Casa del Ramirez. Jesse stands by the mantel over the fireplace, hanging a dingy old stocking and listening to what sounds like the "Have A Jazzy Little Christmas" CD sold for $14.99 at Pottery Barn chains nationwide (when we join the action, it seems to be on Track #7, "Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Kenny G's Hair"). To endless comic effect, Isabel enters the house, shopping bags in hand, and asks Jesse, "What's that?" We discover that "that" is his "old stocking," which he made by himself in kindergarten. All together now: awwwww. But the statically depicted Christmas Nazi tries to make Jesse into her accomplice-like Christmas Eichmann, standardizing the aesthetic of the place when she takes out a boring old pair of socks and molecularly manipulating one into a nicely tailored red-and-white stocking which reads in green script "Jesse." She's buying his socks for him? She lies and says she made them, and then coerces him to hang the crappy stocking somewhere else. She hides it behind a bush, and this episode is exactly the same as last year now. Go watch that one. It's really, really bad.
Samuel, Standing. We're in Beleaguered Mom's house (and seeing how the title of this episode makes absolutely no sense at all, maybe we can just go ahead and decide that "Rising" is Samuel's last name), with Max sitting on the couch watching Samuel at a large bay window. He's opening and closing it slowly so that changing patterns of light fall across the floor. Oh, Monopoly. Fun you can have with your friends. Beleaguered Mom enters the room and explains that the light "comforts him." She then goes on to explain, "I'll understand if you change your mind about doing this." Seriously. Am I the only person in America asking, "Doing, like, what, exactly?" But no matter. Time for Beleaguered Mom to turn the Rising Residence into a house of lies: "What happens today has never happened before. I keep asking myself, 'Why did he walk up to you? Why you?'" Max looks guilty and guilty again. So Beleaguered Mom keeps on vamping: "We have an appointment with his psychologist this afternoon. Maybe if she works with you and Samuel together, he might talk again." Yes, yes. I'm sure this child's mental-health professional will very much cotton to that entirely clinical butterfly-wings-in-Mongolia train of thought she's cobbled together. Max says he'd very much like to go. Samuel spends nine uninterrupted minutes swinging the window. Did David Lynch direct this episode? When does this kid show us the creamed corn?