STORY 1: Alex Goes to Therapy
It's Alex's 16th birthday, but instead of celebrating she has a nervous breakdown (mainly targeted at her cake) because of the stress of school and the upcoming SATs. Alex books a therapist (guest star John Benjamin Hickey), and while she's in her first session, the parents attend the kids' high school open house, where Claire discovers just how much pressure her daughter is under.
Haley (on Alex's angry meltdown): "Whoa, you're being a little…"
Alex: "Obstreperous? Recalcitrant? Truculent?"
Haley: "I was gonna say cray-cray."
Alex: "I wanna see a therapist. I did some research. Dr. Gregory Clark -- highly recommended, specializes in teenagers and is covered by our insurance. I booked a double session with him today, and since you guys have the open house, I will be taking the bus."
Phil: "That sounds good." [Whispering to Claire] "She's like a self-cleaning oven."
Dr. Clark: "What are you thinking?"
Dr. Clark: "No, no, go ahead. Tell me."
Alex: "That maybe you're not up for this. I mean, no offense, you're just a lot older than you look on your website. Did you even have SATs when you were in high school? Or Asian kids?"
STORY 2: Gloria Plays Dodgeball against Dr. Donna
At the school open house, Gloria finds herself at odds with the ultra-competitive "mean girl" mom Dr. Donna Duncan (guest star Jane Krakowski), and the two finally take out their aggression on one another in a game of dodgeball hosted by P.E. teacher Cameron (he's the "Sheriff of Dodge... ball"). While Gloria is looking for a fight, her son is looking for love as Manny and Luke go on a double date with twins.
Cameron: "I'm gonna put the 'Fizz' back in 'Phys Ed.'"
Cameron: "There's a caste system at school: Academic teachers at the top, gym teachers at the bottom. It's offensive and disrespectful. They treat us like we're lunch ladies."
Principal Brown (stopping Cameron from having the parents compete in dodgeball at the school's open house): "Have you seen the shape some of these folks are in? We don't need a parent dropping dead in here. Look, this is the Dolphin Den. I am not renaming it the Harvey K. Mandelbaum Memorial Gym."
Manny: "It's funny. Luke and I don't usually go for the same kind of girl."
Luke: "Yeah, I like to describe my type as gettable."
STORY 3: Mitchell Tries to Out-Green and One-Up His Environmentalist Neighbor
Mitchell gets defensive when he encounters his judgmental, environmentalist neighbor Asher (guest star Jesse Eisenberg). Mitchell tries to impress his neighbor with his environmental award, but his efforts quickly spiral into a series of eco-unfriendly disasters.
Mitchell: "I'm an environmental lawyer, so you know, I'm pretty green."
Asher: "So's your lawn. I went drought-tolerant -- succulents, indigenous plants, rock garden."
Lily: "My other daddy says your yard looks like a litter box."
Asher: "She's a cute kid. I remember when she was in disposable diapers."
Mitchell: "Quick, turn off your car."
Haley: "Why? It's in park, I think."
Mitchell: "I have a judgy, green neighbor. He had the nerve to come over here and tell me I'm not green enough."
Haley: "Shut up! You're super green!"
Mitchell: "Thank you! I'm recycling a dollhouse." [Whispering about Lily] "I even recycled a child."
Mitchell: "I like to think that I'm greener than I am, but maybe I just want the credit without doing all the hard work that you do."
Asher: "Well, you are right. It is hard, but it's also alienating. No one wants to be friends with me. I can't tell you the last time I've had people over for dinner, which is probably a good thing. With solar power it takes four days to roast a chicken."
Asher: "If you want it cooked all the way through, yeah. You know, I had salmonella three times."
Mitchell: "If you want to come over to our house for dinner... we kind of owe you."
Lily: "You can play with my dollhouse."
Asher: "Yeah? Is it made from sustainable materials?"
Lily: "Forget it."
Tale of Three Cities