Okay, I think I made it pretty clear last time that I really love this show. Probably more than I should. That said, this is one bad episode, so if it's going to upset you to see it put through the recapping Cuisinart, now's the time to bail out. Fair warning!
Okay. The Walker kids minus Kitty are staring at a family portrait Nora has apparently recently put up; Kitty isn't in it, which seems to amuse Sarah and horrify Kevin. Severely clunky exposition tells us that Kitty couldn't make it in from New York that day because she was giving a speech or something about "Women In Power." I'm assuming there was an actual occasion to go with the portrait, otherwise it doesn't seem like not flying all the way across the country for a family photo shoot is all that significant, but if there was, it isn't mentioned here. Also, I realize that sometimes it's tough to let the audience in on the exposition seamlessly, but the details they're discussing are far too basic for the kids to have to rehash them, given they were all there. Although if they'd simply pointed at Justin and been all "Pill Boy doesn't remember a thing about that day, surprise surprise," I would totally have gone with it. Kevin opines that Kitty missed the photo because it was the height of the "Kitty/Mommy Cold War" back then, and Sarah overdoes the "Oh, of course" reaction, like, YOU WERE THERE. Tommy wistfully notes that their parents looked really happy, but he's snapped out of the reverie by Justin horndoggedly saying, "Julia is a babe." That's pretty funny, mostly because Dave Annable's delivery cracks me up pretty consistently, but...he needed the portrait to clue in to that? Anyway, the "...okay" moment is interrupted by Gabe (have we met him yet? I don't suppose so) chasing Cooper through the house; Cooper apparently spit in Gabe's mouth, but Sarah says she doesn't care. I do -- that's gross. This little incident is just so Tommy can clunkily (the ADR doesn't help) inform us that Gabe is Sarah's stepson. Justin, by the way, is openly drinking again. As Sarah goes off to parent, Kevin muses that the kids are too young to "appreciate the pleasures of spitting in someone's mouth." Tommy and Justin are like, "..." but Kevin tells Justin, "You'd know!" Random, inappropriate, gross; I love Kevin (...like, so much it's unseemly ["And I will fight you for him, just so you know." -- Joe R]), but that exchange completely failed to land.
Elsewhere in the house, Joe is pouring some water for Paige and telling her since our bodies' primary component is water, it's important to stay hydrated. Having seen her mom's family in action over the years, I'm betting that's a lesson Paige has already learned by osmosis. Sarah pops in and asks Joe for a hand with Cooper, but Joe informs her that he's gone outside, and Gabe is watching him and has things under control. Sarah seems displeased, prompting Joe to tell her he's only got him for a week. Ugh! If Sarah has issues with the custody arrangements, or if she doesn't like or trust Gabe, that should have been worked out already (especially since, as we can see from the family portrait, Joe has had partial custody of Gabe for quite some time); imagine if Gabe overheard this little discussion? And to say this in front of Paige? I get that Sarah's under a lot of stress, but this is inexcusable. On top of that, Paige says she's thirsty because she was playing with the boys, to which Sarah bites out, "They can be very trying, can't they, when they've got it all under control." No! No! How is this appropriate, especially in front of Paige? As I've mentioned before, I'm no big fan of his, but Joe should rip a strip off her for this little performance. And the issue of Gabe isn't even addressed again in this episode! I'm going to need a dose of Road-Trip Sarah just to get my feelings for her back to normal.