We open on a ceremony of union -- but it's not what you're thinking. It's the official reinstatement of Cate and Baze as Lux's parents. The cork is barely popped on the celebratory champagne before it becomes clear that Cate and Ryan are in the weeds wedding-wise. They have their rehearsal and rehearsal dinner that night, but the venue for the dinner just called to cancel on account of major plumbing issues. Yes, Cate and Ryan's wedding is literally drowning in shit. In either a Machiavellian maneuver or a gesture of shocking stupidity, Lux volunteers Baze's bar for the rehearsal dinner. It seems to be the latter as Lux makes it known she is keen for Baze to reveal his feelings for Cate. But first Baze has to get through a whole pile of hate for his dickhead dad, who hasn't bothered to pick up the phone since their heart-to-heart over turtle racing.
In fact, family drama is in no short supply this episode. Ryan's parents, though long-divorced, are still pretty bitter at how their marriage ended. Cate's mom, meanwhile, manages to destroy Cate's hopes that she, too, can have her wedding cake and eat it too, all while molesting Ryan's dad and downing about half a box of wine an hour. In short, all the gnats buzzing around Cate and Baze's ear are adding up to one all-consuming buzz over whether either, both, or none of them has changed. Cate's mom thinks Cate is anxious about the wedding because she's projecting and is still the same commitment-phobic chip off her dad's block as ever. Baze's dad has no insights, but plenty of insults -- all of which add up to Baze realizing he sucks at love because his dad is a world-class prick.
But it's too late! After all of her urging fell short, Lux decided to be a damn grown-up and stop fantasizing about the dysfunctional family that would be Cate, Baze and her. She tells Cate that Ryan is the real deal (which he proved by promising to postpone the wedding for her) and that she has a security and a real, non-masochistic love with him that she'll never have with Baze. So the flip-floppy couple finally walk down the aisle, exchange their vows, and make it official -- just seconds, mind you, before Baze busts all up in the place like some half-baked, too-little-too-late homage to Benjamin Braddock. Cate barely bats an eyelash before taking Ryan's face in her hands and delivering a nuptial kiss that's equal parts "Fuck you" and "I choose me (and I guess Ryan)." Baze nearly implodes for the hurt -- that he brought on himself, mind you. And Lux can only look down in shame for setting all the dominoes up to fall in such a contrived, inglorious fashion. Ah, weddings! They always make me hurl.
Previously: Two teens + one bastard baby + 16 years = A whole mess of trouble. And that's without factoring in a fiancé (albeit a shockingly level-headed one), a sister who will steal the man right out from under you, four parents who don't barely deserve to be called parents, a couple of ragamuffin kids who've been ping-ponging their way around the foster system for the last decade and a half, and a cadre of nimrod frat-boy friends who can always be counted on to dole out truly horrendous advice. Now, when you factor all that in, that's when you get Life Unexpected.
It's another morning in Portland, and a rather glorious one, luckily, since it'll be the last we see of these whippersnappers for some time. Intercut with audio of a Justice of the Peace talking about coming together on this day to celebrate, how it's a day that's been a long time in the making, etc., Cate and Lux put on their finery and head to City Hall. Once there, they greet Baze with equally happy faces, and you know it's Lux's adoption ceremony, not Cate's wedding. I am certain their faces would read a bit different on that particular trip to City Hall. The Judge tells Lux that her dream, unlike many others, is becoming a reality. He pronounces her no longer a ward of the state and grants full joint custody to Cate and Baze, then congratulates the new family. The case worker takes a picture of the gang, during which Cate and Baze clutch hands behind Lux's back. Scandal! Did I mention he's wearing a tux-like suit with white piping around the lapel? That might be more scandalous. Seriously, Baze? As Lux thanks her case worker for everything, Cate and Baze unclasp hands, ever so slowly, ever so reluctantly, like Baby and Johnny in Dirty Dancing when they get back from the Sheldrake... except, well, way less magic because there is no Swayze involved. Sigh...
They get back home, where Cate pops some champagne and makes Lux promise to tell no one that getting all boozy was their first official undertaking as a family. Lux teases that they've all done worse. They toast to all the "worse" things they've done, from throwing illegal keg parties to getting arrested and so on. Cate wraps up the toast, raising her mimosa "to break-ups... breakdowns" and feigns shock that she and Baze are getting along -- "It's almost like I like you!" They finally settle on a toast to family.