The Motherload
Season 1, Episode 22


Ken Whittingham
Date Aired: May 16, 2012
episode guide
The Great Compromise

"The Motherload" is the twenty-second episode of season one, it aired on May 16, 2012.


Mother's Day is a big day in Chatswin. Eden thinks this particular holiday may be bringing up some repressed feelings Tessa has for her MIA mom. She's also feeling the need to finally consummate her relationship with George. Too bad he's not able to perform thanks to some ideas Noah put in his head about hurting the baby. Eden believes George should worry about his own kid first. She truly believes Tessa is upset about the mom thing. George assures her that he knows he's own daughter better and she's just fine.

Dallas has some snazzy new gold sneakers for the Mother's Day 5k run. She's bummed to learn that Dalia won't be waiting for her at the finish line. That's because her daughter has decided to spend Mother's Day in Israel with her father instead. On the bright side, Dalia promises to eat a kebab in her honor. Dallas takes a big lead during the race until she trips, hurting her ankle and has to be taken to the hospital.

Lisa is still awaiting DNA test results to prove that Shelia isn't really her mom. That's why she doesn't want to participate in all the festivities Fred has planned for Mother's Day. DNA results ultimately prove that Sheila is, indeed, Lisa's mother. As for Sheila, she wins the Mother's Day 5k. Her victory celebration includes a live performance by her favorite music artist, James Ingram. Fred had no idea the two of them used to date. That's not the only secret Sheila has been keeping. Lisa realizes that she's not the one who is adopted. Ryan is.

Noah and Jill are going with an "endangered animals" theme for their nursery. With horrors like snakeskin wallpaper made from countless real skinned snakes, or a custom made baby crib fashioned from a dozen ivory tusks. Not to mention live loaded hunting rifles racked on the wall. Eden gets a look at the truly disturbing room during the Werner's truly disturbing baby shower and totally freaks out about how the baby is going to be brought up. The utter stress of the situation leads to some 'psychosomatic complications'. Eden is rushed to the hospital. But all is well, as it was just false labor.

George lets Tessa know that he knows she got a rejection letter for her internship with the Village Voice. He's bummed when she won't discuss the matter with him. And finally suspects she's not being entirely honest with him about how she's truly feeling, which might also be true bout her missing her mother on this day. Tessa heads off to see Dallas, who sees a vision of her dog Yakult talking to her (in a voice that sounds a lot like Whoopi Goldberg) thanks to the strength of the painkillers she'd been administered. On seeing Tessa (& totally ignoring a worried Carmen) Dallas also longs to see Dalia, and asks Tessa to phone and call her back from Israel. This bums out Tessa, though she's not entirely sure why this hurt her feelings.

Tessa realizes that she never thought about her mother before moving to Chatswin. She breaks down in tears on the ride home. When she finally arrives, a woman is waiting for her across from the house. Tessa recognizes her from some old photos. It's her mother's mother. This woman is staring lovingly at the granddaughter she's never known. As for Tessa, she's staring at the chance for a way out of Suburgatory.


  • This episode is notable for it's serious tone in comparision to the more humorous tone the series typically has.


Episode Guide vte
Season 1 Pilot · The Barbecue · The Chatterer · Don't Call Me Shirley · Halloween · Charity Case · Sweet Sixteen · Thanksgiving · The Nutcracker · Driving Miss Dalia · Out in the Burbs · The Casino Trip · Sex and the Suburbs · The Body · Fire with Fire · Poetic Injustice · Independence Day · Down Time · Entering Eden · Hear No Evil · The Great Compromise · The Motherload
Season 2 Homecoming · The Witch of East Chatswin · Ryan's Song · Foam Finger · The Wishbone · Friendship Fish · Krampus · Black Thai · Junior Secretary's Day · Chinese Chicken · Yakult Leader · Body Talk · Blowtox and Burlap · T-Ball & Sympathy · Leaving Chatswin · How to Be a Baby · Eat, Pray, Eat · Brown Trembler · Decemberfold · Go, Gamblers! · Apocalypse Meow · Stray Dogs
Season 3 No Me Gusta, Mami · Victor Ha · Open Door Policy · The Birds and the Biederman · Blame It on the Rainstick · About a Boy-Yoi-Yoing · I'm Just Not That Into Me · Catch and Release · The Ballad of Piggy Duckworth · No, You Can't Sit with Us · Dalia Nicole Smith · Les Lucioles · Stiiiiiiill Horny
See also: Episode Guide