Life UneXpected

2010, TV Show

Life Unexpected Episode: "Pilot"

Season 1, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: In the series opener, teenage Lux (Britt Robertson) attempts to leave the foster-care system and become an emancipated minor. She locates her birth parents (Shiri Appleby and Kristoffer Polaha) for the first time, then winds up in their custody. Ryan Thomas: Kerr Smith.
Original Air Date: Jan 18, 2010

Full Episode
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Season 1, Episode 1
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Length: 42:24
Aired: 1/18/2010
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Life Unexpected Episode Recap: "Pilot" Season 1, Episode 1

Welcome to the first Life Unexpected recap. As the new CW series debuts, I just want to say that I hope you enjoy following Lux's journey as much as I will enjoy writing about it. Since this is the first episode, there is plenty to talk about, so let's get started with meeting the characters...

Meet Lux, a nearly 16-year-old girl who has jumped from home to home and is now trying to get emancipated from foster care. Because Lux has never had a real family, she's more than capable of taking care of herself and can be a bit rough around the edges. 

Meet Cate Cassidy, host of a morning radio show and biological mother to Lux, though Cate doesn't know that yet. After being burned by Nate (see below) in high school, Cate struggles with letting people in.

Meet Nate "Baze" Bazile, Cate's one-time high school fling that resulted in the birth of Lux. He's the stereotypical man-child, who just hasn't grown up yet. Case in point: He lives in the bar he runs.

Meet Ryan Thomas, Cate's radio co-host who has no idea his counterpart was once preggers, which is slightly bad seeing as he's also her boyfriend.

Now that you've met the gang, let's get this show on the road! The series kicks off with Cate and Ryan's voices coming over the airwaves in Portland, Ore. Ryan and Cate seem to have great chemistry as they banter about marriage and relationships, unbeknownst to their listeners that they are actually a real-life couple.

One of their faithful listeners happens to be Lux, who starts her day glued to the dial as she gets ready to search for her bio-dad, bringing her one step closer to emancipation. Why does Lux want to get out of the foster care system? Just one point would be the creepy foster bro who walks in on her while she's in a towel, fresh out the shower. Going off on her foster mother, Lux exclaims that she'll be out of the house within two days, on her 16th birthday. "Don't make promises you can't keep," her foster mom retorts.

Over at Lux's future destination, Baze wakes to his girlfriend preparing to head out for a run. Unlike her, Baze was up until 4am working, though working and drinking at his own bar are quite different, she explains. He's all about having fun, saying he'll grow up after noon.

"I learned it really early on that the only person you can depend on in this world is yourself," says Cate over the radio when Ryan jabs her for not having a maternal bone in her body. She, clearly, is quite the opposite of Baze, and puts up defenses at every turn.

Back at Baze's place, Lux arrives and reveals that she is his daughter. At first, Baze thinks it's a joke, but he is forced to come to terms. Lux's mission is to get both her bio mom and dad to sign away their rights. Baze adds his signature and says that Cate Cassidy, that's right, Lux's favorite radio host, is her mother. All too soon, Baze's girlfriend finds out the news and says he and Lux need to get a hold of Cate.

On the other side of town, Ryan and Cate sort through their possessions as they prepare to move in together. After Ryan peruses through her yearbook, he gets down on one knee and proposes. She slaps him across the arm, once again showing her inability to open up, but eventually, and almost begrudgingly, accepts. With the worst timing, Nate happens to call just then, but Cate hangs up on him, setting in motion the events to come the next morning.

While Lux and Baze wait for Cate to call back, the pair bond over YouTube, even though Lux says she hates those videos in an attempt to distance herself from being thought of as a child. The following day, Lux calls into the radio station, but is too nervous to reveal herself. Baze comes on and pretty much outs Cate on air for "getting knocked up" at winter formal. Turns out, they have ventured to the actual radio station to get Cate to sign Lux's paper. She does and offers to drive Lux to social services.

On the car ride over, Cate nearly crashes her car after hearing that Lux is actually a fan of her and Ryan. Lux proceeds to explain that she wasn't adopted as a baby because she had a hole in her heart and was nearly three years old when she finished with surgeries, meaning she wasn't the prime age for prospective parents. While Cate tries to convince her not to get emancipated, Lux sticks to her guns. "No offense, but I haven't had a mom in 15 years. I don't need one now," she says before taking off.

Later, Ryan and Cate attend a boat party for the radio station. Ryan seeks some explanation for her keeping secrets, but this causes Cate to put another wall up. "I don't trust people. I don't want to commit," she says, before handing back her engagement ring. Deep down, Cate just wishes she could fix everything for Lux. Unable to do so, Ryan and their engagement are the casualties.

Both Cate and Baze show up to Lux's emancipation case for moral support, but when Lux's case seems to be going downhill, they both offer to co-sign an apartment for Lux. Instead, the judge places Lux back in the temporary custody of her biological parents. Thus, Baze and Cate better get used to the words "mom" and "dad."

Outside the courthouse, a blowout occurs between Baze and Cate where the two let out their frustrations for what occurred in high school. Because of this, Lux takes off back to her foster home. Unfortunately, her foster mom isn't welcoming her back with open arms and Lux is now homeless.

Cate and Baze commiserate their failures over drinks, which turns into a steamy repeat of their winter formal in high school. When Cate makes the walk of shame in the morning, she trips over Lux, who slept on the sidewalk in front of Baze's bar. Lux explains that despite Cate not physically being there for her when she grew up, she could always hear her voice on the radio. The voice of truth, Lux says. "Can I do that? I'm going to tell you the truth without you getting mad...don't worry, it's going to work out. You're going to have a family someday," says Cate.

Once Cate makes it to the radio station, she tells Ryan that she doesn't want to screw up her relationships. She proceeds to propose to him after saying she's going to take Lux into their home. Later, Cate brings Lux home to her very first surprise birthday party. She's 16 and now has a family, even if it is slightly dysfunctional, there are people who love her and want the best for her. When Lux blows out the candles, you can see the levity of this sink in.

What did you think of Life Unexpected? Will you be tuning in next week to what can only be called a heartwarming and brave adventure? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Welcome to the first Life Unexpected recap. As the new CW series debuts, I just want to say that I hope you enjoy following Lux's journey as much as I will enjoy writing about it. Since this is the first episode, there is plenty to talk about, so let's get started with meeting the characters...

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Premiered: January 18, 2010, on CW
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (439 ratings)
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Premise: A teenage girl in the foster-care system reconnects with the birth parents she never knew.

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