Good, dramatic stuff this week as Esther takes it upon herself to arrange a coming of age party for Mary Ellen. Only problem is, Mary Ellen wants nothing to do with it. This is pretty much the first time we've seen one of the children at loggerheads with their grandparents, and on this evidence, I hope it's not the last. It's a great script, and Judy Norton delivers her lines very convincingly.
The best scene by far comes when GW turns up with a bunch of flowers and (in not so many words) a marriage proposal for Mary Ellen. The bust-up that follows is superb, as is Mary Ellen's aim when she chucks her flowers at Jason. To be fair, he does deserve it. Mary Ellen keeps up her opposition to the quilting right to the end, and even when she appears at the party, you still sense that she hasn't changed her stance. It's good, thought-provoking stuff, and the ambiguous ending is spot on.
There are a lot of recurring characters this week, most notably the awesome GW Haines, who makes a welcome return after more than two seasons away. Here's hoping we shan't have to wait until Season Six to see him again.
So far this season, we've had it confirmed that Jason is 18, Mary Ellen 17, Ben 16, Erin 15, Jim Bob 13 and Elizabeth 10. At the time this episode was filmed, the actors who played them were 19, 17, 17, 14, 14 and 10. That's not bad in my book.