Melissa & Joey Toxic Parents
Melissa & Joey
June 5, 2013
As the episode begins, Mel and Joe discuss how well they’ve been getting along, lately, and reach the conclusion that it’s because they’re both dating new people and those relationships are completely separate. Both of their new people are single parents, and both of them consider these to be very “grown-up” relationships. When her date arrives, he has his son with him, since the boy’s mother didn’t arrive to pick him up when she was scheduled to do so. So, Mel and the man, Eric, go on the date with the little boy. The son, Daniel, is a bit…aggressive with her, and she doesn’t really look forward to seeing him again.
It doesn’t take long for our duo to realize that the woman that Joe is dating, Lauren, is none other than Daniel’s Mom! Suddenly, their nice, separate relationships are not so separate. At first, they try to ignore it, but they quickly discover that it’s simply not possible, since they both want to side with their half of a bitterly divorced couple. Joe suggests that Mel should break up with Eric, but she quickly refuses. They’re at an impasse.
While Mel and Joe try to navigate their complex and tangled relationships, Lennox and Ryder are up to their own mischief. While he tries desperately to find motivation to do schoolwork without school (which he finds that he desperately misses, now that he isn’t allowed to go), she finds herself having an argument with her boyfriend, Xander, over whether girls should get tattoos or not. Upon seeing him design a tattoo for his friend, Lennox asks him to make one for her, too. He refuses, telling her that nice girls don’t get tattoos, because they look trashy on girls.
Rather than dissuading her, this only sends Lennox on a war path. She goes to Mel for advice, asking her if a girl should let a guy tell her what to do, provided nothing illegal was involved. Mel tells her that she’s a smart girl and can make her own choices. So…she goes to the tattoo parlor, seeking the best fit for “trashy-lite” that she can find. Xander arrives just in time to stop her from getting the one that she selected. He tells her that he decided that she’s right – she should be able to do what she wants. He just thought that she would like a tattoo designed by him, more than one found in a stock book.
When Lauren and Eric both arrive with Daniel at the Burke house, it sends Mel and Joe into a frenzy to prove that they’re better for the child, and that they thus better deserve to keep their relationship. They end up taking Daniel to the park while the parents stay at the house to discuss pick-up schedules. At the park, they find him much more irritating than they planned. He asks to play with Mel’s antique watch, then throws it down the storm drain. She and Joe both try to reach it, then Joe finally lowers Daniel down to get it for them. Of course…then he can’t get him back out. So they call the fire department, and while they’re waiting Daniel asks to play with her phone. Eric calls while he has it, and they arrive just in time to see him pulled from the drain.
Declaring that Mel and Joe are unfit people, let alone parents, they dump them and storm off with Daniel. Mel and Joe return home, trying to convince themselves that they are, in fact, good parents. It seems that they might be wrong when Lennox shows them her new tattoo, but when she explains that Xander drew it on her with ink that would go away in a month, they feel reassured. They are good parents.
Meanwhile, Ryder’s been working on his school situation. He solves his problem by devoting his art project to constructing a school for himself in the garage. Things are looking up for the clan, as the episode comes to a close.