Tandy wants Erica to get right into birthing this baby, but she is only in the early stages of labor. It’ll still be a few hours, so she’s walking around to “get things going.” Gail tapes up some pages that will come in handy if there are any complications. Tandy asks if anyone wants any snacks, and Todd says he’d like some water. Erica has an intense contraction, which freaks Carol out as a pregnant woman, and she leaves abruptly.
Gail reminisces about when she and Erica met in DC and thought they were the only two people left on earth. Erica says she always knew that Gail would one day help deliver her baby. Erica takes a sip of water out of her cup, and Tandy immediately refills it with water out of a pitcher, warning that the water he added may be cooler than what she just drank. Todd asks if they should put on some music, and Tandy starts singing as his way of helping. Erica says spa music would probably be better, and Tandy chooses a different song. Finally Gail asks him for a cold washcloth, just so they can get a break from him. Tandy asks what kind of cold — Alaskan glacier, summer breeze, dank basement? Gail says whichever is furthest away. Tandy takes off for the mountain stream. Erica says she misses Phil, the father’s husband, who died during an appendectomy. Tandy overhears this before he leaves to get the water and comes up with a sneaky plan.
Melissa brings Jasper to Carol’s house so that he can get a break from hearing Erica’s screams. When they walk in, they see and hear Carol listening to a cd of people laughing. Currently playing is Girls Night Out, but she says her favorite track is Church Giggles. When they stop the cd, you can hear Erica’s pain. Carol asks Melissa if that sound sounded normal to Melissa. Melissa is trying to keep Jasper calm, which is very hard to do while Carol is freaking out. Jasper asks if Erica is going to die, and Carol says she thinks so. Since this clearly isn’t a good place for Jasper to spend his time, he and Melissa leave.
Tandy comes back to the delivery room with that cold washcloth held in front of his face. When he lowers the washcloth, he’s wearing a paper mask of Phil’s face. He tries his best at a Phil impersonation, but it’s not very good, and weirds everyone out. He pretends that he has come down from Heaven, and tells them that in Heaven he started playing the guitar with rock icons. He turns to Todd and thanks Todd for promising to be a father figure to Phil’s child. He, as Phil, says that he only didn’t ask Tandy because he was jealous. (Reminder that Phil was interested in Carol back in the day, but Carol was married to Tandy, and Phil had been sleeping with Erica. He was professing his love to Carol when Erica announced that she was pregnant.) Erica says that his voice is insulting. He tries to defend himself, but Melissa walks in and tears the mask off. Since Carol is clearly in need of a friend, Melissa asks Tandy to take Jasper to the park, so she can have some alone time with Carol.
Melissa finds Carol writing her own obituary for a future copy of the newspaper, convinced she’ll die in childbirth. Melissa tells her to stop fixating on all of the bad things that could happen. She compares it to turbulence on an airplane — no one likes it, but it’s part of the package. With Carol still hysterical, Melissa reminds her that she and Erica are going through this pregnancy together, and that she isn’t being a very ‘devoted friend’ (as she wrote in her obituary) right now.
With Carol and Melissa back in the room, Erica asks for an epidural, which Gail and Todd are unable to give her. She then passes out. Todd has no idea what to do and Gail goes to the Worst Case Scenario board. She realizes that Erica hasn’t been getting enough oxygen. Todd finds the smelling salts to wake her up. When she wakes up, Todd says a little prayer/blessing in Spanish and tells Erica that she’s out of the woods. Gail, checking on the baby, asks to speak to Todd privately. They walk back over to the board and Gail tells everyone, aside from Erica, that the baby is breech. Carol leaves, unable to handle the complications. Todd also freaks out, and Melissa steps in and says that what went wrong with Phil was that they made Gail and Todd think that they had to do it alone.
Tandy takes Jasper to the park with a sleeping bag and vegetable oil. At the top of a giant slide (apparently the park is an amusement park), Jasper sits in a sleeping bag and they drench it in vegetable oil, so that it will slide down more quickly and easily.
They tell Erica about the baby being breech, and Melissa calmly says they just need to turn the baby around. Gail tells Melissa and Todd to each take a leg. Carol is rewriting her obituary when she hears another scream from Erica. She realizes that she’s just being a big coward, and that she needs to be helping.
When Tandy arrives at the bottom of the slide, Jasper is ready for them to go again. Tandy, however, delves into an explanation of how this baby will be coming out of Erica. He says that the screaming he heard was actually just the baby winding its way through her intestines. Jasper thought she was dying because everyone he meets has died. He explains, as they walk back up to the top of the slide, that everyone left surviving has survived because they’re ‘made of something different.’ He’s about to say “Everything is going to be just fine” when they reach the top of the slide and see a giant fire in the distance.
Todd, Melissa, and Gail are having a hard time doing everything. Gail says that they could really use Carol’s help, et voilà, a Wild Carol appears, ready to help. After much shifting and some of Carol’s off-kilter commentary (“I’ve got a present for you out here, but it’s only for born people. It’s kind of a Born Ultimatum.”), the baby’s head is in place, and Erica can resume pushing.
Tandy and Jasper drive toward the fire, because why not, and find the source (a nuclear power plant), while Erica has a healthy baby girl, whom she decides to name Dawn, since it is the dawn of a new day.
“When the Going Gets Tough” aired as part of a “one hour finale.” To continue on to Sunday’s second episode, “Nature’s Horchata,” click here.