Dude. Jason Lewis, Rob Lowe, and MARION ROSS? You all have to be as psyched as I am for this.
So Nora, dressed in a red cocktail number, is using her trademark insincere voice to lavish praise on a picture frame containing an image of two babies. I assume from her tepid reaction that it's a stock picture and not her actual kids, especially since the one on the right has the biggest baby head I've ever seen, my own included. In fact, I think it can only be the baby picture of James Van Der Beek, in which case you can hardly blame Nora for not turning cartwheels here. In case you were wondering, it's Nora's birthday, and Kitty compliments Sarah on the cake. Sarah enthuses that it's store-bought, and then turns to Nora and says she really wanted to bake, but she's just been too busy, especially with Cooper having the flu. Given that he's a walking cautionary tale against refined sugar, I would have thought Cooper having the flu would be the slow time at the Whedon house, but I know nothing about parenting, and am mighty glad of it. Nora continues her insincere-fest as Sarah's face hilariously takes an editorial position opposite to Kitty's in regard to the cake (probably foreshadowing her flu, but still), and then Saul tells Nora that she may be many things, but "low-maintenance certainly ain't one of them." Well, seriously. She'd come with an operating manual if you didn't need steroids or a forklift to carry it around. Nora continues in the same vein (while fidgeting with a pair of old-lady slippers someone apparently gave her -- hee), causing Kitty to groan with the realization that Nora wanted a party. Nora denies that, and Sarah pipes up that she told the others so. Kevin: "In our defense, Mom, you were really quite convincing." I'm sure she'll be even more so when she tells you you're still in the will. Nora says it's no big deal, like a wedding or a bar mitzvah would be. "It's just aging. I'm...sixty!" Everyone sits in uncomfortable silence, and I don't care if it's dessert time -- there is not nearly enough booze on that table.
But! It's all a scam -- everyone, including Saul, Julia, and Joe, has faked Nora out, and they're over at Sarah's planning a surprise party for her. (Kitty's not there, but I read that Calista Flockhart was really ill during this episode and was cut from two scenes, so that might be why. That, and she lives with Nora. Your pick.) Saul laughs about how "genius" the look on Nora's face was when she saw the cheap cake. Personally, I think it's more genius that Saul is foreshadowingly wearing rainbow argyle socks, but the cake thing was pretty good too. Sarah is the only one in business mode, pointing out that they still have to get the details straight: At 1 PM the next day, Kitty will leave the house with Nora to take her to see Wicked. Tommy asks why it's not Kevin instead of Kitty: "Didn't you used to date one of those flying monkeys?" Given how many times Wicked's been mentioned on the show, I'm thinking Kevin might have that in common with an executive producer or two. Kevin informs Tommy that "one of those flying monkeys" got house seats for them, and then Saul asks who Kevin is texting so frantically. Kevin: "Nothing frantic about it. I have fast thumbs." I'm sure Chad appreciates that. And the fast texting isn't bad either. Sarah, however, has no time for innuendo, as she says she needs Kevin over there by nine the next morning to help her in the kitchen. Kevin complains that he's supposed to meet "Sparky's Party People" at Nora's house in the afternoon, so that would be his whole day, and he has work to do. Most people's "work" doesn't have killer abs and a million-dollar smile, but it's good to know that the expression "it's good work if you can get it" hasn't outlived its usefulness. Kevin sulkily goes back to texting as Saul reports that forty-one people have RSVPed, and Tommy adds that they're full up on wine, as the vineyard Holly wants to buy is sending over crates of the stuff. That probably wouldn't sound nearly as intriguing if I weren't taking a trip to the Napa Valley in a couple of weeks.