Center of the Universe

Season 1 Episode 9

If You Love Something Leave It Alone

Aired Wednesday 9:30 PM Jan 12, 2005 on CBS

Episode Recap

The Barnett clan eagerly await a weekend visit from Kevin, who is a star football player and the family's pride and joy because of it -- the same way that John was Art's pride and joy because he was a star football player. Meanwhile, Miles' "weirdness" has Art wondering why he isn't a star anything. And when Kate attempts to defend Miles, Art warns her that the kid better find something he's good at, or his classmates will see him as an outcast and beat him up. Since John and Kate recently signed Miles up for fencing classes, they hope he'll excel at that -- even though Art thinks it's a sissy sport. After Kevin goes back to college, John and Kate talk about how football was Kevin's ticket to everything in life, and how they want fencing to be Miles' ticket. But then they see how ridiculous he looks in his fencing gear, and act like they're almost ashamed of him. Which is what John is after he takes Miles to the first class and Miles completely blows it. Even with John's halfhearted encouragement and Miles' determination to do well, he's no Zorro, and both father and son are bitterly disappointed when they return home. Seeing how frustrated Miles is that he wasn't any good at fencing, John decides that they should be the ones to decide what Miles can succeed at, not him. But when John gets him a guitar, Miles loses his pick in the hole. And when John gets him a skateboard, Miles ties his helmet on too tight. And when John gets him a magic set, Miles pours a pitcher of milk all over Tommy's lap. After John and Kate sulk over how Miles isn't living up to the standard Kevin set, Tommy advises them to leave him alone, because he knows how hard it is just having to bask in the glow of a more talented older brother, and because Art made him feel inferior to John because he couldn't play football. John insists that he's not disappointed in Miles for not being Kevin -- the same way that he wasn't disappointed in Tommy for not being him -- and Tommy tells him to go let Miles know that. Yet, when John tracks Miles down in the garage, he finds him fencing. As it turns out, Miles loves fencing so much that he's been practicing in between all the stuff John forced him to do -- and he's gotten so much better at it that he wants to keep taking the classes.
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