There's a real long shot of a red car in the parking lot of the pool hall. I'll bet some camera person had to stake out that location for days until someone parked a red sports car there that they could pretend was Mary's -- although the car is so far away that for all I know, it might actually be a Geo Metro or a Dodge Caravan. ["And I thought that her car was black in the first place. Oh, whatever." -- Sars] Mary and the Colonel are sitting inside the alleged sports car, and she finally admits that she was fired from her job. She says something about being the last hired and the first fired in a lay-off type of situation, which sounds kind of fishy to me, but the Colonel lets it go. Mary says she will get another job and then waits for the lecture that we're all expecting. The Colonel, however, doesn't lecture her. It's probably some kind of reverse-psychology deal, but I don't even know, or care. I'm just happy we're not going to be submitted to another hammer to the head regarding college.
The next block of commercials starts off with a network ID featuring some extra-pretty turkeys. No, it's not a commentary on the show. This episode aired during the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, that's all.
Aw, man, the Colonel was just toying with us before. It looks like it's the next day and Mary is asking him why he hasn't told the CamRents about her losing the pool hall job. No matter what the Colonel may have claimed in the last scene, you knew the lecture was coming, and now here it is. Yada yada. Mary asks him for help, which he agrees to give her. It turns out they have different ideas of what "help" entails. Mary thinks it means a hand-out (or "loan," as she so quaintly calls it), while the Colonel thinks Mary will allow him to perform a makeover on her life and get her into -- all together now -- college! When Mary gets all whiny about that, the Colonel offers to get her a job at a sporting goods store. While she's not above posing topless in a restroom for a men's magazine, she feels that job is beneath her. She rudely tells him, "Thank you for nothing." And she's out of there.
Dopey and John almost quarrel about Dopey's being out all night. Everything's okay, though, because Dopey wasn't off letting someone else meddle in his life, he was just at the library. He apologizes to John for the way he behaved the day before and the word "help" is bandied around a few more times. Okay, we GET it!
Ruthie is sulking at the kitchen table when the Colonel walks in and asks her what's wrong. She doesn't want to go to a new school and lose all her friends. Doesn't she mean "friend," singular? She asks if God ever makes mistakes. I don't want to be blasphemous, but I think it's a possibility. I mean, look at some of the evidence: famine, pestilence, Brussels sprouts, Celine Dion. The Colonel comforts Ruthie with a dull reminiscence about meeting her grandmother. I can't be bothered to repeat it. If you're looking for something in a similar vein, just scan one of those Chicken Soup books or take a gander at the inspirational section of your local card shop. Hey, there's a random quick shot of the twins! It has nothing to do with anything else in the scene! Ruthie and the Colonel are sharing a post-reminiscence hug when the CamRents walk in. I don't know if Annie was planning on attending the Eleanor Roosevelt school herself because she is -- I kid you not -- decked out in an outfit that looks exactly like a prep school uniform. It's kind of creepy. Ruthie tells her parents she's willing to check out the private school, and everyone looks happy. The Colonel offers a cheque -- some "help," geddit? -- for Ruthie's tuition. I'm not making fun of that. It's really sweet, actually. My grandmother helped put me through school, for which I'll always be grateful. The CamRents explain that Ruthie qualifies for a full scholarship, but RevCam says that he won't hesitate to ask for help in the future if he needs it.
Marie comes up to Lucy at school and asks her if she'll be coming to her party. Lucy hesitates to allow the non-suspense to build before she finally says she will go. Marie walks away, acting like this is a big deal or something. Simon expresses surprise that Lucy would risk jeopardizing the stupid Homecoming Election by being seen at a frosh party. Lucy points out that the freshmen will vote for her, even if the "cool people" don't. Also, it's more important to do something for her brother than win Homecoming Queen. Maybe somebody really popular decided to run against her and Lucy figured she'd lose anyway. I know this is supposed to be all sweet and self-sacrificing, but since I could never be bothered to care about Lucy's Homecoming Queen nomination to begin with, the effect is pretty much lost on me.