The vacation arc will not only establish the fact that the Pattersons are transfixed by the delusion that small children simply cannot appreciate foreign cultures so taking them on vacation would be futile, it will also explain why it is that John finds Elly so appealing in the first place. We will see that Carrie Patterson is a domineering maniac who makes Mira Sobinski look like a humble, soft-spoken, passive little introvert who would never presume to impose on her fellows. This is a woman who will not denied and must make those around her conform to her blinkered vision of Utopia for their own good. This is also a woman who, without intending to or being especially aware of it, brought a son into this world with a deep-seated need to not be 'dictated' to by anyone wearing a skirt. How fortunate for him that he married a woman who doesn't really have much in the way of what the British call 'moral fibre'; sooner or later, he'll be able to do what he never could under Carrie's tutelage: get his own way without his father 'betraying' him by telling him to mind his mommy. This is also, of course, why he pities Anthony and is willing to believe the worst of a woman who, as far as I know, he has never met; he sees Therese as the second coming of the tyrant in nylons who thought that she had the right to tell him what to do despite lacking the one thing that would give her the authority to do so: a Y chromosome. Simply put, John is a spoiled infant who won't grow the Hell up and admit that he doesn't know what's best for him.