Panel 1: Mike acts pretty much like every moody teenager ever when he thought-bubbles that he hates having to do things around the house in general, setting the table in particular and also the plates, forks and knives.
Panel 2: He continues to be an incredibly average bonehead grousing that he hates the house and everything in it because as a fourteen year old goofball, his hormones are messing with his headbone and also, he thinks that what's happening to him right now is the first time it's ever happened to anyone because to be a child is to not think straight. Since he seems to be super-surly, he attracts Elly's attention.
Panel 3: Since she thinks that she's dealing with a much younger child (the one who wanted a hug instead of a smack), she thinks she can hug that frown off of his face. She's rewarded with the same sort of angry yelling she makes when she lets self-pity consume her.
This lights the fuse to Saturday's explosion because, as I said, Elly loves to tell herself that he shouldn't be moody at all. This is why she's pals with a like-minded failure who howls about wild animals when she doesn't get the impossible response she wants.
Panel 4: He frowns because nothing ruins a perfectly good hate like a hug.
Summary: Elly has never really wanted to understand that her children aren't simply faking feeling as if their lives aren't the best owing to the habit a lot of dumb people have of idealizing childhood. This is nucking futs because the best thing about being a grown-up is that people stop bitching at you for being a kid.