Into the House of Humphrey comes stalking and stomping the Humphrey Man of the House, and to Alison's exclamation that his telephone has been turned off, Rufus turns a gimlet eye. "I kept your date for you, with Alex. He's actually a pretty cool guy...other than the fact that he's in love with my wife." Alison looks at the floor, like maybe that's where she misplaced her sense of propriety or honor. "He told me about your phone call," says Rufus. And you know what, if her ass had stayed in Hudson none of this would be a problem for me. I believe in marriage, even though it's kind of a White Only drinking fountain in the current clime, but mostly: you left, so leave. I hate wishy-washiness. I would not be lying if I said that I would never have had a problem with Alison if she'd not come home and gotten Jenny's hopes up again. Although it's been worth it to see Rufus squirm. Also, her ponytail in this scene looks totally cute. "He...felt that I owed him an explanation, and he was right." Here's the explanation: "You are a symptom of my tackiness, and I have cured the disease." It's not like this is the first time that this has ever happened: she left her husband, went to pursue art, got lonely. It's not that complicated. Rufus wonders why she didn't tell him that part, and she totally lies like scum: "Because there was nothing to tell!" Um, do you even know what married is? That's totally on the list of topics you should chat about. "I told Alex that I was back with my family, and to stop calling." I bet if she'd sent it in some kind of letter it would have gone better. "Dear Alex: Please stop calling me, but also, keep calling me, because all of us desperately want out of this family. Also, I am hungry for some food. Signed, So Very Weak."
All the bullshitty lies and bavardage out of the way, Humphrey Man and Humphrey Woman ask some very pertinent, very grownup and responsible questions that make me proud of them both, and this is a good scene thanks to them, although they should have asked them, um, about six episodes ago. Which, since it's this show, could have been yesterday. "Would you have come back if Jenny hadn't shown up to bring you?" A: No. "If I hadn't, would Lily be here right now?" A: Yes, for the love of God and little white tulips. These are two excellent questions, and they're both finally brave enough to ask and answer them, and I give them credit for that. Alison's pointy little face summons up the class to note that she does in actuality suck, and Rufus brings it in for the micromanaging explanation of shit that the audience already knows and doesn't need saying: "I guess by turning our backs on these other people, we thought we could fix ourselves." And Alison completes the equation: "A: Maybe other people aren't the problem." Right. "Maybe we changed." Wrong. Maybe you didn't, and haven't since junior high, and have thus ruined lives all over the place. "And at what point do we admit that no matter how much we want it or how hard we try..." Alison completes the thought: "It's just not working." It's less a question than it is the actual answer. I loved Julie Cooper because: she got pregnant with Marissa, and that was the end of Julie Cooper (while Kirsten got an abortion, and didn't get stuck at quite that same place). Julie stayed that age, that romantic dreamy Jimmy-loving age, barely out of high school, for the rest of her life (note that her happy ending was finally finishing college). And really, all three of these, Rufus and his blondes, are in the same place, basically: they weren't done being kids, but then they had kids, and went on three separate but sad vectors, and now this story is the chance for all three of them to grow up. Whether or not they should have been adults at that time, 17 years ago, is not the point: we need to know that they have the option now, and I love that.