Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Running Up That Hill

The wife smells his breath, on the way out of the store, and Ian steps in to say the pork rinds were his -- probably not even from pigs at this point -- and she looks at him. Not mean, not hateful, not entirely stupid either. Just looks for a second; speaks softly and not without softness. "Ian, I am the one that signs your check. What's bad for him is really bad for you. If you are stupid enough to start lying for him...?"

"They're just corn chips with fake hair," the boys protest, and Kash's wife tells him to get his ass to the mosque, "So your dad stops blaming me for the fact that we're all going to hell." And to call his mom too, because she won't take her meds and won't listen to the white girl: "I don't want the cops dragging me out of bed again at four AM because she's out in the alley yelling that the CIA is stealing her trash." Ian asks whether that didn't actually happen: "Four years ago, yes. But now she's locked in the basement, making a helmet out of tinfoil. Enough's enough!" Beat. "I have to take the boys to Cub Scouts at the mosque before all the carpets are taken. She's your mother, get her to take her Thorazine."

If you think about it, this is one of the hardest roles in the show, because the deck is stacked: She should be a bitch, a harridan, a disappointed fucked-up lady. But somehow she is awesome, and not only because Marguerite Moreau is a wonderful angel sent to us from heaven to make things more excellent. She's not an obstruction or a suspenseful red flag or the Doakes, she's a woman. A woman who has made unimaginable changes to her life, and her soul, and has sacrificed a great deal for a man she loves a great deal, with whom she has built a life that as a natural consequence of its architecture holds her up to non-stop scrutiny. There are many ways she could have chosen to make her life easier, and none of them she chose. Plus her kids are adorable as hell.

Down the wooden staircase, half-asleep. Liam's bottle in the fridge, next to the vodka. Fiona finds Ian on the couch in the loving room, all alone. He looks forlorn, but he's also tossing wads of stolen toilet paper at their dad's passed-out drunk face (Turn him over, people! Or actually, never mind. Carry on.) Fiona jokes about the long face: "Just tell me you didn't go and get some girl pregnant" It's a joke but only Ian knows the punchline. He looks down at their dad for awhile, musing. "He hates me." Fiona assures him it's just that he looks the most like their lost mother. "You probably scare him," she says, which brings back his smile. "Yeah, he ain't seen nothing yet." Ian promises he'll find field trip money somehow, hoping she'll stop worrying, but she picks up Frank's legs and shakes out some change, grinning.

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