Commercials. Tami sits in her fluorescently-lit cinder block prison cell, er office. Levi comes in and asks how she's doing. She admits that, out of the five appointments she scheduled today, only one showed up. She tells him that she's discouraged. Levi just sort of chuckles knowingly. All resource-poor high school principals must take a class on chuckling knowingly.
Step-mother Doreen hangs out outside in her bathrobe, smoking a cigarette, and bitching on the phone to her husband about Becky and how much she doesn't want to deal with the girl. Becky overhears.
At Jess's house, Vince and Jess watch football on television when Andre comes in with a Ding Dong or something. Jess tells him to put it back, she's about to make some sandwiches. He starts tantruming about how she isn't his mother OR his father and she can't tell him what to do. Jess bitches back that she doesn't WANT to be his mother and he chucks the sweet treat at her and storms out. Sad loss, that. Jess gets up to go yell at him some more when Vince tells her to stay put, that he'll handle this. Cut outside where Vince sits down next to the kid-- "You feel like your dad walked out on you?" Vince tells Andre he hasn't seen his dad in five years and understands how much that can piss a kid off. Andre points out that Vince's dad is in jail, and Vince tells him that's true but "not around's not around." He tells Andre that his father will come back, but that in the meantime, the kid needs to give his sister a break. "Your dad's not here, so you gotta step up. You're the man of the house now." And, I get it, heartwarming and such, but that "man of the house" shit is one whack-ass way to get a young boy to behave.
Cut to the Playgirl Ranch. Becky shows up at the door and tells Billy that she needs a place to stay. Billy's like, "Who are you again?" Becky tells him that she doesn't feel like she has a family right now and Tim told her that his family is her family. Meanwhile, Mindy's come into the background with the baby. Billy tells his wife "She needs a place to stay" and Mindy's like "Here?" and Billy lets Becky into the house, ignoring Mindy's stinkeye. For someone with a rough past herself, Mindy has really turned into a real Judgey McMichelle Bachmann. I mean, seriously, lady!
In the Taylor's driveway, Julie finishes packing the car, while her mother hovers and asks about whether she's forgotten anything, and Coach Taylor hangs around with Hair of Bittersweetness. Julie tells her mother-- both of them bathed in gorgeous golden light-- that she's got everything. And her mother -- knowing that her daughter certainly does NOT have everything but opting, like the perfect mother she is, to let her find that out on her own -- caresses Julie's face and just says "look at you. I love you." Julie tells her mother that she loves her, too, and they hug. Julie tells her that she'll miss her, and then walks over to her father, who embraces her, and if that embrace doesn't make you long for some sort of mythical parental closeness, I don't know what could. Coach pushes an envelope into Julie's hands and says "For emergencies, okay?" and I can't even muster one bit of cynicism to wonder whether a case of forties counts as an emergency. Gracie's been playing in the front side of the car and sort of toddles off as Julie gets in. "Bye, baby girl." Then an excruciating thirty seconds of Julie looking at her parents, leaning on one another, her parents looking at her, all of them trying to wrap their heads around the fact that there won't be any more hectic Tuesday morning breakfasts, with Tami and Coach already working, Julie bitching, everyone sort of just orbiting around one another in those smoothly-worn 18-year-old tracks. Coach and Tami's eyes are filled with tears and Coach mutters "Alright," sort of releasing his daughter, who turns forward and drives. off. Left behind, Tami and Coach embrace and Coach exhales and says "Whoa," and we are reminded that however much parenting is about children, it's also about undertaking this huge project with a partner, and here they are, experiencing another experience in a life full of shit you never expected to experience, and they did it! And it's sad, but it's still them, because they outlast all of it.