To Mend or Repair
To distract Katrina from some devastating personal news, Eugene tries to find a way to keep her busy. Meanwhile, Barrett gives Priscilla a special honor -- reading the pledge of allegiance on the morning announcements.
Eugene Meltsner is keeping himself busy with lots of various tasks at Whit's End. Connie Kendall is worried about him and pressures John Whittaker (Whit) into asking Eugene what's on his mind. Meanwhile, Barrett Jones is the new 'Voice of the School' and he wants Priscilla Peterson to help him on his first broadcast by reciting the pledge of allegiance to the rest of the school. She agrees to his request.
Back at Whit's End, Whit is working on Thomas Jefferson's portrait in the Gallery. Connie comes down after seeing Eugene leave the building and asks Whit what he found out. After some prompting, Whit tells her that Eugene and Katrina have just learned that they can't have children.
Eugene goes home to find his wife, Katrina Meltsner watching TV. Eugene tries to encourage her to do something besides watching fishing. He decides to try to find an activity that they can do together. He takes a book to the library, and fixes on finding an activity there. At the library, Eugene talks to Mrs. Kramer about town activities. Eugene looks through the list, hearing Mrs. Kramer's comments on each. He decides on a book club and signs Katrina and himself up for it.
The day morning, Barrett begins the morning announcements, and has Priscilla lead the pledge. She begins and then messes it up. Barrett finishes the pledge for Priscilla and then continues with the announcements. Later, Barrett tries to comfort Priscilla. Jay approaches them and teases Priscilla. Barrett tries to think of something that will help Priscilla, she tries to get him to just be there for her, but he wants to do more. He runs off saying that he has a plan.
Eugene and Katrina go to the book club. After some brief discussion on the book, they decide the book club isn't what they need at this time and leave. Back at the school, Barrett asks Jay if he'll join him to do the announcements the next day. After some convincing, Jay agrees to help him.
At Whit's End, Eugene and Whit are working on Thomas Jefferson. Eugene and Whit talk about Katrina and their loss. Whit explains that experiencing pain and loss isn't something we can fix. Whit suggests that Eugene talk to Katrina about his pain. Whit uses the story of Mary and Martha to illustrate how Eugene has been running around all over and hasn't been taking the time to just be there for Katrina.
Later, Connie goes to the library and joins Priscilla to hear the poetry reading. Priscilla explains what Barrett is trying to do for her, and that she really doesn't want Barrett's help. She wants Barrett's help by just being there for her. Mrs. Kramer reads the first poem of the night called "100 Things I hate". Connie and Priscilla decide to leave soon after.
The next morning, Jay helps Barrett by doing the flag and the announcements. Barrett set Jay up, by having him read various tongue twister sounding announcements. Later, Barrett tells Priscilla that he lost the job because everybody loved Jay. Priscilla explains that she didnt want that kind of help and that all she ever wanted was a milkshake and time to just talk. Barrett finally decides to understand and they do just that.
Eugene goes home to be with Katrina. They grieve and talk together.
- How did Eugene try to help Katrina through her grief?
- Did Barrett do the right thing for Priscilla?
- Have you ever done something for a friend that they didn't want you to do?
- How could you have better helped them?
- This episode has significant connection to The Ties That Bind (Saga).
- In this episode, Mrs. Kramer states she hates cats. However, in #694: “Anger Mismanagement”, she has a cat, and Wooton brings her favorite cat sweater to her.
- In the episode The Malted Milkball Falcon, Priscilla states she is allergic to chocolate, but in this episode Barrett orders her a chocolate milk shake.
QuotesEugene Meltsner: Butter churning?
Mrs. Kramer: Well, you have to own your own cow.
Eugene Meltsner: Book Club?
Mrs. Kramer: Boring!
Eugene Meltsner: Well, is it fiction or non-fiction?
Mrs. Kramer: Well, the books are fiction; the boredom is very non-fiction.
Eugene Meltsner: Well, none the less, I'd like to sign up for that...is there a form?
Mrs. Kramer: Well, I can't talk you out of it?
Eugene Meltsner: No.
Mrs. Kramer: Fill this out.
Eugene Meltsner: Part of your job here at the library is encouraging community involvement?
Mrs. Kramer: Right! Absolutely.
Eugene Meltsner: That raise should be right around the proverbial corner.
Mrs. Kramer: A hundred things I hate, by Mrs. Kramer. Mosquitoes. Poems that don't rhyme. Flimsy supermarket lettuce. My far-sighted dentist. My near-sighted hair dresser. Cats. Valentines gifts with no candy. Children laughing.
Priscilla Peterson: There are a hundred of these?
Mrs. Kramer: Vacuuming. The channel five weather man--you know, the one with the big teeth?
Connie Kendall: Yeah, I think it's time to go.
Mrs. Kramer: People who leave in the middle of poetry readings. Love songs. Democracy.
Priscilla Peterson: Connie, is there a way to tell someone that you don't want him to help the way that he thinks he should help, but that you'd rather that he'd help in a way that really would help?
Connie Kendall: Sure...what?
Katrina Meltsner: I was just praying. That you would be here, sitting with me, crying with me, holding my hand. And here you are. The answer to my prayer.
Jay Smouse: Gimme back those cards! Next up, Mark Morgan's message to all math maniacs in the middle school is meaningful if you mingle by the mezzanine for a momentous mix of methodological mayhem and a menagerie of multiplicative inversions. Ha ha! I bet I could say this backwards. Inversions multiplicative of menagerie a and mayhem methodological...
Katrina Meltsner: Eugene?
Eugene Meltsner: Yes?
Katrina Meltsner: Can you hold me? Just for a little while?
Eugene Meltsner: For as long as you need.