Even before the episode begins, we're subjected to a major lapse in reality. Why is the promo voice-over guy saying, "The Camdens' houseguest has an eye for Lucy"? That's not what happens. My guess is that, once again, the promo people must have fallen asleep while trying to get through watching the show, so they made up something about whatever scene happened to be on when they woke up. What woke them up was probably when Annie is yelling shrilly at Eric while waving a banana in his face. Ooh, I can't wait to see how they handle a powerful confrontation like that! Let's find out, shall we?
We get an establishing shot of the Camdens' swanky billion-dollar home before we launch into a cozy little scene where The Amazing Robbie has been making breakfast for various Camden family members. When Annie walks in, he offers to perform this service for her as well. She refuses with a nasty look on her face, as though Robbie had just offered to kick her in the spleen instead. Aw, man, I just know this is going to be a very, very long episode. Robbie says that Matt called while Annie was in the shower and then asks what the Dopester likes to eat. Annie just rolls her eyes rudely, which makes me wonder if Catherine Hicks is reading Mary's stage directions by mistake. Ruthie helpfully points out that Matt eats "anything that's not nailed down." Robbie fake-laughs ostentatiously, then says he can baby-sit until Dopey arrives. Annie tersely refuses this offer also as she walks out of the kitchen. Robbie tries to tell Ruthie how "special" she is. I wish I'd followed through on my plan to send the writers a dictionary for Christmas, because obviously the words they're looking for here are "really" and "fucking" and "annoying."
SuperMom accosts RevCam as soon as he gets out of the shower to ask him who she could get to baby-sit if he were not available. Eric takes the time to humour her by actually responding to this stupid query. Prompted by Annie, he runs through the list of eligible family members until he names them all. When Annie prompts him again, he tentatively suggests Robbie, which causes SuperMom to freak out. In yet another lame comedic misfire, she waves a banana at him menacingly and yells something about Robbie being just a boarder, not a family member. RevCam condescendingly asks her if her anger has to do with her being worried about her father. He tells her that she should fly to Arizona to see him. Hmm, wasn't Grandpa's Alzheimer's disease diagnosed over a year ago? Why would Annie suddenly be all concerned about him now, when she's barely mentioned him all year? Oh well, screw logic. You know how flighty bitches can be -- we're reminded of that in practically every episode. The CamRents argue about Robbie, with Annie insisting that if Mary finds out about Robbie living in the CamPound, "there will be hell to pay." She adds, "That's right, I said it. Hell!" Good heavens, Annie, do you sing hymns with that mouth? I think it would be really funny if some of the more uptight viewers were offended and started a really spirited crusade against this show.
After an establishing shot of the Swingin' Bachelor Pad, some tedious, melody-free music plays while Dopey gathers up dirty laundry and throws it into a bag. Even if this were a good show, a scene like this would make me want to change the channel. After about twelve decades of this crap, the phone rings. It's Mary, in the first of far too many appearances this episode. At least she'll be on the phone in every single one of them, which probably has her co-workers overjoyed. Seeing as how all these fake-o phone conversations must be put together in post-production, nobody will actually have to interact with Mary in any way. That's probably the only reason Barry Watson can keep a straight face while delivering lines about loving and missing Mary. He also says that it "would have been nice" if she'd come home for Christmas. He keeps a straight face during that one too. Amazing! The point of Mary's call is that she thinks Lucy is dating Robbie. Somehow she comes up with the asinine idea that the whole family knows that "Lucy is in love with Robbie," and so they were all involved in sending her away to enable Lucy and Robbie's relationship. Maybe she's having severe detox symptoms from that half a beer she drank many months ago, and next she'll start seeing insects climbing up the walls. All I know is that this scene can't end fast enough for me. Mary pleads for Dopey's help, but he says there's nothing he can do about the situation while Robbie is living at the CamPound. Mary hangs up on him, but the scene still doesn't end. Nope, not when they can bring in John to annoy us further.