The Husband:

After nearly two decades away from the Smith family, Megan’s mother (Sharon Lawrence) finally returns to Florida to wreak confusion and revive long-dormant emotions in the Smith clan. The ex-alcoholic father seems happy to take her back despite being gone for 16 years (I guess AA really does work wonders), while Megan is under the (very rightful) belief that the woman has no right to reassert her as a parent after abandoning her as a seven-year-old.

(And where’s sister Lily during all this? Apparently, she rebounded from her ill-advised tryst with Will [who’s now dating Megan] and impulsively eloped with her skeezy ex-boyfriend, Sleazy Sammy.)

While keeping her mother at a very long arm’s length, Megan nonetheless warms up ever so slightly to her, but is thrown for a loop when her mother reveals that she will not be flying back out of Florida after her and her Arthur’s 30th high school reunion, but will be sticking around for an indeterminate length.

Sharon Lawrence, the highest compliment I can give you is that you look like Susan Sarandon in this picture.

Sharon Lawrence, the highest compliment I can give you is that you look like Susan Sarandon in this picture.

As this show has progressively moved away from being the Sage and Rose Baker show (which it basically was for several weeks) with Megan just standing there looking confused/enraged/disappointed, I think it’s done a very good job at really fleshing out Megan and her family as true prime-time characters. I think this is important, especially to this show, because sometimes Megan does things that may seem problematic, inadvisable or just plain wrong, and giving her a clusterfuck of her own unique catalysts (friend Charlie included) explains away some of her quirkier qualities.

I do wish the drama would have been handled with a little more “melo-” during this episode, because when your mother returns after 16 years of being away, you’d think the reunion would be a little more explosive. This show isn’t really about the BIG EMOTIONS, though, so I appreciate them sticking to their more low-key guns.

Rose and Sage, meanwhile, get their own cute little romantic stories this week after being pounded with all the Megan-wants-you-to-study-harder-so-you-can-get-into-college for so many episodes. For them, it’s a nice little respite, especially when one of their romantic interests happens to be someone I know from my personal life.

Oh, Nacho, youre so good at . . . whatever it is your doing.

Oh, Nacho, you're so good at . . . whatever it is you're doing.

While Sage continues to flirt-fight with new house chef Louis, Rose, Marco and Rami try to get her to admit that she actually likes the roguish Spanish-speaking hottie (sorry Ignacio, if that’s how they’re going to write your character, that’s how I’m going to describe you) by having Rose do her own bits of flirting with him. (As this show has a healthy sense of humor, none of the flirting does anything other than make Rose look like a fool.) Sage, confused, decides to prove that Rose isn’t actually into Louis by having a cute boy from school woo her with flowers (and product in his hair!) and just all around be into her (because she’s totally into him). Rose has her own ploy for Sage, though, when she pretends that Louis is fired, simply to have Sage finally admit that she has eyes for Louis.

See? Cute stuff, right? Nothing like the psycho-drama of weeks past. Not that I don’t miss all the drama, but we definitely needed a little break.

Megan’s own personal issues aside, she also decided to take Will up on his offer to write a prospective article for his father on rich people and their charities, but she makes a fool of herself by aggressively interviewing a tobacco heiress who is sponsoring a no-smoking charity. This wouldn’t be much to point out, except for the fact that the heiress is played by Juliana Tyson, Shelley Long’s daughter, who starred in USC’s 2007 college production of Tony Kushner’s Angels In America, which my sister just happened to have directed. So yes, this episode officially had two actors my family personally knows.

I’m a name-dropping whore.