Remember when I gave us all a math problem to figure out? If train A leaves the station traveling at 60 miles per hour and train B leaves one hour later going 85 miles per hour, how long before Stan finds himself having to arrest his wife? Well, tonight’s episode put those trains on a fast collision course.
Before that, though, Beth’s reveling in her newfound G status and counting cash on her coffee table. Dean asks her if she’s a drug dealer, and when she smiles in response, he then asks if she’s running a prostitution ring. “Don’t you wish,” she quips. When he insists he has the right to know, Beth reminds him of his infidelity before telling him she needs him out of the house. She hands Dean $20, instructing him to take the kids to a movie but thinks better of it, and she throws him a stack. “Eh, what the hell. Take ’em to Disneyland.” As Dean is leaving the house with the kids amidst an influx of women headed into their home, Emma asks her dad who the people are and what they’re doing there. “Mommy’s friends,” he answers. “Book club?”
At Fine & Frugal, Boomer is looking for Annie because he wants the drug trap he’s set to be sprung. But you can’t set an employee up if they never come to work. It seems Annie’s called out sick for two weeks because her side hustle has become her main gig. Part TV evangelist, part infomercial host, and part Miss Trunchbull, Annie is reveling in her newfound role of leading the secret shopper meetings. She yells at one woman to get off her phone, and when another named Mary Pat (dressed as you would suspect someone named Mary Pat to be dressed, and impeccably played by Allison Tolman) gives Annie the wrong answer to her question, Annie hilariously loses it.
After their meeting, the Girls are marveling at the mess the group left behind while also debating incentives. Annie suggests they up the ante by offering a trip to Cancun. Beth reminds her that they have a six-month plan and no money to burn. But after Annie insists they’ll be in the black a lot sooner than six months, Ruby agrees and admits they’re like Adele: rolling deep. “Shoppers be shopping,” Ruby whisper-shouts, almost in disbelief.
With business doing well, they each allow themselves to splurge a bit: Beth buys herself an $1100 necklace; Annie buys Sadie a custom-made suit; Ruby and Stan go out to a molecular gastronomy restaurant where the chef uses a refracted laser on a grape.
While the jeweler assuming that Beth’s husband is going to buy her the necklace is amusing, it’s the scenes with Annie and Sadie that steal the light. The snooty salesman initially dismisses Sadie because she’s a girl, but when Annie shows him that her purse is poppin’ fresh with lots of dough, it’s reminiscent of that suh-weeeet moment when Vivian finally gets to go shopping in Pretty Woman.
The reason Ruby and Stan are celebrating with the world’s most expensive raisin fetus is because the officer-in-training just assisted in his first arrest — “a small-time drug bust.” When Stan starts to get nervous about how much money they’re spending on this “meal,” Ruby assures him that money is like a boomerang: “If you throw it out there, it’s gonna come back.”
You know who else comes back? Gangbangers who get shot and wake up in Beth’s daughter’s bed. Only this time, he’s been caught on his third strike by Agent Turner, who’s threatening to bring him home “smelling like cop coffee.” His whole “never rat out your boys” mantra seemingly goes up in smoke after Turner takes a selfie with him to post to Instagram.
At Beth’s house, the Girls are watching Real Housewives of New York when Beth gets the desire to come clean about her lavish purchase. As she goes to her bedroom to put on the necklace to model for the Girls, she returns to find Rio and his goons in her living room with their guns pointed at Ruby and Annie. Rio grabs her by the neck and touches the necklace with his own gold-plated piece. “How much of my money this set you back?” he asks her. When Beth brazenly tells him she thought they were past this, Rio replied, “Me, too, but you b–ches just keep stealing from me.”
He accuses them of putting in fake cash with the real cash, ultimately robbing him of $100,000. In response, Ruby hurriedly suggests it might’ve been one of the women who didn’t wash the money, but then she remembers that Rio has no idea about their work outsourcing. After they assure Rio that the secret shoppers don’t know anything about his business, he demands the name of the women they believe are stealing from him. They tell him it could be any of 30 women, to which he replies if they don’t get him a name, he’s just going to pick one at the next “PTA mixer.”
After he leaves, the Girls frantically look over the shopper surveys, trying to figure out which shopper turned in the original fake cash instead of actually washing it. Not wanting Rio to “handle it” (said with actual air quotes), Annie reminds them that Rio won’t take it up with HR; he’ll cap someone. Beth decides that they’ll send everyone to a store with a small drop to spend. Whoever doesn’t show up is their wayward employee.
Trying to live up to Ruby’s boomerang theory, Stan goes out on a limb and buys glass seats to a hockey game for the two of them. Not knowing that now they’re under the gun (literally and figuratively), Ruby switches lanes on him and tells Stan that they have to pump the brakes on the spending.
Also feeling the money squeeze, Annie decides to go back to work and is greeted by Boomer and a couple of cops. They arrest her for “trafficking a class-one controlled substance,” and Annie instantly knows it was Boomer who set her up. Unlike the earlier meeting, Annie angrily loses it as she’s being swept out of the store by the police.
Beth not only lets Annie sit in jail overnight because she didn’t get her message, but she also picks her up with the kids in tow. As Annie laments her nieces and nephews watching their auntie “do a perp walk,” Beth goes big sister on her, blaming her for getting busted for drugs. Annie balks, swearing that it was Boomer who set her up. She then starts tearing up because there’s no judge who will let her have custody after a felony drug charge, but Beth reassures her: “We’ll figure it out together.”
In an effort to look more responsible to the judge, Annie heeds her attorney’s advice and brings Sadie to live with Greg and Nancy for a while — at least until things cool down a bit.
Waiting for 30 women to show up and shop is a tedious task, but the Girls are up to it as they settle in for their stakeout. Annie announces that if they have to sacrifice someone to the gang, she’s nominating the woman who spent the meeting on her phone. It’s nightfall by the time they get the answer they’ve been waiting for: The missing link is Mary Pat.
Mary Pat is flustered when her bosses show up unannounced at her house, which is in utter disarray because of her young kids. “I’m sorry, I haven’t gotten used to doing everything by myself since Jeff passed,” she apologizes. Yes, Mary Pat is a widow, and she’s having a rough time getting her head above water. Dispensing with the niceties, Annie confronts her about turning in the same cash. Mary Pat starts crying, but then it registers: How did they know she turned in the same cash? The Girls try to backpedal, insisting it’s the surveys and then corporate that’s forcing her out. Mary Pat calls their bluff and asks to hear it for herself from corporate, and when they try and assuage her, she eventually threatens to call the police. In what Rio would likely call a “Cleaver Beaver” standoff, Mary Pat has the police on speakerphone before Beth eventually caves and tells her to put down the phone.
The fallout is a lot more costly than the blackmail Mary Pat ends up demanding, as it ends up creating an angry divide between friend and sisters. Ruby finally — finally — releases all she’s felt as Beth’s flippantly taken them deeper into this criminal world with no concern about the collateral damage. When Annie ends up standing by her sister because “they’re blood,” Ruby shoots back as she gets in her car that she’s going home to her family, to her blood.
Dean finally gets his answer about what Beth’s doing after he approaches her when her defenses are down. Upset about their fight, Beth holes up in their bathroom with the water running until Dean comes in to turn it off. “Are you doing this for the kids?” he asks gingerly. After she tells him yes, he says that’s all he needs to know.
Greg shows up at Annie’s doorstep to collect a pair of Sadie’s jeans that she forgot. Annie invites him in for some cheese crackers and vodka — the dinner of champions. After getting hammered on liquor and YouTube videos, they unsurprisingly kiss before sleeping together.
Increasing his odds for having Husband of the Year on lock, Stan manages to sell the hockey tickets. He lets Ruby know, though, that they don’t have to live like the sky is always falling. “Every time I look down, it’s pieces of sky,” Ruby answers resignedly.
Beth meets Rio at railroad tracks for the drop-off where he asks her once again for a name. “I handled it,” she says assuredly, before he advises her to get rid of the rotten egg that stinks up the whole bunch. Without hesitation, she replies, “Like I said, I’m handling it. And don’t ever point a gun at me again.”
Before we watch Mary Pat’s payoff, we witness Agent Turner addressing some Detroit police: “An arrest you made this week gave us a man on the inside,” he reports. Turns out that Stan assisted in the arrest of the guy who was shot, and now Turner is forming a task force that Stan will be a part of. You hear that? That’s the sound of the second train leaving the station.
While Beth and Annie prepare to give Mary Pat the money she’s extorting, Ruby shows up. When she tells them there’s no going back, she then lets them in on the secret sauce story. I won’t ruin it for you, but it involves a cut, a Band-Aid, and a 55-gallon barrel of special sauce.
As Mary Pat is leaving the grocery store, the girls help her get her stuff into her minivan. After Beth hands her the $10,000 in a brown shopping bag, Ruby says, “So we’re good now, right?” Mary Pat tells them yes…until next month. Incredulous, Beth relays that she thought it was a one-time deal. With an especially cloying tone of fake sympathy, Mary Pat replies, “Yeeaah, I thought I was a secret shopper.”
All aboard! Next stop: Screwed. Population: 3.