This episode brought the whole family together for Lily’s birthday party. However, this included DeDe, Claire and Mitch’s psychotic mother. Whenever she comes into town, she pretty much drops a nuclear bomb on the entire family. This time she brought over Claire’s old boyfriend, Rob, more commonly known as Matt Dillon, for dinner the night before the birthday party. At first, Claire thinks her Mom is sabotaging her marriage (again) but we find out that she is in fact dating Rob!
Meanwhile Cam and Mitch are preparing for Lily’s princess birthday party. Cam, as always, wants to dress up as a clown with comically large feet for Lily’s birthday, which Mitch is having none of. Gloria, Jay and Manny prepare for the party by buying Lily pretty much the cutest gift ever: an electronic book in which you can record your own narration. Then, Jay realizes that Gloria doesn’t want to go to the birthday party because she always gets in a fight with DeDe, which prompts her to take a Xanax to ease her personal tension.
At the birthday party, everything pretty much hits the fan. Claire confronts DeDe about dating her ex-boyfriend and bringing him to the family birthday party. Meanwhile, Gloria creates quite a fuss at the party as she stumbles around drunk on tequila and high on Xanax and life, happily mingling with her husband’s demonic ex-wife. DeDe finally admits to Jay that she was insecure about coming back home because she felt as if she had led an unimportant life. Just as we think she finally reaches a more normal level of sanity, she proceeds to attack Gloria with panther-like agility, and we realize that DeDe’s hatred of her ex-husband’s new wife continues with full force.
The family’s reaction to the DeDe tornado headed their way. Phil braced all of the children for the event of Claire’s breakdown.
Alex’s cello music (pretty much the Jaws theme song) as the soundtrack to the arrival of DeDe at the family home.
Everything that Shelley Long (DeDe) does in every episode she’s in. Her portrayal as the half-hippie, half-neurotic mom is perfect, and her relationship with Claire is priceless.
Cam as Fizbo the clown, turned Fizbo the Court Jester in order to fit with the theme of the Princess Party.
Gloria attempting to make animal voices for the book that the family is giving to Lily. When she tried to make the deep voice of a bear, I almost fell out of my seat in laughter.
“I think it’s sweet. Love is beautiful, it has no age. When it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. That is the question.” — Gloria, on DeDe’s relationship with Rob
“She was a little nervous so she took her first Xanax and washed it down with a shot of tequila.” — Jay
“Halfway through dinner I told Claire that whenever she had the urge to lash out at her mother, she should squeeze my hand instead. A doctor had to cut off my wedding ring.” — Phil
“Every time [Rob] opens his mouth, I can feel my daughters losing respect for me.” — Claire