Cathy's plans for Adam this week: Teaching him to drive, and demanding he learn to cook at least three "survival meals," in addition to one "romantic" dessert, before the summer's over. Adam gives Sean a haircut in barter for his choker, which he plans to wear to a party that night. If Adam inherited his mother's Spontaneity Curse, he'd be better off staying home, because it is in full effect tonight.
So yeah, apparently Cathy did run off to the Bahamas. Not that anyone really cared, but when she offers to accompany Paul to dinner with his boss and fellow promoted VP, he hisses at her like Gollum and runs away. Dr. Todd is horrified to "learn" that Paul has left Cathy in the midst of her illness, which means her relationship with him is now 100% lies. When she finally submits herself for a clinical trial, it turns out she could've gotten in, if she'd only accepted treatment in the first place.
Cathy, of course, deals with this latest blow by offering to share some E -- found in class, nobody's speaking up, Andrea still hates her anyway -- with Lenny that night.
Sean offers to escort Marlene on a date with an elderly friend of his, after she shows up looking for ice cubes for her Fresca. To everybody's surprise, she consents. When the guy turns out to be a nonstop Tex Avery horndog, Sean is humiliated... Right up until Marlene tells him to get the hell out of there and stop cock-blocking her. (It sounds like so much Betty White Says The F Word! bullshit, but it's way less rapping-grannies than it seems. For e.g. it's actually, you know, cleverly done.)
Andrea's grossed out to find freshman Adam at the party, but soon enough they're hanging out like usual. At some point the whole party starts chanting, trying to get Adam to go upstairs and rape this girl, and Andrea steps in to vouch for his lack of virginity. Caught between a rape and a fat place, Adam manages to be the second Jamison in a week to seriously hurt Andrea's feelings for no real reason.
Adam calls Cathy to pick him up, but she's too busy talking about "energy" and fucking Lenny in the backyard, where Paul spots them. He heads to his business dinner, drinks an impressive amount, and then tries to talk his fellow-promotee out of getting gay-married because it's all such a horrific sham. Then he drunk-drives over to the party and picks up Adam, who immediately drives his car into a tree. Cathy runs off to meet them, in a tuxedo shirt and no pants, possibly still high.
At the hospital, Paul drunkenly calls Cathy out for fucking around in their house, then runs into Dr. Todd, giving the distinct impression that he knows absolutely nothing about his wife's condition. Dr. Todd, justifiably hurt, yells at Cathy for being a liar and a coward. When she says it wouldn't make her any happier to tell Paul the truth, he asks a very good question: How could she possibly know that?
Not that we're getting the answer this week, either: Just as she sits him down -- for what, the fifth time? -- to tell him what's really going on, Paul interrupts... To demand a divorce.
Cathy Jamison, having already bought her son a car he'll never know about, has decided to teach Adam to drive. Or at least to give him preparatory lessons. As one might have predicted, this goes poorly -- "Do you know how many children are run over every year because people don't do their one-two-threes?" -- and before they've left the driveway, their nerves are already jangling. Paul approaches, shouting at them, at Cathy; he doesn't understand her hurry.
"I'm not allowing him to drive, I'm teaching him how to drive," Cathy explains. "I just thought we'd get it over with." Cathy wanted to be the teacher here, because Paul is not a great driver, but saying so only makes him more belligerent.
"Okay, you teach him how to drive, I'll teach him how to run off to the Bahamas!" A valid point, in a way, but it gets her hackles up enough that Adam orders them both to stop fighting, and they apologize. "This isn't fun for me," he says as he's leaving; the quieter implication is that, in some way, it's fun for them. Maybe he's right.
Paul admits he can't talk to her, anymore, without blowing up at her, and explains his presence away as more than the usual trumped-up excuse to come home: A promotion to VP, for which he has been waiting a while. Cathy's excitement over this, something they waited so long for, is not something she can contain. She maybe having an affair, she may have tossed him out for reasons that revolve from blurry haze to sharp clarity every few minutes, but this is something they planned for, together. She beams at her husband, congratulates him, wonders if he'll want -- if he'll need, she clarifies, because that sounded too much like begging -- any company for the dinner.
Not after her birthday disaster, he won't. "What, so you can suck all the joy out of that moment for me too?" He shrugs: This only proves his point that niceness is currently beyond his abilities. This celebration covers the unhappy twenty years, he means, that she has hated her life with him. It's too long a story to retell, or explain; his story isn't something she can rewrite.
Ever since he left the house Paul Jamison has been writing and rewriting it, polishing it, making it shine, taking every evidence she gives and discarding the rest: The story of Paul the victim. He employs a therapist, and his sister, and even Cathy herself, in order to add more and more sumptuous details, to make it all the more vivid. What this does is give him a complete lack of accountability for his own life; the reason Cathy did it, of course, is that he's always had that.