Bug's need for employment serves as catalyst for many of the underpinning arcs of this week's pretty fan-frickin'-tastic episode. It all starts when he takes a job handing out flyers at a nightclub. Good gf Lux sneaks out of the loft to offer moral support. Long story short, she's 16 and shouldn't be outside da club at two in the morning. The caseworker calls Baze and Cate to the police station to discuss what's up. She spots the bucketfuls of angst roiling beneath the surface and decides to move up the date to review whether our hapless bioparents are fit to serve as Lux's guardians.
The foolish trio naïvely attempt to resolve their issues in the few days allotted. Naturally, the old college try is subverted by the fact that a.) Lux refuses to forgive Cate about Tasha, b.) Baze is actively deceiving Cate by sleeping with her sister, which Lux knows, and c.) the 'rents aren't all that supportive of Lux's relationship with Bug (despite Cate trying and Baze succeeding in giving Bug a job at their respective workplaces). Failing actual unity, they decide to lie through their teeth. That plan goes down in fuh-lames. Without all that much digging, the social worker gets to the bottom of things: Lux doesn't think Cate is there for her. That wound opened, Lux unloads about being hospitalized all alone for the first three years of her life, only to be placed with abusive and hideous fosters parents for the next 13. Through tears, she says she will never forgive Cate for giving her up like she was nothing. She walks out of the session, but the caseworker sees her revelation as a sign that she's ready to commit to the family. She allows Cate and Baze to remain Lux's guardians and urges them to follow up on formalizing their adoption.
Since Lux is still on the lam, Cate turns to Ryan because he is the only person that Lux will listen to these days. He's more than hesitant to keep being pulled back in, but Cate finally opens up. She tells him she never held Lux when she was born because she knew she'd want to keep her. She pushed Lux away and has been pushing people (including him) away ever since then. Only since Lux came back has she changed how she views the world. She needs Ryan to talk to Lux because she's Cate's only chance to evolve into a person who's not scared of living and loving. Ryan takes her words to heart, finally putting himself in Cate's place when things went to Hell in a hand basket. He seeks out Lux and convinces her to return home to Cate's, with the added bonus that he's coming with her.
Also? Baze decides to stop acting like a walking boner and give monogamy a shot. Who's the lucky lady? Cate's sister Abby. What? You didn't expect him to actually learn anything, did you?
Previously: Blah, blah, bastard child, blah, blah, infidelity, blah, blah, broken hearts, blah, blah, ragamuffin rejections, blah, blah, Baze is a manwhore, blah, blah.
Radio station. Cate and Ryan ponder sleeping together in a non-sexual way intercut with a shot of a blissful Lux and Bug versus a kicking-pushing-bed-falling-off shot of Baze and Cate's sister Abby. The tension remains palpable and Ryan bitches about Cate's cold feet, and she slips in that she "stopped putting [her] feet on [him] weeks ago." He confesses that he has phantom cold feet dreams.
Loft. Abby and Baze morning-after chat about all the sexy sex they had last night. Baze offers to make her some breakfast along with Lux's, but Abby says she saw Lux leaving earlier that morning. As we know, Lux is with Bug, who is begging her to stay a little longer. No dice, she's off to school, but she jokes that she's going to implant a LoJack in him in case he ever leaves again. Bug touchés that Baze could probably use one for her. She says he's too busy schtupping Abby to notice her comings and goings, so to speak. Bug says he's looking for a job to make her proud (and pay rent). That evening he's handing out flyers at a local nightclub. He thinks it's lame, but she promises to tag along for moral support.
That evening, Baze offers Lux some stanky tempeh dogs as a peace offering. She snits that they smell better than Abby's patchouli perfume. He notices the hostility, and she reminds him just a few of the many reasons (sneaky sex, date bribing, accusations aplenty) that she's not happy with him at present. Baze promises not to butt into Lux's love life anymore and asks what he can do to get back on her good side. She tells him to stop dating Abby. He tries to barter her down so she'll stop dating Bug, too. She spits out a flippant, "Whatever," which he somehow construes as victory. Not five seconds after he leaves the room, Lux sneaks out. He really is the shittier parent. Or just a typical oblivious, over-reactive dad.
Cate's. The phone wakes her up at 1:58 a.m. It's about Lux. Cate freaks out and says she'll be right there. Cut to the Portland PD, where Lux's social worker is chastising Cate and Baze for not knowing Lux's whereabouts. Baze says he thought she said she'd stop seeing Bug (she didn't) and points out that the little hoodlum has brought him down to this police station twice now (fair point). Cate tells Baze that Lux is his responsibility as long as she's living with him. This opens up a whole can of worms with the social worker as to whether they're actually sharing custody. That in turn opens up the whole can of worms about Tasha. The social worker heartily disapproves of their haphazard situation and decides to move up their family evaluation to Monday. Cate wonders what the criteria for evaluation are. The social worker firmly says Lux needs guardians she respects, and obviously biological parenthood doesn't guarantee that Cate and Baze are equipped to take on that role. Something perhaps the damn judge who started this whole thing should have considered all those months ago, no? Credits.
The family returns to the loft. Cate is optimistic, but Lux knows from experience that these evaluations rarely end well. Cate wonders if Lux even wants to stay with them. She can only manage to say she'd prefer them to foster care. Not a ringing endorsement. Baze asks how they can repair their relationships in the next few days. Cate says Lux needs to forgive her for Tasha. Baze asks her to follow his rules. Lux points out, rightly, that she's not the only one who needs a change of attitude in order to set things right.
The next morning, Lux and Bug look at job openings. Unsurprisingly, it's a grim picture for a high school dropout with no legitimate work experience. They change subjects as he asks how she's feeling about the evaluation. She admits she's nervous but refuses to forgive her parents for being self-absorbed, irresponsible twits too easily. Someone knocks on the door. It's Cate, offering to help Bug out with a job at the radio station. She thinks it'll be a step towards getting Lux's forgiveness about Tasha.
That afternoon, Bug shows up in his dead man's suit for the interview. Needless to say, Cate's producer is not impressed by Bug's resumé (or lack thereof). He tries to point out the silver lining, saying he's a quick learner, but it's obvious Cate's going to have to do some serious string-pulling. I see an extension of the wedding shenanigans for at least another six months and many more public appearances with Ryan in the future (since those always turn out so well). Bug sees himself out, leaving Cate to beg her producer to overlook Bug's utter lack of skills and/or experience. Though, honestly, having worked in television in the kind of job that Cate described, he seems kind of like a perfect candidate -- hungry and easily broken and reformed into what they want of him.
Cate guilts her producer that she's already destroyed things with Ryan and can't afford the same with Lux. The producer counters that Cate might just be able to fix things with Ryan in light of his confession that he still dreams about Cate. Having suffered several humiliations and rejections trying to get Ryan back, Cate's not convinced. She says that getting Bug this job is her one chance at working toward a family. She even offers to do whatever it takes, but the producer shuts her down.
Outside, Bug is discouraged. It's Lux who gives Cate Hell for promising something she couldn't deliver. She says she was stupid to think Cate would actually come through. Royal brat or just a teenager? It's hard to tell with that Lux sometimes.
Bar. Baze has called Abby over. He begins The Conversation by saying it's about Lux. Way to pawn any responsible for this mess you've gotten yourself in, jackass. Abby says she knows about Lux because she spoke to Cate, nearly sending Baze into an arrhythmia before she reminds him she's smarter than to talk to Cate about this sleazy thing they're doing. He asks her to sit down, and she orders a damn martini. It's broad daylight, sister! Pipe down. Before Baze gets into it, Abby spills about Cate's thwarted plan to hire Bug at the station. You can see the wheels turning in Baze's head as he dismisses all ideas about getting rid of Abby. She is proving quite the useful middleman -- at least until everything blows up in his face.
A bit later, Baze offers Bug a job at the bar, proving once again that he is cooler and more valuable than Cate. Lux questions his motivations given that yesterday he called Bug "a delinquent parasite." Baze says there's no catch and claims he's just trying to make things right. His only requirement is that she follows his rules.
That night, Baze doles out tasks for Bug, but the young whippersnapper has proven rather adept in his new role as barback. Not having to monitor Bug, Baze remembers that Abby is still at the bar (how many hours have passed? And, more importantly, how many martinis has she downed? Homegirl likes a drink). Baze makes no attempt to smoothly transition into the break-up speech and basically just smashes her over the head with it, saying he's not providing a good example for Lux. She starts crying about Baze making her ovaries hurt, but she's cut off when the phone rings. It's Cate. Baze runs off like a flash. Cate says she needs help as a therapist and tells Abby to meet her above Baze's bar ASAP. Easy enough.
Upstairs after Cate arrives, Lux stares Abby down. She breaks the silence by throwing it in Cate's face that Baze hired Bug. Abby senses (because it's blatant and because she's probably been hearing about it for weeks) Lux's hostility toward Cate. She tries to explain where Cate was coming from on the whole Tasha situation. Lux says Cate didn't even try with Tasha. Cate points out that she tried with Bug, but Baze ended up coming out a hero anyway. Seeing she's painted herself into a corner with her own rules, L