'Life Unexpected': The family that does therapy together stays together
Lux (Brittany Robertson), Cate (Shiri Appleby) and Baze (Kristoffer Polaha) finally got all their issues out into the open in this heart-wrenching and sweet hour. Things started off cute and playful with Cate and Ryan (Kerr Smith) talking her cold feet and his hot legs while they're sleeping. The sleeping theme continued with a shot of Lux sleeping with Bug (Rafi Gavron). After last week's reveal that Lux isn't a virgin, I was surprised to see that Baze wasn't keeping better whereabouts on her, but apparently, he's “too busy sleeping with Cate's sister to notice anything.”
Currently, Lux is giving Baze the “a cold whole body” because she's angry with him, but don't worry. That's all going to change at least five times within the hour. Lux flip-flops between parents like she does between boys. She sneaks out late at night to help Bug with his new job handing out fliers at a nightclub. Seriously, how many people does it take to do that? She gets caught breaking curfew, leading her social worker to move up Cate and Baze's family evaluation. They now have less than a week to make things right and present a united front. As much as Lux is angry with Cate and Baze, she doesn't want to get sent back to foster care either.
Cate tries to get Lux to forgive her for the Tasha thing by getting Bug a job at the radio station. His lack of a high school degree, experience and a resume – she really should have typed one up for him – kills any chance of that. Now, Lux is angry with Cate again for promising something and not delivering on it. I appreciate that life is messy and even though you want parents, you don't always get the perfect ones. Still, I really wish Lux would start to cut Cate and Baze some slack. She needs to stop being surprised when they screw up.
Baze ends up stealing Cate's thunder and hiring Bug to work at the bar. How old is Bug? Is he even old enough to work at a bar? Bug's being a great worker bee. Everything's going great until he and Lux walk in just as Baze is saying, “Who even cares about Bug?” to Cate and her sister Abby (Alex Breckenridge). And now Lux is back to directing all her anger at Baze.
Baze, Cate and Lux decide to lie and pretend they're a happy family for the evaluation, but the social worker catches on to their “pathetic charade.” They should have at least agreed on one story. Homework, Rock Band and Billy Elliot? That's quite a night. The evaluation finally leads to an emotional breakthrough when the social worker notes that Lux said Cate wasn't there for her, not Tasha or Bug.
“Where were you?” Lux asks, breaking down. She wants to know why Cate never checked to make sure she was OK after she gave her away. Cate tells her she thought she was with a better family. When she got pregnant at 16, her mom was drinking her way through life and she didn't even know where to address a letter to her dad. She had no idea what a good parent was.
“You gave me away to nothing like I didn't matter,” Lux says. “I don't forgive you, Cate.” Now, we've gotten to the truth of the problem between Cate and Lux. Props to Appleby and Robertson for selling the emotion, the hurt and the hopelessness.
Not knowing how to make it right, Cate goes to Ryan for help. She's changed, she tells him. When Lux was born, she didn't hold her because she couldn't let herself want her, so she pushed her away like she has everyone in her life. But not anymore. She's not afraid to want things now and that includes Lux. When Cate's with Ryan, I really do believe she's changed. These two still have great, easy chemistry and a maturity. But when she's with Baze, I'm afraid Cate is going to revert back to her high school self. If those two are going to become a couple, I want to see them enter it as adults.
Ryan, much like his sage “Dawson's Creek” character, has a wonderful heart-to-heart with Lux, who reveals that Cate and Baze signed legal adoption papers. Guess that's what was in the envelope earlier. Before Cate revealed she never held baby Lux, I thought maybe Cate had slipped Lux some baby photos of her to show she really did care about her.
Lux breaks up with Baze as her father, asking him if they can go back to being friends, and comes back home to Cate's to try to make it right. And she's not the only one. Ryan takes his own advice and forgives Cate. And so, the search for Cate's missing sock begins because Ryan really doesn't want to deal with Cate's cold feet under the covers. Luckily, the metaphorical Lux and Ryan socks turned up.
Readers, what did you think of Lux's big, emotional reveal? Are you happy that she and Ryan have both come home? Do you really believe that Cate's changed? And what do you make of Baze dating Cate's sister? Sounds like trouble to me and more Cate screaming at Baze next week.
-- Vlada Gelman (Follow my TV musings on Twitter: @stayingin)
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Photo: Baze (Kristoffer Polaha), Cate (Shiri Appleby) and Lux (Brittany Robertson) meet with a social worker. Credit: Jack Rowand / The CW