Study Guide

This Is Where I Leave You

This Is Where I Leave You Summary

Lucky for us, the shiva ceremony that defines This Is Where I Leave You is a seven-day affair. That makes it really easy for us to break down the plot.

Check it:

  • Day Zero - Judd's father, Mort Foxman, has died after a long illness. Judd has to stay at the family home for a week to fulfill the shiva mourning ceremony. The icing on the cake is that Judd's wife just left him for his boss, Wade, a few weeks earlier.
  • Day One - Judd attends his dad's funeral. His siblings--Wendy, Paul, and Phillip--are there with their significant others. That night, Judd learns that Penny, his college sweetheart, is working at the Foxman sporting goods store.
  • Day Two - Judd withdraws a bunch of money from his joint bank account with Jen. Later that day, he finally gets the courage to say hey to Penny. 
  • Day Three - The Foxmans debate the family business at breakfast. Paul, who's been running the store, wants to buy out his siblings' shares. Phillip, the official Family Screw-Up™, wants to start working with his brother. Their argument is interrupted by Jen's sudden entrance. She tells Judd that she's pregnant with his child. Whaaa? (Also, get that DNA tested, dude.) They talk for a while and Jen heads to a local hotel. Oh yeah, and Judd gets to first base with Penny. Good work, buddy.
  • Day Four - It's Saturday, so the shiva is suspended while the family goes to Temple. Judd wears his dad's old coat to the service and is shocked to find marijuana in the pocket. Judd and his brothers slip away to the nearby Hebrew school but accidentally set off the fire alarm. Think that sounds crazy? Well, when Judd gets home, he has an intimate encounter with Paul's wife, Alice. Afterwards, he fights with Jen some more, goes to a movie with Penny, and consummates their newly rekindled relationship. That's what you call a busy day.
  • Day Five - Judd goes to a local amusement park with Penny and they have a grand old time. They're interrupted by a call from Jen—there's a problem with the baby and she's rushing to the hospital. Penny, who didn't know about the baby until now, decides to stay while Judd rushes off. The baby is okay, but Wade's entrance rudely interrupts the former couple. Later that night, Judd, Paul, and Phillip go to a local bar. After arguing with Paul, Judd ends up stumbling home alone. Halfway there, he runs into Wade. Wade tells Judd that he's leaving Jen before zipping away.
  • Day Six - Judd has a productive morning. First, he has a heart-to-heart with Tracy, Phillip's fiancée. She tells him that she's going to leave Phillip. After a busy shiva (and a huge revelation about Judd's mom, Hillary), Judd drives back to the home he shared with Jen. She's there. They share a tender moment and she reveals that the baby is a girl. Things seem to be looking up—at least, until Judd gets home. When he arrives, he finds Phillip on the top roof, threatening to jump. Phillip eventually agrees to come down, but he ends up slipping and falling off anyway. After everything settles, Judd drives to Penny's house to apologize and say goodbye.
  • Day Seven - Shiva officially ends on the morning of the seventh day. Judd tells Paul to hire Phillip, who seems to be okay after his tumble from the roof. Paul resists at first, but realizes that with their father gone, he and Judd have to care for their little brother. He relents. Judd leaves that afternoon. He ends up taking Phillip's Porsche as payback for Phillip stealing some of his money. He sets the GPS for Maine and starts driving.

And th-th-th-that's all folks!

  • Chapter 1

    • We open on Judd Foxman, our humble narrator. He's on the phone with his sister, Wendy, and she has bad news: their father, Mort, has died.
    • Although Mort was an atheist, Wendy says that he requested that the family perform the seven-day Jewish mourning ritual called "shiva" in his honor.
    • Mort had been diagnosed with stomach cancer a year and a half earlier. By the end, "his broad shoulders [were] reduced to skeletal knobs" (1.20).
    • Wendy tells Judd that the funeral is tomorrow, and Judd needs to drive to the family home in Elmsbrook in the morning.
  • Chapter 2

    • The next day, Judd is packing up his car when a very attractive woman walks up. It's his wife Jen. Lucky Judd!
    • Jen tells Judd that she's been trying to contact him, but he doesn't respond. Then he drops the bombshell: Jen's been having an affair with Judd's boss, Wade Boulanger.
    • Hmm. Maybe not so lucky.
    • Judd has been staying in an old couple's basement since he found out. Jen wants to proceed with the divorce, but Judd is dragging his feet.
    • It turns out that Jen has a bombshell of her own: she's pregnant. Judd assumes that it's Wade's kid and spews a few four-letter words before he screeches away.
  • Chapter 3

    • Judd and Jen got married when they were twenty-one. As with many newlyweds, their initial passion eventually gave way to monotony—a monotony that was abruptly shattered when Judd walked in on Jen and Wade getting busy on Jen's birthday.
    • So much for happily ever after.
    • Wade is a mash-up between Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, and Dane Cook. Appealing, we know. He hosts a radio show called "Man Up" that Judd produces.
    • Now he's hosting a private party for two with Judd's wife.
    • So Judd just stands there, holding a fully lit birthday cake. He finally takes the cake and—no, we are not kidding--shoves it up Wade's butt, setting his nether-regions aflame. Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!
    • Wade leaves and Judd berates Jen. She tells him that the affair has been happening for over a year.
    • Defeated, Judd gets into his car and drives nowhere in particular. He imagines driving to a small town in Maine and starting a brand new life.
    • Instead, he rents out an elderly couple's basement and falls into a deep depression. Yep, that does sound like a recipe for depression.
  • Chapter 4

    • Judd is carrying the casket at his father's funeral. He's helped by Paul, his older brother, and Barry, his brother-in-law. His youngest brother, Phillip, still hasn't shown up. Typical.
    • After they're finished, Judd stands next to his mother Hillary. She tries to coach him through his grief using her award-winning skills as a pop therapist.
    • The service is being led by Rabbi Charles Grodner. Back in the day, Charles was known in the Foxman home by a different nickname—Boner.
    • Suddenly, a Porsche pulls up and a Philip runs out looking disheveled. He greets the family and accidentally calls the rabbi "Boner" in front of the whole congregation.
    • Paul goes up to read his eulogy. To Judd, it sounds more "like an acceptance speech for the Most Dedicated Son Award" (4.31). Unlike his siblings, Paul stayed in town to run the family sporting goods business, so that actually might be a legit comparison.
    • As is customary at Jewish funerals, the family of the deceased pours the first scoops of dirt onto the casket. Everything goes fine until Phillip's turn. When the youngest Foxman throws his dirt onto the casket, he falls to his knees and sobs like a three-year old with a crush on Justin Bieber.
  • Chapter 5

    • The family returns home after the funeral. They're greeted by Linda Callen, who's been a neighbor and close family friend since Judd was a kid.
    • Her son, Horry, was practically part of the family and even dated Wendy for a while. That whole relationship ended after Horry got into a bar fight in college. He took a blow to the head and now suffers brain damage, giving him seizures and frequent memory loss.
    • Wendy ended up marrying Barry and having three children: Ryan, Serena, and Cole.
    • It's lunchtime and Serena is upstairs crying. Ryan is in the other room banging on the piano. Barry is on the phone doing his best Boiler Room impression. One big happy family!
    • Linda, Paul's wife, looks at Ryan with a mixture of emotions. See, they've been trying unsuccessfully to have a child for a while, so all these kids are tugging at her heartstrings.
    • Phillip's phone rings and he runs outside. The family watches him greet a well-dressed, middle-aged woman, whom he then introduces as his fiancée, Tracy. Tracy had been Phillip's therapist before they got involved, which, depending on when they started dating, might violate a whole boatload of ethical boundaries.
    • Suddenly, Cole emerges from the bathroom butt naked, training potty in hand. He shows his father his T-shaped turd with pride, but a distracted Barry loses it at the sight of the alphabetical poop.
    • In response, Cole joyfully throws his full potty in the air. Everyone dives for the floor like it's a bomb drill and Cole's little surprise lands in the middle of Paul's plate. Mmm, tasty.
  • Chapter 6

    • Judd flashes back to the day he met Jen. She was riding her bike on campus and he called out to her, not expecting her to stop. She did.
    • Later, Jen would tell him that she knew she was going to marry him from that moment. Judd blames their naiveté on watching too many meet-cute romantic comedies.
  • Chapter 7

    • Later that day, Boner—we mean, Grodner—comes by and prepares the house for the shiva. Mirrors are covered and furniture is pushed to the corners of the room. In their place, he sets five "shiva chairs," which are low-set seats for the grieving family.
    • Boner explains that Mort reexamined religion after he fell ill. Although the family is skeptical, their protests are cut short when Hillary drops a classic mom-style guilt trip.
    • As they wait for the first guests to arrive, Judd looks at the scars that run up Paul's arm.
    • Paul notices him looking and scowls. Judd thinks he's mad either because of the attack that caused those scars—which Paul blames him for—or the fact that Judd and Alice used to date in high school.
    • Whoa! Things just got real.
    • Judd and Paul start getting passive-aggressive, which we're quickly learning is the family's favorite method of communication. (Isn't it every family's favorite method of communication?)
    • Thankfully, the doorbell rings and visitors begin filling the room.
  • Chapter 8

    • Judd and his family sit and talk to the guests.
    • Everything reminds Judd of his failed marriage, so he heads to the kitchen and chats with Linda. She asks him to pick Horry up from work—he just finished his shift at the Foxman's store.
    • Judd picks up Horry. When Horry gets in, he tells Judd that Penny Moore, a girl that Judd used to crush on, is working at the store.
  • Chapter 9

    • The house is still full of visitors when they return. Hillary tries to play matchmaker for Judd, but his intentionally immature jokes scare the girls away. (Or irritate them away, but whatever.)
    • By 10:30 pm, the living room is empty and the siblings are off to bed. Unfortunately for Judd, everyone already called shotgun on the upstairs bedrooms, leaving him with basement.
    • Judd gets a voicemail from Jen. She's been calling for weeks, but he never picks up or calls her back, for obvious reasons. This time she's upset about money. Judd decides to go to the bank tomorrow and take out a few stacks of cash.
    • Day one of the shiva down—just six more to go.
  • Chapter 10

    • Judd has a reccurring nightmare that night.
    • In the dream, he's walking through town alone. Suddenly, he realizes that his leg has been amputated and he's wearing a prosthetic leg. Not remembering the details of how he lost it, Judd panics, like you do.
    • He wakes up and gets ready to the sound of Philip and Tracy noisily making love.
    • As if that weren't TMI, his mom comes by his room and tells him way too much information about her and his father's sex life.
    • Ugh, mom.
  • Chapter 11

    • Judd gets into the shower, but the hot water and electricity both shut down at the same time, which is AWESOME. Mort had wired the house himself and it's not exactly what you call up to code.
    • He runs to the basement to reset the electrical box and finds Alice already there, fiddling with the switches. They share an awkward moment as Judd resets the box. (Probably more awkward straight from the shower, so we hope he managed to throw on a towel first.)
    • Later that morning, the family is gathered in the living room, listening to Wendy reminisce about her first period, like you … never, ever do with your family.
    • She was home alone with her dad, who was on the roof fixing the gutter. In a panic, she threw a basketball up there to get his attention, accidentally knocking him off.
    • They ended up at the hospital, where a friendly nurse taught her how to tampon while Mort got stitches.
    • It's Phillip's turn to reminisce now. We hope it doesn't involve anyone's first period.
    • He used to play little league as a kid. One time, he missed two balls in the last inning and cost his team the game. Phillip's coach started yelling at him, but their father came in and knocked the coach out.
    • Tracy is annoyed by the story and tries to play armchair therapist with Phillip. When he resists, she storms off.
    • Hillary asks Judd if he has any memories to share. Judd keeps his lips zipped, but he thinks back to the jealousy he would feel when riding with his father to Paul's baseball games.
  • Chapter 12

    • The living room is once again filled with visitors. This time, the star of the show is Mr. Applebaum, an elderly gentleman who flirts with Hillary so shamelessly that you'd think he was Robin Thicke.
    • The siblings confront her about it when Mr. Applebaum leaves, but she plays dumb.
  • Chapter 13

    • Judd is at the bank, waiting in line to withdraw his money. Instead of using the time to think about his investment portfolio, he's fantasizing about the attractive bank teller.
    • He withdraws sixteen thousand dollars (leaving a few thousand for Jen, how sweet) and heads home.
    • Wonder what a stack of 800 twenties looks like? Yeah, we did that math.
  • Chapter 14

    • Judd remembers his first confrontation with Wade after learning about the affair.
    • Initially, Wade offered Judd a raise to stay on as a producer. Judd was about to sign the contract when Wade dropped three very stupid words: "I love Jen."
    • Naturally, Judd responded by tearing up the contract, throwing a chair at Wade, and storming out.
    • You know, if Judd is done with radio production, then we'd say he has a bright future in the WWE.
  • Chapter 15

    • It's evening and the house is full. Phillip has been joined by three high-school friends. Oh, and did we mention that these friends just so happen to be scantily clad, attractive young ladies?
    • Phillip flirts with them until Tracy shows up. He introduces Tracy but doesn't mention the fact that they are "engaged to be engaged." (5.37) (See: scantily clad.)
    • Judd decides to pick up Horry from the store again.
  • Chapter 16

    • When Judd gets to the store he beelines straight for Penny Moore. They hug and catch up.
    • She tells him that she skates each morning at the local ice rink and suggests that he should come along sometime. Super fun!
    • Judd and Penny were best friends in high school—by which we mean that Judd had a huge unrequited crush on her. They became romantically involved in college, but it never developed into a relationship.
    • They had made a pact back then: if neither one of them were married by the time they were forty, they'd marry each other.
    • What about if one of them was getting a divorce, hmm?
    • Horry is already in the car when Judd gets out. He's having a minor seizure. Judd calms him before driving home.
  • Chapter 17

    • Judd has another dream that night.
    • At first, he's making love to Jen. Suddenly, he realizes that it's actually Wade in bed with Jen and he is, in fact, sitting in the corner of the room, trying in vain to reattach his prosthetic leg.
    • Um, we're starting to think that this prosthetic leg isn't really a prosthetic leg, if you know what we mean.
    • The identities of the characters keep shifting until Judd sees the Rottweiler that gave Paul his scars. The dog attacks Judd and he wakes up.
  • Chapter 18

    • The power dies again as Judd showers. Once again, he finds Alice already downstairs.
    • Paul has serious things to discuss over breakfast, like that Mort's will and testament awards Paul half ownership of the store, while the other three siblings are given the other half to split. Paul tells them that he wants to buy their shares.
    • And then there's a surprise: Phillip tells Paul that he wants to join the family business, which seems to be the first time he's ever said he wanted to do anything. Paul's not very into the idea, given that Phillip has earned his place as the family screw-up.
    • Paul realizes that Phillip is getting money from Tracy and calls him (yes, him) a whore. They start to wrestle until Jen walks into the room and stops everyone in their tracks. She offers her condolences for Mort's death.
    • Seeing an opportunity, Phillip punches Paul in the jaw and knocks him out. Not a great way to start a business partnership, but you do what you do.
  • Chapter 19

    • Jen and Judd are alone talking. Suddenly, she runs out of the room to puke in the toilet. God bless morning sickness.
    • It's then that Judd realizes that the baby is his.
  • Chapter 20

    • Judd and Jen are sitting outside. He asks her how she knows that the baby is his. Well, because … Wade is sterile.
    • After some truly unkind laughter at Wade's expense, Judd tells Jen that he wishes the pregnancy had happened before the affair. She agrees through tears.
    • Just as they're about to share an intimate moment, Tracy pops outside carrying a yoga mat. Phillip isn't far behind.
    • Phillip tells Jen that he is going to get his brother "laid...by women ten years younger" (20.53). This hits a nerve in Tracy, who's still shaken by the arrival of Phillip's pretty lady friends. She storms off.
    • Phillip doesn't follow, though. Then, like clockwork, Jen blurts out that she's pregnant.
  • Chapter 21

    • Judd tries to imagine what it'll be like to be a dad.
    • It's a touchy subject, because he and Jen had almost had a baby a few years prior. Sadly, her pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.
    • Jen called him at work and told him that "something's wrong" (21.9). Although Judd rushed to the hospital, he wasn't able to make it before the baby was lost.
    • Ever since, he's felt that Jen resents him.
  • Chapter 22

    • Jen leaves for a nearby hotel (no makeup sexy times after all) and Judd rejoins the family.
    • Phillip storms downstairs, upset from his fight with Tracy, but he's leaping from the frying pan into the fire. His mom and sister harangue him for being with Tracy despite knowing that he's going to break her heart.
    • Annoyed, Phillip heads for the door. Judd is close behind.
    • Suddenly, Paul steps through the front door and punches Phillip in the face. Payback, sucker!
    • Luckily, that clears the air, and the brothers hug it out after Phillip recovers.
    • In all of his wisdom, Phillip chooses this moment to announce that Jen is pregnant with Judd's child. While most of the family meets the news with a mixture of amusement and happiness, Alice storms off with tears in her eyes.
  • Chapter 23

    • Judd rides with Phillip in his Porsche, discussing their respective romantic problems.
    • Phillip tells him that he has something to do, so he needs to drop off Judd somewhere. Okay, that's weird, but Judd tells him to drive him to the ice rink.
    • How convenient! Penny is skating alone when Judd arrives. They hold hands and skate until the manager comes out to open the rink for business.
    • Phillip doesn't pick Judd up for several hours. On the way home, Judd realizes that Phillip's shirt is inside-out. Hmm.
  • Chapter 24

    • Mrs. Binder, a neighbor, comes by that day. She complains about home renovations until her chair collapses from her weight, much to the lols of Phillip and Judd.
    • Later, Judd and Wendy are sitting by the pool while her kids play in the water. Judd tells her about his day with Penny. Wendy gets up to go inside, but she slips and falls into the pool.
    • Horry is already in the pool before Judd can react. He pulls Wendy to the side and the former couple shares a tender moment.
  • Chapter 26

    • Good ol' Uncle Stan is the next notable guest to arrive. He's what you call a "creepy dude," and he farts. A lot. Naturally, everyone loves Uncle Stan.
    • Paul gets home from work early and heads upstairs immediately.
    • Hillary launches into a high-minded speech for the gathered visitors, but she's interrupted by moaning coming from the baby monitor. It seems that Paul came home early for some "afternoon delight" and forgot to turn off the baby monitor. Oops.
    • The crowd is enraptured until Tracy mercifully turns off the speaker. Paul comes downstairs a few minutes later, completely oblivious to what just happened.
  • Chapter 27

    • Penny comes over after the guests leave. She and Judd end up kissing each other for the first time in years.
    • Judd calls Jen after Penny leaves and is horrified when Wade answers.
    • That night, Judd has another dream. He's being chased by the Rottweiler again. This time, however, his prosthetic pe—we mean, leg—falls off, sending him face first into the ground.
  • Chapter 28

    • Judd flashes back to an important night in his life.
    • Back then, he was a high school kid with a huge crush on a girl named Alice. Yup—that Alice.
    • Judd went to a house party that night in the hopes of finally kissing her. As he walked across the room toward her, he accidentally knocked a drink out of the hands of an older kid named Tony Rusco.
    • Rusco, being a classy fellow, decides to kick Judd as hard as he can where the sun don't shine. Alice helps Judd into the upstairs bedroom to recover, but he falls asleep. She's gone when he wakes up.
    • Defeated, he heads home. Then, out of nowhere, Paul pulls up next to him in their dad's Cadillac. He heard about what happened and tells Judd that they're going to beat up Rusco. Judd doesn't want to, but he gets in anyway. Way to give in to peer pressure, dude.
    • Rusco is standing in his front yard with two friends when the brothers arrive. Paul doesn't say a word—he just walks up to Rusco and knocks him out. Paul's a little punch-happy, don't you think?
    • Judd begs Paul to come back to the car but he won't listen.
    • A woman emerges from Rusco's house with a Rottweiler. Uh-oh. Bet you wish you'd gone back to the car now, Paul.
    • Judd and Paul try to run, but the woman drops the leash and the dog gives chase.
    • Judd jumps on top of the car while Paul jumps inside through an open window. Sounds like a safe getaway, but … Paul can't roll up the window in time, so the dog leaps in behind and starts viciously attacking him.
    • Eventually, Rusco makes it over and pulls the dog out of the car. Judd gets in and drives away with Paul barely conscious.
  • Chapter 29

    • Judd wakes up at 5:00 AM and climbs to the roof. He hangs out in the little nook where he and his siblings would go when they were teenagers.
    • From the roof, he sees Wendy hustling home from the Callens' house wearing pajamas. Pretty suspicious, if you ask us.
    • A few minutes later, he sees Linda leaving the Foxman home with the same nervous energy. Looks like shenanigans are afoot!
    • Judd takes a shower and—you guessed it—the power dies again. Still dripping wet, he goes down the basement and resets the circuit breaker.
    • However, he forgot one very important equation: water plus electricity equals ouch.
    • Judd passes out. He's taken back to a memory of playing at a park as a child. Lil' Judd is having a grand old time when, out of nowhere, another kid chucks a toy at his face.
    • Luckily, Judd's dad is there. He wipes the blood and tears off his face, comforting him and calling him "Bubbie" (29.6).
    • Judd wakes to Hillary standing over him. They cry and talk about how much they miss Mort.
  • Chapter 30

    • It's Saturday (a.k.a. the Sabbath) so the shiva is suspended. Instead, the family must go to temple for Mort's memorial service. Judd, not having any nice clothes, wears one of his father's suits.
    • As is tradition for these memorial services, the family of the deceased reads a passage in Hebrew to the congregation. Although Judd isn't religious—and doesn't understand Hebrew, for that matter—the ritual is pretty moving. They sit back down and the service continues.
    • Judd fiddles through his pockets and is shocked to find a joint of marijuana. (Remember, Dad's suit.) He shows it to Phillip and the two brothers slip away to find a private spot. To, you know, smoke it.
    • They end up in a classroom at the adjacent Hebrew school. Paul shows up soon after.
    • This rare moment of brother bonding is rudely interrupted by the wailing of the fire alarm and the whirring of the emergency sprinklers overhead.
    • They slip out and try to blend in with the crowd. Of course, they're the only ones who are soaking wet, but you have to make lemonade out of lemons, right? Luckily, they get away before the fire department shows up.
  • Chapter 31

    • Judd hasn't done drugs in a long time, so he collapses into bed as soon as they get home.
    • To his surprise, he wakes to find Alice lying next to him. That surprise turns into downright shock when she makes sexual advances.
    • When he resists, Alice tells him about her struggle to get pregnant. Although she's gone through countless procedures to boost her fertility, Paul refuses to even get his sperm checked. She hopes that Judd will be able to give her what Paul can't.
    • Judd tries—not very hard—to stop her, but they end up having a brief love-making session. Judd basically regrets it the minute it's over, but too late now.
    • Later that day, Judd heads over to Jen's hotel.
    • Jen explains that her affair started because Judd became emotionally distant after her miscarriage. This only upsets Judd further and he storms off.
    • For reasons unknown to even himself, Judd then drives two hours to the house he used to share with Jen. It isn't the first time he's done this, either.
    • Judd does some snooping and takes a few souvenirs: a couple pills of Viagra, three hundred bucks from Wade's wallet, and his favorite picture of Jen.
    • Penny calls Judd soon after he gets home, inviting him to a movie. They end up watching a silly romantic comedy and making out in the back row. Aw, young love.
    • Afterwards, they head to Penny's house and have sex for the first time. (That makes two women in one day, but who's counting?) Although Judd has feelings for Penny, he's left unsatisfied by the encounter.
    • Judd gets home around midnight. He walks in on Wendy and Barry in midst of a heated argument. It turns out that Barry is leaving the following day to finalize a business deal. Quick, someone get this guy the Husband of the Year award! It's not every man who would walk out on his wife less than a week after her father dies.
  • Chapter 32

    • We find ourselves in Judd's dream world once again.
    • This time, he's in the garage watching his father work with his tools. He's fixing Judd's prosthetic leg.
    • When he's finished, he turns around and snaps it onto Judd. The artificial leg magically transforms into a real one.
    • Judd wakes up, not entirely happy to be back in the real world.
  • Chapter 33

    • It's 5:00 AM again and Judd is back on the roof. He's followed a few minutes later by his sister Wendy.
    • They watch Linda doing the walk-of-shame for the second straight night. The pieces of the puzzle are beginning to come together for Wendy Drew and Judd Hardy.
    • Judd tells Wendy that he knows she slept with Horry. She doesn't seem to feel bad, saying that her relationship with Horry is her own personal "alternate universe" (33.46).
  • Chapter 34

    • Boner arrives with a group of Paul's high school buddies. They talk about jock stuff but are careful to avoid Paul's prematurely ended college baseball career.
    • Judd's old friend Greg stops by a bit later. Greg looks tired, unhealthy, and strung-out in general by family life. (Kids will do that to you.) Judd feels distant from his childhood buddy.
  • Chapter 35

    • Peter Applebaum returns and resumes his hunt for Mrs. Foxman. The flirting is even more shameless this time, if that's possible.
    • After a bit of this, Linda comes out of the kitchen and whispers something in Applebaum's ear. He follows her back into the kitchen and she says something with a raised voice. He leaves the house looking as bummed out as Charlie Brown.
    • In the meantime, Paul and his buddies have decided to play a pick-up baseball game. Paul is pitching, despite his bum shoulder. (Dog mauling, remember?)
    • Boner is up to bat first. Paul throws one ball, then two strikes. By the fourth pitch, his shoulder is visibly bothering him.
    • Paul's shoulder goes out with the next pitch, sending the ball careening into Boner's face. Thankfully, the two macho men choose to end their duel with hugs instead of fisticuffs.
  • Chapter 36

    • Judd has visitors that afternoon: Jeff and Kenny, two of his former coworkers at Man Up. They tell him that the show isn't the same without him.
    • After they leave, Hillary brings in a parade of eligible bachelorettes for Judd. Judd isn't having it, however, and freaks out.
  • Chapter 37

    • Eager for fresh air, Judd decides to take kiddies Cole and Ryan to Wonderland, a local amusement park. He picks up Penny on the way over.
    • Judd uses the money he stole from Wade to pay for concessions and rides. After the kids finish playing, the four of them sit down to watch a band. Then Judd's phone rings—it's Jen.
    • She tells him that she's bleeding badly and is on her way to the hospital. She begs Judd to come because she's terrified of having another miscarriage.
    • By now, Penny has realized what's up. She's upset that Judd didn't tell her about the pregnancy and decides to stay at the amusement park while Judd rushes away.
  • Chapter 38

    • Judd drops off the kids at home and Phillip speeds him to the hospital.
    • Jen is distraught when Judd enters into the room. She's convinced that the baby is already dead. Judd, for the first time, actually comforts her.
    • Thankfully, the doctor is able to locate the baby's heartbeat. For a moment, Judd believes that he can actually be a father.
    • This potentially life-changing moment is shattered when Wade steps through the door. He blames his tardiness on his car's GPS system. The two men argue, but the doctor kicks them out of the room before it gets too heated.
    • Outside of the room, Judd gives a long speech about how Wade is just waiting for an excuse to leave Jen. Wade, unfazed, tells Judd that it was Jen who came to him about the affair, not vice-versa.
    • Judd swings at Wade but misses. Wade pushes him up against the wall, and Phillip arrives just in the nick of time with an uppercut straight into Wade's nose.
    • The brothers are ejected by security, which seems like a good move.
    • Phillip and Judd, exhausted from their ordeal, talk about fatherhood. Despite what just happened, Judd is finally excited about the pregnancy.
    • Judd notices that Wade's Maserati is a few cars down from Phillip's Porsche. Being the good little brother that he is, Phillip pulls out a tire iron and hands it to Judd.
    • Judd has a seriously cathartic moment smashing Wade's car to high heaven.
  • Chapter 39

    • Hillary and Linda are fighting when Judd gets home. It ends with Linda running of the house in tears.
    • What's the fight about? Dejected, Hillary replies that "it's been so long since we were really a family" (39.5).
    • Fighting must be in the air tonight, because Alice and Paul are yelling at each other about the baseball game while Tracy is arguing with Phillip about having his second fist-fight in the last week.
    • Phillip comes downstairs and grabs an ice pack for his swollen knuckles. Next is Paul, who grabs a beer.
    • The three brothers decide to take a night off. They head to Phillip's Porsche, but not before leaving a "shiva cancelled" note on the front door.
  • Chapter 40

    • The three brothers head to Sticky Fingers, a local dive bar. (What else could it be with a name like that?)
    • As usual, Judd fantasizes about each good-looking woman he sees. Naturally, Phillip has already slept with most of them.
    • Judd notices Horry in the corner of the bar, chatting with a pretty girl.
    • Paul gives Phillip a few bucks to change the song on the jukebox. He tells Judd that Phillip won't be able to get to the jukebox without touching three women. He ends up touching four. What an overachiever!
    • Phillip gets back to the table and the brothers start arguing. Eventually, the conversation reaches the Rottweiler attack that crippled Paul. Judd refuses to take the blame, which makes Paul so furious that a bouncer has to restrain him.
    • Paul acknowledges that the blame for the injury lies squarely on his own shoulders, but he accuses Judd of being a bad brother in the time since. He storms out.
    • Phillip and Judd stay at the bar and get plastered. Phillip runs into Chelsea—one of the girls that visited him at the shiva.
    • Judd goes to the bathroom and sees Horry kissing the girl he saw him with earlier. Phillip and Chelsea are gone when he gets back to the table
  • Chapter 41

    • Judd is drunk as a skunk, ambling down Route 120. As he walks past the Sushi Palace, a silver Maserati pulls up next to him. It's Wade.
    • Wade strides up to Judd and punches him in the face. Judd then does what all great warriors do: curl up in the fetal position.
    • Wade tells Judd that he was right when he said that Wade was a bad dude waiting for an excuse to leave. Now that he has his excuse, Wade is leaving Jen.
    • Confused and upset, Judd takes a cab home.
    • When he gets back, he wipes the foam spray off the mirror to look at his battle wounds. He then lies down on the floor and goes to sleep. Comfy!
  • Chapter 42

    • Judd is sitting butt naked in his shiva chair. Uncle Stan is sitting next to him, farting up a storm.
    • Penny and Jen walk into the room. Penny looks out-of-place and embarrassed, while Jen looks "full-faced and radiant" (42.1).
    • Judd sees his father in the back of the room holding a baby.
    • Oh, okay. This is a dream! We weren't sure before.
    • Mort heads to the door and Judd struggles to get up and follow, but he's not wearing his prosthetic leg. He collapses onto the floor as the door closes behind his father.
    • Judd wakes up from his dream calling out for his dad.
  • Chapter 43

    • Judd climbs out to the roof and finds Tracy already there, smoking one of Wendy's cigarettes.
    • She asks him if Phillip is sleeping with Chelsea. Judd doesn't want to rat out his brother, but he tells her that, given Phillip's taste in women, infidelity is inevitable.
    • Tracy is sad but thankful for his honesty. She tells Judd that she'll break up with Phillip after the shiva. She will, however, leave him the Porsche.
    • Channeling her inner therapist, Tracy tells Judd that he needs to have a plan for his life. He can't wear himself ragged trying to find love—he has to become comfortable until it finds him. She heads back inside a few minutes later.
    • Judd sees Horry's date scurry away from the Callens' house, looking like "she's rushing from something, not towards it" (43.46).
    • Judd heads to Linda and Horry's home. He finds Horry in the basement having a seizure, and comforts him until the convulsions stop.
    • Judd heads home and takes a shower. Of course, Alice is sitting on his bed when he gets back to his room.
    • She apologizes for what happened the other day. Judd tells her that she is putting her marriage with Paul at risk, and she agrees.
  • Chapter 44

    • It's the beginning of the end—the final day of shiva!
    • The three brothers, looking pretty beat up, are sitting in the living room. Linda hasn't been back since her argument with Hillary.
    • The shiva continues as usual until Linda suddenly appears. Hillary grins wildly and they run into each other's arms, kiss, and walk out of the house together. Oh!
    • Peter Applebaum, his hopes finally dashed, gets up and leaves.
  • Chapter 45

    • The siblings argue about what they just witnessed and what it means about their mom's sexuality. Horry implies that this has been an open secret for some time.
    • Phillip drops some knowledge and kisses Tracy for good measure.
    • This upsets her and she breaks up with him right then and there. She heads for the door and Phillip follows.
  • Chapter 46

    • Judd finds out that Jen checked out of her hotel, so he drives to their home in Kingston. Jen comes outside looking sad and ragged.
    • They head inside and Judd puts on a bath for Jen. They spend some time having a sincere, emotional conversation. Wow, there's a first time for everything.
    • The former couple lie in bed together. Jen asks if they can make things work. Judd isn't sure.
    • Jen tells him that the baby is a girl. This makes Judd cry hard. They kiss and embrace, eventually falling asleep in each other's arms.
    • Judd wakes up around 5:00 PM. He feels comfortable being back in his old home, but still isn't sure if they can rebuild their marriage.
  • Chapter 47

    • A wild scene awaits Judd at Casa de Foxman.
    • Phillip is standing on the highest point of the house, threatening to jump. The family is crowded around and Tracy is yelling for him to come down.
    • It turns out that Phillip tried, once again, to propose to Tracy. As you might've guessed, it failed miserably.
    • Just then, Hillary and Linda show up. Hillary tells Tracy that she has to treat a tantrum by ignoring it. Tracy gets into her car and drives away.
    • Phillip is still upset, but he agrees to get off the roof. Only … it doesn't quite work as planned, and he slips and falls off the side.
    • One ambulance and a few pain meds later, the family is sitting in the living room as Hillary and Linda finally open up about their relationship.
    • Linda started spending the night with Hillary when Mort got sick. It wasn't romantic at first, but it headed that way after a few weeks. From there, it evolved from a purely physical relationship into a real romantic partnership.
    • Here's the kicker—Mort knew the whole time. To be honest, he was actually relieved that his wife wasn't going to be alone after his death.
    • Suddenly, something clicks in Judd's head. He realizes that their dad hadn't requested that they sit shiva—it was their mom's idea the whole time.
    • The children are outraged, but Hillary doesn't care. Phillip gets up and embraces Hillary and Linda, saying that he accepts them as a couple.
    • Then, as if on cue, he falls to the ground, mumbling about codeine and internal bleeding.
  • Chapter 48

    • After the kids are ready for bed, Judd and Wendy sit together and talk. Wendy has mixed feelings about going home to Barry, but she knows that she can't have a relationship with Horry.
    • Judd heads down to the basement and finds Phillip rummaging through his bag of cash. Phillip asks for a grand—he says that he has no money to his name and that Paul won't let him join the family business.
    • Judd suggests that Phillip should prove himself to Paul by working for him. If he can do it well, Paul would eventually let Phillip work with him.
    • As Phillip leaves, Judd tells him that he can have the thousand dollars. Phillip, grinning, simply pats the fat stack already in his back pocket.
  • Chapter 49

    • Judd pulls up to Penny's house. She comes to the door brushing her teeth.
    • Judd apologizes for leaving her at the amusement park, but Penny tells him that he should really be sorry for not telling her that Jen was pregnant.
    • She's friendly, but Judd can tell that things between them have changed.
    • Judd is walking back to his car when he hears Penny call out his name. She runs up and gives him a giant hug, telling him that they still have five years to go on their pact. They share a final kiss and Judd leaves.
  • Chapter 50

    • The shiva officially ends the next morning. As is custom, the family leaves the house together to take a short walk.
    • Judd and Paul walk together. Judd tells Paul that he will give Paul his share of the business if Paul hires Phillip.
    • Although neither is convinced that Phillip's life is on the right track, they know that protecting their baby brother is their responsibility now.
    • Paul agrees to hire Phillip, but he tells Judd to keep his share of the company. If Phillip fails, both brothers will have to deal with consequences.
    • Paul apologizes for blowing up on Judd at the bar. He tells Judd that anger is a poison that makes you kill "yourself without thinking about it" (50.38).
    • Wendy and her kids get ready to leave. Judd is sad to see Cole and Ryan go. He worries that they will be too old to love their uncle the next time he sees them. They get into their minivan and drive away.
    • The van stops as it passes Horry, who's standing outside his house. He places his hand on the window for a long moment, and then the van speeds away.
    • Later that morning, Judd goes through his father's dresser. He finds his dad's old watch and puts it on, not caring that it hasn't worked for years.
    • Eager to avoid a drawn-out goodbye, Judd tries to slip out while the family eats brunch.
    • Linda is able to catch him before he leaves, although she doesn't let the others know. Judd tells her that he's happy that Linda and his mom are together.
    • Judd ends up in Phillip's Porsche, sitting at a gas station next to the interstate. He's thinking about the places he could go: his home in Kingston, Penny's house, or a small town in Maine.
    • It turns out that Phillip had taken two thousand dollars from Judd's stash. What makes better collateral than your little brother's Porsche?
    • Judd decides on Maine. He'll spend a night there and figure out the rest in the morning.
    • He blares country music and starts driving.
    • Road trip!