The most interesting thing happened when we were discussing why it was that Elly and John decided to take another child-free vacation so soon after April nearly died; while most parents would have deferred going on vacation owing to remorse for their actions and a heightened concern for April's well-being, the two of them behaved as if the whole thing happened to strangers and had no effect on them whatever. In response, an anonymous poster said that John and Elly seemed to be operating on a Favor Bank system of morality. What this, of course, means that they can only do nice things for others in perceived repayment of a favor; if a kid does not do something to settle his account in the favor bank, John and Elly get quite upset. This, of course, is why they run their mouths about how their children owe them; they see themselves as doing their children a huge favor feeding, clothing and housing them and need repayment. It's also why Elly had such a hard time believing April when she accused Kortney; what Elly saw was a young woman who did her the enormous favor of flattering her and telling her how swell she was and a spoiled princess who destroyed her life and was in arrears on her payments. It only stands to reason that Elly would believe the former. It also explains why Mike fears Mira's generosity; since he's internalized his parents' twisted values, he assumes that Mira will expect a hefty price for her gifts. It even explains Liz's choosing Anthony; unlike Paul, who was not there when she needed him, Anthony can be relied on to make Liz feel like her favor bank is filled; the same need to feel enriched explains why she allowed Jesse to keep Jim's harmonica. Jesse had done her much the same favor Kortney did Elly; steal from her and flatter her.