When Alex gets his mom on the line, she's like, "Is this Alex?" He tells her about the Gold Star worth $20,000, and we hear his mom calmly say, "That is amazing. Alex. That's amazing." Rather than risk being so overcome by emotion that she displays some, Alex's mom puts Alex's brother Scott on the line, and Scott is about as blown away by Alex's news as their mom was. "That's good," Scott says. Alex's mom says they miss Alex a lot. "And we're sure your microbes do, too." Maybe more, if Alex's mom's phone manner is anything to go by. Alex's dad doesn't seem to get to talk to him, but he says to us that this is the first time Alex has been gone this long, and his mom marvels that Alex is all grown up. So I guess she can go ahead and set up that exercise room now. Sorry, Alex's microbes! Alex interviews that the Gold Star makes him feel good and bubbly inside. There's our future linguist.
As it gets dark, the Council locks up the arcade. The bonfire is going, but it looks like maybe ten or fifteen kids gathered around it. Migle says that part of her wants to go home, but an even bigger part of her wants to stay. She interviews that she wishes they could all go back to someplace together instead of scattering all over the country. I feel the same way after every TWoP summit. Anjay says something really heartbreaking: "Bonanza City's the only place I've ever really fit in." He starts crying. Jeez, bring everyone down. Laurel says they need to cherish their last few days together. Which will air next week.
And behind the closing credits, it's the long-awaited return of Jared's Closing Credit Follies. In this case, he's got his face way too close to a big yellow scorpion that's crawling on a fence rail. "When I get home, I want to get an exotic pet like this," he says. He'll give him a cage and some spiders and hug him and kiss him and call him George. I just hope the camera operator is either using some kind of focus trick to make that scorpion look a lot closer to Jared's mug than it really is, or standing ready with an exterminator's wand.