Iris catches up with Joan in the hallway at school, telling her that Adam invited her to the White Stripes concert tomorrow. The only reason you can't hear my teeth grinding is that I've convinced myself that Iris is just a plot device and will not amount to a hill of beans in the long run. Joan: "Really? Great." Iris: "Yeah, I just want to make sure it's cool with you if we go." Joan shrugs, feigning indifference: "Yeah. Why would I care?" Iris: "I sort of sense this weird 'item' vibe between you two." Then back off, girlie. Sorry. Long run. Long run. Thinking about the long run. Joan's all, no, we're just friends. Iris: "Cool." Joan, attempting to be casual: "Totally. So do you, like, like him, or..." Iris: "Enough to go see some band I'm not into." Joan: "Wow. Well, have fun at the concert with Adam. I have to go...study for stuff." Joan walks off as Iris makes an attempt at a sympathetic expression.
Helen's in the kitchen rambling to Luke, who's packing his knapsack, about the lesson plans for her class. She's considering having them copy a Uccello to learn about perspective, but is also thinking of having them just take their paints and throw them at canvases, like Pollock. Luke: "You mean like kindergarten." Kevin wheels in and says he might be home late and not to worry about him. Helen tells him he looks nice, adding, "Doesn't he look nice, Luke?" Luke: "Am I really required to participate in this discussion?" Kevin snipes, "I think the whole dating ritual is beyond him. There's not enough science behind it." He claps Luke on the arm. Luke: "Actually there's a lot of science behind it. And most of it, no, all of it, I mean, beyond your grasp, of course." Helen asks mildly, "Luke, was that necessary?" Isn't it great when parents are this oblivious? Luke: "Sorry if I offended Mr. Hefner." Hee. Kevin claps him on the arm again, offering to help him if he ever wants any practical advice. Luke interrupts, saying he doesn't need Kevin's advice: "I have an extremely satisfying relationship with someone, both intellectually as well as physically..." Helen: "What?" Kevin: "Is this with somebody you don't have to inflate?" Luke walks out, saying, "Forget it." Helen's still asking, "Who are you physically involved with and how physical?" He calls back that he's late for getting to Friedman's to study. Kevin looks at his mother's concerned face and smirks, "Mom, chill. It's Luke."
Joan comes down the kitchen stairs as Kevin leaves. Helen demands of Joan, "Does Luke have a girlfriend?" Joan: "Yeah, Glynis. Everyone's hooked up except for me!" Helen: "Are they...have they..." Joan: "Ecch! Where's deaf and invisible when you need it? I'm not talking, Mom...about anything...okay?" Helen agrees. She's sitting at the table; Joan's standing at the counter, jabbing chopsticks into a container of Chinese food but not eating. She says, "It's just that...I like Adam." Helen: "I know, honey..." Joan: "Mom, please. I know you think I'm dating him but I'm not. I mean, we kissed once, and please, never repeat that to me or anyone else, because I'm already grossed out I told you." What? Dude, she was there. Okay, I suppose she didn't see it. Joan continues, "But it was just a kiss, you know...just a...one-time kiss." Helen says okay. Joan: "That doesn't mean we're dating, does it?" Helen opens her mouth to reply, "Well..." Joan interjects: "Right, I know, of course not. It's just that I think Adam kind of thought it did, and he was kind of, you know, about it, and -- and I -- I -- I was sort of, you know...too! And now he likes someone else! This Iris." She laughs a mirthless, dismissive laugh. Helen looks concerned. "And I don't know what he sees in her. I mean, she's all...you know. I want him to be happy; I'm not one of those people who gets all perky when someone else is miserable -- or maybe I am, but -- I do think Adam should be happy. Just not before I'm happy. I mean, he can be happy with someone else after I'm happy with someone else. Does that make me a total maggot?" Helen can't even get one word out before Joan rambles on, "Whatever. The real question is: should I try to get him back? I mean, what if he falls in love with her and then I realize that I really do like him and it's too late? But if I break them up and get him back and then realize that I really don't want to be with him, then he's gonna hate me again! Which I could not stand, because I really like him." She sounds almost teary and she sighs heavily. "There's just no good answer here." Helen finally gets to speak: "Honey, you are dealing with a lot of emotions..." Joan: "Mom, I can't have this conversation now, okay?" She goes back up the stairs. Helen's probably thinking she should have stopped at one. Great work by Amber Tamblyn here.
Kevin and Rebecca have come back to her apartment building. She's carrying a foil swan with the leftovers and complimenting Kevin on his parallel parking. She thanks him for dinner again. He tells her she's welcome again, and comments on the lameness of the conversation. I guess Bear didn't tell him what to do about that part. They come up to the elevator, only to find that there's an "Out of Order" sign on it. Rebecca's really dismayed: "Oh my God...I'm on the second floor." While she presses the button in frustration, Kevin glances at the wide staircase to their right. Rebecca makes sounds of annoyance: "I can't believe this." He catches her arm and says, "It's okay."