724. The Show Must Go On
Aired May 18, 2016
When Brick's song is cut from his upcoming graduation ceremony, Frankie makes it her mission to ensure he won't be left out. When Axl starts a job as a kids' counselor at a club, he finds himself being taunted by a younger version of himself. Meanwhile, Sue fears she'll have to skip Brick's graduation so she can get to Dollywood on time.
Quote from Frankie
Principal Carson: Is there a problem out here?
Frankie: I'm sorry, but I can no longer keep silent. You can't do this. Every year, the kids can just perform. Now all of a sudden, there's secret drawings and fuzzy math and interrogations without a parent present. It's ridiculous.
Principal Carson: Look, I understand you're upset, and I know every parent cares about their kid.
Frankie: Oh, that's where you're wrong! I don't! I forget to pack their lunches. I put stars on calendars and can't remember what they're for. I'm not a helicopter parent. I'm a couch! I'm a self-driving couch that just watches TV. So I think that when a parent who has a history of sucking as much as I do takes the time to show up, you better stand up and take notice! I am cramming 10 years of not caring into this one fight. My kid is gonna sing at that ceremony, or I will burn this place to the ground!
Quote from Frankie
Frankie: [bell dinging rapidly] I need to speak to the principal, so you better get him or her out here right now. [dinging continues]
Quote from Sue
Sue: [Southern accent] If y'all would just step right this way, Aunt Granny would be durned pleased [British accent] to show you to your eatin' spot. [normal voice] How was that? I feel like sometimes my southern slips into British.
Axl: Didn't notice. I don't hear your voice. Spent my whole life training myself to block it out.
Sue: Okay, well, I got to lock this thing down before I leave for Dollywood on Sunday. Here, let me try one more.
Frankie: Do you have to go for the whole summer? Don't leave me with all these boys. I'm gonna miss you.
Sue: Mm. [British accent] I'll miss you, too, Mum. [normal voice] Seriously?
Quote from Mike
Mike: What's with Charlie Brown over there?
Frankie: You're not gonna believe this. Brick's not allowed to sing at graduation anymore because the school suddenly decided too many kids signed up.
Mike: [scoffs] Everybody thinks they're a star. When I was a kid, you couldn't have paid anyone to sing.
Quote from Brad
Brad: First, I called the main line, and they connected me with Eric from HR.
Sue: Oh, human resources.
Brad: I knew just any old story wasn't gonna fly, so I used my improv training, and I really went for it.
Sue: He said that it was vital that I be there for Brick's graduation because we have a very special brother-sister relationship, a very unique brother-sister bond, and that I am the only one he lets change his breathing tube.
Brad: [laughs] That one just came to me at the last minute. It's called "raising the stakes."
Quote from Frankie
Frankie: Hey. Maybe we should do something to send you off. You go Sunday, right? Maybe we can do something Saturday. Ooh. Mike, let's do a thing for Sue on Saturday. Let's see. Do we have anything? Oh. Wait, I put a star there. Do you know what that is?
Mike: I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's something we didn't pay for that's gonna get cut off. Well, anyway, we're doing a thing Saturday, so don't make any plans. Anybody got any questions?
Brick: I have a question. Was anyone planning on coming to my graduation?
Frankie: What? [chuckles] Duh. O-Of course we are. Why do you think I put a star on this Saturday? I put it there for you, Mr. Eighth Grade Graduate Star Boy, and I'm gonna put another one right next to it because you are the star of Saturday.
Brick: Really? 'Cause it seemed like you were talking about a big celebration for Sue.
Frankie: No, no, no, no, no. Not big. Minor. We were just trying to see if we could fit her big day into your bigger day, but we probably can't, right, guys?
Quote from Brick
Brick: Good, 'cause I signed up to do a performance at the ceremony and I kind of thought you'd all be there. I'm singing a song.
Sue: What? So I don't get a...
Frankie: [snaps fingers] Singing? Wow!
Brick: It occurred to me that I've never really had my moment in the sun. You know, like in novels when the main character embarks on the hero's journey and he faces all kinds of obstacles, but ultimately has his moment in the sun. I guess I thought being valedictorian would be it, but then my girlfriend stole that from me, so I signed up for a talent. I'm really excited about it.
Frankie: And we're excited, too. That's why I'm gonna put a musical note right next to the two stars I put there for your graduation.
Quote from Brad
Sue: I am so excited, Brad. I can't believe two kids from Orson would actually make it all the way to Pigeon Forge. [chuckles]
Brad: Oh, slight snafu but happy accident... We have to be there Saturday, not Sunday.
Sue: Oh, that's a big snafu, Brad. Brick's graduation is on Saturday.
Brad: Oh, I'm so, so sorry. I was looking at last year's Lady Gaga calendar, not this year's, so I got my days mixed up. I just couldn't take last year's down. Nobody puts Gaga in a wastebasket.
Sue: This is bad, Brad. What are we supposed to do?
Brad: We? I'm a featured ensemble dancer in "Ramblin' Jack's Banjo Review" and I have a show Saturday.
Sue: Oh, my God. You're right. I'm just Aunt Granny. If I don't show up, they can literally put anyone in the wig and glasses and replace me. I mean, obviously I am gonna bring something special to showing people to their table, but they don't know that yet.
Brad: My God, this is so dramatic. I hate drama. I mean, I love drama, but not this drama. You know, Brick's only in eighth grade, right? That's not even a big graduation. Do you have to be there? I mean, this is Dollywood, Sue. Two years ago, a guy from one of the shows was tapped to understudy a spoon in the touring company of Beauty and the Beast.
Quote from Frankie
Frankie: The whole thing seems fishy to me. I mean, 15 kids sign up, and, all of a sudden, they only have room for nine acts? And what nine? A random nine, or the nine with the parents who volunteer and actually show up? I'm telling you, it's fuzzy math.
Mike: Oh, well.
Frankie: It's not fair, Mike. It's not fair that they're pulling the rug out from under him at the last minute like this. We got to do something.
Mike: Do we? Do we really? We're so close to the end. Maybe we could just let this one go.
Frankie: No. We always do that when it comes to Brick. He always gets the short end of the stick. We float his birthday. We drive off and leave him at restaurants. Remember how we used to mark Sue and Axl's height on the wall? We did it like one or two times with Brick, and that was it. And who knows? Maybe that's why he didn't get any taller. 'Cause we stopped marking it. [sighs] We're awful, Mike. We're awful, awful parents.
Mike: We're not awful, awful. We're just regular awful.
Frankie: No. You saw him. He was really upset, and I don't blame him. You know what? I'm going down to the school. [Mike groans] You think I want to go down there? I'm the last person that wants to go down there. I'm not a "going down there" person. But this is important. This might be the last shot we have to do right by our kid while he's young enough to still need us, and we have to have his back.
Mike: Hang on. You're a little worked up, and we don't know exactly what happened here, so how about I go down there and try to straighten this thing out?
Frankie: Ooh, yes. Good thinking. It'll be scarier coming from a man. And don't forget to tell them Brick was really looking forward to performing, and remind them that I brought fruit salad to the school fair. Or was that Axl's class? Don't mention the fruit salad!
Quote from Sue
Sue: [sweetly] Hey, Brick. Mm! So, I can't believe you're graduating, huh? Big day. Big day. Of course, not as big as your high-school graduation, which I will definitely be there for. You know, Brick, I have always felt like you and I have had a special connection.
Sue: Definitely. I feel like we're super-close. It seems like just yesterday you were my little baby brother. Mm.
[montage of Sue and Brick moments to upbeat music]
Frankie: [interrupts] No, no, no. Nice try, but I already told you you're not missing your brother's graduation.
Sue: But if I miss my first day, they could fire me! Okay, you know what seems the most fair is if we let Brick decide. Brick?
Brick: I sat through three showings of The Loneliest Locker. I want you there.