Recap / Penny And Aggie Bridge Out
"You're both so willfull. The wilfullness drew you together, drove you apart, drew you together again..."
As finals week approaches, the hot topic of discussion is Penny's skipping town with Rich. Aggie and Marshall, who've started jogging together as friends (although Aggie's still secretly in love with him) joke about Penny's decision, although Marshall reveals that Karen's oddly obsessed with it. Penny's friends discuss it animatedly, while keeping it a secret from her parents, Penny having told them for now that she's staying over at Brandi's to study. Katy-Ann, however, feels her friend is making a big mistake, and agonizes silently over whether to tell her parents the truth, finally turning to God for guidance.
Penny and Rich, meanwhile, are staying at a motel just off the highway, sleeping with each other and living the rustic life. Before long, however, Rich tires of Penny bragging about what a sacrifice she's made, leaving her family, friends and life of luxury behind, and asks her to cool it. This leads to an argument in which Penny assures Rich she's "totally, totally committed" to a life with him, while Rich is concerned she'll return to her "palace" as soon as she tires of it. A shared laugh over Penny adopting Rich's grammar eases the tension, and Rich goes out riding by himself for a bit. Penny takes a nap, only to be awoken by an unfamiliar knock. It's her parents.
Penny refuses to go home, telling her father she doesn't want to end up like him, feeling lively only when he's having his supposed affair with Charisma. Rob is strangely flattered by this accusation, while Lynda finds it hilarious, as he's such a homebody she knows his whereabouts every moment. This stings Rob's pride a bit. While Penny's still resisting them, Rich pulls up, sees her parents, and angrily turns around and rides off, neither saying a word nor allowing her to explain that it wasn't she who called them.
Some days later, Penny, back in Belleville, finishes the last of her make-up exams and goes home, sullenly greeting her parents, who discuss with good humour Rob's need to become more active again and put the fun back in their marriage. Penny, grounded for the summer, goes upstairs to find her friends waiting for her. When Michelle says Rob and Lynda like them, Penny turns on her in suspicion and accuses her of having told on her, perhaps at Stan's prompting. Seeing Michelle stunned, hurt and speechless, Katy-Ann admits it was she who called her parents. She tells Penny that she and Rich weren't right for each other, that Penny wouldn't answer her phone, and that she couldn't just stand by any longer, but hopes Penny can forgive her. Penny, in tears, tells her to "Rot in hell." As Sara consoles her best friend, Michelle turns away from Katy-Ann, while Brandi looks at her in empathy. But Katy-Ann realizes she's been expelled from the group, and leaves sadly.
- Call-Back: As Penny assures Rich that she's "totally, totally committed" to staying with him, author Penny and conservative Aggie from 20 2020 Pennies pop up on either side of her, suggesting that at least a part of Penny's unconscious is still intrigued by Aggie as a potential lover.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Although Penny is angry with her parents for tracking her down, and at Rich for not trusting her enough to let her explain herself, she doesn't cry, on-panel, until she learns that one of her friends went behind her back.
- Finding Judas: Katy-Ann tells on Penny, but with good intentions (she genuinely believes Penny's throwing her life away), and after much inner struggle (including accusing herself of hypocrisy and imposing her religious values on others), and because she was unable to talk to Penny directly.
- Gray Rain of Depression: Occurs when Katy-Ann leaves Penny's house.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Sara, who has yet to come out to her friends apart from Penny, waxes enthusiastic to them about what Rich and Penny are likely up to on the road: "Boys are awesome."
- Make Up or Break Up: Rich and Penny break up, again, this time for good.
- Mistaken for Cheating: Played with, in that when Penny throws her accusation in Rob's face, he doesn't react with anger or offence, but rather is flattered she thinks he has the "animal magnetism" for an affair. Lynda, for her part, laughs at the very idea.
- Put on a Bus: Rich never returns to Belleville; however, he plays a significant role in "The New Reality," set in Los Angeles.
- The Runaway: Penny.
- Ship Tease: See above under Call-Back.
- Slumber Party Ploy: Penny attempts to allay her parents' suspicions by claiming she's staying over at Brandi's to study. Rob and Lynda don't buy it for very long.
- Slumming It: Penny treats going without designer clothing and jewelry, sleeping in off-road motels and eating at cheap diners as if it were an adventure, not as a potentially permanent lifestyle with all its ups and downs.
- You Are Grounded: Penny, for the whole summer. Rob and Lynda, however, allow her friends to visit her at home.