I have a connection in Chicago.
The limo speeds through the empty St. Louis streets (the Gateway Arch is a gateway to hell) as Trista tells us, "I have no anxiety about tonight. I am very much looking forward to seeing my family, and I think that my parents are going to be very impressed with Charlie." Looks like somebody's family is a sucker for a guy who can recite the entire Greek alphabet backwards while holding a lit match and, I'm sure, is naked from the waist down. Who is he besides his smarmy, frat-boy persona? What parental impressing arsenal could he possibly have at his disposal? Let's go see!
Inside of middle America's most middle-class home, we meet an odd configuration of family members. Now remember, I didn't watch the first season of this show so I don't know if Alex met the parents or what, but you have to admit there's something weird about the dad being at dinner with both his current wife and his past wife, both of whom seem to get along quite well, actually. New wife is an eensy bit more glamorous, so I guess she's the one who, Sixteen Candles-style, will just offer to "open this box of donuts" as part of their palling-around dinner prep slapstick in the kitchen. If we tried this familial arrangement in my family, the salad dressing would be blood and the wine would be red and flowing because it would be made entirely of blood. The ex-wife and the current wife all bond-y like this? Are they staying together for the good of the game show? Because that would be really big of all of them.
Trista and Charlie enter the house as hugs and handshakes are exchanged. The attending crowd consists of Trista's mom, stepmother, father, and stepsister. We cut right to Roseanne (Trista's mother), who offers her first impression of Charlie: "Wow." That's creepy in a sex way, Mom. Say something else: "Tall, dark, handsome." Awww, Trista went and brought herself home a real-life film noir cliché, didn't she? Trista's stepmother, on the other hand, notes, "You're a failure of a wife and a failure of a lover, and I got your man in the end so neener neener." She doesn't actually say that, but...wha? Aren't these two people who have no earthly right getting near each other without a catfight of the most primal, Kibble-throwing variety? Maybe it's me. I'm from a broken home. Much like the home I live in now. A home with no food left because I ate twelve toasted waffles during the freakin' blizzard Monday. I couldn't even leave. Thank goodness, actually, for the impulse buy of those waffles the day before the storm, or I would have been in my apartment gnawing my own arm off in some exceedingly Gus Van Sant shot-by-shot remake-of-Alive- but-without-the- airplanes-or- the-soccer kind of way. Oh, man. Where the hell was I? Ah, yes: "The first thing I noticed about Charlie when he walked in were his eyes. His beautiful eyes." Does he have nice eyes? They always seem so obscured by the weeping willowiness of his too-bushy eyebrows. In the kitchen now, Old Mom and New Mom discuss Charlie's inherently oozing freaky-deakiness, Mom arguing, "Wow. I wish I was [sic] still thirty." Dude. No kidding. Trista feels exactly the same way sometimes.