First, though, he has to hear Lucy's news. She's near tears as she relates that Andrew has to live in France and work in a boulangerie (I think that's what she said) to support his forthcoming child. "You never know what'll happen when you do something out of spite," Lucy reiterates for us before exiting. Gee, I wonder what they're trying to tell us, here. I'm not sure I understand the message. Is it something about anger, maybe?
Mary shows up to hear that RevCam's angry at her for giving up on college. He tells her that he worked his way through school and then for twenty more years, and a sports car's his dream but he still can't afford one. "Yeah, but, can I help it if I can afford it?" dense Mary mouths off. Eric is so annoyed, he has to count to ten. He tells her she has to pay for the car by herself, whether she goes to college or not. Mary says that if she decides to go to college, she'll sell the car. "Not for what you paid for it," RevCam informs her. "Well...great," she says. "If I can make money off it, I'll put it towards my tuition." RevCam makes a noise of great frustration. It's something like "Hrling-ing-ing, guh!" Mary asks if he'll always stay this mad at her if she never goes to college. He hugs her and says that yes, he will, because she's too smart not to learn all she can for as long as she can. "And what about Mom? Does that go for her, too?" Mary asks. I can't believe she said something that intelligent. "She's in the doorway, isn't she?" says Eric. Yes, she is. The two of them finish their long, tight hug, which sort of grossed me out now that I've seen Jessica Biel in Gear and reclassified her as a sex object in my shallow, shallow mind. Mary leaves Eric to his subplot-winding-up talk with Annie. His anger was festering inside and blah, blah. He says Annie doesn't need any reason to go to school, and that he acted like "a big fat jerk." He adds, "I'll do anything to help you or anyone in this family get an education," and that oh-so-smoothly segues into Ruthie popping up and saying, "Oh, yeah? Then help me get some sleep." She's "gotta get out of that woman's class tomorrow." Annie and Eric go to her and they all sit on the floor. Eric understands how Ruthie feels. Annie's listening to Ruthie, sweetheart -- she hears her. "That's it!" RevCam says. "What's it?" asks Ruthie.
We fade into the classroom with the clarinet by our side. The principal is escorting Ruthie and her parents into Ms. Riddle's classroom. Ms. Riddle announces, "Class, before we begin our work, that we will now probably have to do during recess, our new principal as well as Ruthie Camden's parents insist that she be allowed to express herself." Eric and Annie give Ruthie thumbs-up as she climbs onto Ms. Riddle's chair and then onto her desk. Then, Ruthie totally digs her jeans out of her butt. Seriously. Okay, I know Ms. Riddle should have been fired and wasn't, but can Ruthie at least be suspended for her rudeness? Sheesh. "This isn't just about Ms. Riddle and me," Ruthie starts. The mean teacher looks a little worried. I'm interested in this speech. I'm waiting for Ruthie to lay it out and totally bust Ms. Riddle for her abusive ways. "When I thought about it, I'm not just angry that I'm in her class again," Ruthie continues. "I'm angry about a whole lot of stuff." She breaks out an index card. "Are we tired of being told to be quiet?" she asks her fellow students. "Yes!" they holler. She asks if they're tired of being told they're stupid. They are. Then she goes on to ask about other things that are nowhere near the topic at hand. Can't they have better food in the cafeteria? Can't the teachers give out individualized assignments? Aren't the kids scared they're gonna get shot on the playground? "Yes! Yes! YES!" the students scream. "I don't just need a new teacher. We need a revolution," simpers Ruthie. The other kids jump up and chant her name. She smiles and waves at them. Man, this is stupid. The principal whispers to the CamRents, "I'll do what I can to get her out of here." I hope he's talking about Ms. Riddle and not Ruthie, because if he's talking about Ruthie, it's pretty sad that she gets better treatment than the other children. RevCam says, "That's all we're asking," and fades to black. See, you know this show's unrealistic because in real life, the school district would have been sued the year before. But the show's also over, and at this point, that's enough for me. I'm Audi fricking five thousand, y'all. I've got to go scrub off the smarm with steel wool. I'll be back the episode after next.