Justin goes to check up on his new bestie, Zack the homeless vet. He pretends it is about Zack's head injury, but really it is about this show finding a platform to talk about how we treat veterans in this country. You see, Zack is homeless. He's called the Veterans' Administration, which is supposed to help vets, but since he doesn't have a drug problem they can't help him. He thought about starting a drug habit to get housing, but doesn't like drugs. Justin nods like he understands, which ticks Zack off. Zack yells at Justin to get out of his face, but since Justin is also a vet and is used to getting yelled at by large men, he doesn't flinch. He wants to help. He is a helper, that Justin. Maybe Malcolm Gladwell will write a book about it. You know, if he's really really bored and done pruning his hair into an animal topiary.
Tommy has done his avuncular duty and returned lil Joaquin Whedon (who knew alliteration could be so, so wrong?) to grandma's. While he is there he takes a moment to chat with Brody. He is so desperate for a father figure he will latch on to any junk-bearing dude who wanders into Walker Manor. Do you ever get the sense that Tommy blames Nora for William's death even though CLEARLY it was Paige's fault? Just me? I'm sure you all have big important lives to lead that don't involve Walker conspiracy theories but DON'T YOU JUDGE ME.
Anyway. Tommy loves Brody's dog, Lily, and Brody claims it's the longest relationship with a female that he's ever had. Sad that, but maybe referring to women as "females" has a little to do with it. Tommy uses some light dog talk to open up about the fact that his ex-wife won't let him see his daughter very often (hmm maybe because you stole money, lied to your wife, and kidnapped your daughter?) and how he is generally unhappy with his life choices and can't figure out why he doesn't have a home or a job he likes. Um... maybe because you spontaneously moved 2,000 miles south on a whim, haven't packed up your Seattle apartment or even picked up the rest of your underwear, and thus haven't quite settled down yet? Maybe? Also Tommy has to live with Rose's accent everyday, which must wear down his élan and vim a little at a time every day. Tommy tells Brody he doesn't even know what line of work he is in any more. Shut UP, Tommy.
Later Justin and Sarah are loitering around Nora's kitchen. Justin is telling Sarah about his new best friend Zack, who didn't punch his lights out but could at a moment's notice. Justin explains that he feels a kinship with Zack because they are both veterans and even though Zack doesn't think this makes them brothers in arms, Justin does. Sarah nods pretending to understand and/or care but she is really eyeing Justin's muffin (not a euphemism) and she finally lunges and grabs. Justin complains to Nora about Sarah's bad manners, but Nora doesn't care because she didn't make the muffins, Brody did. Sarah directs Nora to fill in Joaquin's baby book before Paige gets back, but it's too late. Paige has returned from a dog walk with fake Grandpa Brody determined to get a dog. Based on their experience with Joaquin, Sarah doesn't think the family is fit for dog ownership.
Tommy and Rose join the gaggle of Walkers populating the kitchen. Rose doesn't look happy, but neither would you if you were wearing the shirt and jacket combo she has on. Good lord, woman, bake the wardrobe ladies a muffin basket! Get them on your side! Tommy has an announcement and he doesn't want his mom to freak out about it: He got a job! No, a different job. Sarah looks confused. Tommy explains that he is going to be the manager of a baseball team in Phoenix, no experience, interview, or job skills necessary! Nora blames Brody, then Sarah. Rose is firmly Team Walker on this one; she does not think that Tommy should move to Phoenix, especially because he didn't seem to take her into consideration at all. He's a dick, Rose! Ditch him! Go back to your life in Seattle! Am I the only all for this job? I would be so happy to have Tommy and his dead-behind-the-eyes stare and bobble-headed body far, far away from my TV screen.
Meanwhile, Paige has wandered into the pantry and emits an earsplitting shriek. She has discovered the gruesome remains of Joaquin who sacrificed his life for a delicious batch of wholesome whole wheat muffins. Everyone politely spits out the muffinly remains of Joaquin Whedon, as Nora once again blames Brody. Sarah tells her she feels super bad, but the grownups are kind of in the middle of some grown up talk. Paige runs off crying while Justin spits muffin bits out of his mouth begging someone to explain what is wrong with the muffins. Sarah sends Justin after Paige so she can explain and let the grown ups finish their conversation.
For some reason Nora is still blaming Sarah for Tommy wanting to move, I guess because she tracked down Brody? Since the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, Sarah turns around and blames Nora screeching that this is all HER fault for being a slore (that's a slut and a whore, keep up!) in high school and getting knocked up at 19. Cue Paige's entrance and the shocked look on her face at the newfound knowledge of Grandma Nora's sex life. Obviously she runs off screaming with Sarah trotting after her calculating the cost of the impending years of therapy. If only Grandma Nora had carried around a sack of flour for a week as a sophomore none of this would have happened!
Nora turns her attention back to Tommy, but I guess it's useless talking to Tommy so she goes to yell at Brody instead. She's about to get a good holler on when Brody stops her. He can't wake up his dog, he thinks she's dying, he needs to go to the vet now. That gets Nora to put a cork in it.
Later, in the bed where Kitty used to make her barista earn his tips, Tommy tells Rose that he knows she didn't sign up for a move to Phoenix, but he wants her to come. She claims she wants him to be happy, but Phoenix? That's asking a lot of a Seattle girl. Tommy tells her not to move for him, but if she randomly decides of her own accord to spontaneously move to Phoenix and they happened to run into each other there, then that's cool. Rose says she'll try and that she loves Tommy and wants to be with him, but doesn't know what will make him happy. Maybe a cheeseburger and a bottle of Paxil? Or maybe that's me. I guess that was good enough for both of them because they kiss and settle down for the night. Fingers crossed Rose packs up and moves back to Seattle in the middle of the night.
Justin wisely sneaks up on the homeless violence-prone vet in the middle of the night while he sleeps. For his trouble he almost gets beaned with a metal pipe. The vet stops just short of connecting with Justin's head. Then Justin pulls out a sleeping bag and settles down on the ground next to his new bestie. Ooh big boy campout! Zack is perplexed, to say the least, and Justin's explanation about both of them coming home with problems and patriotism and semper fi does little to clarify the situation, but he promises he is here for the duration. Zack does not look especially pleased by his inclusion in this Boy Scout troop of two.
Over at the emergency vet, Brody is giving Nora the good news that Lily made it though the surgery, they got the tumor, and the doctors assures him that she can live spleen-free for years. Nora is happy to hear the news and graciously waits with Brody for Lily to wake up. Brody takes a moment and then tells Nora that he wasn't trying to take Tommy away from her, but the team really needed a good baseball manager, but instead they are getting Tommy. Nora claims she wants Tommy to be happy since he has been through so much (OF HIS OWN DOING, NORA, sheesh) but she doesn't want him to be so far away. Brody mumbles something reflective about some people not being able to stay