Jane By Design -- Happy Birthday

Okay, I have to say this. After having been subjected to Teri Hatcher's Susan Myers for years on Desperate Housewives, I needed a long break from her. So her turning up on a show I watch, hasn't been a welcome surprise. Of all the women they could cast as Ben and Jane's mother, why did it have to be her?

It's Jane's birthday and she has a nice dream where Ben and Billy give her a wonderful birthday, only to wake-up and to have neither remember that it's even her birthday. Actually they do remember, but Ben thought it would be a neat idea to pretend that they didn't. Billy even pretends that the birthday present he bought for Jane is really for new gal pal, Zoey. So Jane goes through the day believing her nearest and dearest forgot all about it being her birthday.

Ben gets an unpleasant surprise of his own when he receives a birthday card for Jane from their mother. He tells Rita he doesn't plan to give it to Jane. That when their mother deserted them and left him to raise Jane, she gave him the right to decide whether or not to give Jane a birthday card from her.

In other Ben news, he tells Nick a major league baseball scout is coming to see Nick pitch. Steve, the scout, seems very impressed with Nick. Steve also gets Ben to pitch, and he's equally impressed by Ben, who makes it clear he's given up his major league baseball dreams. It appears that Nick may have to do the same thing, as he later confides in Billy [who extends the hand of friendship by asking Nick to play pool with him] that when he pitched he felt something pop in his arm and he's worried it could mean something.

Billy and Nick becoming friends will probably be easy now that Nick and Lulu have broken up. Lulu dumps Nick when she finds him at Jane's surprise birthday party. She also makes a beeline to where Billy is sitting with Zoey and tells Zoey she's wasting her time, because despite what Billy claims, he's in love with Jane and that's never going to change.

Billy tries to blow off what Lulu said and puts it down to rich people shouldn't mix with poor. I knew what was coming when he kept repeating that mantra about Zoey being poor like him when he took her home. After pretending to go into a poor person's house, she waited to Billy left and entered the mansion she really lives in. Yes, Billy, you're messing around with another rich girl.

Meanwhile, someone from Gray's HR department points out to Gray that there's a discrepancy in Jane's file about her age. No, Gray isn't about to find out she's a teenager pretending to be an adult. She now thinks Jane is two years older than she's claiming to be.

Eli takes Jane for a day on the town when she reveals to him it's her birthday. She has a good time, but it turns sour when it's revealed it was a fake date so Gray could set up an impromptu surprise birthday party for her. Later, Eli says he really enjoyed himself, and kisses her on the cheek, saying he'd like to do it again.

At Jane's other surprise birthday party everyone keeps waiting for Jane to show up, but Jane hasn't answered any of Ben's text. Ben, however, gets a blast from the past, when Amanda Clark, Ben's ex-girlfriend from the sound of it, drops in. Rita experiences some buyer's remorse or in this case break-up remorse, as Amanda confides to Rita that she intends to make a play for Ben.

India is hurt that Gray never threw her a surprise birthday party, which Jeremy loves rubbing India's nose in, while India tightens the screws and wants him to get her the details for Gray's calendar. Jeremy tries by offering to help Jane, but she turns down his offer of help. At the surprise party Jeremy gets plastered and it gives him Dutch courage to stand up to India, as he offers to go to Gray and tell the truth. India locks him in a closet until he sobers up. Jane, however, finds him, and he tells her the truth.

I'm not sure if Jane feels guilty for getting India fired when she was innocent of what she was accused of or not. India came up to Jane as she was reacting to what she'd discovered to brag that the only reason Gray threw Jane a surprise birthday party was a writer was doing a puff piece on Gray and she wanted to make herself look good by throwing a surprise party for Jane.

That definitely sours Jane on the party she'd been enjoying so much before. When Ben shows up to fess up that he screwed up by trying to throw her a surprise birthday party and pretending he didn't remember it was her birthday, she's more than ready to leave. Unfortunately, when they arrive at Jane's other party, everyone has gone home. There is, however, a late arrival, that floors both Ben and Jane. Mommy Dearest comes trotting through the door.

The first half of the season really featured Jane's relationship with Billy pretty heavily. Now they've back away from that and seem to be concentrating more on Jane's relationships with her family. First with Ben now with her returning mother.

On a side note, I actually liked Billy and Lulu. Lulu still seems to have a thing for Billy. But she's right in that Billy will always love Jane. Still, if we're going to be stuck with a Billy/Rich girl romance, I think I'd prefer it was Lulu. What with the history of Lulu's father sending Billy to juvie for two months it could make for a very interesting side story.

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