Last week, Jane Quimby was compared to Audrey Hepburn and this week, she is having a major Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles moment.
It was her birthday and though Ben and Billy typically go all out for Jane’s big day, this year they seem to have completely forgotten it. But with an episode name like “The Surprise,” you can bet Jane’s main men haven’t missed a thing.
But now, Billy’s involvement includes his punk rock girlfriend, Zoey, who oddly seems to be unthreatened by Jane’s overwhelming presence in Billy’s life. In fact, her main problem with their friendship is that she’s forced to lie to Jane — a girl she just met.
The women in Billy and Ben’s lives try to tell them that pretending to ignore Jane’s birthday is a horrible plan, but both are convinced it will offer Jane the biggest surprise of her life.
They might have some competition though, when a birthday card arrives from Jane’s estranged mother. Until now we haven’t found out why Ben’s been left to care for Jane, but he reveals that their mother abandoned them — which forced Ben to give up his dream of being a major league pitcher.
He’s not the only one interested in baseball. Jane’s ex, Nick, has the opportunity to pitch for a scout in an attempt to make his character relevant once more. He “tragically” pulls his shoulder, and we find ourselves caring about as much as Gray does for excuses.
When the scout lets Ben throw one pitch, it’s clear that Jane’s older bro still has the golden arm, but ever loyal, he brushes aside dreams of fame to continue taking care of Jane.
Meanwhile, things at work aren’t going much better for Jane. She’s pretty convinced Gray’s about to give her the boot for lying about her age. To get her mind off things Eli — the latest in Jane’s diverse slew of men — offers to take her out.
There’s laughter, celebrity sightings, and even a big-lipped caricature that Jane claims looks nothing like her (take a look in the mirror, sweetie).
Of course, when they return to Donovan Decker, Jane gets her first surprise party thrown by Gray and Co. Her happiness is somehow diminished when she realizes her faux-date was invented solely to keep her out of the office.
(Jane, they threw you a surprise party, you can get over the fact that one of your many suitors may have had ulterior motives this time.)
But Jane can’t get over Jeremy’s drunken revelation that he was the mole and India is blackmailing him. Whoops!
So, Jane’s second surprise party is raging, but one major element is missing — Jane. While Billy and Ben are waiting for Jane’s arrival, their love lives seem to be in the balance.
LuLu (yeah, we forgot about her too) tells Zoey that Billy will always be into Jane thus ending the Taylor-Momsen-wannabe’s cool as a cucumber act.
Billy goes on a rant about how rich people suck and it becomes pretty clear that Zoey’s leather jackets are high-end designer garments; and that her apparent wealth will be the superficial problem that will one day break them apart (the underlying issue is that Jane and Billy are meant to be).
Rita is struggling to define her current relationship with Ben when her school’s former prom queen Amanda Clarke (Revenge fans?) walks in wearing sequins — and how can Rita “The Jaw” Shaw compete?
The disastrous birthday ends with a surprise (or expected if you’ve watched this week’s previews) cameo from Jane and Ben’s mom. Or as we like to call her, Susan Delfino.
Tune in next week to find out why the elder Quimby is back and ready to party.