We start, as we so often do, in the morning. To the sound of someone practicing scales on the piano in the front room, Nicki bustles around Barb's kitchen while Barb looks at a wedding announcement in the paper. Except it's not so much a wedding announcement as a giant, above-the-fold article, with a big headline and a giant photograph of Ellen Burstyn and Phillip Baker Hall. What a cute, silver-haired couple they make. The sixteen-point headline identifies them as "Ned Johanssen and Nancy Davis Dutton." I'll say it again: SLC needs some damn news. When Nicki asks who's getting married, Barb claims it's just an old sorority sister. A very old sorority sister, and one who bears Barb's maiden name? Hmm. Barb looks pensive, or perhaps merely annoyed at my transparent attempts to pretend that I don't already know from last week's preview that Ellen Burstyn is playing her mom.
Bill comes in, asking Nicki about "wild, unsupervised compound parties in my backyard." Which marks the first time that the words "wild," "compound," and "parties" have ever been used in the same sentence. Nicki's denials fall apart when Ben appears in the doorway with a whispered, "Sorry." He attempts to downplay the shindig to Bill by saying, "Alby shut it down before the band even played one song," which is the worst bit of downplaying ever. Alarmed, Bill wonders what Alby was doing there, and Barb wonders how Nicki afforded a band. Answering Barb's question first, Nicki claims Wanda brought them, as though Wanda has a group of poison-resistant musicians on retainer or something. Luckily that works, because Nicki's got her hands full trying to assure Bill that Alby's visit was no big deal. She says he was there because Bill's dad is trying to poach Kathy from Joey, but Nicki "got rid of" Alby by telling him about Weber Gaming. "Took the wind right out of his sails," Nicki says smugly, as though that was her intention all along and she wasn't just defensively shooting her mouth off. As for Bill's sails, they're suddenly looking pretty limp as well.
Barb sits in her parked car outside a house, waiting for her mom to come out. When Ellen Burstyn appears to retrieve the paper from the driveway -- an act which already has her onscreen for longer than her entire Emmy-nominated performance in Mrs. Harris last year -- Barb jumps out of her car and ambushes her, instantly sending her into a tizzy. "I can't see you," Nancy says, and she heads back into the house, pretty adroitly for a blind person. Barb follows her mom up to the door, begging to talk to her. Barb's mom has one question for Barb: "Have you left him?" Barb firmly says no. Her mom asks if she's going to. This time, Barb waits a beat before just shaking her head. That's all her mom needs to hear, and she turns away again to bustle inside. Barb stops her at the door, accusing, "I had to read about your wedding in the paper!" Barb tries to use her kids as leverage to get back into her mom's life, but Nancy's not having it, and she heads into the house. "Mommy, who is it?" comes a voice from inside, and as Barb's mom disappears into the house, Barb's horrible sister Cindy sticks her head out and tells her, "Die." She pronounces it with an "H" in place of the "D," but the message is still clear from her tone and facial expression. Cindy will never forgive Barb for inheriting all of their mother's lips, will she? Barb's pissed that Cindy didn't tell her about the wedding either. Cindy tells Barb to leave their mom alone, and now she's happy to let Barb in on some of what Nancy's dealing with, namely high stress levels and blood-pressure medication. Barb just cuts Cindy off and marches back to her car.