She goes back to tossing vegetables around. Helen: "Joan cooked dinner…and then she took off God knows where, and left Luke with a 103 [degree] fever sitting in the middle of a dark, filthy kitchen." Joan's quietly stealing in as her mother's saying this. Will: "Want me to have a talk with her?" Helen says, "It's not just Joan. It's, um…it's our whole family. We're just not ready." She's decided she shouldn't be teaching: "Our kids can't handle two working parents." That is just ridiculous. Stop being such a control freak and teach those kids how to be more self-sufficient. Beside which, she was working before. Yes, her new job's much more demanding, but her youngest child is fifteen. They are all more than capable of shopping, cooking, cleaning, and doing errands. Joan, having overheard all this, comes in and says she was going to clean it up. Helen wants to know where she's been. Will: "Why didn't you call?" Joan says she was out getting fuses: "Luke didn't tell you that?" Helen: "We have fuses. And how does that take all night?" Joan says she had other stuff to do. Helen: "Well, what if I just took off when I had other stuff to do?" Joan: "You did!" She says her mother had a meeting and her father had work and Kevin had "whatever," so she covered. Helen: "Leaving your sick brother alone in the dark isn't exactly covering." Will wonders why Luke was in the dark. Joan: "Because the electrical wiring in this house is totally screwy! Which is why I had to go out to try to fix it and go out and get Luke's chemistry notebook so he can go to space camp!" Kevin arrives at this point. Will: "Luke wants to go to space camp?" Kevin: "Hi, guys!" Joan: "Yes, and if I don't have his application in the mail by midnight tonight then the whole universe is probably going to be out of whack, in some way I don't even want to know about, so if you'll excuse me, I have to get to the post office!" She marches out. Kevin: "Okay, goodnight everybody!" Helen wants to know where he's been. He wheels off, saying, "Uh, just out…" Will walks over and stands next to Helen, saying, "You know, you can use a shoelace to tie off an umbilical cord…" She just gives him a look. There's a wacky, sitcom-ish musical cue of the type that is becoming increasingly intrusive on this show. A little of that goes a long way, people. Settle down with that.
It's the next day. Kevin's in his room throwing lots of little soft balls through a basketball hoop. Luke ambles down the hall, still sick but rather more lucid than yesterday, saying, "Yeah, I thought I heard sports." He asks Kevin why he's home. Kevin says he's taking a sick day: "Which is an awesome thing to do when you're not actually sick." Yup. Er, not that I would know. It just sounds really good. Luke: "Yeah, I'll have to try it sometime." Luke asks where he was last night. Kevin: "When did my social life become such a hot topic around here?" Luke: "We're just trying to live vicariously." Ooh! Points for the increasingly rare non-redundant use of "vicariously." He adds, "Did you and Rebecca go out?" Kevin: "That's, uh, kind of on hold." I'll bet. He decides to tell Luke about his EMG. Luke: "Electromyography? How come?" Kevin: "It's supposed to figure out if any of my nerves are waking up, which I thought they were. Turns out they weren't." Luke says hesitantly that that's not entirely unexpected. Kevin says he had a weird feeling in his gut: "Like gas, which I haven't felt since, you know, before…but Dr. Hughes says it's just phantom pain. Unless it happens again -- then it could be neural regeneration." Luke: "What are the odds of it happening again?" Kevin laughs a sort of fake laugh: "About the same as you making the NBA." He tosses Luke a ball, and Luke holds it for a moment. He then decides to make a shot, and you can tell he really, really wants to sink it. Frink and I are praying aloud that he doesn't, because that would be just so cheeseball. And not in a good way. Luke throws and misses. Thank God. Kevin looks mildly bummed: "Whatever, right?" Luke watches him throw a ball and sink the basket.