Eugene and Buck are driving through Odyssey, with Buck at the wheel. Eugene commends Buck on how quickly he’s learned how to drive, then apologizes for the way his birthday turned out: rainy. Buck’s glad he brought that up – he wants to test for his actual license now. Eugene ponders it, then says he’ll set up an appointment later in the week. Buck says he already made one for today! Eugene consents, and the two drive over to the DMV.
Meanwhile, Connie and Jules climb into Connie’s car, and Connie shows Jules the key. “Key.” Second, she tells Jules the first thing she should do when she enters a car: put her seatbelt on. Finally, she tells her that to start the car, the key goes away from you. Connie explains the pedals to Jules, then has her shift into ‘Drive.’ The car starts to move, but suddenly Connie starts to get nervous and jumpy, and her voice becomes shrill. She yelps that Jules’ hands should be at 10:00 and 2:00 on the wheel, and once Jules fixes it, Connie tells Jules to slow down. Suddenly, she screams, “Left! Pedal on the left!” When Jules brakes, Connie calms down and tells Jules about the stop sign coming up… half a block away. They then decide to quit for the day.
At Whit's End, Connie tells Jules that even though she freaked out, she’s an excellent instructor – just ask Eugene. The two are chilling out with root beer floats when Eugene walks in and announces the arrival of the newest legal driver in Odyssey: Buck! According to the test administrator, Buck was the best driving student he’d ever seen. After congratulating Buck, Jules leaves to take a walk around the park, and Buck goes with her. Eugene takes this opportunity to remind Connie about the surprise birthday party he’s planning for Buck that night. He says that Buck’ll be surprised, since he gave Buck a sham celebration earlier to “steer him off track” of the real one. He reminds Connie that she should yell “Surprise!” along with everyone else, not by herself, as she’s done at all of the other surprise parties they’ve attended. Connie denies that she yelled it on purpose, but says she’ll try for this time.
While walking, Jules begs Buck to teach her how to drive. Buck doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but says they can ask. Jules disagrees; if they ask, Connie will say no, but if they don’t ask, she can’t say no. All she wants is for Buck to get her to the point where she’s comfortable behind the wheel, so that she doesn’t mess up every time Connie screams. Buck mulls it over.…
Katrina walks through the front door at Whit’s End and, after making sure the coast is clear, begins to talk details about the party… and the puppy. Connie recommends they sort out the party first, so Katrina confirms that everything’s prepared, the food’s ready, and all thirty guests are confirmed. She then shows Connie pictures of the kind of puppy she wants, a Cocker Spaniel. It’s not Buck’s present; it’s really for herself. Connie says that she didn’t know they wanted a puppy. “One of us does,” Eugene replies.
Meanwhile, Jules is driving and Buck is encouraging her. They decide to head back to Whit’s End and work on parallel parking. Jules says that Eugene did a pretty good job of teaching him, but Buck says that he’d been driving since he was eleven. He learned how to drive tractors, food trucks, and cars for Mr. Skint as soon as he was big enough to; although, he hasn’t told Eugene about it yet. Buck just played along so that Eugene wouldn’t feel bad. Jules pulls into a spot next to the dumpster at Whit’s End, and turns to listen to Buck. Buck says he needs to explain before they start— and then the car starts rolling! Jules slams on the pedal… the wrong pedal. There’s a crash, and the two find themselves in a wrecked car next to a damaged Whit’s End. Next thing they know, Connie runs up, yelling at both of them, and drags them out to see the damage. Panicking, Jules runs off.
Connie gets into Whit’s car and takes Eugene with her, and the two drive through town to try to find Jules. Eugene says that he’s dismayed that Buck would circumvent Connie’s authority by teaching Jules himself; he’ll have a word with him later. Since the two have not spotted Jules yet, they think about where she might be. Eugene suggests the mall, and Connie drops him off at his house while she goes to check. After a talk with Katrina, Eugene and her decide that they should revoke Buck’s license indefinitely and immediately. Buck can’t believe it, saying that the suspension would be better if it started tomorrow, because he has somewhere he needs to go tonight, though he won’t say where. Katrina says that, as Buck’s foster parents, it would be best if they started it now. Buck retorts by yelling that he’d already been driving for five years; Eugene didn’t teach him anything. He storms out of the house, leaving Eugene and Katrina quite confused.
Buck heads to Whit’s End, where he finds Jules hiding in a secret part of the train room, behind the caboose. The two had found the hiding place earlier and decided to keep it a secret. Jules says that she’s planning on staying there as long as necessary, or at least until Connie isn’t mad anymore. She asks Buck why he has a cute but concerning “pondering” look on his face. He replies that he’s fine; it’s about the argument he had with Eugene and Katrina. He says he’s probably in even more trouble for walking out – and did Jules say he was cute? Jules suggests he just go back home and talk to them, but Buck says he’s ruined things. He tells Jules about the argument, and another thing – he saw his social worker’s card on the table. He’s going to have to leave. There’s something he has to do. When Jules asks what, all Buck does is give an envelope for her to give to Connie. It’s better if Jules does it herself, since she and Connie need to talk anyway. “I’ll be seeing you,” Buck says. Jules replies, “Will you?” to no answer from Buck as he exits.
Meanwhile, a distressed Connie informs Eugene about her unsuccessful search at the mall. She called Whit, and he told her to wait at home while he and some others scour the town. She’s thinking about calling the police. Eugene says that Buck might tell where Jules is, even though he’s a bit upset with Eugene at the moment. And Eugene’s happy about that; it means that Buck isn’t being careful and reserved and untrusting around Eugene and Katrina, and that he might be beginning to trust him. Just then, Jules walks in the door. After greeting her, Eugene runs off to the phone to call Whit. Jules apologizes to Connie and is forgiven. After that, she hands over Buck’s envelope. Connie opens it and finds money! An attached note says it’s from Buck, and if it’s not enough, he’ll send more. Eugene returns from the phone to tell the pair about his conversation. Whit said that while at the bus station looking for Jules, he saw Buck boarding a bus. After Jules says that she remembers Buck telling her that he had to leave, Eugene asks her to tell him, what exactly did he say.…
At the Meltsners’, Eugene emails a picture of Buck to the bus station attendant, who tells Eugene over the phone that Buck did board a 2:00 bus to Connellsville. Jules asks Katrina why the social worker’s card was out. Katrina says that she needed to know whether or not to report the accident to Buck’s parole officer. Eugene comes up with a plan – since Buck’s party guests will be arriving soon, he should divide them into teams to search Connellsville, with one person leading each team. “I’ll go!” comes a voice out of nowhere: Buck’s voice! Everyone is surprised! Buck says he can help find Jules, and he even knows where… and then he sees her standing there. Never mind. Eugene and Connie ask where he was, and why he went to Connellsville. Buck’s answer is to pull out a puppy he was hiding, to Katrina’s delight! He explains that he wanted to get it from the breeder in Connellsville as a surprise, and that’s why he was upset when his license was taken away. Buck apologizes, and Eugene says he and Katrina will discuss his consequence later, but it’s alright for the time being, as the puppy is quite a surprise. At the word surprise, Connie yells, “Speaking of surprises, happy birthday!” By herself. Connie gets the cake, Jules gets the balloons, and Katrina holds the puppy. Buck doesn’t understand: a birthday party? But he lost his temper, yelled at Eugene, and ran away. They still remember, but, as Eugene says, “It’s ‘all good’.” The party begins.
Heard in episode
|Eugene Meltsner||Will Ryan|
|Buck Oliver||Robby Bruce|
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
|Jules Kendall||Shona Rodman|
|Katrina Meltsner||Audrey Wasilewski|
Mentioned in episode
|John Whittaker||Eugene Meltsner|
|Jason Whittaker||Eugene Meltsner|
|Jebidiah Skint||Buck Oliver|
|Olivia Parker||Eugene Meltsner|
|Renee Carter||Eugene Meltsner|
|Beaulah Kramer||Eugene Meltsner|
- This whole episode takes place in one day.
- The first scene between Jules and Connie greatly parallels #194: “A License to Drive”.
- Connie mentions that she taught Eugene how to drive.
- Nathan Hoobler wrote the title of this episode.
- Connie and Eugene mention seeing Olivia Parker, Renee Carter, and Mrs. Kramer while driving though Odyssey.
- Jules mentions her credit card debt from #828: “Friend or Foe”.
- Jules admits that she thinks Buck has a cute look.
- Connie says to Jules, "Hold on, nobody's having a baby," referencing the end of #194: “A License to Drive”
- There are no quotes listed for this episode. ».
- There are no discussion questions listed for this episode. »