diminish the degree of Jake's immaturity and selfishness, ending with the pronouncement that "He's a good boy!" I'm beginning to see where Lily gets her propensity for having her head up her ass.

Speaking of Lily, she's on her cell phone, warming up those melodrama muscles she'll be using so often in the coming episodes. "I'm not going to make it!" she cries. She's talking to Rick, who's in the middle of baking something with Jessie. Looks like he gave into her festive inclinations, after all. Lily says she can't believe how quickly she goes from being happy to see her parents to losing her "will to live." She says she needs to see him, and he quips, "Aren't you grounded, or something?" It's a comment that Jessie finds hysterical.

Cut to Judy seeking refuge in another part of the restaurant. She's slouched into a hideous green leatherette banquette, sucking desperately on a cancer stick. Barb pops up over her shoulder, chastising, "Judith Brooks!" But then she grabs the cigarette and takes a good haul herself. She warns Judy not to say a word about her naughty behavior. She then asks Judy why she's sitting by herself, and Judy's happy to put it all in perspective: "[Jake] broke my sister's heart. He betrayed her trust. But he's improving the restaurant? What's wrong with this picture?" Amazingly, Barbara doesn't rush to her beloved son-in-law's defense, but instead lets it slip that she wishes the renovations weren't costing them so much money. Whoa, there. Back it up, Babs. Costing who money? Barb realizes she probably shouldn't have said anything, and warns Judy "not [to say] a word to Lily." Right, because it's absolutely none of her business that her soon-to-be-ex is wringing out her retired parents. Judy turns away from her mother, obviously agitated.

Jake, meanwhile, is leading Phil down the proverbial garden path (but actually he's leading him through the new bar area) and explaining why there's now a lien on the restaurant. Of course, it's not at all Jake's fault -- it's the contractor's other lousy clients. He tells Phil that he can't get the work done to open the place until he finds a way to pay the contractor. Phil expresses his willingness to help just as Lily, Judy, and Barb come into the room. Lily says she needs to get home to start dinner. Which Phil inexplicably takes as his cue to invite Jake to Thanksgiving dinner the next night. Lily manages to force out a strangled "Dad!" but her protest is in vain. She's dealing with stubborn old people after all. They strap her in and hit the gas for a screaming guilt trip: "It's Thanksgiving...What -- you two can't be civil for one dinner?...Think of how much it would mean to the kids." To shut them up, Lily says she'll think about it, but by the way she's baring her teeth, I don't think she means it. She storms out. Barb and Phil exit giving Jake co-conspirators' glances while Judy levels a withering glare. "Oh, God," Jake sighs, yanking on his face. Sympathy factor: zero.

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Once and Again




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