South of Nowhere: Recaps: Episode 2.9 “Love and War and Love and War”

Carlin Family Home Evening— Mother Hen Arthur is herding everyone together for movie night, Clay is wringing his hands over whether or not Chelsea will call him, and Glen is bitching about having to hang out with the family in the first place.

All is right with the world.

The doorbell rings and it's Ashley, who has found an ingenious ploy to get herself back over to Spencer's house—delivering the cel phone that Spence must have “accidentally” left in her car. Arthur invites Ashley to join them for some good clean Carlin fun.

Paula mutters a very wry, modern Bette Davis-esque “Cool!” and crumples her pretty mouth up into a terse pucker. I think she was being sarcastic. Maybe. But she pulls it together and feigns an enthusiastic, “Why don't you join us?”– leaving off the “before your soul is condemned to the eternal fires of hell” part.

Spencer tells Ashley that they are about to watch The Others, and Ashley pipes up, “Oh, that's the one where you find out in the end that they've been dead the whole time, right?”

Yeah. That one.

Since Ashley has single-handedly busted up this family activity, Glen proposes something completely different: paintball. While Ashley quickly issues a “Hell to the nizzo,” Paula looks intrigued. Sure she mumbles an obligatory motherly, “What have we gotten ourselves into?” but I can see the sadistic sparkle in her baby blues.

A gun? My daughter's lesbian lover? Hell to the yizzle!

Paula plays it cool and makes an innocuous comment about delaying her mani/pedi date with Spencer then innocently asks, “Ashley, would you like to join us too?”

Ashley only seems like she's being polite when she demurs, but really it's just her survival urge kicking in. Glen is proving that he truly is the fruit from Paula's poison tree when he urges Ashley to join them. Since when does he want to hang out with Teen Lez? He even sweetens the deal by offering to invite Madison because she would “make for good target practice.” That's all Ashley needs to hear before announcing, “Lock and load!”

Later, Ashley is heading out, all apologies for “ruining” family night. Spencer assures her that it was a pretty weird event in the first place, an attempt for them all to just get along with each other after so much recent drama.

Ashley: No, it's great. Really.
Spencer: What's wrong? Aren't you happy that my mom's actually trying? This is huge, right?
Ashley: Yeah, you guys are doing great. What's next, a parade?
Spencer: What do you mean?
Ashley: Nothing. It must be really nice to have a mom who actually wants you around.
Spencer: Ash, I know that you feel bad. This time it's not about you and your mom. My mom is actually trying, and I'm glad that she is. For us!
Ashley: You don't really believe that do you?
Spencer: Yeah, I do?
Ash: Wow. Ok.

She leaves in a mini-huff, per the norm. Face it Spence, there's no making this girl happy.

Chez Kyla—Aiden and Kyla are discussing the movie they just saw. Between the two of them, they WILL figure out what it was all about. This must be part of their new “friends” thing. Friends go to movies together, right?

Kyla makes a big point of telling him how much she enjoyed their time together, and Aiden deflects with a cheery “That's what friends do!” That's when Kyla starts her own tactical maneuvers. She asks him if he'd like to come in to the house, and he demurs.

Aiden: Oh, I don't think that's such a good idea. We're just friends.
Kyla: So stop “friending” me.
Aiden: Ok. Buddies, pals, amigos.

Aiden gets saved by the bell—or the text message—when he gets word that the Carlin family has invited him to do the paintball thing. He invites Kyla to join him—as his “pal.” She grumpily resists, as paintball is no substitute for a hot and heavy make out session. But when he reminds her that she can use it as an opportunity to express her urge to kill him, she changes her mind.

More proof that Kyla and Ash really are related.

Then Aiden gets another text, this time from Ashley. She's summoning him to meet her at Gray.

Stone Cold Carlin Creamery—Arthur is dishing up ice cream in the kitchen when Paula passes through. He tells her that she's “doing great” in her efforts to treat Ashley like a human being.

Paula: Thanks. I'm just trying to keep Spencer at home.
Arthur: Either way, did you see how happy your daughter was tonight?

That is until her huffy girlfriend flipped her some attitude and stormed out. Again. If she keeps it up, Paula may not even have to spend a round on Ashley. Spencer may just give her the boot for being a brat!

Gray Gardens—Aiden finds Ashley at the bar, nursing a…juice? He asks her where the party is and she snaps, “Right here! Fantastic, huh?” Aiden guesses that something has happened with Spencer and Ashley unloads. “I hung out with her family tonight, and … I don't know, sometimes I feel like I'm her little gay science experiment.”

That's so weird. I've never felt that way with someone before. I wonder what in the world she could be talking about?

Because he's a straight guy, Aiden doesn't understand the science experiment phenomenon either. He blusters, "What do you mean? You know she loves you." Ashley wonders, “What happens when the experiment is over?”

Oooh, I know! I know!

Tears, accusations, litigation, swearing off any future sexy mad scientists. Followed by an unexpected fascination with a brand new sexy mad scientist. Then tears, accusations, litigation, etc.

Rinse and repeat.

Ashley: She's moving closer to her family, but what if she's moving away from me?
Aiden: I don't think Spencer sees it as a choice. Maybe you're just a little bit jealous?
Ashley: Of what?
Aiden: Their whole family thing. You've never had that.
Ashley: You're my family.
Aiden: Better than the real thing, right?
Ashley: You ARE my real family.

Awkward silence. Where exactly is she going with this?

Carlin Homestead—Paula is skulking about her in pink robe while Spencer does her homework. She kisses Spencer goodnight, and Spencer calls Ashley.

Spencer: Where did you go?
Ashley: Nowhere. I've just been home, thinking.

Lying about hanging out with Aiden? That's weird.

Spencer: Are you ok?
Ashley: Yeah. I dunno.
Spencer: I don't get it. We're out now. We're free. We don't have to go sneaking around in secret.
Ashley: We're the opposite of free. Everyone's in our business, especially your mom. She's everywhere.
Spencer: Whatever. (Click)

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