Chapter 5, "Spitting Image," starts with Max lying under his bed and thinking about the look that Gwen gave him when she ran off with Freak at the end of the previous chapter. Gram interrupts his thoughts when she knocks on the door. She has received a phone call from Gwen and wants to talk to Max about it. Max is worried about what Gwen might say. However, Gram informs Max that she called to apologize for running off with Freak so suddenly. She hopes that she hasn't offended Max.
It turns out that Gwen was friends with Max's mom, and Gram knows her well. In fact, Gwen is happy about her son's friendship with Max. Gwen has invited Max over for dinner. Max is hesitant, but Gram convinces him to go.
At dinner, Gwen explains how she was friends with Max's mom. Max just ignores her when she mentions his father. Gwen apologizes for her reaction to seeing Max earlier. Freak, never the tactful one, says it's because Max looks like his father. Max shrugs this off. Although everybody knows that his dad is in prison, people tend to pretend like it's some big secret.
Despite the initial awkwardness, the dinner is really good. They sit out in the yard eating while Freak tells robot stories that are so funny that Max almost chokes. When Max gets home, he finds that he is so happy that he starts crying.