The Camdens are assembled in the half-finished garage apartment. They are watching Annie walk around and pretend to examine beams and stuff. I think the fact that she's holding a hammer is supposed to lend her some credibility, though personally, I can't help but suspect that should she ever finish this apartment, it will look like something Homer Simpson built. A twin screeches something that sounds like "Mama!" although the closed captioning optimistically interprets it as "Mine, mine!" I think the captioner was just going by context, since Dopey replies, "No, I don't think so. Mine, eventually." Another boring fight ensues over who will get to move into this room. Frankly, I don't know why anyone would want to. Annie's building it, remember? The skirmish is interrupted by the arrival of Mary. Annie is absolutely thrilled, and she rushes over to hug her. Mary does a great job maintaining the same vacuous smile throughout the scene, as she gives a dorky little wave to the rest of the family. It gives me great pleasure to report that no one but SuperMom seems even remotely glad to see her.
Uh-oh. Brenda Hampton co-wrote this episode. That's not a good sign. Maybe her co-conspirator, an Erik Kolbell, will be able to keep her in check. At least nobody's attempting anything really ambitious for the Guest Star Credits Timewaster this week. All we see is Annie preparing cookies and milk, and bringing them in to Eric and Mary in the living room. Eric announces that Mary's home for good, and he does not look overjoyed at the prospect. He wants her to clarify why she's back, since he never heard anything about it from the Colonel. Mary helpfully explains that the Colonel and Ruth are at "George's school campout this weekend." Ha! What kind of school activity is that? No wonder George is such a freak. Much as I adored my grandmothers, I can't imagine having brought them on a school field trip. If the producers are too cheap to bring back guest stars like the Colonel, they should at least stop making such ridiculous excuses for his absence. Annie undermines RevCam's authority by telling Mary that she doesn't need to account for her return -- although it's obviously just a shameful ploy to keep us in suspense over whether Mary and Wilson ever got married. Freed from having to explain herself, Mary can't get out of the room fast enough.
RevCam asks why Annie doesn't seem at all curious about the circumstances leading to Mary's return. Annie points out that they'd already been through this with Lucy returning from New York, and that everything worked out fine. I'm a little surprised that she mentioned it. I would have thought that if they're going to recycle plots from just six episodes ago, they wouldn't want to draw attention to the fact. Eric halfheartedly tries to get SuperMom to question Mary's return, but Annie's too brain-dead to care. She skips off to start preparing Mary's favourite meal: pot roast and apple pie. Considering that her cookies and milk platter is still sitting, untouched, on the coffee table, I don't know why she'd bother going to the effort. RevCam asks himself, "What's wrong with this picture?" Well, plenty, but right now I'm mainly curious as to whether Annie really has all the ingredients on hand for Mary's special dinner. I mean, who keeps a pot roast in their refrigerator "just in case"?
I'm amply reminded of why I detest Mary when I see her carrying her stuff up to her old room. She cheerfully announces, "I'm back!" and asks where she can put her things. Lucy and Ruthie rudely look at each other and don't speak, so Mary says, "Oh, I guess you didn't hear me." She asks about her stuff again, but the girls are still silent. Then, in a loud voice, so patronizing that it makes me want to smack her, Mary says, "Where…should…I --" but she's cut off by Lucy, who looks like she's about ready to cuff Mary herself. Lucy explains that there's not enough room for Mary or her stuff. Ruthie tries to soften the blow a little by saying she wishes there was room, but you can tell neither girl wants to spend any time with Mary. I will give the older girl credit for leaving graciously, although it's entirely possible that she's just too dense to know she's been dissed. Ruthie closes the door after Mary, and she and Lucy start to speculate on whether Mary and Wilson are married, planning to get married, or already broken up. Ruthie says she wants Mary to apologize "for all that stuff she did last year when she got kicked out." Lucy basically tells her not to hold her breath, since Mary is such an insolent bitch, although Lucy's too wimpy to be that direct about it. She adds, "I think we just have to accept Mary for Mary," but she doesn't look pleased at the prospect. Ruthie fuels Lucy's anger by pointing out that when Lucy returned from New York, she didn't get a great reception, the way Mary has. Well, I haven't exactly noticed the family jumping for joy at her return, but maybe Ruthie's just talking about Annie.