Last night, I learned a few things while watching GCB. First of all, I’ve been misspelling Boobylicious, so my apologies on that. I discovered that church fundraisers are much more high profile events than galas like the Longhorn Ball. I determined that Sheryl Crow looks better than ever. (Seriously. Is there a creepy portrait locked away somewhere?) And last, I found that the show seems to be getting a little better, don’t you think? Let’s recap.
The episode—entitled “Forbidden Fruit”—opens with Amanda on her way to the funeral of poor Aunt Bitsy, who, you will remember, choked on a rib last week and died. Amanda’s (breakfast?) shift ran late at Boobylicious, so she’s driving the Mercedes SUV fast. Despite the high speeds, a bee enters the car, and she immediately enters negotiations: “I’m a worker bee, too. I won’t hurt you if you don’t hurt me,” she pleads. Although she avoids getting stung, she crashes into another Mercedes.
Rattled, Amanda gets out of the car to make sure the other driver is okay. Not only is he fine, he’s also very handsome. And he’s not wearing pants. Or underwear. He is, however, wearing socks and shoes. He explains that he had a prior accident—one involving a spilled cup of coffee—which has led to his near nude state. In addition to a buff body, our mysterious guest star also boasts a photographic memory. He refuses to write down any of Amanda’s contact information, but instead commits it to memory. “I’m amazing,” he says by way of explanation as he drives away. Amazing as his memory is, he’s less mindful of his laundry—he forgets his pants in the middle of the street.
Amanda finally arrives to the church, where Gigi and her updo are waiting in a pew. Carlene is annoyed—not only has her aunt died—but frenemy Crickett is singing “Amazing Grace.” And she’s really going for it. “Your mom is amazing. She doesn’t even sound like a white woman,” a friend of her daughter remarks.
After the funeral, Burl takes a break from mourning and makes a move on Gigi. She is incensed.
Meanwhile, the pantsless man reappears in a choir robe. It turns out his name is Luke, and he is Carlene’s little brother who lives in Austin. (The church sign is starting to make sense. It says, “Reach for forbidden fruit, get in a jam.”) Luke remembers Amanda from high school days when she dumped mud on Carlene, and surprisingly, he’s cool with it. Of his sister, he says, “She’s a judgmental piece of work. I’m just a piece of work.”
In other parts of the church, Sharon is finding fulfillment in her work for the pastor—even though she’s not very good at it. She can only type 12 words a minute, and she types the wrong words. (She prepares a baptism sermon for the funeral.) Despite her shortcomings, she feels relevant at church. When we see the way her family treats her, we understand why. As she’s cleaning up after the funeral, her husband tosses crumpled bulletins at her head. Her daughter, McKinney, is just generally hateful. I would never go home either.
Later, Gigi arrives at Burl’s house. It seems he has gifted her with a first-class ticket to Paris. Gigi explains that she can’t go because it wouldn’t be proper and people would talk. “Dallas can’t talk about things they can’t see,” Burl reasons. He argues that life is short, and that the two shouldn’t waste time worrying about propriety. Gigi relents. “Fine, but no Paris. Tonight. Dinner. Come after sundown under the cloak of darkness. See you at 8,” she says.
Back at the church, the fundraising committee meets to figure out a way to raise $3 million. Cricket and Carlene assign women to various tasks and fight about who exactly should entertain. Carlene wants to do it, but the year before, someone had a seizure and lost a tongue during her performance. The pastor suggests they do a duet, which they do not like. Guess what they like less? The fact that Heather has been called “the most powerful woman in Dallas” and a “numbers whiz.” And after Heather rather obviously suggests that the way to make some cash is to get some corporate donors, Carlene and Cricket wish her well and tell her that she should chair the event.
Absent from the drama, Amanda is hanging out at home when the doorbell rings. It’s Luke with “20 grand worth of champagne”—a gift from Burl to Gigi for the impending dinner party. During the visit, Luke extends an invitation of his own—he wants to take Amanda to dinner. While Amanda hesitates, he gives his argument: “You totaled my car. You saw me naked. I think this is a natural progression of things.” She didn’t actually see him totally naked, and he merely lost a tail light, but that’s just semantics, and Amanda agrees.
A few seconds after Luke’s departure, Carlene arrives with a huge pair of garden shears. She reminds Amanda of yet another charming memory from high school—Carlene was 40 pounds heavier at the time, and Amanda had the physics class do some horrible calculation that involved Carlene’s bottom. She also forbids Amanda to go out with her “troubled” brother. Quoting Glinda the Good Witch (whom Chenoweth played in Wicked. She won a Tony!), Amanda says, “You have no power here.” and sends her away.
Things in Sharon’s life aren’t getting much better. Favorite son Bozeman—she calls him Bozie—has once again been expelled from boarding school. The problem? Bozie has trouble keeping his hands—and other body parts—to himself. But his parents are far from angry. In fact, they make excuses for him. “Boys got lady killer in his blood,” father Zach explains. With his arrival, Sharon is torn. She has duties to attend to at the church but she can’t abandon her boy. “Mama, I’ve been dreamin’ about [some dish],” the young Lothario whines. While all of this is happening, we understand why daughter McKinney is so terrible. Her parents ignore her in the presence of the the great Boze.
Night falls, and it’s time for the hot dates. Luke arrives to take Amanda to dinner. He is wearing jeans. She is not. Embarrassed, she offers to change, but he tells her he’s taking her to his “favorite place,” a place where “anything goes.” Obviously, the place is Boobylicious. Amanda confesses that she works there, and he starts solving some mysteries. “Are you the one who humiliated my sister about owning this place in church?” he asks. When Amanda says that she is indeed the one, he says, “I love you.” And then they dance.
While Luke and Amanda dip the night away, Gigi and Burl are finishing up a nice meal, and Burl is ready for the next course. For some reason, he wants to take his dessert in the front yard. Afraid of what the neighbors might think, Gigi opts for disguises. She dons a Red Riding Hood cape and gives Burl an Elmer Fudd cap. After going undercover, the two make out in the bushes.
Unbeknownst to them, Carlene is across the street, spying on what she thinks are costumed couple Luke and Amanda. She busts up the makeout session by calling in neighborhood security. Why is this important? Well, Carlene later uses it to blackmail Amanda. She threatens to tell everyone about Gigi and Burl if Amanda continues to go out with Luke. Amanda—who incidentally, is painting her nails on a copy of the December 2010 issue of D Magazine—reluctantly agrees to end things with Luke.
It’s finally time for the big fundraiser, and here’s where it all goes down. Thanks to her rich and successful boyfriend, Heather manages to book Sheryl Crow for the big show, and the $3 million is raised in an instant. Her boyfriend ultimately dumps her, so that’s a shame.
In other party news, Zach and Sharon have it out. He accuses her of being attracted to the minister. She responds that something like that would be the “HOV lane to hell.” She also finds out Bozeman wasn’t kicked out of school, but that Zach pulled him out in order to make Sharon stay at home. Unfortunately, no one can control the kid. Boze steals Sharon’s car and sexes up Cricket’s daughter on Sheryl Crow’s tour bus. So the pastor makes some decisions for the family—he fires Sharon and tells Zach to take some control and pull his family together. Everything’s solved, praise Jesus!
Later, while special guest star Sheryl takes five, Gigi goes onstage. Having discovered that her daughter sacrificed a possible relationship with Mr. Indecent Exposure, she decides to do some confessing. Grabbing the mike, she talks of grabbing the bull by the horns, doing what you want to do, and so forth. Then she kisses Burl. “That was kind of hot,” Sheryl Crow muses.
Inspired, Amanda leaves the party to apologize to Luke. “Would you believe me if I said it was all Carlene’s fault?” she asks. The two shake hands and then kiss.
Now I’m off to read Mad Men recaps. So long!