Down in the kitchen, Margene and Nicki are sharing their views on this latest development. Nicki remarks, "If Ben did that to a girl where I come from, he'd be driven out to the 15 and dumped by the side of the road." And also if he didn't, from what I hear. Leaving aside the fallacy that Ben did anything "to" Brynn, does anybody outside of California refer to freeways as "the" whatever? Because if not, it kind of gives away the fact that this show is written and shot in Santa Clarita. ["Can't speak for Utah, but Western New York shares that affectation at the very least." -- Joe R] Strapping Lester into a booster chair, Margene reveals that she lost her virginity at 16. "That's hardly a secret, Margie," Nicki says. Not taking offense, Margene's point is that Nicki needs to relax about sex already. Really? Margene's going to make Nicki the starting point of this campaign? Maybe she should work up to Nicki by starting on an easier target, like Focus on the Family. Mixing up a batch of what I'm sure is her vile-sounding carrot raisin salad, Nicki lectures Margene about "procreation, not recreation," and tells her to "cool off" now that she's got the former covered for now. Still not taking offense, Margene asks if Nicki and Bill are not [delicately sympathetic expression] these days. Nicki's reaction is pretty clear, as she says that if Bill's too stressed out to get it on with her, he probably isn't with anyone else either. "If that's what you need to tell yourself," Margene scoffs. So then Nicki blames Margene for creating the problem in the first place. "I'm the most stress-free of any of us," she self-deludes. "Don't think he won't replace us if you two keep pushing." And she storms out of the room, no doubt so she can find a quiet place to spend nine consecutive hours masturbating.
Bill takes a visit from his mother in his office, and she's telling him quite a sob story about Frank cleaning her out. "I have sacrificed my whole life. Shared everything. I just want this one thing. Is that too much to ask?" That sounds reasonable enough to Bill, until she names the figure it's going to take to bail her out: thirty grand. "Off that little Laundromat in five weeks?" Bill asks skeptically. "It was a surprisingly well-situated location," Lois claims. Already knowing the answer to the question he's about to ask, Bill asks if Lois filed a police report. So Lois has to confess that Eddie's start-up money -- to the tune of $1.2 million he conned from a woman with cancer -- needed a little laundering. "He told me she was dead," Lois tells an increasingly agitated Bill. "Except it turns out now…she isn't." But Lois still wants to make a go of the Laundromat, and needs more cash to cover her expenses. "So you need to give Eddie his money back," she concludes. She's pleased to see Bill pick up his phone to call his uncle. "Gambling, Bill?" she says disapprovingly, now that she thinks she's done begging and can go right back to hectoring. But the message Bill starts leaving on Eddie's voice mail punctures her optimism right quick. "Hi, Eddie. Sold Western Press, huh?" Lois tells Bill not to say she's there. "Mom's here," Bill says, and starts yelling at Eddie's voice mail while Lois yells at Bill. He hangs up, and Lois asks him to give up the gambling business. "You have plenty of other businesses," she says. Scowling, Bill sits down and says this one is to protect his family. "You give up yours," he says stubbornly. Hearing it stated that baldly, Lois realizes she isn't getting anywhere, and turns to leave. But at the door, she pauses. The high, quavering voice she's been using throughout this scene is gone as she says, "I will not let the men in my life conspire to take this away from me. Not this time." Bill's expression is halfway between "Sucks to be you" and "What?" I feel Lois, but it wasn't exactly a conspiracy; the men in her life are just looking out for their own self-interest, which is hardly new. Besides which: pea cans?