Brenda has succeeded in creating her little scene of domestic dinnertime bliss, with her, Nate, and Maya gathered around the dining-room table for "chicken and vegetable sauté over herbed polenta triangles." ["Uch, polenta. I'd rather have a GardenBurger from under the seat in the car." -- Wing Chun] Brenda tries to make small talk, but for whatever reason she's all awkward and desperate about it. She finally reveals her agenda: "We should do this more often." Nate heartily agrees. Brenda adds, "I just want to have dinner like a family. Like a real family." Nate drops his fork and glares at her. "Quit trying to be some fucking hausfrau, all right? You're a rebel, you're a freak. We're never going to be a real family, no matter what you sauté!" he yells at her. Brenda looks at him in horror, even though that was just a little fantasy she just had, and in real life Nate's mildly saying, "Well, we are a real family." Brenda says that she just wants them to connect. Nate assures her that he and Maya are enjoying themselves, and the child agrees happily. He shrugs at her like, "What's the problem?" The problem, Nate, is that Brenda doesn't have a problem, and that's the one thing she can't stand. Most people would probably still be freaked out about being assaulted at work, but not Brenda. What's bothering her is that she saw what she sees as some kind of ideal family unit, and got all bunchy that hers isn't exactly like it, and now she's going to try and force her own domestic situation into some mold she had in her head, without telling anyone that that's what she's doing because she probably doesn't fully realize it herself. Which is only going to lead to Nate's (and, to a lesser extent, Maya's) getting all confused and then resistant and then outright resentful, and then she'll blame Nate, and their relationship will start coming apart again, and dear God it hasn't even happened yet and I'm bored already. I swear, Brenda's only happy when she's making herself miserable. I figure the only reason she wants to be a therapist in the first place is so she can learn all sorts of interesting new ways to do that. Shrink, heal thyself.
It looks like Christmas morning over at Claire and Billy's house. The place is full of brand-new expensive crap that looks like it came from the Sharper Image, and which they won't be able to take on the plane, and even if they could they'd have to ship over a separate box for all the electrical adapters that they'll need in Europe. But Claire only has eyes for her new digital camera, which she says is better than the one she had her eye on. She yells at Billy in the other room that they're going to share, and he yells back that he got one for himself too. Claire giggles at his extravagance: "Did you go to Beverly Hills and have, like, a shopping seizure? What are you going to do with this antique microscope?" Billy says they'll look through it and get ideas. And then he comes out of the other room, shirtless except for a pair of leather pants. He dances in them for Claire. "You are such a fucking rock star!" she laughs, and joins him for a manic dance in the kitchen. Why did Billy bother to flush his meds? Obviously Claire isn't keeping a very close eye on his intake, or she'd probably be a little more worried right now.