The Wife:

Thanks to Brenda Hampton, I learned a lot on this week’s SLOTAT. Rather, I learned the same things several times, because they were basically repeated in EVERY GODDAMNED SCENE!

1. The fine for holding a fake ID is $250 and/or community service.
2. If you get married with a fake ID, you’re not actually married.
3. Sally Ann Sweetwater is an excellent stripper/fake ID name.
4. Did you know that if you’re caught running a shop that produces fake IDs you could get six months of jail time? Well, didja?

Why these things had to be repeated in EVERY SCENE, I will never know. This episode, written by creator Brenda Hampton, is definitely one of the least realistic ones, where characters go around repeating information numerous times just to get the point across to the show’s middle school demographic. HAVING A FAKE ID IS WRONG, KIDDIES! DON’T DO IT! AND GETTING MARRIED WON’T SOLVE ANY OF YOUR PROBLEMS! I have to believe that young viewers, growing up in a media-influenced culture, are smart enough to understand these heavy-handed morals without, well, such heavy-handed moralistic storytelling.

The opening of this episode involved all of the adults in this community learning about Amy and Ben’s wedding because Tom wants to marry his girlfriend. You see, Grace just can’t get the point across to Tom that he shouldn’t marry someone on this first date, so she calls her mom to get her to talk to Tom, effectively telling him to wait to get married until his family can be at the wedding. Grace tells her mom that Amy and Ben got married, which leads to Mrs. Bowman calling her ex, George Jurgens, to tell him about the wedding. He in turn calls the Sausage King and the two fathers seek out the hotel room where Ben and Amy were hosting their wedding reception and bust in on everyone’s good time. I’ve got to say, that “suite party” actually looked pretty damn fun. Everyone was dancing and laughing and enjoying the Chex Mix, except for Ashley who did nothing for this entire scene but stand around looking dour, which is I guess the only thing a level-headed semi-Goth can do when she is afraid of being caught doing something wrong. Ashley Jurgens, to you I say, “Cheer up, Emo Kid!”

Mr. and Mrs. Ben Boykevich.

Mr. and Mrs. Ben Boykevich.

After the party is busted up, the following three scenes basically repeat items 1 through 3 on my list of repeated information. In addition, Adrian’s dad is upset that she missed their dinner together, is even more upset about the fake IDs because he’s the DA, but informs his daughter that he and her mother have decided that Adrian will return to Grant High for the duration of the year before they discuss the possibility of going to a different school next year. (I still think its better for her to be the best student at a mediocre school, grades-wise, as that distinction will help her get into college.) The Sausage King, on the other hand, totally lays down the law with Ben, pointing out how bad of an idea running away to get married was. Ben wonders why his father encouraged it, but then realized that even with Steve Schirripa’s blessing, he shouldn’t have gone through with illegally marrying Amy without the blessing of the Jurgens’ family. George reiterates to his daughter regarding point number 2, but, per his usual level of mental instability, isn’t that angry and refuses to tell Molly Ringwald about it, lest she take it out on him.

In the midst of all these scenes, I found out that this show allegedly takes place in California. What. The. Fuck. How is that even possible? Where in California is this supposed to be? I know its filmed somewhere around Westlake Village/Thousand Oaks/Kraproom (that’s Moorpark spelled backwards), which I guess could make sense with the kind of characters who inhabit the SLOTAT universe. I guess. South Ventura County is weird like that. But now I have to wonder: if it takes place in SoCal, why go for Nevada IDs? Especially fakey mcfake looking Nevada IDs? Wouldn’t Arizona have made much more sense?

(Husband Note: I was wrong. The school at which they film is located in Valley Glen, CA, which is sort of between Van Nuys and North Hollywood…which is even more confusing in re: how these characters act.)

At the Bowman house, Grace talks to her parents about Amy and Ben’s wedding, fake IDs and whether or not Tom can marry Tammy. Harshly, Tom tells Grace that no one wants to marry her, and I have no idea where that line came from. Mr. Bowman is incensed that his daughter would carry a fake ID and takes it from her, reminding her of point #1. In this heartfelt father-daughter moment, Grace tells her father she’s in love with Ricky, he then gets upset with her because she’s not wearing her promise ring and demands that Tom get it back from Tammy. Meanwhile, Ricky pays a visit to Adrian’s house, even though he told Grace that he loved her, and definitely starts some heavy mackage, accompanied by some of the loudest, most strangely synched kissing foley effects I’ve ever heard. Seriously, it was like they were kissing with microphones in their mouths.

When the Jurgens girls return home, Mama Ringwald is upset that they don’t want to share information about their double date with her, even when she bribes them with pancakes. George comes in to help the girls with the cover that they were just visiting him in the garage because they called him to pick them up from Ben’s house, and a lonely Mama Ringwald ends up going to the garage with him to have some pretty spectacular hate sex. (This show is so about hate-fucking.) I’ve got to say, I’m very impressed with how homey George made that garage. It almost looks like it was meant to have a bed and a fridge in it. I think he painted the walls and everything. Thinking this is a turning point in their relationship, George wants to move back in, but Mama Ringwald won’t let him. She insists that she still wants a divorce and then tells him that she slept with the dude she met on her trip to Chicago, just to get even with him.

At school the next day, the loudspeaker is on a warpath to find students in possession of fake IDs. Silly loudspeaker! Don’t you know that no one will admit to having a fake ID? Fortunately, the loudspeaker corrects itself and only asks for Joe, the Fake ID Kid, at which point Ben decides to remind us of point #4. As Joe heads to Mr. Molina’s office (he finally decided to return to work, it seems), Jack takes up the hero’s mantle and collects the fake IDs from everyone at the wedding, barging in to claim the blame for creating the fake IDs so that everyone could go to Amy and Ben’s wedding. He gallantly accepts his arresting officer’s invitation to see the back of a squad car and effectively saves Joe’s ass.

“I inspire loyalty.” – Joe, on why Jack would take the fall for him.

Ben then interrupts Mr. Molina’s conversation with Joe to discuss his wedding and, it turns out, Mr. Molina’s. Molina apparently decided to take time off to go marry his abusive girlfriend, which Ben thinks is a terrible idea. Molina doesn’t really have a whole lot to say about that, instead focusing on Ben and Amy’s wedding, which Ben admits was probably not the best idea – just as Amy walks by to interject that he didn’t have to marry her if he didn’t think it was a good idea! Ooh, burn! Thanks for walking by at exactly the right time, Amy!

Mama Ringwald, meanwhile, stops off at the family law office to discuss divorcing George, but comes off like a complete lunatic to the receptionist, constantly blathering about how close she is to her daughters. Then Marshall Bowman comes in to ruin all the fun, casually letting slip about Tom being inspired to marry his girlfriend by witnessing Amy and Ben’s wedding. Mama Ringwald totally didn’t see that coming and heads straight out of the family law office to hunt down her daughter and her son-in-sort-of-law. She finds them at Ben’s house, exactly where Amy said they’d be, and has a heartfelt conversation with the two of them, somewhat reiterating point #2, but mostly pointing out that big lesson that GETTING MARRIED DOESN’T FIX THE FACT THAT YOU’RE PREGNANT AND HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO CARE FOR A CHILD, a reality that becomes all too real to Amy after having not much luck getting a job combined with this lecture from Mama Ringwald. Mama Ringwald tells both Amy and Ben that she’s on their side, and wants to help them, but that they need to talk to her so she can do that. She urges Amy to consider putting the baby up for adoption and giving up on the pipedream of trying to have a happy family at 15, managing work, school and childcare. Amy finally breaks down and cries, admitting that she has no idea what she’s doing, and feels her baby move for the first time. Then there’s a lot of hugging and crying.

In addition, apparently Jack got off super easy for “making” the fake IDs, not even garnering any record of the offense or community service hours. So, note that, kiddies, if you make fake IDs so that people you know can get married, you’ll get off hella easy, because you did a bad thing for good reasons.