The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Season 4 Episode 13

And Circumstance

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Sep 05, 2011 on ABC Family

Episode Recap

Jack is agonizing over writing and delivering the prayer at graduation. Grace is trying to help, reassuring him that he leads the prayer for the football team in the huddle every week. Jack protests that they haven't been allowed to say a prayer in years, so Grace wonders what they have been saying in the huddle all this time. Jack has a flashback – all these years, they've been talking about Grace and teasing Jack about his relationship with Grace, Madison, etc. During one flashback, Jack demands to know why they have to talk about Grace before every game. "It's part of the luck, now, Jack!" declares another teammate superstitiously – talking about Grace has become their good luck charm. Jack doesn't tell Grace, but instead comments that he's not even sure he's going to be allowed to say a prayer, since it's a public school. He thinks the counselor may not have realized that they aren't allowed to pray, since this is her first year. Grace to the rescue: She has written Jack's speech for him. As she hands it to him, Daniel calls, but Jack snatches the phone out of her hand. "Are you going to help me or not?" he asks her, and she frowns at him, demanding the phone back.

Amy has fallen asleep reading John a bedtime story, so Ricky comes in to help put John to bed. As Amy kisses him goodnight, John says, clearly, "Ring!" Amy isn't sure what she heard, and Ricky quickly acts to cover up John's slip, saying that he said "Read" and wants Ricky to read to him. Amy, though, is sure she head John say "ring".

Adrian is trying on her graduation gown and as she purses her lips to apply lip gloss, she mutters to herself, frantically: "Just one last kiss – that's all I want. Just one last kiss."

Amy is talking to Madison and Lauren, telling them that John keeps saying "ring" and that she believes that it's because Ricky has an engagement ring. Madison and Lauren are doubtful – Madison asks, "Do you think he's going to ask you to marry him?" and Amy retorts, "Well, I don't think it's a friendship ring!" She goes on to say that Ricky is acting funny, but Lauren is unimpressed and attributes it to nerves over giving the valedictorian speech. Madison spies Jack and Grant, and runs up to Jack, telling him that "poor Amy thinks Ricky is going to propose to her." Meanwhile, Lauren is asking Amy if she is sure she hears John saying "ring", but Amy is positive and goes on to say that Ricky has had a strange look on his face, too. "Maybe this is it – maybe Ricky really is going to propose to me!" Lauren is unconvinced.

Grace approaches Grant in the hall to say hello, to break the ice since they will be at med camp that summer. Grant is friendly, and tells her that Ricky is going to propose to Amy. Jack joins them, and Grace asks Jack, but Jack clarifies that Amy told Madison that she thinks is could happen. The counselor comes flying out into the hall in a panic and asks Jack to join her in her office. Meanwhile, Daniel calls and reminds Grace that she promised to call him the night before, but she didn't – she explains that she was tired after helping Jack with his speech. He offers to take her to the graduation party, and she asks if they can drive Adrian, too. Daniel isn't thrilled at the prospect.

The counselor is upset that she asked Jack to say a prayer, and he tells her that it's ok, he figured it wasn't a prayer, and shows her the speech.

Ben and Henry are talking about going to the party at the lake – Ben is looking forward to it, because it will mean the end of a stressful year, and he's looking forward to his senior year so that he can have "at least one good year" in high school. Henry isn't excited about next year, either, since he's afraid he'll be seeing Alice crying every time she sees him. Alice walks by with Jack as he is inviting her to the graduation party, and she interrupts for a moment to snarl at Henry to get away from Ben. Smiling, she turns back to Jack and says that she's not really feeling like a party, and Jack observes that Ben is going with Henry. Alice declares he's not, since that's part of their "agreement", but Jack tells her that someone should go with Ben, since Ricky may be proposing to Amy. Alice freezes, and then tells Jack she will get back to him. Joining Henry and Ben, she tells Ben that Ricky is proposing. Ben shrugs: "Good for him." As Henry and Alice stare at him, he goes on: "Honestly, I don't care -- I wish her all the best . . . and she's going to need it if she's stupid enough to actually marry that guy." He fingers his wedding ring, and Henry asks why he is still wearing it. Ben slips it off and puts it in his pocket.

Adrian corners Ricky in the hall, commenting that tonight is the big night. She leans in close, and Ricky, not backing down, asks her why she is in his personal space. He tells her, unequivocally, that he doesn't want to have anything to do with her and doesn't want her coming around him anymore, "not now, not for the rest of my life." Adrian pouts and suggests they say an official goodbye. "Bye," says Ricky shortly, turning away quickly and leaving. But before he gets too far, Adrian, angered, tells him that he's going to regret that, "especially if you're going to propose to Amy at graduation." Ricky gives her a look, and keeps walking.

Jack is sitting on the stairs, staring out into the deserted hallway, remembering a happy moment with Grace. His football coach comes up to him and assures him that college will be even better, and Jack comments that the time has gone by quickly, he has really enjoyed high school, and thanks the coach for his support. The coach tells him that he's going to be the new defensive coordinator at Jack's college – and that he'll see him this summer at camp. Jack doesn't quite know how he feels about that.

Kathleen and Tom are arguing over Tom going to the graduation party. Tom declares he is invited, but Kathleen refuses to allow him to go, reminding him that he has a family that he begged for and is responsible for, and he can't just be going out to parties on a whim. Angry, Tom asks her why she won't just go to Africa, be with her husband and "stop telling me what to do!" Kathleen, ending the argument, declares, "I'm going!" and turns away.

Adrian is waiting in the hall to waylay Ricky and flashes back to times she spent flirting with Ricky. Ben comes up to her and gently begs her to give up on Ricky. "Adrian, you and me – we've got to move on. The two of them are going to get married. Amy, Ricky and John are a family, and one day, you'll have a family, too, and so will I. Today's a good day to move on." He offers to take her out for a taco, to celebrate "getting through this year." With one last glance down the empty hall, she turns and walks out the door.

Amy pops into the Juergen's kitchen to pick up a dress, surprising George, who is pouring two glasses of tea. Anne comes around the corner, tucking in her blouse – much to Amy's amusement and Anne and George's chagrin. Anne nervously tells her that she's going to graduation, too, to see Ricky graduate. "Any special reason?" inquires Amy, but Anne just assures her that it's because he's John's father. "Is something going on?" asks George, and Amy tells them that she thinks it's going to be a very special night. As Amy leaves, George turns and grins at Anne, telling her that "it's been a very special afternoon!" Anne can't believe that he thought she was interested in Nora. When Anne carefully tells George that having sex isn't a commitment, he agrees, saying, to her confusion, that they are just friends.

Ricky dashes into the hall to retrieve his forgotten notes. As he walks down the empty hall, he flashes back to the first day he saw Amy at school, a freshman standing forlornly in the hall, holding her French horn.

Graduation Night: Ricky leads the procession in to "Pomp and Circumstance" – everyone is there in the audience. Jack gives a graceful invocation (in contrast to the coach's awkward introduction), saying that even though he's not allowed to pray, he wouldn't be there today if people hadn't prayed for him along the way, and thanks his parents. He tells the teachers and friends that even though it didn't seem as though they listened to them as they did foolish things, that he hoped that at least, for that evening, they are proud of them.

The principal introduces Ricky, announcing that he has received the Governor's Award for outstanding personal achievement in the face of challenge and that he has a 4.2 average and set records for SAT scores at their magnet school. In Ricky's speech, he talks about learning to forgive his father for the things that he has done, and how school has been a lifeline. He goes on to thank other students who have helped him – one girl, for sharing her lunch with him during third grade, another girl for stealing her brother's jacket for him, and another boy, for letting him hide in his treehouse for a week. He thanks various teachers, especially the band teacher for teaching him to be part of a group, and all teachers for teaching them that they are there to make the world a better place. "We are all part of something better than ourselves," he declares. He thanks his parents and Nora and Leo for believing in him. He says that Amy has taught him that he is capable of loving someone, and that, for the first time, he doesn't feel isolated from the world. He asks Amy to come up on the stage, and the whispering begins. George and Anne are taken aback: "Did you know about this?" George demands. "I did not, declares Anne firmly. Madison and Lauren clutch at each other: "Oh, my God, he's going to do it!" Alice runs and sits next to Ben and Henry: "Like it or not, I'm going to share this moment with you!" she hisses. Grant leans over to Grace and whispers: "This is really romantic – if you like that sort of thing!" As Amy climbs the stairs to the stage and stands by Ricky, Ricky goes down on one knee, opens the ring box, and says: "Amy Juergens – will you marry me?" Crying happily, Amy says, "Yes!" and they embrace to the cheers of the students and audience – except for Adrian, who is stunned and is gently restrained by Jack. The class rises, turns their tassels and graduate – Ricky and Amy smiling happily, and George and Anne unsmiling.

At the party, all sort of little dramas are taking place: Griffin and his boyfriend are dancing, and another boy joins them, saying that he's "new to all this – being gay, I mean." Griffin's boyfriend sneers at him, "Oh, I thought you meant new at dancing." Griffin is more welcoming, telling the boy that he can hang with them. Adrian is dancing with Omar, Jack is dancing, but is distracted at Grace dancing with Daniel. However Daniel is distracted by a girl glowering at him from the sidelines – his ex-girlfriend. Jesse greets Ben and Henry, and tells him that the neighbors have joined the party. Henry spies an attractive girl: "Who's the redhead?" Ben, seeing the same girl, throws his sleeping bag at Henry: "She's taken," he says, as he quickly moves in to introduce himself. Sparks fly between Ben and Dylan, and they go outside to talk. She asks if he has a girlfriend. "No," he says, simply. Alice asks Henry to dance, but he refuses, hurting her feelings. Jack asks Daniel's ex-girlfriend to dance, but she is more interested in Daniel. Jack obliges by breaking in on Daniel and Grace, leaving Daniel free to talk to her. Grace points out that Grant has arrived, and Jack notes that he has shown up "with that slut you told him not to go out with." Grace shrugs and declares, "Yeah, but he's still in love with me." "Who isn't?" sighs Jack.

Jesse hands Lauren and Madison drinks but she turns her nose up at it when she realizes it has alcohol. Madison downs her quickly, and holds Lauren's for her. Lauren reminds Jesse that she doesn't drink. "There are other things to do at a party other than drink!" she exclaims, and at a leer from Jesse, she corrects herself: "I mean dance!" Jesse obliges. Madison offers Omar Lauren's cup, but he sniffs the alcohol and turns it down. He asks her who she's there with. "I don't know, yet!" she chirps. Daniel and his ex-girlfriend are talking intimately, arousing Grace's jealousy. She marches up to them and introduces herself. The ex-girlfriend rolls her eyes and sighs, "Yeah, what-ever" and walks away. Daniel wants to leave, and Grace declares she'd rather that the ex-girlfriend leave, instead. Daniel tells Grace he has no control over her, but he can leave – but Grace refuses to leave the party. Daniel shrugs and insists on leaving, with Omar. As Adrian sees them leaving, she stops them, but she, too, refuses to leave. She asks Omar if he's leaving, and he asks her, "Do you want to stay?"

At that moment, Ricky and Amy enter the party, to a whirlwind of clapping and applause. Amy proudly flashes her ring, and gives Ricky a lingering kiss, causing Adrian to tell Omar that she wants to stay. Daniel whispers to Omar that "That's Ricky," causing a derisive snort from Omar. "That's the guy you can't get over?" he asks incredulously. As Amy and Ricky finish kissing, Amy points out Adrian to Ricky. "There she is." Ricky glances at Amy: "Are you sure?" and she nods. He walks up to Adrian, and tells her, amid a long silence, "Heard you wanted something from me?" "Oh, yeah, what's that?" asks Adrian. "I heard you wanted one last kiss." "What are you going to do about it?" dares Adrian, and Ricky leans in and gives her a lingering kiss, amid gasps. As the kiss ends, Adrian is surprised that she is unmoved. "I'm free!" she happily declares, and turns to Omar. "You were right!" But Omar is not amused. He tells Adrian that she has been totally disrespectful to him – and to herself, and leaves. Ricky and Amy begin dancing a slow dance. Jack invites Grace to dance, and she joins him on the dance floor. Ben and Dylan come back inside, and Ben sees Adrian standing forlornly on the floor. He invites her to dance, and the three couples finish the slow dance together.

With daylight come some startling revelations. Everyone is asleep – but with who? Lauren goes into Jesse's room to apologize for not drinking or sleeping with him, but is stunned when she realizes that Jesse has spent the night in bed . . . with Madison. Lauren rushes from the room, waking Amy. "Wake up, Amy, I need you!" and demands to be driven home. Jesse and Madison stumble out of the room as Madison exclaims, waking up the rest of the house party with her squeal of "I didn't mean to sleep with him!" "Oh, no!" groans Amy and Ricky quickly takes charge, herding Amy and Lauren out of the house. As they leave, Jesse tries to make excuses: "She seduced me! And I wasn't thinking right – I had had a few drinks!" Jack wakes up next to Daniel's old girlfriend, who assures him that he doesn't have to call her. "OK," he says, relieved. Grace has heard Madison's exclamation, and asks Jack to find Adrian and take her home. Griffin's boyfriend wakes up next to Griffin – and notices the boy who has just come out on the other side of Griffin. Abruptly, he tells Griffin that he's leaving, and the new boy tells Griffin, with a suggestive grin, "If he wants to be that way – let him go." Jack finds Adrian in a spare bedroom, and tells her to hurry up and get ready to go. She pops out of bed – where she has spent the night with Henry. Smiling at Henry, she thanks him as Jack stares in disbelief. As Jack leaves, Henry stares sleepily at the door. "I'm a dead man," he mutters as Alice walks in and then stops, staring. "Well, we'll see who Ben is friends with, now," she says quietly. "Uh-oh," says Adrian, with wide eyes, and Henry falls back onto the bed in dread. Ben and Dylan wake up next to each other. Dylan asks him, shyly, if he had a good time, and he says, "Yeah – the best time I've ever had without having sex!" Dylan smiles shyly and tells him, "I don't do that," and he sighs in relief. "That's refreshing to hear," he smiles.

Outside, waiting for Adrian, Grace tells Jack that she saw him "with that witch last night – she must have really put a spell on you." "Jealous?" inquires Jack. Grace asks him if he thinks there's anything to "that kissing thing – how Adrian kissed Ricky? Do you really think she could tell it was over?" Jack says he doesn't know, but impulsively, he leans forward and gives Grace a long and lingering kiss that Grace returns. They stare at each other, uncertain what just happened. '

Lauren sits, unmoving, in Ricky's car as Amy and Ricky take a moment to take in the beauty of the sunrise on the lake. "What a crazy party!" observes Amy. "What a crazy graduation!" she adds, admiring her ring."What a crazy life," agrees Ricky, and they kiss.