Luke and Karen eat breakfast. Well, Karen pushes her food around her plate and Luke scrunches up his eyebrows. That's The Chad's code for "about to say something serious." He says, "The other night I saw Dan and he said something." Karen moans, "Aw, what now!" Luke continues, "He said to ask you what really happened back then." The Tune of Total Discontent pipes in. "Any idea what he what he meant?" Karen answers, "Who knows, it's Dan." Luke pushes a bit further: "Yeah, but, I don't know, he was talking about what kind of father he was. Was he just messing with me?" Karen puts down her fork and picks up that tone. You know, the one where "secrets" that could "ruin" lives are about to come out and create a "cliffhanger" to drape the season-ender in: "Lucas, you know I always have your best interest in mind." Luke squints. "Since day one, you believe that, right?" Yeah. Of course he does. Because Karen's the den mother to end all den mothers, but wait! Of course, she has a confession to make: "Well, after you were born, Dan asked to be in your life." The Chad looks confused, which means that he's scrunched his eyebrows so close together I'm surprised he can see out of either eye: "You told me he never wanted anything to do with you?" Karen answers, "He didn't show up at first, but when he moved back into town with Deb, he told me that he'd like to help raise you." Wait! Luke! Please, open your eyes; you'd like to see this! Your mother's admitting she lied all these years. Your world is about to come crashing down. Karen says, "And he asked for joint custody. I told him no." Okay, you're telling me that all of this couldn't have come out before now? In the sixteen years that Luke's been in the world, Dan never tried to see Lucas on his own, never challenged Karen, never fought back after she said no the first time? Honestly, I don't see how this itty-bitty piece of information changes one damn thing. But we all know it's going to be all blown out of proportion and turned into some ridiculous melodramatic existential life-changing realization. Good grief.
So, why did Karen say no? "Because I didn't trust him. And Dan was ready to sue until his lawyer told him that since he'd left me and gotten another girl pregnant his chances weren't good." Karen explains that she had to make a decision and do what's best for Luke. That she knew someday they'd be having this conversation, months after all the other bloody conversations they've been having about Dan, and that she'd have to explain herself. In Karen's words, "that was a risk [she] had to take." The whole time she's talking, Luke's just looking at his mother and wondering what went wrong. Could he have had a daddy after all? Luke doesn't say anything, really; he just grabs his knapsack and takes off, telling Karen he has to get to school. You know, Dan tried once, just one feeble attempt, and that's going to alter Luke opinion of him? Honestly. It's so silly. The man's an asshat, and just because he felt a glimmer of parental concern years and years ago, doesn't change his behaviour up until now, you know?