Claire's advice on how to handle The Arthur Incident is rather succinct, although no less worthwhile for its brevity: "Run," she suggests, before turning the conversation back to her own screwed-up romances. "I feel sorry for Russell," she admits. "I mean I hate him, but I feel sorry for him. Why is it that I attract every screwed-up guy in the state?" In the state? Oh, sweet, naive Lauren. You've gone national now, babe. "It's because they can see what a kind soul you have," explains Mom. "That you're caring and sensitive, with flowing red locks and skin like pale moonlight reflecting off the ocean waves. Not to mention the way you look so cute when you're nervous, and that little thing you do with your…" "Mom!" interrupts Claire. "Stop channeling Aaron and help me with my problems, dammit!" "Sorry," agrees Ruth, before cutting to the heart of the matter. "The real question is why do you like them?" "It's like I'll fall for any guy who shows an interest in me," answers Claire. Well, not ANY guy, apparently. Sigh. "I guess we all want to be loved," replies Ruth, imparting the wisdom of the experienced. And also the desperate. "It's hard to say no to that, no matter who it's coming from. Unless it's some freak on the internet, of course. Then you just need to run." Aww. Sniff. Best. Scene. Ever.
Out in The Boredello, Brenda is bitching about her decision to cohabitate with her co-dependent sibling. "Right from the very beginning there was this voice in my head saying, 'Don't move in with Billy,'" she says. "So what I do? I move in with Billy. I'm so self-destructive." Yeah, but at least you're the only Chenowith who doesn't actually obey the voices she hears in her head. That'll come in handy when they start telling you to burn things. "Maybe you wanted to believe the world is a better place than it really is," offers Nate. "You're just a very positive person." "Hmm. That doesn't sound like Brenda," says the little voice in my head. "Now go burn something." Flick…ahh. "That doesn't sound like me," confirms Brenda, causing my internal demons to gloat and sending Nate on a long, Hallmark Hall of Fame-esque rant about the perils of hope and the crushing despair of unrealized expectations. "Wow, you've really thought about this," gushes Brenda. "Actually, I picked that up while I was just shopping for a 'Sorry Our Marriage Didn't Work Out' card down at the drugstore this afternoon," replies Nate. "I finally picked one with a cute little cartoon skunk on it. Wanna see?" Okay, not really. What he actually says is, "I'm just talking out of my ass here. I have no clue whatsoever. All I know is that you're a good person who deserves to be happy, even if that means kissing your brother or fucking the neighborhood teenagers." "So are you," says Brenda, "although not so much that part about the neighborhood teenagers, what with that little girl from The People and all." They share a long, chemistry-laden silence for a few beats, and then Brenda stands and awkwardly announces that she should be leaving. Nate rises to walk her to the door, and demands a goodbye hug (in lieu of a massage, I suppose) before finally letting her go. And then they kiss! Really! I've actually rewound and rewatched it several times to try and see who the instigator was here, but it seems mostly mutual to me. Nate holds the hug a little longer than strictly necessary, but it's Brenda who moves in first for the actual kiss. And either way, it's definitely a good one. I can tell because I actually saw Peter Krause's tongue, which is getting a little hairy itself, by the way. They finally pull apart with some halfhearted protests about the inappropriateness of it all, and Brenda actually has to remind a somewhat dazed Nate that he's married. "I'm so sorry," she cries. "I'm worse than Billy." Yeah. Because adultery is so much less acceptable than incest. Although I guess I should be fair and point out that avoiding adultery is one of the top Ten Commandments, whereas "Thou shalt not covet thy sister's lips" is relegated to somewhere around number six hundred and twelve. That joke is funnier if you're Jewish. Brenda bolts from The Boredello, insisting that she has a place to stay for the evening, and Nate is left to stand there alone and metaphorically return to the prison of his marriage by locking the baby gate closed behind her. Aww. Don't be too sad, Nate. No matter how annoying she may get, living with Lisa is still better than sharing a pod with Schillinger.
Cut to a bus station, where the LWSD II greets David with a jaunty, "Hey, sailor!" Heh. Apparently David called and left a long, rambling message on the boy's answering machine, because Patrick has arrived to drive the deeply depressed David home, and also to get in some extra work on his sneaky season-long mission of stealing David away from Keith. Which seems to be working out quite well, quite frankly. And I'm not really sure how I feel about this little development. I mean, I can totally picture these two together, and Patrick is certainly better than the original Little White Sex Dork, but even the heterosexual in me can still appreciate the glaring aesthetic drop-off in play here. Besides, we really need to keep Keith around, if only so that he can give Lex Luthor a run for his money as the sexiest gay bald man on a TV show that starts with the letter "S." I'm sorry, what's that? Oh, please. Sit down, Stanford. You're not even close.