Ruth gets ready to go with her purse, her copy of Bright Lights, Big City, and a good long look in the mirror. Bye, Ruth! Say hi to Jay McInerney for me! And his coke dealer! I actually know a guy whose literary agent was also McInerney's agent, who was the basis for the BL, BC movie character played by Kiefer Sutherland. It's the recapper's circle of life.
Brenda washes dishes at home. Is her internship over, or did she keep upsetting patients so much that Jackie offered her a raise to stay home? Just as Brenda's about to launch into a crying jag, a cheery Ma Chenowith comes right in the front door, giving Brenda only as much time to pull herself together as it takes Ma to work her way back to the kitchen. Which is a little longer than usual, since she's carrying a giant, elaborately-wrapped present. "You popped in unexpectedly to drop off an expensive gift?" Brenda snarks. Ingrate. Ma explains that Olivier was getting suspicious about how long lunch took, so she needs Brenda to cover for her. Hence the bribe, which will thereby forever taint every baby picture and memory in which it appears. "Why don't we just open this up and you can tell me why the baby won't like it," Ma says. And then Brenda can't hold back the tears any longer, because the reason the baby won't like it is because the baby won't like anything, because the baby is going to be a deformed mutant whose father hates it.
Showtime! The grade school auditorium is packed with parents, including David and Keith. As they get into their seats, David thanks Keith for coming. "Yeah, well, I've always wanted to see a musical celebration of biodiversity," Keith says. Chekhov wrote a musical? David advises Keith to "scrunch down" if Durrell looks in their direction. Turns out David didn't tell Durrell they were coming. "Why not?" Keith asks. "Because I'm scared of him?" David duhs. Heh. The lights go down to polite applause. The fifth-grade class files out onto the stage, all dressed in various plant and animal costumes. Durrell's in the back row, looking not very scary at all in a cardboard elm tree costume. All the kids sing as the opening number begins: "We are plants / We are animals / We are people and we share this land." Ah, California. Creating tomorrow's tree-hugging hippies today.
That was all the time it took for Brenda to tell Ma all about the current brouhaha with Nate, because they've now relocated to the living room sofa so Ma can "comfort" her daughter. "All couples have these kind of disagreements," she says. "You think I didn't want to abort you and Billy?" Brenda's shocked expression makes it clear that yeah, she pretty much always thought that. Stupid girl. Ma says that Pa Chenowith talked her out of it both times. A loose consortium of millions of Six Feet Under viewers instantly starts raising funds for a time machine so they can go back and shout Pa down. Ma tells Brenda that she and Nate have to be on the same team, and Brenda should look at it from his point of view: "Life is so fucking hard, even when it's easy, so why not try and make it less challenging when we can?" Brenda considers that. Which is surprising, because this philosophy of making life easier runs completely counter to nearly everything we've ever seen her do or say.