Saracen household. Grandma is watching television while Matt's at the kitchen table doing homework. Grandma calls to Matt, asking him where her slippers are. They're on her feet, and Matt chuckles and tells her as much. But she starts getting more desperate: "I need my slippers, Matthew." She needs them, she needs them now. Matt tells her they're on her feet. She screams: "WHERE ARE MY SLIPPERS???" and Matt gets up and goes to her, telling her once again that they're on her feet. But she keeps shouting, and then she starts to cry about needing her slippers, and she's rocking and desperate and pleading until Matt whisks them off her feet and puts them in her lap: "Here they are. Is that what you need?" She calms down and whispers thank you. Matt stares into the middle distance.
Oh, this is heartbreaking. One of the very first things to fill my soul about this show was when, in the first episode, the camera panned down to Grandma Saracen's slippered foot tapping the linoleum floor. It was like nothing I'd seen on television -- a real house, a real grandmother, real slippers, you know? What was so wonderful was how seriously the show takes THINGS -- not only in an art-directed way, a way to convey realism (though that is important also), but in the way that the show demonstrates how people live in worlds defined by certain things (the Taylors' house, the linoleum floor in the Saracen's, the duct-taped TV at the Riggins'), and how people relate to one another through things. And, so the thing about Alzheimer's, in my own experience, is that one of the final gestures of resistance people make is to insist on the importance of THINGS. They need to know where their purse is, they need to have the right pair of slippers, they go over and over with you the recipe that they have for quick clam chowder. Because they can feel themselves slipping away, and the only way anyone can figure to tether themselves is not to other people, necessarily, but to the THINGS that kept them in the world the whole time anyway. And so, this is why this scene truly makes me sad. It is telling us something not only about how terrible it is to have someone close to you slide into that ether, but it is telling us something even larger than that, about how we all stay connected in the first place.
Tyra slices cucumbers next to Landry. He glances over and tells her that she really should slice the cucumbers thinner. And, also, probably tomorrow, right? Who wants drippy cucumber sandwiches prepared the night before? Landry jokes that he probably just lost some man points in lecturing her on how cucumber sandwiches should be delicate. So then he just blurts out, "Have I told you I'm in a band now?" And Tyra tells him that that's like "forty thousand man points right there." I get so nervous at any WHIFF of a relationship between these two. It's like the Friday Night Lights quality litmus test. Is the season any good? I don't know, are Tyra and Landry together? Tyra tells Landry that she got her S.A.T. scores back, and then shows them to him. He compliments her for going up like a hundred points. Tyra isn't too pleased, she felt like she needed to go up more. Landry asks if he can tell her something: he is proud of how hard she's been working for this. Most girls that look like her don't have to work for anything. Uh, except for tips? Tucked into their g-strings? Tyra accepts his compliment and then jokes "You still think I'm good lookin' though right?" and Landry stutters and jokes about how she's okay.