Paula and Rebecca finally make up this week, but Paula throws Scott out of the house, so her life is still in turmoil. Paula would rather end the marriage than look at her role in their issues. Suddenly the reasons she and Rebecca are so close become even more clear. Rebecca proves she’s a caring, nurturing friend to both Josh and Paula. Because she’s a good person.
The Proctor family is going through their morning routine. Scott packs the boys lunches, a hunk of salami, a couple of pieces of cheese, and some bread. Take a bite of each, and it’s a sandwich in your mouth. I’ve used this method, and it works, in a pinch. Paula’s kids aren’t convinced. Wait until they move out of the house.
Paula is maybe a little too grateful for Scott’s help in the kitchen, which brings out his guilt. He blurts out that he slept with Tanya. Paula thinks it’s a joke at first. He explains that it happened once, when they were drunk, by accident. He promises it will never happen again. Paula refuses to discuss the issue and throws him out of the house.
She takes out her anger on her coworkers instead of on Scott. It is really annoying when someone leaves the ice cube trays empty, though, I think we can all agree.
Mrs. H and Rebecca sit down with Paula in the conference room. Rebecca, being Rebecca, assumes that Paula’s finally snapped from the rift between the two of them. She starts reciting Paula’s apologies for her. Mrs. H yells at Rebecca to shut up and stop thinking everything is all about her. Rebecca is stunned to hear Mrs. H speak, but Mrs. H says she talks all the time, Rebecca’s just usually too self-obsessed to notice.
Paula tells them that Scott had sex with Tanya from work. Rebecca is confused, because she thought Paula was going to say Scott was gay. Why would he have sex with Tanya if he’s gay? Mrs. H shuts her down again.
Paula explains that her father always told her that if she ever tried to make something of herself, then no man would ever want her. “So, the minute I try to make something of myself, my husband falls into another woman’s vagina.” There’s the abuse I’ve been looking for. She assumes she’ll fail, and she assumed Scott would leave her. She drove him away to get it over with quickly. This reasoning also absolves her of any guilt. It wasn’t anything she did, it was her father’s curse on her. It was because men don’t want strong career women.
Paula’s worried about how she’ll manage the house and kids without Scott. She has a law school trip to Sacramento this weekend, and no one to stay with the kids. Paula gets back to work and Rebecca asks Mrs. H what they should do to help her. Mrs. H is silent once again.
Josh and Anna are hanging out in West Covina for the first time. Anna’s usually too busy and too pretentious to come visit him. Josh tells her about a sponsored party he’s working that weekend, and asks her to come. She says no without asking for any details, telling him she has to work, too. He sneezes, so she refuses to kiss him good-bye, not wanting to get sick.
Paula’s getting the kids’ school lunches ready when Tommy tells her that her older son, Brendan, has taken off cross-country on a bus again. Just as Paula’s panicking some more, Rebecca bursts through the door, quoting The Hunger Games, ready to help Paula be a single mom. Rebecca apologizes for their fight and insists that Paula has to go on her field trip. Tommy joins in, and they push Paula out the door.
Rebecca sings a song about being a super mom even though she doesn’t have kids or experience with kids, wearing flashback hair and shoulder pads. Is this a reference to supernannies? It seems like they’re referencing something specific.
Rebecca and Tommy have a great time together. She proves to be a natural at relating to him, and starts to explain several difficult adult concepts really well before getting distracted halfway through. Maybe she’s not quite ready for parenthood.
They run into Josh at the store. Rebecca apologizes for peeing on Josh’s stuff. The two approval-seeking, conflict-avoiding kids immediately make up. Rebecca hugs Josh goodbye, despite his cold. When she gets back to Paula’s house, Rebecca sends Josh some chicken soup, with a note quoting Shakespeare.
Josh receives the soup in the backroom at work. (He’s not hiding or organizing, just looking at a clipboard. Progress.) The note is wet, so Josh can’t read it, and thinks Anna sent it. Rebecca finds out about the misunderstanding from Josh’s instagram. She decides to go to the sponsored club party Josh is working at to set the record straight. Since she’ll only be there for a minute, she brings Tommy.
She misplaces Tommy within five minutes of setting foot into the club, of course. It gives her a chance to quote The Who, though, so the whole reason for naming Paula’s son Tommy becomes clear. The whole gang is at the club. Hector and WhiJo are enjoying sponsored cocktails. Heather is signing autographs and giving advice on douches. Anna has shown up at the party to surprise Josh after all. Search hijinks ensue. Including accidentally listening to Josh and Anna have sex on the bathroom counter.
Josh has a surprise that will have a big impact on his career. He’s modelling clothes from one of the mall clothing stores. Anna doesn’t realize he’ll be one of the models, and mocks the entire show. When Josh comes out, he plays up his turn on the runway. His outfit has tearaway sleeves and pant legs. Anna is mortified. She breaks up with Josh as soon as he gets back. He’s too much of a goober. It might rub off on her. She tells Josh she didn’t send him the soup on her way out.
Josh realizes that it was the soup that made him feel like Anna was right for him. He wants someone nurturing and warm like that. Hector tells him that it was Rebecca who ordered the soup. Josh has an epiphany and realizes that Rebecca is the woman for him. He runs out of the club and straight to Paula’s house to find Rebecca. While he’s running, he sings the song Duh about his love for Rebecca. There are about three words in the lyrics to the song. Vincent Rodriguez III is as amazing as always. He plays Josh’s inarticulateness and physicality with total commitment.
Rebecca finds both Paula and Tommy at home when she gets there. She and Tommy improvise a story so that Paula doesn’t find out about the club. Rebecca listens to Paula and offers support.
Then Josh shows up to confess his love. Or that he’s figured out that Rebecca loves him and treats him best. Something like that. She’s always been there for him. There’s a lot about him in this confession, but not so much about his feelings for her.
Josh wants to go someplace alone, but Rebecca tells him to leave. She’s a mom now, and she needs to take care of her family. After Josh goes, Rebecca makes a full confession to Paula. Paula says she’s made way worse mistakes than losing her kid in a club. She lost him in a Barnes and Noble once for a full weekend. They reconfirm their love, kiss, and make up. The show’s primary couple is functional again. We can all relax and breathe.
Quotes and Observations:
Rebecca: “You talk?” Mrs. Hernandez: “I talk all the time. You’re just too busy staring at the Narcissus pond of your bewitching self to notice.”
“If I had skipped Presidential Classroom in Washington, DC I would still be a virgin who knew nothing about the electoral college.”
“Why are you wearing those ironic mom half sneakers?”
“How many times must I sit in the bathroom and listen to Josh Chan have sex with another woman?” (The first time was with Valencia, Thanksgiving 2015.)
“Oh, he’s nasty. I totally get it now, girl. Good for you.”
“Mental illness runs rampant on both sides of my family. Many suicides. Many suicides.”
Wow. Paula has been emotionally absent from her marriage for most of the series. She turned to Rebecca for emotional support and excitement in season 1, and came very close to sleeping with Calvin. She and Scott used sex and his interest in her activities to grow closer again for a while, but as soon as she started law school she shut Scott out again. She depended on Sunil emotionally while she didn’t have Rebecca. Even when Scott begged her to pay attention to something that was important to him, just once, she was disdainful of its importance and skipped it for her law studies. She’s felt all along that she settled for Scott, but he’s been nothing but an attentive, caring husband until now. He’s always been aware of her interests and asked about them, even participated when she let him. She ignored him and drove him away for months or years before he cheated. Some people act out their emotions more physically than others. He shouldn’t have cheated, but it didn’t happen in a vacuum. Paula drove her husband away, then is surprised when another woman recognizes the value of a devoted family man with a steady job, and makes a play for him. Scott still didn’t want to leave, Paula kicked him out rather than trying to talk about how things got to that point and what needed to change for both of them. She gets no sympathy from me when Tanya’s waiting to comfort Scott. Paula is being as self-destructive as Rebecca in this situation. She’s allowed to be hurt and angry, but express those feelings to Scott. Use them to help repair the relationship. Don’t throw it away because of one mistake.
There’s so much self-loathing in Paula’s description of her father. “The Minute I try to make something of myself.”- As if being the head paralegal at the law firm and raising two kids isn’t an accomplishment. “My father always told me if I tried to make something of myself, that no man would want me. The minute I try to pursue my dreams…”- She grew up hearing and believing that she wasn’t enough on her own, wasn’t “something” worthwhile already, and she never could be. She could never have it all, because she wasn’t the kind of woman who could manage a husband and a challenging career. She chose to settle for the man, because that was safer, but the career was what she really wanted. Now that she’s built up the courage to go for the career, she has her father’s voice in her head telling her she’s not good enough to do both. She “knew” deep down she’d have to sacrifice Scott in exchange for the law degree. She needs to tell this story to Scott, and to a therapist. “My husband ‘accidentally’ falls into another woman’s vagina.” It’s interesting that her father’s prediction, and both Scott’s and Paula’s wording, about the sex absolve Scott from malicious intention. She said ‘accidentally’ sarcastically, but she didn’t call him a lying, cheating bastard. Scott was hurt, drunk and lonely and made a one-time mistake that he told her about right away. It’s not the same as having an ongoing affair and keeping it hidden.
Next week, Mama Bunch is back! Where’s the bathroom?