S02xE01 – Tessa has returned to Chatswin after spending the summer with her newfound grandmother in Manhattan. George is excited for Tessa to be home, but when he learns of her new interest in her mother and her music, his excitement turns to disappointment. Tessa’s determined to learn a song her mother wrote and to play it at the Fall Follies. A festival that celebrates the closing of summer. It’s basically a huge talent show for the town. Tessa spends the next few days practicing her big part, and with no help from Dalia, gets discouraged and convinces herself that she’s no good. It takes George to see that she’s given up to come around and encourage her to perform.
Meanwhile Dallas, Dalia and Noah are at odds over Carmen the maid. Noah wants Carmen to leave Dallas and work for him taking care of his new little one while his wife is out on a book tour. Dallas wants Carmen to stay working for her and continue to take care of Dalia. So Noah wages a war with Dallas by sending extravagant gifts to Carmen in the form of teddy bears, cruise tickets and lemon bars. Dallas has managed to bypass Carmen and burn all the gifts except the lemon bars; those just got tastier with the heat. Carmen catches Dallas in the act of burning the lemon bars, and walks out. She finds refuge at George’s house where Dallas and Noah hunt her down to beg some more. George has a good talking to both of them informing them they are acting like children, and Carmen deserves better. So Dallas and Noah opt for a game of Rock Paper Scissors to decide who gets her, and Noah wins. But does Carmen know that?
Over at the Shay house Lisa has decided to wage her own war with her mother regarding their performance at the Fall Follies. Ryan always gets to be the main attraction, but Lisa wants that spot this year. So she tries to leverage with her mother by threatening to tell Ryan he’s adopted. This works, and she gets the lead part. Ryan isn’t happy, but Lisa finds that this piece of information could get her far, and begins to get drunk with power. So Sheila decides she’s going to do a bit of her own leveraging and threaten Lisa with the fact that if Ryan finds out he’s adopted then he will go looking for his birth parents and leave Lisa all alone with her. Lisa lost this round. The family decides that the adoption is best left kept a secret and so they burn down the shed which held all the information. You know because all families hide their secrets in a shed.
In the end we get to see Tessa perform the song her mother wrote, and lo and behold it’s the song that opens the series every week. How cute.
Best of the episode: Tessa’s yearning to feel a connection with her mother, even though she abandoned Tessa as a baby and is now off in Europe somewhere. There’s always that need to connect to family, so you can’t blame her for trying.
Worst of the episode: The Shay’s black cat costumes for the Fall Follies. It was very disturbing.
Where did this episode leave us?: Getting an idea that Tessa’s mother is going to resurface sometime soon. It seems like it should happen.
Best one-liner: Tessa replying to George about what the best part of living with her grandmother for the summer was – “Probably how early she goes to bed.”
What the episode ruined for us: Black Cat Costumes
– a la Chryshele