It's Winter Formal time, and Jones asks Lux to go with him. She says yes, inspiring a massive sense of pride-slash-vicarious-glee from Baze, followed by paranoia when Math reminds him that their winter formal consisted of hidden flasks and sullied condoms. Of course, when it comes to using prophylactics, it looks like Lux doesn't need a special occasion -- Bug returns to Portland, and home girl only gives him about five seconds of crap before stripping half-nekkid on Baze's leather couch. It's spoonus interruptus when Baze enlists Cate's sister Abby to educate Lux on abstinence (too late!). As tends to be the way with these things, the lecture goes ass-up when Abby starts talking about flexible shower heads, "back" massagers, and spin cycles. Horrifying. She also hits on Baze in front of Lux for good measure. And Baze spills the beans to Bug (who is hiding behind Lux's bed) that Jones is in the picture. Naturally, Bug jumps to the worst conclusion possible, which is pretty much why the shithead left in the first place. To Lux's credit, she calls him out for his SOS.
Meanwhile, Math plays both sides of the fence, inviting Cate to chaperon the dance with the underpinning notion that it's a date. Of course, Cate's way-the-frig too wrapped up in herself to ever consider anyone else's feelings, so it goes right over her head up. That is, until the point where he pulls out the pink carnation corsage, and the fact that he really thinks he's getting a do-over from high school becomes painfully obvious. And I mean painfully, y'all. And speaking of painful pick-ups, Jones and Lux have their She's All That moment when he arrives to escort Lux, who regardless of her old-school high tops is wearing the least Lux-like dress ever courtesy of Cate and one of the moms from Toddlers & Tiaras. That is only, of course, after he inadvertently knocks on Baze for being "the kind of guy who would just hook up with a girl at Winter Formal and ditch her in the parking lot." HA!
Things inevitably go to pot when Lux sees Cate and Math (or, as the Westmonte kids call him, "Mr. Rogers") arrive and decides to partake in Jones's flask. At the same time, Baze finds a (still-sealed) condom on the floor of his loft and assumes it's Jones's. He storms the formal just as Jones shows Lux a dance he learned on PBS that afternoon and stands just close enough to the microphone while arguing with Cate to make a scene. Jones takes Lux outside to cool down, and she manages to tell him Cate and Baze's twisted back story just before Baze rips off the door of the Jeep to have a showdown. "It's Mister Bazile now." Awesome. So one thing leads to another, and Lux informs her oblivious parents and an even more oblivious Jones that a.) her purity is long since lost, b.) Bug's back, and c.) they suck at life (that one's reserved just for Cate and Baze).
In the wake of that little family bonding moment, Cate confronts Baze on some harsh comments he said about her the day after they had sex. Words that have affected and shaped her probably to this very second. That part's actually really sad. No snark needed. Elsewhere, Lux tries to patch things up with Jones, but he's not having it. She runs into Cate in the hallway, and they have a détente where Cate apologizes and invites Lux back into her life and/or home whenever she's ready. Lux re-enters the dance where she finds Bug, who has managed to acquire a suit -- probably by murdering a spindly investment banker and ripping it off his very back. He admits to his insecurities but promises to be there for her regardless of his own issues. The night wraps up on a nice note: Math and Cate share a "screw the past" dance out in the high school corridor, then she shows up at Baze's for a re-do moment, complete with impossibly acquired, no-longer-in-production Zima. But that moment is underscored by potential disaster as Baze was in bed with Cate's sister when she knocked on the door. Lux found them there and warned Baze to get it together. Man that kid knows some dirt. Perhaps, like Regina George, that's why her hair is so voluminous.
Previously: Everything we already know, plus self-involved moms, self-respecting fiancés, and teenage walkouts galore.
Lux rides her bike to school as Cate and Ryan spar on-air about the merits, or lack thereof, of eye contact during oral. Cate finds it unsettling. Ryan tells her, "If we don't work out, you should write a manual on the 'Dos and Don'ts of Cate Cassidy." She agrees, "Yeah... if we don't work out." Strained eye contact. Lux arrives at school and struggles with her bike lock. Jones gives her a hand and makes small talk until he gets up the balls to ask her to Winter Formal. Lux tells him she'd rather eat paste before realizing he just asked her on another date. He stammers that it would be just as friends and promises her it'll be better than eating paste.
Back at the station, Ryan notes Cate looks a little haggard. "Driving everyone you love out of your life is pretty exhausting," she snarks. He asks if she's been in touch with Lux, and she says it's been strained to say the least. She wants to make things better, but Lux is barely speaking to her. Ryan tells her she doesn't have to settle for 'no' with Lux. "Only with you?" she asks. That'd be a yes.
Later that afternoon, Math (still bearing a grudge against Baze) tutors Lux in chemistry. Baze pipes in to suggest they play putt-putt that night. Lux says she can't because she's going to the dance. She adds that she's going with Jones, and Baze is psyched that his daughter's becoming the kind of cool girl he would have dated back in the day. Math, meanwhile, takes every opportunity to take jabs at Baze for being a backstabbing narcissist. Which, to be fair, he can be sometimes. But Math is a little too invested in this 16-year-old drama, if I do say so myself. Lux notes the awkwardness and leaves to go find a frock. Baze calls out Math for being a drama queen about his sleeping with Cate, adding "how was I supposed to know that after all these years you were still serial-killer obsessed with her?" Just then, Cate walks in and wonders who they're talking about. "Cher!" Math blurts out. "But not in a gay way." Baze shoots back, "Is there another way?" Heh. It all flies over Cate's head because she's on a mission to badger Lux into liking her again. Baze updates her about Lux going to the Winter Formal with Jones. She jumps on the idea to help Lux shop for a dress. As she heads upstairs, Math admits Baze did a nice thing by allowing Cate in for the shopping bonding. Baze, however, says he dodged a bullet -- dresses are expensive! Figures.