Once and Again
Food For Thought

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The show opens in Karen's kitchen. Karen, Jessie, and Leo are talking about Jessie's upcoming birthday party, which is happening at a bowling alley. Karen is being her usual overbearing self, telling Jessie to figure out who's going to bowl with whom, and saying that she "doesn't want the boys hanging out in the arcade," and if anyone even so much as thinks of having a good time, she'll be sure to put a stop to it. Jessie's in favour of a more laidback approach, no doubt because it's embarrassing enough having a bowling party in high school without having a totally co-ordinated bowling party. Karen continues with the rundown, wanting to know what'll happen at 3:30, when everyone's finished bowling. She suggests that's when they should have cake. Jessie protests that no one wants cake, and Leo chimes in that he hopes it's chocolate. "And who says you're invited?" Jessie wants to know. But she says it playfully. Leo pretends to beg her for an invitation and throws her in a headlock to dish out some noogies.

Eli pops in as Karen's just finished putting dinner on the table. He's bitching about some musical mumbo jumbo, problems with his equipment, blah de blah. Like any six-year-old, Leo's instantly intrigued and starts offering suggestions. He follows Eli out as Karen watches with an exasperated sigh. Alone with Jessie, she confesses that she likes planning Jessie's birthdays. Jessie wants to know why. Apparently it's slipped her attention that her mother is a neurotic control freak who would love planning her underwear schedule for the week. Oh wait, Karen did admit to doing that, didn't she? I rest my case. Anyway, as they talk, Karen starts dishing out the meatloaf. She approaches Jessie's plate with a particularly nasty-looking heap of meat and Jessie waves her away. Karen looks crestfallen. She comments that Jessie never wants to eat, and Jessie disagrees. Karen looks really uncomfortable, as if she's searching for a way to broach an unpleasant conversation, and then she just jumps right in. She tells Jessie that she and Rick "made an appointment, for [her] to talk to someone." Jessie wants to know what she means. Karen fidgets with her fingers and wiggles on her seat, trying to readjust herself around The Pole in her ass, and finally says that Jessie needs to talk to someone about her eating. Jessie looks stunned and softly insists that she's not anorexic. Karen assures her, "This is not a punishment." Jessie smiles the smile of the mortified, runs her fingers through her hair and basically looks like she's trying not to scream. Karen tries to remove the stigma, saying that if Jessie had trouble with her "knees or with [her] eyes, [they'd] take her to a doctor." Jessie's fighting back major tears. She pushes herself up from the table and angrily refuses to "see a shrink." Karen's right behind her, trying to soothe her by saying, "Leo says he's really nice," which only sets off Jessie. She's totally pissed that Karen told Leo about it. Karen assures Jessie that it's not going to be "a big deal." "Mom, it's already a big deal!" Jessie snaps, shrugging off Karen's hands and making for her room.

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Once and Again

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