Max continues to struggle in school. He breaks a fish tank when he can't stand how loud the bubbles are and gets kicked out of school. Dr. Pelikan suggests they send him to a private school in which his needs can be better met. Needs not being met: Haddie's. In all the hoopla about the new school, Adam and Kristina forget her championship soccer game.
Crosby spends the day babysitting the unbelievably adorable Jabar. He's less adorable when he throws up in Crosby's car. This minor inconvenience leads Crosby to question if he is capable of fatherhood. Things go further badly when Jabar breaks part of Crosby's mixing board at work. Crosby chickens out with Katie and, in front of the kid, lies about who Jabar is.
Julia has finally had it with Raquel, especially when it seems like Raquel is horning in on Sydney's swim lessons. So, in response, she dons her swimming togs and takes over, Mommy-style... with terrible results. Sydney's upset and Joel is mad, but ultimately Sydney does learn to swim.
Sarah goes to the coffee shop where Jim works and breaks things off... right after he introduces her to all his coworkers, who then write a rude word on her car when it won't start. She and Drew bond over fixing it. Honestly, this is the least of her problems -- apparently she has been sleeping in a twin bed with her daughter, too afraid to ask her dad if she can move into his office because of the condoms she found in his desk. Finally, he admits that he and Camille are having problems.
Max is in class, trying to work on a writing assignment when he is overcome by an annoying noise. It is driving him crazy, making it impossible to concentrate. It's the bubbles from the classroom aquarium. Across the otherwise silent room. Y'all, Asperger's is hard. I feel so terribly sorry for children who are ultra-sensitive to things like noise and tags in their clothes and whatever else. Max takes deep breaths, trying to block it out. He clenches his teeth and begs the teacher to please turn down the bubbles. The kid is obviously in noise hell and, finally, he methodically walks over to the tank and stares in while his teacher insists that he return to his seat.
At Crosby's, Jasmine drops off Jabbar for the day with an armload of board games. She is on her way to the city for a dance audition. "Break a leg," Crosby tells her, awkwardly (because everything he does is unnecessarily awkward). She says she really might -- it's been years since she did this. Crosby says surely she will have no problem, given how, if he remembers correctly, she's so limber. Ugh. Jasmine rightly looks kind of grossed out at the mention of this in front of her little son, but she heads out anyway, leaving Crosby with Jabbar. "Oh," he asks, "when we play games, I need to let him win, right?" Jasmine says Crosby might not have to let him. Crosby smiles. "He cheats, okay..." he says, nodding. Hee. Jasmine says, no, Jabbar's a genius. "Well, can I get you something to drink?" Crosby asks the kid after his mom leaves. Jabbar says yes. "Whiskey?" Crosby asks. "Or beer?"
At a local pool, Sydney is taking swimming lessons with her dad when Julia walks in, fully dressed in lawyer-wear. People, Erika Christensen is too hot for this show, okay? She is blazing, and we haven't even gotten to the part where she has on a bathing suit. Also, how hard did she roll her eyes when she read this script for the first time? Oh, the snickering writers. "See, Erika, it'll be all about how intense you are about your amazing swimming record? Hilarious, riiiiiight?" And you know she was like, "Yes, hilarious, just like when you insisted my character be named 'Julia,' thus making my DAILY 'aren't you Julia?' encounters even more weird." She kneels at the side of the pool where Joel swims over with Sydney. "Mommy, look!" Sydney says, laying out in her father's arms and blowing bubbles in the water. "That's great, sweetie," Julia says. "Let's see some swimming!" Sydney says okay, and... does the exact same thing. "What is she doing?" Julia asks Joel. He rambles on about how she's getting acclimated in the water and feeling safe. Julia obviously considers this nonsense. "She could do that in a bowl of soup when she was two," she cracks. They are interrupted when none other than McSkank herself, Raquel, splashes over to say hello, complete with tramp stamp on full display due to her bikini. "Raquel has a tattoo, see it?" Sydney says. Julia says, yeah, everyone sees it. Indeed, who couldn't? It's a Sanskrit word across her lower-back, hip to hip. "It means 'abundance,'" Sydney adds. Julia: "I'm sure it does." Oh, yes. I'm sure.
Raquel slinks over to Julia with a look of deep concern on her face. "I have something for you," she says. "Joel told me about your nephew, Max, and his... condition." Julia is surprised, either that Joel shared this info with Raquel, or that she cared enough to mention it. She is even more surprised when Raquel presents her with a stone she picked up in Tibet last summer. "For comfort and good luck," Raquel says, bowing, and asks that Julia please give it to her brother.
He'll be needing it. Moments later, we see Adam and Kristina at the school, watching the clean-up crew dispose of a huge amount of water and broken glass. Max pushed over the tank. "Were they able to save any?" Adam asks Kristina. She says no. "So, that's it, then," he says, grim. "We're out of here." Kristina sighs and says, yes, probably, adding that "I was gonna make fish for dinner, too..."
Sarah is meeting cute Jim at the coffee shop where he works. "AW!" I think, seeing how happy he is to see her. As a matter of fact, the whole staff is happy to see her. So happy they laud her with free fancy coffee drinks. I get a strange thrill seeing Lauren Graham sit down to a cup of coffee... I miss Lorelai, okay?! Anyway, eeeeverybody's happy -- except Sarah, even when Jim introduces her to the staff and makes cute coffee jokes. "I really had fun the other night," she begins, mentioning a few dozen times how nice it was, and how nice a time she had doing uh, "you know," and how nice Jim is. Finally, he gets it. "Nice," he says. "Yeah." His fellow baristas can see by the back of his head what's happening and are growing concerned. "You know, the timing right now is not great," Sarah says. Jim, sarcastically: "Is that it?" She says she just got to town and is living in a room with her daughter and everything, soooo... Jim cuts to the chase. "I got it," he says. "It's not me, it's you." Sarah sighs. "Exactly!" she says. "It's not you, it's me." Outside, in her beater car, she sighs again. That was hard, but at least she gets to leave, now, with her dignity. Oh, ah. No, she does not. Her car won't start. And, naturally, her cell phone is dead. I'd call it improbable, but it would happen to me. What's improbable is that the first place she dashes in to ask to use the phone is the coffee shop that employs the man whose heart she just broke five seconds ago. Him and all his angry friends. They give her an all-powerful withering stare that only a tribe of retail workers can muster, and she darts back out to find another phone.
As we finally rocket into the intro, can I say again that this show wins outright for its soundtrack? Whoever is putting it together is doing a seriously bang-up job. How great is Brett Dennen's "Make You Crazy"? What a hook.
Let us do a quick review. What would you consider, in five words or less, to be the real lesson of the preceding five minutes? Something about living in the moment? Blah blah blah, love the one you're with? Yadda something life handing you yadda lemons? Internet, you're wrong. Here it is: "Don't. Piss off. A Barista." So simple, really, but it's so important to remember, especially for Sarah whose car is now rolling into her parent's driveway on the back of a tow truck, the word BITCH emblazoned in the grime of the front windshield.
Later, as she works under the hood, her dad comes out to see what's up. "Angry baristas," she says, noting the windshield work and, gesturing to engine, "bad starter motor." No, no, Zeek says. It looks to him like a blown head gasket because of all the coolant leak damage he can see. She assures him all of that is old. "I replaced that eight months ago," she says. He looks up with pride. "You pulled the head and replaced the gasket, yourself?" he asks. Sarah: "You know who taught me." Zeek is thrilled. That's his girl, he says, and excitedly goes on that they can work on the car together like old times. Sarah, however, is dejected. "I think it's a goner," she mutters when, like a silent wraith of angst, her son Drew appears over her shoulder having heard all. "God, again," he groans and keeps walking toward the house while Sarah tries to put the best spin on it. "No, Grandpa and I are gonna fix it," she says, all cheery, but Drew is already stomping off, faster now because Zeek is pursuing him, grouching about how Drew smirks and mumbles.
Haddie, wearing her soccer uniform, bursts through the door of her house. "We won! We won!" she yells, dancing into the kitchen. "We're going to the final!" Her parents are subdued, to say the least. "That's... great," her mom says, half-apologizing for missing the game. Adam tries to compensate for their absentee status by asking when the exact date of the final game is. "Why are you guys being weird?" Haddie as