The M Word
Kristina's mayoral campaign is in full swing, complete with pins, bumper stickers, and canvassing. The whole family pitches in as they patrol the city to win votes, but Bob Little is employing the "cool factor" by blaring music and handing out popsicles. Heather informs Kristina she only has 7 percent of the vote - a statistic almost impossible to overcome. If voters don't fall in love with Kristina after this week's debate, the campaign will officially be finished.
Crosby is blindsided by Jasmine when she informs him that, not only are they buying a minivan, they're trading in his car for it. He rebels to being a minivan dad by day drinking with Ashes of Rome, completely forgetting his family obligations later in the day. The band and Crosby are incapable of driving themselves home, so Jasmine carts them around town and through fast food in the much-mourned minivan. Realizing his pettiness, Crosby decides to fully embrace the convenient minivan lifestyle.
In their first encounter since the massive blowup, Sarah tries to win Amber over with terrible homemade frittata and mimosas. Amber refuses to let her mom off the hook, leading Sarah to admit she doesn't agree with the marriage. When Amber relays the fight to Ryan later, he poses a startling suggestion: what if they eliminated all the drama and eloped at the courthouse? With hardly a thought, Amber agrees.
A courthouse wedding means only two witnesses. Amber invites Drew to be her special witness, but he doesn't understand what that entails. It's a small wedding with only family, right? When Amber informs him he'll be the only family present, Drew declines her invitation. He can't join Amber in hurting Sarah.
Sarah, frustrated with Amber's unwillingness to hear her opinion, lays all her feelings on the table to Camille. The wedding planning catastrophe is entertaining to Camille because the exact same situation happened with Sarah and her ex-husband Seth. Step back or lose your daughter, she cautions. After mulling over the decision, Sarah apologizes to Amber and asks to be part of wedding planning - she doesn't want to miss out on her daughter's life.
Zeek finally seems to warm up to the moving idea, consenting to visit condos. He'll look, but he can't promise he'll like it. As the real estate agent lauds the condo's many extra amenities, Camille perceives Zeek's real feelings - he would hate moving from the large house to a city condo.
Back home, Zeek builds a beautiful fire pit "for Camille," intending to bribe her into staying at the house. It's a losing game for both of them. Camille informs him she's leaving for a pre-planned, month-long trip to Italy with her art class... alone.
Tensions between Julia and Joel are still high and rising when he leaves campaign canvassing to attend to work calls. Julia bribes the kids with video games to join her - but no one is having a good time. Suddenly, a familiar face opens the door: Ed. Shocked, Julia accepts his invitation for a 10-minute campaign pit stop, but 10 minutes quickly turns into an all-day reminiscing session of their glorious employed days.
The kids beg for a fish sticks fix, but Ed decides he and Julia need grown-up food. An elaborate dinner is prepared and it feels almost like a family function... Until Ed's wife walks in the door. The jovial mood changes as Julia realizes how the situation must look and rushes Victor and Sydney out. When they arrive home, Joel surprises them with a delicious home-cooked meal. It's his apology to Julia for bailing on canvassing: "I couldn't do what I'm doing without you."
Heather needles Kristina to be personal during the debate. Talk about your kids, talk about Max's Asperger's! Max is strictly off-limits to Kristina, but the debate brings surprises. Bob Little continues to interrupt Kristina's comments until they hear the audience's questions. A concerned, newly relocated mother asks about how the Berkeley school system will provide for her deaf daughter. Kristina's passion shines as she easily relates to the mother's anxieties. Stepping off the stage to give her personal number and a hug to the mother brings Kristina the campaign push she desperately needed - the newspapers report Kristina wins the debate! The mayoral race officially has another serious contender.