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103 - (TSLJ)     The Scarlet Letter Jacket      10/05/99
A school carnival proves a catastrophe when Lily is assigned to the balloon booth with Rick's ex-wife Karen. Karen doesn't know about Rick and Lily's romance - until the other mothers tell her. Grace has developed a crush on Eli, but a catty girl upsets her by telling her Eli thinks she's ugly.

WRITER: Marshall Herskovitz     DIRECTOR: Dan Lerner
 Brooks-Manning Lily    Grace    Zoe
 Sammler Rick    Eli    Jessie
 Ex's Jake    Karen
 Other Family Judy   
 Significant Regulars Naomi    Jennifer   
Julie - Grace's best friend - Julie Berman
Miss Hughes, coach - Tangie Ambrose
Lisa (one of the catty girls) - Katie Johnston
Nancy - one of the gossipy wives - Molly Cheek
Blaire Baron - Robin
Joanna Canton - Rachel

Lily's house
Rick's house
Judy's house
Sammler Cassilli
My Sister's Bookstore
Lily's car
Rick's car
Karen's car
Upton Sinclair
School Quad

The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Lily: I couldn't get enough of her smell ...

Grace: She always makes the biggest deal out of it ...
Grace: I'm never going to tell her anything again
Grace: She was, like, Miss Perfect...
Grace: Everybody loves her and wants to talk to her ...

Lily: ...Totally alone ...
Lily: ...nobody knew a thing, not a thing.

Grace: ... that's the rational response to High School.
Grace: When you like a boy ...
Grace: I don't actually like anybody right now ...

Lily: Deb Mulligan was my best friend in High School
Lily: It's definitely a B
Lily: Robbie Howard!
Lily: Robbie kept flirting with me
Lily: I didn't eat for a week
Lily: Right there in the locker room
Lily: ...he said he couldn't stop thinking about me
Lily: Robbie came to my house that night ...
Lily: Robbie wanted to make love that night ...
Lily: I couldn't even breathe ...
Lily: I never went

W.G. Snuffy Walden Production/incidental music

Episode Timeline

Rick cooks dinner
Rick makes dinner (Seabass) for Lily, which eventually leads to the awkward semi-encounter with Karen

Grace and Eli work together
They make signs together, including the time Eli mis-spells scream as "screem". They then get assigned to the popcorn booth together.

Jake and Rick formally meet
They both end up working on the dunk tank and eventually get along relatively well.

Lily and Karen formally meet
In spite of Lily's attempts to reschedule, Lily and Karen end up working together at the balloon booth. Karen is the only one unaware that Rick and Lily are sleeping together.
by A little background before I get started :

In BMG, L&R are "busted" in the LR on a Thursday night. That's the night Jake surprised Lily by agreeing to take the girls. I believe Lily called the coffee-house breakup the next day, Friday, and the two were pretty unhappy Friday night and Saturday night. By Sunday afternoon, Lily had her "moment" and called Rick that night. They began once again Monday, at the coffee-house.

Moving right into LSTNT, Rick phoned her Tuesday morning, wondering when he could see her. We know the love-making happened Thursday night (see LSTNT timeline for fillers), the night of the cancelled Back-to-School night. So, this was one week after the LR L&R bust.

The transition to TSLJ looks like this... I believe that things got too busy for them over the following weekend -- no time to see each other, but surely they spoke on the phone. Their 4th (5th counting breakup) date -- sea bass at Rick's -- may have been Monday or Tuesday or even Wednesday...each night an odd time for Jake to take the girls (though Lily did thank him for doing so).. So that's the setup -- now for the timeline, with bothersome parts noted..

Day # 1 (Wednesday for the time being) -- Lily fetches the paper (down girl!) and happily steals some kisses from Rick at the opposite curbside. Inside, Grace is saying she can't show her face at school following the LR misunderstanding. Lily wisely coaches her that she shouldn't worry about what other people think. At the bookstore, Naomi hears from Lily that it's Rick Sammler. At school, volunteers get carnival assignments -- Grace doing signs with Eli, building session "tomorrow." That afternoon at the Mannings, Jake tells Zoe to start her homework so he won't get in trouble; soon, before he takes the girls, he apologizes to Lily about "last week." [ Note : that's a stretch -- it's just under two weeks since he and the girls interrupted L&R on the sofa.. sigh.. ] Sea bass dinner at Rick's that night, the 4th "real" date; Karen pops by for Jessie's outline, and just misses Lily, who hides in R's bathroom. Karen confirms with Rick that he's picking the kids up "tomorrow?"

Day # 2 (Thursday) -- Grace and Eli have fun making signs after school, and receive the booth schedules -- they work the popcorn booth at 12o'clock.. Late afternoon, Lily arrives and is put to work attaching prizes. Nancy thinks they may be there until 11o'clock. The biddies gossip and Lily spots Rick -- they meet for some secret kisses in the darkened school hallway; Lily hopes to keep the relationship secret for now. At Rick's apartment, with kids in tow, he sees the schedule pairing Karen and Lily, and Eli says he can talk to Mrs. Hughes in the morning, first period, to fix it. At Lily's, she teaches Grace that "life lessons" don't apply to her, Lily -- she calls Naomi to beg help changing the booth assignment.

[ Big Note : I'd assumed the above day was Friday, as they set up for Saturday, but Eli's remark that he could talk to Mrs.Hughes "first period" threw me -- no classes on Saturday! Sooo, I'm proposing that set-up is two days before, Friday is skipped and we next join the gang on Carnival Day, Saturday.. ]

Day # 3 (Saturday) -- Rick arrives alone...Eli and Jess run over to greet him (another reason to think that Friday was skipped -- kids were back at Karen's and they came with her to the carnival).. Eli also says to his dad, "Only 4 more hours.." This makes me think that the carnival ran 12N-4PM? Their names (also Lily's and Karen's) were on the first line of the schedule. The made-up Grace and family arrive at the same time, and it appears that she heads right to the popcorn booth (12N shift), soon followed by Eli. As we know, much excitement during that 12N shift, which I'm hoping ran on into the next hour to accommodate Grace's abandonment, Lily's remembering, L&R's talk and the public touch..

[ One more note: When Jenn and those creepy girls came to the booth, Jenn told Eli how Josh is "getting so annoying about the game on Saturday.." This gave me pause, and made me wonder if maybe the carnival took place during the week, on a half day of school? That would allow a Monday beginning, thus not so long since R&L were together. Also not that long since Jake's "last week" comment. However, I just don't see Rick, Karen, Jake, and all the parents taking a vacation day in the middle of the you? I think maybe Jenn's was a throw-away line, or simply referred to Saturday week ]



Date Count
When Rick makes dinner for Lily, it's their fourth date
BFS Actually, she's says it's their 4th date, and he replies "5th, if you count when you broke up with me." But it's clearly their 6th date even if you DON'T count break up/reconciliation. They had two dates (dinner, then bowling) in the first episode, and three dates (dinner, lunch, night at Rick's) in the second. So sea bass dinner makes at least No. 6.

Repetitively redundant
Both Lily and Karen make the same comment within 5 minutes of each other "If I never cook another meal again, it'll be too soon."

Who's Sal?
Jake mentions that he has another kid "over at Sal's(?)", when talking with Rick about kids and school. (BFS)

The boy that Lily and her best friend broke up over was named Robbie Howard

Giving the finger
Billy Campbell's broken pinky finger is very clearly displayed in the final scene.


Thank God
- Rick to Lily, in LSTNT
- Rick to Lily, in TSLJ
- Lily to Rick, in Mediation
- Judy to Lily in TSTA
- Grace to Eli in TL
--Jeanne, Meegram & GraceManning1


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