Let's get this party started. And I mean that literally. At the Ranch, the children Gray are planning what a newly-made banner tells us is Maxine's 60th birthday party. Amy, of course, is bossing everyone around, giving assignments and checking things off on a little list. I am relieved to note that she has given DJ detail to Vincent and not to Mr. Funky Fresh, Peter. Amy is going down her list like a maniac, telling Peter to get the cake and wondering who is going to get the "mint chip" ice cream that Maxine loves. Vincent, my darling, oh, light of my life, lolls on the sofa and corrects Amy, telling her that Maxine just likes vanilla with her cake. Amy hollers at Peter to get both. Vincent chuckles and tells Amy that "this Judge thing" is the worst thing that could have happened to her (and them), because she was bossy enough to begin with. Amy says that she wants everything to be perfect, because "it's Mom." Oh, yeah, because Amy's all selfless like that. Vincent points out that "that's why we shouldn't be doing it," as Maxine comes in the house. Peter awkwardly holds his little banner behind his back as Amy shoves her checklist under Vincent's butt. Oh, to be a leaf of paper on -- um, never mind. Anyway, Maxine, no fool she, wonders why all her children have congregated and takes the opportunity to give them her living will. She needs them to "read it thoroughly! No skimming!" and then to sign it. Peter and Amy squeal. Vincent just crinkles his forehead. Maxine tells them that their signing the will can be their present to her and that's "the last" she wants to hear about her birthday. Vincent shoots Amy an "I told you so!" look. She glares at him, as the wonk-y wonktastic Drum Machine of Familial Tension kicks it up a notch.
Credits! They're creditastic!
Outside, Amy attempts to teach Lauren to ride her bike, with little success. Every single consecutive moment I spend watching Lauren gargle her own special blend of baby-talk and brat-speak is another moment wasted, in this long walk towards death, and so I will merely summarize this mother-daughter moment by telling you that Amy can't teach Lauren how to ride a bike, and Lauren is a giant spoiled little monster. You know, I think Amy would have more success with her daughter if she started using the phrases "young lady" and "serious trouble." Worked for my mom.
Amy stomps into the kitchen of the Ranch, where she announces that she is a "terrible mother." Vincent barely looks up and agrees, pointing out that at least she "looks good." It concerns me that Vincent's definition of looking good includes a puffy vest. Amy bitches that teaching Lauren to ride a bike is "Michael's job." Vincent tells Amy that it's "kind of sexist" of her to assume that it's the father's responsibility to teach sporty stuff, like biking riding. Amy explains that, actually, Michael promised to teach Lauren, he just keeps forgetting to actually do it. She bitterly comments that maybe he'll "teach her how to hail a cab." Vincent mildly offers to teach Lauren himself. Amy wipes her mouth and snippily tells him to "go with God." Vincent tells Amy that before their mother left the house that morning, she had him sign the living will. He waves it in the air. Amy, stunned, asks if he actually did so. Vincent, taken aback that she even had to ask, says that of course he did, because "that's what she wants." See, Amy doesn't know from what other people want. Who cares what other people want? It's all about her. Vincent uses this whole "what Maxine wants" conversation to attempt to convince Amy to call off the surprise party, but guess what? Amy knows what's best! Yup! She tells Vincent that Maxine "needs to be celebrating her life, not thinking about ending it," and smugly concludes that they're "the people to teach her that!" Vincent doubts that some cake and a slide show are going to induce that kind of epiphany. Amy says that he's wrong, and she's right. Vincent, bless his heart, realizes that there's no way he's going to convince Amy that she isn't the world's most smartest, bestest person, and, abandoning the party problem, instead tries to persuade Amy to at least sign the damn will. She snits that she's "not touching that thing!" and stomps up the stairs, frizzy hair flopping all about. Vincent looks down at the counter. "Bitch," he mutters. To me.