7th Heaven
Season 5, Episode 2
Air date October 9, 2000
Written by Sue Tenney
Directed by Tony Mordente
Episode Guide
Here We Go Again

"Help" is the second episode of the 5th season and the 90th episode overall of 7th Heaven.


Desperate to be independent, Mary continues to refuse help from anyone, and with a pile of unpaid bills, she decides not to tell her family that she was fired from her job. Unfortunately, it's a bad time to be keeping secrets, especially when the Colonel shows up unannounced and resolves to snap Mary back into shape the only way he knows how. Meanwhile, Matt blames everyone but himself for poor grades in one of his classes, and Lucy launches a Homecoming Queen campaign with the help of her handsome younger brother. Eric manages to get Ruthie transferred out of her current classroom, but the alternative seems to upset her even more.


Matt receives his practice mid-term test from his professor and unfortunately, earns a D. His professor then tells the entire class that if they cannot do well in Organic Chemistry, they will not be successful physicians. He emphasizes that the subject matter is essential for future medical professionals, and failure to understand it may jeopardize their careers in the medical field. At the pool hall, Mary is desperately trying to get an extension on her car insurance payment, pleading with the car insurance people over the phone. Her boss is telling her that people are waiting on her and the manager is there, growing increasingly agitated at the situation. Mary knows she needs to get off the phone so she can get back to work, but the car insurance company hangs up on her. At the house, Eric offers to cook dinner while Annie is studying for her mid-term. She remarks that she's noticed he has become more competent at managing household tasks lately and wonders if Mary will be home in time for dinner; however, Eric informs her that Mary had volunteered to work a double shift today. The two discuss their financial situation before Lucy, Simon, and Ruthie enter the room with an urgent note from Ruthie's principal which sparks some confusion as she claims not to have done anything wrong recently. Ruthie asks if they found any way to get her out of Mrs. Riddle's class but to her disappointment, there hasn't been any progress yet. Simon tells Eric he needs a tardiness letter signed and explains his tardiness was due to the confusing layout of the high school since it was all unfamiliar to him. Lucy explains that everything is going great for her in high school, Eric asks what her big news is but she is interrupted by a doorbell causing both Annie and Eric to leave to see who it is outside together; however only the twins heard Lucy whisper under breath words that she got nominated for homecoming queen. Eric opens the door to see his father, the Colonel, making Eric and Annie shocked seeing him suddenly show up unannounced like this.

Eric turns on the radio in the kitchen and dances around while cleaning the kitchen. Annie walks in a turns the radio off when Eric is using the broom handle as a microphone stand. Annie asks how long the Colonel will be there and why he's really there, but all she gets from Eric is that the Colonel will be staying only for a couple of days and he was supposedly passing through on his way to New York. The Colonel had originally stopped at Julie's house but since they were called away to Chicago unexpectedly, this left him staying at the Camden's house. Eric and Annie ponder on why the Colonel is really there. Ruthie and the Colonel walk in after finishing their dinner and Ruthie explains that the food was too bland and monochromatic for her before offering up suggestions. The Colonel praises his meal and asks about Annie's return to school. Eric finally asks why the Colonel is at their house but doesn't give him a response. Matt and John are at the pool hall and Matt informs John that he intends to inform his professor about Heather and the wedding, claiming this is why his studies and focus have suffered. John isn't convinced though, believing Matt's struggles are simply down to not understanding the material. Matt once again cites that Heather was the problem. Matt tells John that when he tells his professor about Heather, he will understand what he is going through and give him a break. Mary comes up to Matt while working and asks for a big tip. Matt warns Mary about the Colonel being at the house and how he would not approve of her not going to college. Matt tells her a lecture from the Colonel is far worse than a lecture from Eric.

When Eric sees Annie folding the laundry in their room, he encourages Annie to continue her studies, rather than do all the housework. She worries that she isn't being there for Ruthie while at school but Eric assures her it's alright and he'll help out since she has done so much in the past. As Eric leaves their room, Lucy is congratulated by Eric on getting nominated for homecoming queen and Simon arrives shortly after with news of Jim's mother forbidding their friendship due to a 'TP thing'. Feeling compassion towards him Lucy offers assistance during campaign preparation which includes meeting new people - possibly female friends- as well as expressing empathy over his struggles from being the new kid in a school. Simon gratefully accepts and thanks Lucy for the offer. Meanwhile downstairs in the kitchen, Ruthie expresses discontentment about going to Mrs. Riddle’s class at school who calls her "stupid". Since there has been no progress as to how to get her out of the classroom, Ruthie tells the Colonel that she is going over Eric and Annie's heads and praying to get out of Mrs. Riddle's class. Ruthie says that she wishes to be like Mary and not go to school. In response, the Colonel asks if there is anything else going on with Mary and Ruthie is happy to tell him everything. Mary's manager calls Mary into his office and Mary apologizes for the many personal calls she has made and that she is going through a hard time with maxed-out credit cards and is behind on car insurance payments. She asks if he would be willing to provide an advance on her next paycheck, but unfortunately receives a no as his response before he asks Mary to stay in order to talk with him. Mary senses from this request that it won't likely lead to anything positive - which is later confirmed when the manager informs her there isn't going to be much good news coming out of their conversation.

The next morning, Eric is at home with the twins and Ruthie approaches him and tells him that she was thinking about what the note from the principal could be about and mentions an incident where she wrapped up a girl like a mummy in the bathroom but Eric comforted her by stating that he already talked on the phone with principle earlier this day saying she isn't in any trouble but instead the principal may have a way to solve the problem with Mrs. Riddle. Ruthie explains that they should thank God since she prayed to God to help her. Mary, the Colonel, and Annie all meet up in the hallway and Mary tells them that her manager didn't need her today and she had the day off. Annie questions if Mary could afford not to work with the behind payments but Mary reassures her that she got everything under control. When the Colonel gets suspicious about Mary, he tries to offer to spend time with her, but she declines, saying she promised a friend that she'll help her move, obviously lying about the situation to get out of talking to the Colonel. At school, Simon is approached by two girls when he is giving out flyers for Lucy's homecoming queen candidacy. The girls invite Simon to a party and upon seeing the situation, an elated Lucy comes up alongside him. She expresses her delight in how well it appears his efforts have panned out for her campaign; meanwhile, Simon beams with joy as he realizes that overnight this has made him one of the most popular freshmen in the high school. Eric is in his office when the Colonel walks in and asks the Colonel to watch the twins for him, but Mary walks by and Eric finds out that she has a day off of work. Eric asks the same question Annie did when she heard the same thing; if Mary could afford to have a day off with all of her due payments but Mary gets annoyed and assures him that she could handle it. When Mary walks away Eric explains to the Colonel that while he and Annie aren't happy about Mary not going to college, at least she's going to work and paying her bills. Eric goes on to say that the car she bought is teaching her responsibility even though they may not like it. The Colonel tells Eric that he needs a battle plan to deal with Mary, but Eric is confident that he doesn't need to interfere and that she will figure out her life on her own even if it hurts to watch. Eric tries to remain confident that Mary will pull herself out of her downward spiral to rock bottom.

Matt returns to the apartment after talking with his professor, informing John that it did not go well and that if he doesn't bring up his grade then he will be removed permanently from the class. This news shocks John due to how much this could affect Matt's plans of becoming a doctor - yet surprisingly enough, Matt remains disturbingly calm about it all. He petulantly explains that it has very little to do with him and it's all Heather's fault for not marrying or staying with him. He further blames Heather for him not studying well enough. John tries to get him to be more serious about studying but Matt is so dead set on it being Heather's fault he doesn't listen. Eric arrives at the principal's office from Ruthie's school and the principal suggests that since Ruthie scored highly on a standardized test last year and was placed into the 95th percentile nationally, she should go to a different school, Eleanor Roosevelt School, a private school. The principal says that he thinks Ruthie is actually bored in the class and if they don't get her out of the class they are handicapping her potential. He explains that a 6th grader just got admitted into college and they have an opening. Eric expresses concern because they have never had someone from their family go there before. Later at the high school, Simon encounters the girl who invited him to the party earlier by his locker. She compliments him for having Lucy as his sister since people tend to gravitate towards those considered popular and if not then settle with whoever knows them best - so it would be great for her if Lucy could join in on parties too. Before he can respond she leaves happily leaving Simon feeling bewildered.

The Colonel and Annie encountered each other in the kitchen while she is studying for her college exam. Annie expresses her feelings to the Colonel that he doesn't want her to return to college, but he assures her of his pride in seeing what a hard worker she is being by not taking the easy route. He also wished Mary would do something similar; however, Annie pointed out that it wasn’t their place to make Mary go to college – though she held confidence Mary would find her way in life. Mary is in the park sitting on a bench and is approached by an older man who tries to strike up a conversation, but Mary freaks out at his constant questions and tells him that she got fired and is unemployed. Mary instantly apologizes to him and spills her problems about not being able to pay for the car and the rent. The man tells her to not worry and describes his son's own experiences with trying to find his way in life. The man also explains that the most important thing is to have a college degree and that you can always count on it. When Mary explains that she is unsure if she will be attending college, the man pats her on her shoulder and walks away with a look of sympathy painted across his face.

Matt is cleaning the apartment, which is causing John to worry, as he believes Matt is trying to procrastinate studying. In response, Matt claims that he will study but also needs some clean clothes before shifting blame onto Heather for not doing well on his tests, John himself due to the lack of tidiness in the kitchen, and Annie because the Colonel was over so he couldn't do laundry at home. When John asks who would be blamed when he fails out of the Pre-Med program, Matt remains arrogant that he will do fine despite no studying being done on his midterms. John tells him to take responsibility, but when John explains that he gets good grades, Matt blames it on John not doing anything around the apartment causing him to step up and clean around. In the kitchen, Eric and Annie discuss the possibility of enrolling Ruthie in a private school, but Annie wonders if they could afford it. Eric suggests calling the principal to find out what payment plans are available, after which he and Annie agreed that they need to talk with Ruthie before making any decisions. Annie tells Eric that she knows why the Colonel is visiting them, Mary, but Eric is concerned because the Colonel can't force Mary to go to college. Ruthie walks into the kitchen so that she can figure out how the meeting went with the principal. Eric informs her that she does have an option of changing schools should they decide so – however this upset her because she won't have her best friends at the new school. She voiced frustration by saying she wouldn't bother asking God for help anymore if this is where all things led up to. The Colonel finds Mary playing basketball alone and asks her if they can go out and spend the evening together. He proposes hitting up a pool hall, remarking with a joke that he would like to see what she gave up college for. The Colonel checks whether there might be any issue associated with going to the pool hall but Mary assures him everything's alright when really she had been let go from work recently and can't afford anyone knowing about it. Ruthie angrily stomps up the stairs, venting her frustrations to Lucy when she asks what's wrong. She is informed that Eleanor Roosevelt School has a great reputation and should be honored for being accepted there. In response, Ruthie jokingly remarks that she could just run away from school and join a circus so they can marry clowns in the future. With an expression of hopelessness on her face, Ruthie leaves as if God had abandoned her while Lucy heads off into Simon's room to confront him if he told some girl Marie (the girl who invited Simon and Lucy to a party earlier) that she would come to her party. Lucy explains that a friend told her that if she went to the party, it would ruin her popular status or chances of becoming homecoming queen.

At the library, Matt sees the Organic Chemistry professor and hesitantly approaches him, but the professor doesn't want to hear any more of his excuses. Matt asks for help with understanding the subject and pleads with him to help since he really wants to be a doctor. He explains that he was afraid of looking weak if he asked to be tutored in the subject; however, upon hearing this plea for assistance, the teacher assures him it is a sign of maturity rather than weakness. The prof hands over a pre-test so Matt can review with notes from class and content within their book as well as offering any additional support necessary throughout the rest of the semester. He tells Matt not to think himself stupid because anyone who had requested aid since the start of the semester has been given guidance regardless. The Colonel and Mary sit outside of the pool hall and Mary breaks down and explains that she got fired. The colonel asks what her plans are, but Mary doesn't have any other plans beyond finding another job. She asks the Colonel if he is going to yell at her and he says no. The Colonel asks Mary why they aren't entering the pool hall when they are just sitting in her car in the parking lot. She tells him that she was let go from work since her boss had to lay someone off. When asked what she plans on doing next, Mary says she will find another job soon enough. To her surprise, The Colonel doesn't lecture or pressure her about settling for minimum-wage jobs but did let out a sigh of disappointment. The following morning, Mary asks the Colonel if he is going to tell her parents, but he still hasn't decided and tells her that she has so much potential and is instead wasting her life. The Colonel asks if she always imagined working at minimum wage leading to dead-end jobs. Mary explains that she has plans and she just needs a little help. The Colonel tells her it's about time and that he has been waiting for her to ask him for help and Mary gets happy that he is willing to help. When she tells him how much money she needs, the Colonel stops her and tells her he is not helping monetarily, but with advice. The Colonel tells her to go to college and he will get her a job, but he won't loan her money. Mary pleads the Colonel that she has bills to pay and the Colonel says he has a friend who needs a cashier at his sporting goods store. Mary gets mad and confused and tells the Colonel she will call some guy and get her job but won't loan her any money. The Colonel tells Mary that since she lost the job, she needs to tell her parents, and if she changes her mind the offer of help will always be there if needed but Mary angrily walks out saying she doesn't need advice but instead she needs money.

Matt returns to the apartment and tells John that he has finally accepted responsibility for his failing grades. He explains how blaming others was easier than admitting he didn't understand the material or asking for help, but now things have changed since running into his professor. At the house, the Colonel comes downstairs only to find Ruthie looking upset; she shares her belief that God let her down so she doesn't plan on going there again for assistance. In response, The Colonel recounts a time when he first joined the Marines where everything seemed insurmountable yet by taking it one day at a time eventually led him out of this rough patch. The Colonel tells her that there may be a hidden answered prayer somewhere, she just needs to give it a chance. The Colonel then gives Annie and Eric a check for Ruthie's tuition when they walk in, but Annie declines, saying Ruthie qualifies for a scholarship. They explain that they know the Colonel came to check up on Mary but not to worry because all of the kids will be doing fine and Mary will go to college soon enough. The Colonel tells him that help is always there if need be. At the school, Lucy is approached by Marie and tells her that she will attend her party. When Marie leaves, Simon is concerned because if she attends the party, she will lose her social status along with her chance at being homecoming queen. Lucy explains that neither matters anymore – freshman votes come through plus helping Simon still stands top priority above anything else

At Eleanor Roosevelt School, Annie runs up to Eric and happily informs him that she has passed her test. Ruthie is elated as well when she learns about the school's horses and hears from the principal of their unique educational program with no homework at home. She expresses her desire to attend this school straight away. In Mary's kitchen, however, a phone call gone wrong leaves her fuming mad - an insurance company refuses to renew or extend coverage for Mary’s car despite explaining that it's necessary in order for her to drive around looking for work so she can pay them back. In response out of frustration, Mary threatens not driving with any car insurance at all if they cannot make some sort of agreement work and hangs up in anger.


  • The music featured in this episode was a song from Faith Hill, "Bringing out the Elvis."

Goofs & Errors[]

  • At the start of the episode, when the Camden kids enter the kitchen, a door slams shut behind them in one shot. The following scene shows Ruthie and the door still closing behind her; however, there is no sound of the door closing. This likely indicates that special effects were used to create this particular moment.

Opening Credits[]

Featured in the opening credits are: