So, see, I'm already on the verge of tears when Amber cruises through the kitchen and says she's going out. Everybody looks at Sarah like she's responsible for this horrible event that is ruining the family. Dutifully, but probably full of familial hate, Sarah follows Amber out to the porch. "We missed you at the party," she says, and tries to give her a piece of cake she wrapped up and saved for her. Amber is all whatevs, says she'll eat it when she comes back, and blowing off her mom, heads for the door. "Why won't you take the cake?" Sarah asks, kind of stridently, and if it wasn't so sad, it would be funny. Amber says she doesn't want it, and Sarah finally just gives up. "I'm done trying to control you," she says. "It just doesn't work." Amber shrugs and says, you know, she's fine. "Are you?" Sarah asks. "Sometimes, I'm not sure." She goes on that she doesn't want them to be like this, that she loves Amber so much, and that she thinks she'll just give up and... get along with and trust her daughter. I'm not a bad writer, but I don't even have words for how great Lauren Graham is, here. Amber is shocked into openness. "Okay," she says, quietly. "I'm meeting Damian. He's picking me up." And, sighing, she takes the cake. Sarah watches her go, and with no other recourse, bangs her head on the wall.
And here is where we learn one of the greatest lessons of parenthood, I think. Sometimes, when you trust your children to be smart, they will be. I know it doesn't always work, but in this case, it's working with Amber. Because, despite the romantic Lovers Leap setting she is now enjoying with Damian -- sitting on the roof of his van, feeding him cake and looking out over the lights of the valley -- nothing can erase the dumbness of her boyfriend. He may be a good kisser, but when she mentions that she made a C on a test the other day on which she had expected to get an A, and he shrugs it off, a seed of doubt is planted. "I mean, when the electrical grid fails who's gonna survive?" he philosophizes. "Someone who gets an A on a test, or someone who's been to the School of Life?" Amber has to turn away. Oh. My GOD. Ladies, do you remember this? Smart girls with stupid boyfriends -- it's kind of a universal experience, am I right? I hate to bag on teenage boys, man, but wow, they are very funny without meaning to be, most of the time. For example, now: "It's all comin' down, the whole world as we know it," Damian says. "I don't know when, but I do know that what you get on a report card is going to seem preeeetty insignificant when you're living off the land and fending off marOOHders!" Even in the dark, Amber visibly blanches. "What did you say?" she asks, hoping against hope that he was just joking. But, no, he wasn't. "MarOOOHders!" Amber, laughs, still holding out hope. "But, you know it's marauders?" Damian: "Maroohders." No, dude. This reminded me so vividly of the time my friend LBJ was trapped on a date with a guy who said "Canadia." No, no, don't make me think about it. Much worse was that that guy was like, 28. Okay, now I'm laughing and will never stop. Amber, desperate to silence the stupid, shoves some cake in Damian's mouth.