Joan's sitting at the kitchen table looking mopey. Kevin "He Is Your Brother" Girardi wheels in behind her and grabs her bagel, taking a bite and putting it back on the table. Joan: "Hey!" Kevin: "You've been staring at it for an hour. It was growing mold." Joan licks the bagel petulantly and tosses it on her plate, shoving it toward Kevin: "Bon appétit!" Will "Move On" Girardi asks wearily if they can't wait until the caffeine kicks in. Joan says Dr. Dan says it's important for her to let her feelings out. I hadn't noticed her repressing them all that much, actually. She cries more than Tammy Faye Baker and when she's not crying she's usually emoting about something. Will wonders what happened to cheeriness and optimism. Joan sighs, "I have no future in optimism." Helen "Hole In Your Soul" Girardi comes in and asks Joan to pick up a list of books for her when she goes to work at the bookstore today. Will adds a request for "one of those itty-bitty light things. Kept me up all night!" Helen apologizes, saying she was so wrapped up in "that Graham Greene novel." Luke "Head Over Heels" Girardi comes barrelling into the kitchen so fast he trips right over Kevin's lap as Kevin is wheeling toward the table. Luke lands in a heap on the floor, apologizing profusely. As he gathers his things, Kevin grabs one of his CDs and says, "Dude " He shows it to Joan: "ABBA." It's Gold: Greatest Hits. Joan: "Luke! Did you actually pay money for that?" Hey! I have that CD. ABBA rules. ABBA rule? I hate the band name agreement thing. But people, before you sneer: they knew how to write and arrange a damn pop song. As one fan wrote of "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (which is my favorite ABBA song), they had "production so crisp you could fry chicken in it." So enjoy the nicknames, 'cause ABBA recorded a whole lotta songs, and we're gonna show a little respect.
Luke claims the ABBA CD is for "For science. Research. You know, about the optical recording process developed by the Philips laboratory " Luke isn't a very good liar, but fortunately, he knows how to exploit his family's indifference to matters technical and scientific. Joan turns away, interjecting: "I'm bored now." Will: "I like ABBA 'Dancing Queen, that doo-doo-doo 'Fernando' song " Oh, Will. You're not helping my case here. Joan rolls her eyes. He turns to Helen: "Honey, remember that concert, you wore a white jacket with fringe " Joan complains, "Oh, too much information." Will gives up. Someday someone should explain to Joan where babies, including her, come from. She looks at her mother's book list: "So, Mom, more recommendations from the surfing nun book club?" Hey, that sounds like a book club I'd want to join. So they all know now. Helen says that the first part of the catechism is questioning man's relationship with God, so Lily's suggested novels and essays on the subject. Joan says Helen's being brainwashed. Will gives Joan a look like he's glad someone's saying it, and that it's not him. Joan: "Why would you trust some surfer who settles in Arcadia?" Heh. I was wondering that myself last week. Helen: "There's nothing devious about examining spiritual issues." Luke adds, "Einstein believed there had to be some intelligence behind the design of the universe." Joan: "Well, Dr. Dan says that relying on some outside force to tell you how to live is actually a way to avoid living." Okay, that "Dr. Dan says" shit is going to get old real fast. Helen says, "I don't agree. And I don't think a doctor should tell you how to live." I'll bet Mental Acres doesn't give refunds. Joan snipes, "So you trust God? Because he really came through for Kevin." Will says that's enough. Kevin says it's pretty hard to believe in God, in light of the lawsuit they're facing. So they all know about that, too. Helen: "There is such a thing as free will. Us being sued because of you --" Kevin quickly interjects, "Oh, it's not because of me. It's because of Andy and his greedy-ass family." Helen says that's what she's saying. Kevin: "What, that God abandons you when you need him most?" Helen: "No " Kevin: "Then God thinks it's okay that the drunk who took my legs can take everything else from us, too?" Will breaks it up and Helen says she didn't mean to start a fight; she just wanted Joan to pick up some books for her. Joan: "Yeah. About God." She gets up and leaves the table. I wonder idly if Joan would prefer that her mother were looking into Satanism.