‘Jennifer Falls’ Recap: ‘School Trouble’

This week on Jennifer Falls saw Jennifer worrying about her daughter Gretchen becoming just like her because of her school performance. Dina relived her glory days as a high school basketball star, and Wayne and Stephanie tried getting pregnant.

Jennifer found a disciplinary note in Gretchen’s bag as she was getting ready for school. She worried it was because of a change in their surroundings, but her daughter brushed it off. Gretchen asked her mother for lunch money, leading Jennifer to accuse her of stealing when she inquired about less money being in her purse than usual. Gretchen, offended, took off for school. Jennifer leaned on Maggie for support, but didn’t offer the kind she wanted. She spoke of quantity vs. quality time, adding that she didn’t always have time for Jennifer but when she did, she made it count. Her daughter reminded her she got pregnant right out of high school, while she spent the majority of her time getting her doctorate.

At the bar, Jennifer turned to Dina for support, leading Dina to reassure her that when they were in school, they stayed out of any real trouble. The women flashed back to getting caught in a smoke-filled car by their principal, making Jennifer worry more about Gretchen.

Gretchen arrived home to Jennifer promising to be more involved in her life. Her daughter informed her she was suspended for a vandalizing a car. “I give up,” Jennifer balked, before going to the principal to find out what really happened.

Dennis Haskins made a special guest appearance as Mr. Whitehorn, Gretchen’s school principal. He and Jennifer had a troubled past as he was her principal when she went to Canyon County High School. She went with Dina to provide moral support. As they walked the halls of their old school, they gushed about “the bench” where all the troublemakers sat. While they waited to see Whitehorn, Dina noticed she no longer held a high-score title for basketball. It belonged to Marissa Rosales, causing Dina to confront her at her locker. Dina challenged her to a shootout, even going as far as to pay her to participate. Throughout the episode, we watched Dina train for the match, and she came out victorious. Rather than graciously admit defeat, Rosales rubbed her Stanford scholarship and trophy in Dina’s face.

Before Dina could win the shootout against Rosales, she and Jennifer are forced to wait on “the bench” because of the trouble they caused. Dina ran away when a security guard chased her after the initial confrontation with Rosales, and Jennifer cursed Whitehorn out (even though the school bell rang) when he refused to help Gretchen. He reminded Jennifer that her daughter was a screw-up just like she was in school. Maggie came to pick the women up, and through charming the principal, got Gretchen’s suspension revoked.

As a last resort, Jennifer went to see her old housekeeper, Lupe for help. She gave her advice in exchange for Jennifer helping to clean a client’s house. Lupe hinted Gretchen was involved with a boy, and Jennifer needed to snoop around in order to find out what’s going on. Jennifer went to Gretchen’s school in a pair of sunglasses to follow her. In order to keep her daughter from getting suspicious, she hid in the boy’s locker room.

She finally caught up to Gretchen and got the wrong idea when she saw her with a boy going into a dark room. Jennifer was forced to apologize when she saw the two developing photographs in the dark room. Taylor came clean about his ex-girlfriend being the one who vandalized the car, the same ex-girlfriend who pushed Gretchen, causing their “fight.” Maggie chimed in that she was the one who stole money from Jennifer’s purse. This new information made Jennifer feel awful for not trusting her daughter.

All of that changed when Jennifer caught Gretchen and Taylor fooling around in bed. Taylor ran off, and Jennifer spoke of the hard times she faced as a result of getting pregnant at a young age. “Please don’t be me,” she begged of her daughter. Gretchen reassured her she didn’t want to be anything like her, making Jennifer happy. The two women hug, adding to the mother-daughter bonding moment from last week’s show. Everything seemed alright at school when Gretchen presented her photograph of “three generations of Doyle women” at school. Dina was also there, showing off Rosales’ trophy she stole from the trophy case.

In a sub-plot, Wayne desperately wanted to make a baby with Stephanie. He went as far as to download an app to his smartphone that determined when his wife was ovulating. He even made her foods that would increase their chances of conceiving. By the end, Stephanie announced she wasn’t pregnant, showing Wayne the pregnancy test. While he was in the bathroom, we are shown Stephanie’s birth control pills as she takes one. It’s a heavy moment for this episode as we were exposed to the hilarity of Jennifer and Dina’s school days. However, it may just be one of the many things that lead the Doyle family to a therapy session featured in next week’s episode.

Quote of the Week: “Fighting and stealing? That doesn’t sound like Gretchen. Sounds like a book club,” Dina when Jennifer told her about Gretchen’s latest behavior.

Image courtesy of Peter West/ACE/INFphoto.com

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