Liberty Diner. The customers applaud as Debbie returns, and then Debbie nicely turns the spotlight on her son, announcing his promotion. Mike's all, aw shucks, Ma! Debbie retorts, "Can't I be proud for one day? Is it just for gay people?" T&E kiss her on the cheek; Emmett says, "No one's more gay than you, Deb." Ted adds, "Yeah, you're a role model for us all." Debbie, on the verge of tears, tells Michael that he has the biggest heart, and the most honest one: "Could those eyes lie?" Well, depending on the stakes, they sure can. Debbie insists that anything they order is on her. Ted and Emmett go back and forth about what they're going to get and whether it costs too much. Vic tells Mike that he did well, which just makes him feel worse. He leaps to his feet and runs outside, where it is -- of course -- raining. Brian, about to walk into the diner, pats him on the back, congratulating him. Mike yells that he wishes everyone would knock it off with the congratulations. He then apologizes for yelling, but says that even if he's able to help his mom, he has to lie to do it. Brian replies, "It's not lying if they make you lie." What is it, then? It's certainly not the truth. Brian continues, "The only truth they can accept is their own." I get Brian's point, but I'm sorry, that's a cop-out. Not everyone is like that. And they shouldn't be catered to because they are. Michael and Brian hug. Brian tells him to get back in there, and then walks away, telling Mike, "I've got someone waiting for me."
At Brian's loft, Justin's set the table and asks Brian whether he's hungry. Brian's not, really, but Justin says he has to eat something. Brian sits down at the table and asks what's cooking. It's jambalaya from the night before. Brian takes a mouthful and says that it's "not bad." Justin smiles in relief: "It's always better the second day."
Grade: It's an A, folks. Subtlety and Eric Stoltz in the same episode. It's like old home week. The script was good, the acting was good, and Brian turns out to have a heart and a conscience, after all. I like the way they're setting up Michael for a fall; that's going to be in-te-res-ting. And how is this Brian/Justin thing going to pan out? Randy Harrison totally deserves the Emmy they're probably never going to give him, just for this episode alone.
Next Week on Queer as Folk: Gus is sick, but the ER will let only Lindsay stay with the baby; Brian agrees to turn over legal guardianship to Melanie, but then changes his mind; David invites Mike to a dinner party, and Mike accuses one of the other guests of giving him crabs; David and Mike agree that they're from different worlds, so they may or may not break up.