LIFE UNEXPECTED: “Rent Uncollected”
Read on for my brief (for me) recap & review of Life Unexpected 1×03, aired February 1st, 2010:
So, I didn’t recap last week’s episode (bad blogger!), but I’m back to covering LUX … at least this week. This episode was super fun, as it introduced Cate and Baze’s respective families. The secret about Cate’s daughter, and the baby-daddy’s identity, was revealed to the world via Ryan on the radio show, and all hell breaks loose. Well, not literal hell—that’s another CW show. It turns out that Cate’s sister was totally in love with Baze in high school, and is irrationally bitter when she finds out that Cate slept with him. Baze doesn’t even know Cate’s sister’s name, but that does not stop said sister from calling betrayal. Also, Cate’s mom, played by Cynthia Stevenson is a total lush, and a total hoot, but on a less hilarious note she suggests taking care of Lux herself. And Baze’s parents? They are Richard and Emily Gilmore, except that the dad is Emily, and the mom is Richard. Seriously. Though I doubt that Baze’s dad has dancers’ legs like Kelly Bishop. On the less awesome side of the episode, Lux’s friends still stuck, and her boyfriend Bug is a waste of space on my TV screen. Also, even more tragically, Lux sold the bong lamp. However, I am somewhat appeased as the next episode is entitled “Bong Intercepted,” so I have hope for its speedy recovery. So, on to the recap.
The episode begins Cate’s sister calling in to her morning radio show, asking about Lux. Ryan lets slip that Lux’s father is Nathan Bazile, which prompts Cate’s sis to declare her undying love for the former quarterback. Cate points out, in her defense, “Everyone had a thing for him. It’s not like she’s a special case.” Hee.
Meanwhile, Lux is hanging out alone in Baze’s empty bar, presumably doing homework, when an older and sharply dressed gentleman comes in. Lux is a total brat to this man in a suit, only to learn at the end of her exchange that he is her grandpa. Awkward.
Baze, meanwhile, is doing his laundry at his parents’ house, because he is still totally that guy. Papa Baze enters, however, and he is not happy: “Tell your mother about the girl you got pregnant in high school.” Um, oops? Mama Baze: “We have a granddaughter?” She wonders, “How did that happen?” Baze: “The normal way.” Hee. He explains that he only just found out: “Lux, she just showed up at my doorstep last week.” However, he also lies that Cate never told him that she was pregnant, back in high school. Oooh, Baze, you are a lying liar who lies! Papa Baze demands that his son and his newfound family come to dinner, and threatens to take away the bar if he does not comply. Threatening to withhold financial assistance unless your child comes to dinner? He is such an Emily Gilmore. I wonder if it is Friday night in LUX-world? Because that would be awesome.
Cut to Cate and Lux, arriving home. Lux is mad that she has been forced to transfer schools. Cate says that she’s just looking out for her best interests. Cate tries to bribe her with a new cell phone, but Lux just complains that Tasha doesn’t have access to a phone. Lux doesn’t want to leave her loser friends, and texts Cate on her new phone: “I don’t want to go to Edgemont.” Or was it Westmont? Something mont. This isn’t Lost people, so please let me be a little lazy on the details. I’m still suffering from last week’s Lost hangover and should not be blamed. Also, let the record show that I’m officially old, as I was totally siding with Cate in this conversation. It’s like I’ve lost the child inside of me. Sad.
We then hear the lovely sounds of a cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and see Baze and Math show Lux around their old alma mater. Yep, Lux’s school is Cate, Baze, and Math’s alma mater, and the trophy case has many a reminder of Baze’s glory days. Baze was “all that” in high school, but now he has managed to disappoint his father. Blah blah blah.
Then we see Lux enter the cafeteria, and sit down at a table with three heretofore strangers, girls. A hilarious conversation ensues, in which Lux totally pretends to know one of the girls, and the boy whose party they’re all attending. She makes up a story about getting caught having sex with her boyfriend, and getting kicked out of boarding school. It is a random and odd conversation, but hilarious nonetheless.
Meanwhile, Baze calls Cate, who has also showed up at the school to pick Lux up. Baze invites her and Lux to dinner, but Cate refuses. Then Bug shows up, with his leather jacket and neck tattoo, on a motorcycle no less. He and Lux kiss, and Cate and Baze look on, horrified. Baze is shocked to learn that Cate knew that Lux had a boyfriend, adding: “A guy named Bug didn’t raise some concerns?” Word. Bug? Seriously? Cate again says that she’s making dinner, and refuses to go to Baze’s. She then drags a struggling Lux away from the man named after an insect, who had his tongue down her daughter’s throat, who was seconds away from giving her a ride on his motorcycle. Once again, I cannot fault Cate for that.
Cut to later, and Lux and Bug are alone up in her room. He wants them to run away together, and asks about the money she has saved. My first reaction? Aaaaggh, don’t give him your money, Lux! This could all end very badly. Am I too paranoid and cynical? Also, he wants to pawn the bong lamp. He is dead to me.
Meanwhile, downstairs, Baze is once again trying to get Cate to come to dinner. Cate makes a comment implying that his parents are snooty and judgmental, and says that she’s not their type. Baze: “You are their type. You just described you.” Ha! Also, Cate burns the dinner, which Baze sees as an opportunity. Cate asks: “Does no means no mean anything to you?” Baze explains that his dad is mad at him, and is going to take back the bar. Also, Cate finally realizes that Lux and Bug could be doing goodness-knows-what upstairs, and she caves.
At the Bazile home, Cate, Baze, and a very reluctant Lux get ready to enter. And then Cate’s family shows up—specifically, her mom and her sister. They were invited by the Baziles. Awkward. Cate’s mom actually says that she is happy that her daughter lost her virginity to the quarterback, instead of the loser she was dating. While Cate’s sister is still mad: “I still can’t believe that you slept with Baze behind my back.” Baze clearly doesn’t even remember the girl, but as she’s delusional she notes, “Um, he was being discrete.”
Inside the house, Mama Cassidy tells Lux: “You are so tiny. I just want to put you in my pocket.” Lux is clearly not having a good time. Baze tries to make conversation by noting that Lux grew up listening to Cate’s radio show. However, Mama Bazile thinks Cate is guilty of not telling Baze about the pregnancy, so she snarks: “Actually, I prefer radio shows with more of an emphasis on good morals.” Ouch. In a continued attempt to make the evening palatable, Baze brings up the subject of Westmont, which just makes things worse. He calls a time out for a family pow wow.
In the other room, our little newly assembled family is not happy. Baze tries to get them to team up, and get through the night together, but Lux is not having it. She is kind of being a little brat. Cate asks: “Is it that I got you in a good school, or because I didn’t let you dry hump spider neck guy.” Ha! Lux makes a comment about them not being her family. Again, ouch.
At dinner, things get even worse, as the conversation devolves into a discussion of each person’s respective parenting skills. It’s not pretty. After being attacked repeatedly by Mama Bazile, Cate fights back: “And your parental skills are so stellar? Have you met your son?” Baze finally steps in, and admits that he knew Cate was pregnant in high school. I’m glad that Baze bit the bullet and admitted his lie. His father is not so understanding: “So you haven’t grown up. You haven’t changed.” Baze has had enough, and tells his dad so. His dad retorts, “I supported you every day of your life.” But Baze notes, “Not in the way that counts.” Sad. Also, Lux totally ran off with her neck-tattoo-boyfriend while everyone was fighting. A room full of failed parental units. What fun!
Then we cut to Cate and Baze, in the car, leaving the carnage behind. It is so clear that they love Lux, and want to do what’s right. They just don’t know how. Also, in response to this scene I really must not that I don’t care about Tasha or Bug or Tasha’s boyfriend, and I actually am beginning to resent them for impeding Lux’s relationship with her parents. The street urchins seem more concerned with keeping Lux with them, than seeing her happy. Selfish selfish selfish. Am I being too harsh and unfeeling? Of course, who knows. By the end of tonight’s episode, I could be trumpeting Bug’s praises. Television is funny that way.
Meanwhile, Lux and Bug are in Lux’s room. She’s packing, and that includes the money. And again, all I could think was “Don’t trust Bug with your $3,000!!!” Lux tells Bug to pick her up in the morning, and it seems like they’re planning to run away together.
The next day, we see Lux in the park, and she sells the bong lamp to her recently acquired friend, for $200. Not the bong lamp! I’m so sad.
Later, Lux goes to see Baze’s dad and uses her savings to pay Baze’s rent. Aaawww. I didn’t see that coming. I am so glad that Lux didn’t decide to run away with the money. Lux tells her grandpa, “I’m no expert on parents, but I always thought they just wanted their kids to be happy.” Papa Bazile claims, “I do want my son to be happy.” Lux calls his bluff: “You want your son to be you. […] You’re mad because he looked at you and he didn’t want to be you.” Wow, she is one insightful sixteen-year-old. Also, before she leaves, she notes that Baze is twice the dad he is.
Sometime later, Baze’s dad walks into the bar, and greets his son. Baze: “What are you doing here?” Papa Bazile: “Just looking around.” Baze grumps, “This place is gonna be yours soon enough.” Papa Baze informs his son that Lux came by and gave him the money: “So, the bar, hang onto it … and tell your daughter that she’s welcome to come by the house anytime she wants.” Aawww. Baze: “I’ll tell her.” Was that moment as sweet for you as it was for me? I love this show.
Meanwhile, Cate goes up to the attic to see Lux, and they finally talk it out. Cate admits that she doesn’t really know how to be a mom. She notes that she got a book on parenting: “Except there’s not a chapter on what to do when your booze-hound mom shows up and wants to take your kid.” Clearly, someone needs to write that chapter ASAP. Cate apologizes about going about the mom thing all wrong. I say, she really didn’t go about it wrong at all, but that’s just me. Cate also says that decisions will be a group thing. She concludes: “OK, the jury’s unanimous. I suck at this mother thing.” I don’t know, I think she’s pretty good. Lux replies: “I suck at this daughter thing. I’m used to people telling me what to do. I’m just not used to caring enough to listen.” Aaawww. Darn it, I am exceeding my Aaaww-o-meter. Cate offers to have another family dinner, but with Lux’s friends this time. Lux has a better idea.
Lux brings her parents to the roof of Bug’s apartment, where Bug, Tash, and what’s-his-name are all waiting with hot dogs. Baze pulls Lux aside, and tells her that he knows what she did. He points out that he’s the parent, so he doesn’t need to take care of him. Lux: “I know. I was just trying to support you.” Such a sweet little moment. Lux then formally introduces Baze and Cate to her three ragamuffin friends. But there is a cut little moment where Baze indicates that he is still watching that Bug kid, so I’m somewhat appeased.
So, what did you think of the episode? Is the show living up to the hopes of the pilot? Do you find Lux’s friends as annoying as I do? Comment away.