Great Expectations
Air Date January 28, 2008
Written by Bryan M. Holdman
Director John Kretchmer
Episode number Sn2 #16
Next episode Grounded

Amanda unexpectedly returns home, which causes Kyle to re-evaluate his relationship with her. But Amanda has a secret that is keeping Kyle on the edge of heartbreak.


The Trager family is doing it's annual spring cleaning, first reflecting on what is worth keeping and what is worth giving away. For Josh, it's easy; but Kyle finds himself unable to give away things with so much sentimental value to him. Kyle reluctantly agrees to rid himself of some of his stuff. Kyle is about to take all the boxes to charity, but Josh stops him and prompts him to throw a foam football around before he gets back to work. Josh goes back to catch the ball, but Kyle overshoots it right into a trash can. While Josh stands impressed with the feat, Kyle turns around to see Amanda step out of a taxi.

In Kyle's excitement, all of the car alarms in the area start to go off. Kyle chuckles. Kyle takes Amanda's bags and carries them to her front door, as she explains that she is back to surprise her mother for her birthday. Amanda laments how much she enjoys New York and the music program. Kyle can tell something is wrong. Amanda promises to tell him later, but first she has to say hello to her mother.

Kyle tells his family that Amanda says they need to talk. Josh, Lori, and even Nicole are visibly worried what that means. Nicole tries to tell him gently that the statement generally leads to a conversation about a change in feelings. The Trager children agree that Amanda wants to break up with Kyle, but Nicole says to wait and hear her out. Kyle gets worried that Amanda has outgrown him.

Later, Josh tells Kyle to hold on to some Christmas lights and make them blink on and off. Kyle questions why, and he explains that someone has to fill in for Tom Foss, who is away tending to Adam Baylin's comatose body. Stephen comes in and sympathizes with Kyle, before grabbing his laptop for a lecture at the University of Washington. Josh is shocked. Stephen explains that he's doing it for free, and already has a job offer.

Downstairs, Nicole flips through an essay she wrote on adolescent psychology. Lori comes down and laments to her mother that the school guidance counselor is maker her write an essay on who she really is, something she doesn't know yet. Josh comes in and suggests that she is sarcastic and cynical. Lori says she isn't a cynic, only pragmatic. Josh and Nicole don't see her that way.

Kyle comes in and asks the family their opinion on which shirt to wear to see Amanda. They unanimously pick plaid. Kyle goes to his room to get ready for his date with Amanda, when Jessi shows up at his window. She climbs on in and insists that Kyle teach her how to utilize her powers. Kyle says he can't right then because Amanda is back and says they need to talk. Jessi doesn't see anything suspicious with the statement. Kyle promises to train Jessi when he returns.

Kyle goes to the Bloom house to pick up Amanda, but she says she can't go out. Carol Bloom pulls her daughter back inside and explains that Amanda used her birthday as an excuse to tell her that she wants to drop out of the music academy. Carol blames Kyle, and forbids him to see Amanda.

The Trager parents tell Kyle that Carol has a point, and she has every right to make Amanda go back to the music academy and it isn't their business. Kyle objects. Later, the Trager children take Kyle's side and complain about their parents' taking Carol's side and not letting Amanda explain. The Trager parents are disappointed in themselves for taking Carol's side, as she's close-minded and arrogant. Nicole and Stephen understand that allowing Kyle to speak with Amanda would only make things better, but as parents, they have to respect Carol's wishes.

Kyle tries to think of a way to fix the problem. He first tries to send a text message to Amanda, which isn't technically seeing or talking to her. Amanda doesn't reply. Kyle tries to instant-message her, but Carol has already blocked it. Kyle goes outside to play a song on the guitar for Amanda to hear through her window. Stephen stops him and tells him to come inside.

Inside the Bloom house, Amanda yells at her mother for taking her computer and cell phone away and for keeping her prisoner until she agrees to return to the music academy. She knows how great of an opportunity it is, but still refuses to return.

In the Trager kitchen, Kyle is too upset to eat his breakfast. Lori comes in angry about her terrible essay, to see Josh doing extra credit work by reading Romeo and Juliet. He's still on the first line. Kyle decides that this all started with Amanda wanting to talk, and that's exactly what they're going to do. The Trager children agree to help.

At The Rack, Josh refuses to do part of the plan. Jessi sits down and asks what she can do to help, revealing she overheard the conversation because she can do anything Kyle can do. Lori says she should mind her own business, but Kyle says there is something she can do. Jessi goes over to the Bloom house, and Carol answers the door after disabling the alarm code, which Jessi can hear and decipher. Carol mistakes Jessi for Lori's friend Hillary, but still won't let her in to see Amanda, knowing it's just one of Kyle's tricks. Stephen returns home from his lecture, and Josh hurriedly offers to put away the slide projector, actually taking it into Kyle's room. Kyle has a map of the neighborhood electrical system on the computer. Jessi comes to the window again and says "12154", the alarm code for the Bloom house. Lori shuts the window on her and turns to leave. At the front door, Jessi is waiting there to apologize for attacking Lori at the alterni-dance. Lori is still finding it hard to forgive her. Jessi just wants to help.

Stephen and Nicole are still sorting out clothes to give away, when Stephen tells her how much he enjoyed being back at UW rather than in an office, especially when he was offered a computer science professorship. Still, Stephen turned the offer down, uncomfortable with the loss of salary.

Lori is outside, throwing little rocks up at Amanda's window. After she throws all of them at once, Carol looks out and closes the blinds. Lori returns with a "mission accomplished" report, but still seems doubtful about the plan. Josh hands Kyle the Christmas lights for phase two, until he and Lori argue about the validity of the plan. Kyle concentrates harder and the bulbs do go out: he can control the electrical current.

Nighttime comes. Kyle is in his bathtub, and Josh is prodding him to initiate an emotional response to activate the power again. He has Lori leave the room so she doesn't hear Josh say how much he understands his messed up feelings, but that he has to pull it together for the plan to work. By focusing, Kyle is able to control the flow of electrons through the wires, without making the bulbs explode. The electrons flow through the wall socket and into the neighborhood transformer, which is in turn connected to the Bloom house. He controls the electrons to Amanda's room, until the lights in her room do go out.

Kyle goes to the other room to initiate phase three. He turns on the projector and writes something aimed at Amanda's window. With the blinds down as Carol had done and the power out, Amanda is able to read Kyle's message: "Meet me at The Rack. Alarm code: 12154." Amanda hurries downstairs, to find Josh waiting at the door saying that she owes him, big time.

Lori and Declan are at The Rack, preparing it for a special night. Lori doesn't want to set Kyle up for a heartbreak. Back at home, Nicole asks Stephen if he ever misses teaching because he had to go the corporate route to support his family. He says he doesn't, but she is still suspicious.

At The Rack, Kyle thanks Jessi for her help, and she asks to learn how to do the electrical trick. Kyle says they'll make time later, since Amanda might be staying. Jessi is disappointed. Carol goes into her daughter's bedroom to see what looks like Amanda in her bed, but is actually Josh in a blond wig.

Lori goes through the steps of how to properly seat a lady, but she decides she shouldn't be worried about Kyle, just as Amanda comes in. The two have a seat and Hillary soon serves them their very fancy dinners, courtesy of herself from watching so much Top Chef. Lori is watching the date through the screening, and Declan suggests she not care so much. Lori assures him that her earlier outburst was brought on by the essay subject that Declan explains no one ever takes seriously. Jessi is also watching the date, with eyes of jealousy directed at Amanda.

Kyle asks what Amanda wanted to talk about, and she assures him that her feelings about him haven't changed. They proceed to kiss, until Carol's infuriated entrance breaks it up. Carol says a flight back to New York is leaving in two hours, and Amanda refuses, stating that Carol isn't listening to her feelings and yells at her for previously selling the piano. Carol tells Amanda to get in the car. As Carol leaves the building, she thanks Jessi for tipping her about the date.

Back at the Trager house, the parents ground the children two weeks for their actions. Kyle defends Josh and Lori, but they are still grounded, their cell phones taken away, and they are sent to their rooms. The parents are secretly glad their kids broke the rules to help Kyle and Amanda, and Nicole insists that Stephen follow his dream to be a teacher.

Kyle is still sorting through his things, as Josh continues reading Romeo and Juliet, and Lori writes her reflection paper. Nicole shows Stephen that she still fits in her bikini, and Jessi sneaks back into her apartment through the balcony window after a late night out training alone. Brian Taylor is waiting for her, but instead of being upset with her for sneaking out, he says that he has big plans for her. Jessi jumps happily into bed, with someone finally interested in her, and feels the missing jukebox record from JP's Diner mysteriously under her pillow.

Kyle gets on his computer to e-mail an apology to Amanda, until an anonymous instant message comes up that tells him to listen. After he asks who it is, a picture of the Latnok symbol appears on the screen. He turns to investigate a knock at his window. Amanda is there, saying that she couldn't make herself get on the plane and needs a place to hide. Kyle lets her inside.

Dramatis personae


Guest starring

Previous episode: Next episode:
The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades Grounded

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