Mom – Black Mold and an Old Hot Dog
By: Julie Mante
At the AA meeting, Bonnie (Allison Janney) tells the group that she has been the manager of the apartment building where she and Christy (Anna Faris) live. For years, she has survived by doing the bare minimum but her laziness has caught up with her. The owners of the building created an “annual performance evaluation.” Now that Bonnie knows her job is on the line, she knows she has to kiss up to her tenants otherwise she will not only be jobless but also homeless. After Bonnie finishes sharing, Jill (Jaime Pressly) tells the group she is having her final meeting with her case worker and it will be decided if she becomes a foster parent or not. Christy offers to go to Jill’s meeting to show her support.
After Jill finishes her meeting with her case worker, Christy is anxious to hear how it went. Jill is in no mood to talk and wants to leave immediately. When Christy asks her what happened, Jill tells her that she was turned down because Jill’s case worker does not believe she has not been sober long enough to handle being a foster parent. Infuriated, Christy confronts the case worker and defends her friend.
She says, “Hey listen to me. You are making a gigantic mistake turning down Jill Kendall. We’re both in AA and I can tell you she is totally committed to her sobriety. And she will make one hell of a foster mother! There’s a poor little child out there who needs her and shame on you for standing in the way! Shame!”
When the four friends meet at the bistro, Bonnie tells the group that she is having success actually helping the tenants with their appliances. Jill’s phone rings and she is surprised to learn that her case worker had a change of heart. Thanks to Christy’s passionate speech, Jill will finally get a chance to be a mother. The downside is that Jill was expecting to raise a baby, but she has been matched with a fourteen year old girl named Emily. Emily has had a rough life. She has bounced around the system. No dad in the picture and her mom is an addict. Jill tells her caseworker that she needs time to think it over. When she hangs up, Jill feels conflicted. Her friends encourage to her to give it a try. They believe that Jill can do a lot of good things for Emily. Jill decides that she will meet Emily first before deciding to foster her.
While Jill is feeling anxious about meeting Emily and Bonnie and Christy try to assure her that everything will be fine. Later, Christy asks her mom how the evaluation is going and Bonnie tells her that it is not going well. Apparently a lot of the tenants dislike Bonnie. Bonnie found a way to secretly look at some of the evaluations some tenants submitted and she was described as: lazy, untrustworthy, and a “useless broomstick with hair.” Christy receives a call from Jill, who is also in the bistro, and Christy tries to settle Jill’s nerves. When Barbara the caseworker (Dana L. Wilson) and Emily (Julia Lester) arrive, the meeting is awkward because Jill and Emily do not have anything in common. Emily is an artist and one of her favorite things to read graphic novels. She has even written her own graphic novel. Later after the AA meeting ends, Jill has a feeling that Emily will not choose her as a foster mother. When Barbara calls, Jill is shocked that Emily is picked her.
Feeling desperate, Bonnie decides to bake banana bread to see if she can sway some of the tenants’ favor with baked goods. Christy is doubtful it will have the same effect without Bonnie’s secret ingredient: hash. Being sober has its downsides sometimes. Christy tells her mom that she is going to Jill’s to see how Emily’s first night turned out. When Christy arrives, Jill admits that things are a little awkward. When Emily walks into the kitchen, Christy invites her to sit down. Noticing Emily’s Rick and Morty t-shirt, Christy is able to bond with the teenager while Jill feels like a third wheel. As Bonnie tries to bribe her tenants with baked goods, she runs into Mr. Munson (Charles Robinson) who is blind. He is suspicious when she asks him if he needs anything fixed in her apartment. He tells her that he knows she is being nice because of the evaluation. Bonnie offers banana bread and a back rub so he can write an good evaluation and he accepts. As Christy looks at Emily’s drawings, she is impressed. Emily tells the duo that her graphic novel is about a girl who has to learn how to survive in a world after an atomic war.
In a moment of frustration, Jill tells Christy that she cannot handle being a foster mother to a teenage girl. Jill feels that Emily does not like her. It does not help the situation that the young girl and potential foster mom have nothing in common. Christy encourages her to stick it out but Jill does not see it working. Emily asks Jill if she wants her to leave. Jill says she wants Emily to stay but admits feeling that she is doing a bad job. Emily assure her that she is doing okay. Jill is excited that Emily feels that way. When Christy comes home, she sees Bonnie working on Beverly’s (Amy Hill) toenails. In the closer, Jill tells her friends that things are going okay. Bonnie also has some good news. She’s on probation!