Gary Shepherd and his mom, Aileen Shepherd. Another picture.
Georgann Johnson as Aileen Shepherd; Jeff Perry as David Hall; Lynne Thigpen as Rosie
Gary's mom Aileen comes to visit when Susannah returns to work, and brings the couple to the realization that Gary won't be content as a house dad.
Susannah tears herself away and amidst tons of last minute questions and panicking, returns to work while Gary stays home and takes care of Emma, the baby. At work, Susannah finds out that a local shelter has been purchased and shut down for new development. She's angry and resolves to fight it. Gary meets Melissa at the park, spills some of his frantic questions on her, and they return to the apartment together where Gary's mom, Aileen, has arrived for her visit. When Susannah gets home, she's greeted by Gary and his mother who is wearing an apron and two oven mitts. While dinner is preparing, Gary breaks it to his mom that he's not going back to work. Gary goes over to Hope and Michael's with Emma in tow and Susannah zonks in the car. Hope and Susannah get a little chance to talk and feel horribly guilty about leaving children behind when Hope brings over some baby things, including the awful red dress from Aunt Rifka. Gary, Susannah, and Aileen have dinner and Gary reveals that he was supposed to go to law school after college, but went into the Conservation Corp instead. When his father found out, all he gave Gary for graduation was a compass. The next day, Gary and his mom finally have it out about his father and how disappointed he would've been in Gary. Susannah returns while Gary is out on a walk, and she ends up taking Aileen and Emma back to the office with her. While there, Susannah, faces off with David Hall, the man behind tearing down the shelter. Melissa comes over to drop off a pressure cooker, and she and Gary talk about his increasing discomfort with his role in the house. Gary and Susannah are still having disagreements about what Emma's last name will be, then get into a progressively heated fight about who works harder. Aileen overhears in the next room and when Gary pushes her, she lowers the boom and tells him that he's irresponsible, avoids decisions, and needs to grow up. Privately, Gary expresses his frustrations with the way his mother is, how she defended his father, never fought back, and participates in the dysfunctionality. Aileen shows up down at work (and mysteriously acts like she's never seen the place before, though she had already visited) and tries to apologize to Susannah. Gary goes for a walk in the park and meets up with his mother. He admits how much he still resents his father and that he's trying so hard with Emma because he doesn't want to make the same mistakes. Aileen approves, but returns to the point that she doesn't really think that Gary wants to be staying home, and that somehow makes that like his father--striving so hard to "do the right thing" that he's turning into his father. Susannah returns home, and finds Gary revising his resume. He gently explains that they all have to be happy in the arrangement and that is going to mean him returning to work. Gary also proposes that they simply open the phone book and pick out a last name--Wu and Bovary. Susannah finally agrees to hyphenate their names.
Melissa returns one fingerless glove and a pressure cooker to Gary; Melissa has never met Gary's mother; Gary and Melissa have repaired things enough to kiss on the cheek in parting; Gary has a sister and his father is dead; Aileen hated Gary's girlfriend Katie Harrison; Hope's pregnancy is becoming general knowledge; Gary was a Boy Scout and earned badges in archery and Indian lore; Gary has written an article on "Gilgamesh: the subtext"
Aunt Rifka's red baby dress has appeared in a previously in "nancy's first date."
"Have a nice day at the office, dear." --Gary to Susannah
"Uh-oh. Maybe she'll start dressing like Aileen. Then she'll join the Junior League, and who knows, she might even eat meat." --Michael
"You were blunt. I happen to like blunt." --Susannah
- Once again, the thirtysomething captains wax unbelievably sappy over the birth of a child. Agreed, it's a moving experience, but in the world of thirtysomething it seems to turn intelligent people into raving idiots.
- Explain to me just how in the world Gary and Susannah are surviving since he doesn't have a job, she's a social worker, and they have so many bills from the baby.
- And what is it with the constant cracks about Susannah being a vegetarian? No decent social radical would think it's so weird. This is a glaring inconsistency.
- Susannah is quite good at showing deep concern for people, but her lack of patience with surface trivialities gives her a hard-edged appearance. The contradiction is nice and refreshing in this instance.
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