Recap: Alison is spending her lunch hour at D&D helping Lucy Cabot run a '90s aerobic workout themed photo shoot. Lucy is so impressed with her enthusiasm that she asks her if she'd be interested in doing some freelance work for her on the side, and Alison excitedly chirps, "Yes!", then thanks her for the opportunity to expand upon her reception duties.
Jake and Michael are watching baseball on the tube, while Billy complains about his problems getting a credit card. Jake tells him it's probably for the best, 'cause he's definitely the type of bonehead who'd abuse the privilege and rapidly spiral into a cesspool of unmanageable consumer debt.
While out on the town, Alison gabbles excitedly to Jane about the freelance opportunities Lucy promised to throw her way...and Jane's like, "That's nice" and laments being five pounds heavier than she was pre-pregnancy...to which I say, 'Shut the fuck up, Jane. You look like you barely weigh a hundred pounds.' A guy representing the nonprofit Ocean Alert asks the two if he could interest them in attending his upcoming lecture about how to save the dying ocean, then eyes Alison appreciatively and introduces himself as Keith Gray. Alison gets all flushed and smilingly tells him she'll do her best to attend...and when she ambles off with Jane, she gushes about how totes adorable he is.
Billy has just wrapped up a phone call with a credit card company - who was like, "Fuck off, moron, we're never giving you a credit card" - when Alison enters the kitchen and asks him if he'd like to attend a save the dying oceans lecture with her tonight. He tells her he can't 'cause he's working the cabbie graveyard shift, and Alison gleefully rubs it in his face that she had no problem getting a credit card, but that she uses it responsibly.
Jane stops by Rhonda's apartment to announce that she's signing up for her next exercise class, and Rhonda's like, "Er, OK."
Keith is wrapping up his save the dying oceans lecture when he notices Alison in the audience and looks visibly pleased that she's in attendance. Afterwards, Matt (who must have gotten roped into tagging along) urges her to go up to the front of the room and talk to Keith...and when she's all, "Noooooo, I'm too shy", he forcibly steers here towards Keith. She smilingly greets him and says that since she works for an ad agency, she could arrange for Ocean Alert to get some free promotional stuff...but fails to clarify that she's just a receptionist and has no authority to be offering free anything. She then introduces him to Matt, who invites Keith out for a drink with them, then deftly excuses himself to avoid being a third wheel.
At Shooters, Keith gabbles to Alison about his activism in trying to get the polluted ocean cleaned up, and Alison mulls that over and says she has been noticing how much dirtier it's been getting lately. He invites her to examine the ocean up close and go scuba diving with him tomorrow, and she smilingly tells him that that sounds terrifying, but also super fun.
The following day, Keith hooks Alison and himself up to scuba gear, and the two gaily swim among the fishes, hand in hand. When they return to shore, Alison gushes about how incredible that was and that she used to fantasize about being a mermaid...and Keith's all, "Mermaid, hmm?" and leans in for a smooch.
Alison returns home that evening and tells Billy she had the most intense day scuba diving with her new friend Keith - a guy she finds herself magnetically attracted to and is the sort of person she feels like she's known a long time. Billy grumbles that it sounds like a silly schoolgirl crush, but Alison just stares dreamily into space and insists he's woooonderful.
Jane arrives at cardio-funk class and is horrified when she looks in the mirror and, through the lens of a badly distorted body image, sees herself with an enormous pot belly (but still really thin everywhere else). Rhonda greets her, suggests she start with something more for beginners and work her way up to an advanced class, but Jane stubbornly insists that she can handle it.
Billy gets several phone messages from a woman named Mary Smith and figures she must be the hottie he met at Shooters the other night. When he calls her back, he's dismayed to learn that she's a collection agent who's looking to collect on his defaulted student loan. She gleefully informs him that his inquiries about obtaining a credit card alerted them to his whereabouts, then declares, "It's payback time."
Billy complains to Jake about the nerve of a collection agency expecting him to repay his student loan, then - without a scrap of self awareness - bitches about the credit card company that continues to refuse to give him a credit card.
Alison tells Lucy she's become involved with a nonprofit called Ocean Alert and was hoping that D&D might offer them some corporate sponsorship. Lucy just kind of shrugs disinterestedly and says she'll think about it, then says she's sooooo busy with the current campaign and asks Alison if she can stay late to help her out. Alison eagerly replies, "Sure!"
Billy arrives at collection agency headquarters and finds Mary Smith doing paperwork in her cubicle. When he tells her who he is, she looks up his record and informs him that he owes $2,000 (plus interest) for a state student loan. Billy says he meant to pay that back - but decided not to when all of his earnings kept getting eaten up by rent and groceries. He asks Mary if she wouldn't mind cutting him some slack by erasing his debt, and she does her best to keep a straight face as she tells him that she too went to college and majored in romantic literature...and when that degree didn't translate to actual employment, she took a job at this collection agency in order to make a living and pay back her student loan. She tells him it's time to grow up, face reality, and figure out how he's going to pay his debts.
Keith drops by D&D to invite Alison over to his beach house later for a home-cooked dinner, and Alison smilingly accepts and says she just needs to get out of a pesky work thing. She heads over to Lucy's office and asks her assistant to tell Lucy she's not feeling well, and the assistant shoots her a disapproving stink-eye and says she'll let her soon-to-be-disappointed boss know that she's bailing out on her at the last minute.
Alison primps for her date while listening to Billy grumble about having to pay back his student loan. Alison snaps at him to shut up and just repay the thing so he doesn't screw with his credit rating...then changes the subject to Keith, and giggles about how she blew off a freelancing assignment to spend time with her new boyfriend. Billy makes a face and tells her that Keith seems way too perfect, then nosily asks her if she's planning on hitting the sheets with him tonight. Alison wails, "I don't knoooooow!" and says she's only been with two men in her life, and one was a sordid fling with a college professor. Billy urges her to be careful and fishes out a condom from his condom drawer.
Alison and Keith are lingering over a romantic, candle-lit dinner on the deck of his fantastic beach house. He tells her the most frightening moment in his life was seeing a great white shark while diving...and when he asks her what her most frightening moment was, she blushingly says, "Right now." He shoots her a creepishly intense stare, then takes her hand and steers her to the bedroom. As they tumble atop the bed, she acknowledges that this is probably the most appropriate, yet awkward moment for her to ask him about his sexual history. He assures her he's been tested, is AIDS free, and just came out of a long-term relationship. Alison looks satisfied enough with that, hands him Billy's condom, and the two get into some heavy smooching action.
The next morning, the two stare out at the ocean and exchange details on exactly how hot each thought the other was when they first met. He invites her to come back for round 2 this evening, and she responds by stripping off the man shirt she's wearing and playfully throwing it at him...and he sexily scampers after her to the bedroom.
Billy rails to Michael about Alison staying out at all hours with Keith, and how weird he thinks it is that she's so hung up on a guy she just met. When Michael just shrugs and is like, "She's a grown woman, so I really don't give a rat's ass", Jake ambles over and asks Billy how his debt problem is going. Billy continues to be bewildered that a collection agency would expect him to repay a student loan, and Michael suddenly gets all prickly and says it's deadbeats like him who default on their payments that make it hard for honest, law abiding med students to get loans and are then forced to borrow the money from their in-laws. Billy stares dumbly into space for a few seconds before muttering something unintelligible and quietly shuffling back to his apartment.
Lucy berates Alison for being two hours late for work, then admonishes her for squandering the chance to do some freelance work for her last night. She tells Alison it's clear she doesn't have her priorities in order, then barks at her to come in an hour early tomorrow.
Over dinner at Shooters, Alison tells Jane that her doinkfest with Keith was sooooo great, and that this is the first time she's been boned by a guy she really cares about. Jane says that that's exactly the way it was with Michael when they first hooked up, then picks at her food so she can continue starving off those pesky five pounds.
Billy drops by his parents' furniture store and tells his mom about his debt situation. She asks her boneheaded son why in blazes he'd take out a student loan when she and his father were paying his entire college bill, so he sheepishly tells her that, in lieu of getting a part time job to pay for the little extras, he took out a state loan for his personal expenses: e.g. skis, a stereo, dates. His mother shoots him an incredulous stare.
Alison arrives at Keith's beach house with food and a bottle of wine - just as Keith finishes a contentious personal phone call. When Alison asks him if he was just talking to his "old relationship", he's like, "Uh, no. That was my wife." Alison's all, "Wha-a-a-a? You're marrrrrried?!", then berates him for humiliating her before storming off. Keith chases after her and explains that he and his wife rarely see each other and that their marriage is pretty much history. He says he doesn't want to waste his life saddled with a defunct wife...and that, instead of just resolving the untenable situation by getting a divorce and moving on with his life, he avoids mentioning his marital status to new love interests 'cause he's afraid of scaring them off.
Alison is moping on the couch while Billy makes her a mug of hot chocolate. He says that even though he never actually met Keith, he knew all along what a shady guy he was. Alison says she lost herself in the budding romance, and that nothing else seemed to matter when she was with Keith. She tears up and admits that she's still crazy about him, and fears he's the only man she'll ever feel this way about.
Jane weighs herself and tells Michael she finally lost the five pounds of pregnancy weight, but now feels sad about losing the last connection she had with their miscarried spawn. Michael says it's normal for a miscarriage to have lasting effects - but that they have a lifetime to recover from it...and by lifetime he means toward the end of Season 1, when he starts his awesomely torrid affair with Kimberly Shaw.
Billy tells Alison he's considering moving back in with his parents so he can save enough money to pay off his student loan. Alison urges him to reconsider and offers him the use of her credit card, but Billy declines and says he's going to have to rely on his own wit and ingenuity to get himself out of this debt crisis.
Billy returns to collection agency headquarters to ask Mary Smith if they could work out a payment plan, and she's like, "Of course!" and says the goal of the agency isn't to make his life hell, but rather to get their money back. She tells him she'll run some numbers and get back to him.
Alison arrives late for a meeting with Lucy and stupidly says, "I completely spaced." When Lucy just glares at her in dismay, Alison explains that she's been having "intense personal problems" then needlessly tells her she got in over her head with a guy she's known barely two days...and that it quickly got very messy. Lucy tells Alison it's perfectly fine to have a love life as long as she never has to hear a word about it...then adds that it's pretty shortsighted and immature to let a relationship limit her career potential. When Lucy's assistant pops in to inform Alison that Keith called for her, Lucy shakes her head and mutters, "I hope he's worth it." Nope, doesn't seem to be.
Alison drops by Keith's beach house and tells him she can't seem to stop thinking about him, despite her aversion to breaking up a failing marriage...and instead of alluding to any kind of divorce plans on the horizon, Keith breezily promises it'll all work out somehow, and gives her a comforting hug.
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