Eric, still on the porch, noodles on his guitar. Happy the dog watches. Peter, the lost neighbor kid, wanders up and says he's locked out of his house (he left "via" the window) and his mom isn't answering the door. Eric says he can go use the phone in the kitchen.
Peter heads inside to use the phone. Kevin and he have a dull little tête-à-tête. They learn each other's identities and objectives for being there. Kevin points out the phone, and Peter goes for it.
Kevin heads upstairs and tells Ruthie that Peter is downstairs, and that he "doesn't seem okay" since it's 9 PM and he's out of the house.
Back in the kitchen, Peter steals two apples and some candy and leaves a pitiful voicemail message for his mom. He's locked out; he needs to get back in and do his homework and go to bed. He has school the next day. Please, Mom? Please pick up! Kevin and Ruthie eavesdrop shamelessly. Kevin busts in and offers to walk Peter home with his "partner"-- he's a cop. Peter says it might scare his mom to see him with a stranger, even a cop. Kevin says, "How about a sandwich." Oh, a sandwich would scare the shit out of Peter's mom, for sure. Peter takes up Kevin on the offer, and steals another apple.
Ruthie sneaks onto the porch and tells her dad, still noodling on the guitar, that it sounds like Peter is "in trouble." Eric says it sounds like his mom fell asleep and locked him out. Ruthie asks if that sounds right to him. Eric asks if that sounds right to Ruthie. Ruthie asks that Eric "get in there" and help. Eric says that he's "out of the business," that he "quit" and he's "tired of helping people." But-but-but? But what about Peter? Eric says placidly that maybe Kevin can figure something out. Ruthie looks blank.
We're back at Eddie's Pool Hall. Annie makes her way back to her barstool a little unsteadily, and sips her giant white foofy drink. The bartender, still in his polo-ero getup, asks if she's having a good time. Oh yes -- but she'd really rather be with her husband. You mean the sad sack that was ignoring you when you left him at home? Yeah, that guy is great. Annie says something is wrong and she doesn't know what to do. The bartender asks if Eric didn't just have open-heart surgery. Yes, about a month ago. And now Annie is worried that "they took a piece out!" Oh, no. No, she didn't.
CamPound. Annie comes up the walk and sees her husband cooling his heels and playing the guitar like nothing else matters. Well, to him, maybe nothing else does matter. After all, he's been having a crisis, which resulted in an epiphany when that stupid little lost kid called him "Mister Camden." He quit his job -- which, I'm guessing, he wasn't very good at. And while he taught his kids about the Lord and other God stuff, he didn't really instill in them a sense of responsibility or kindness. The whole family is messed up. Why not quit everything he's been doing? Sounds right to me. Annie, of course, can't see it my way. Annie sits down and says Eric has had "a few rough weeks," but soon he'll "be back to his old self." Eric says he doesn't want to. He's "out of the business. [He's] finished with God and church and helping people." Annie wants to know if he's finished because of his heart problems, or because of Chandler coming. Help is "a good thing!" Eric says, "The God business is just not working so well for [him] anymore." Okay, who is speaking through Eric? Aaron Spelling? The speeches throughout this whole episode have sounded like writers trying to speak through the characters, instead of the characters speaking for themselves. Like, if Barry or Barbara or Aaron are frustrated and feel the need to explain their original intentions, GET OUT OF THE BUSINESS already. Quit yourselves. Quit 7th Heaven. Annie, never one to read the signs, says she can tell Eric what "isn't working anymore." Chandler, his heart, all of them "are gifts. Gifts from God. [Eric is] taking lemonade and turning it into lemons." Wow, Annie is taking my stomach and turning it into knots. Or my dinner is turning into barf. Either one. She continues, "Get out there and start working again, start living again! Ask not what God can do for you, Eric Camden, ask what YOU can do for God!" JFK is spinning in his grave. Ich bin ein disgusted. She storms inside, leaving he dog to whine in her wake. Eric looks skyward and says he knew she'd be upset.
Kevin and Roxanne knock on Peter's front door. His mom won't hear the phone, but she'll hear a knock? ["And didn't they establish a few scenes ago that Peter tried that already and she didn't answer? Sigh." -- Sars] Whatever. He hollers though the mail slot, and an Ally-esque woman in a suit opens the door and says that Kevin and Roxanne had better not have hurt her son. And how did he get locked out, anyway? He snuck out to the garage and she must have locked the door. Then he snuck over to see Ruthie, who is "cute" and "can't see her boyfriend right now." Roxanne way oversteps her bounds and tells Ersatz Ally that she shouldn't let her "problems with drugs and alcohol ruin his life. Get some help." Ersatz Ally is all, what? My problems with what? She was just TIRED. She goes into speech mode and breaks it down: she's just a single mom who gets up, runs three miles, makes breakfast and lunch, then drives her kid to school, then works, takes a yoga class during lunch to "reduce the stress," then comes home to cook and clean and work some more. "That is how we got this house, so you can take your drug and alcohol theories and SHOVE 'em, pal!" Roxanne and Kevin look shameful and abashed. Peter says, "That's why you're trying to be Supermom? Because super-lazy no-good Dad left us?" Ersatz Ally says, "You knew he was lazy?" Peter says, "And no good!" Then, to Roxanne and Kevin, "Parents think we don't know this." Peter says he doesn't need a house and that he can make his own sandwiches, "so [she] can lay off the casseroles, okay?" The only thing he needs, apparently, is his mom, so she's supposed to "try and not kill [her]self working, 'kay?" She says okay, happy and surprised to learn that she doesn't have to work to keep her son happy -- only alive and with a roof over his head! Why, no woman ever wants to work -- we only do it to support our offspring. Damn biology! Damn our reproductive organs! And bless the child who tells us, at age twelve, that he "doesn't need a house" or casseroles, and that he will, at long last, make his own damn sandwiches. Because that is the most difficult thing about raising a son; they constantly need sandwiches. It's a real fucking grind. Kevin and Roxanne say goodnight, and Ersatz Ally asks if "that guy" is single. Woo hoo, an acknowledgment of sexual needs in a non-demonstrative way! Peter says he'll find out for her. Ah, the little pimp. How cute.