Back at East Dillon, Landry mumble-whines to a hostile Julie about the kind of nerds who do Academic Smackdown, so of course he rounds the corner and finds Jess in the classroom, being beautifully intense about some question or another. He tries to talk his way out of this being incredibly awkward, but Jess is not about to be charmed. The principal enters with packets for this week's meet against -- who else? -- West Dillon. "Our blue-ribbon sister school," the principal says, with no small amount of little-brotherish envy. Man, whoever made the Academic Smackdown schedule did not have an eye for saving the big drama until sweeps.
Dog shelter. Becky and Deadbeat. Oh, you guys, NO. As if Becky and her storylines aren't awful enough. They have to take a poor dog down with them? So Deadbeat is just about squealing with delight about how Becky's mom is gonna HATE this, which is always the perfect motivation for entrusting your flaky daughter with a living thing to care for. Becky assures her dad she's up for it, though, plus she gets really lonely when her mom's at work. She uses that to segue into the "Daddy, come home" speech, which of course terrifies Deadbeat like it's the chupacabra. His voice says "I'm workin' on it," but his face says "What time do I have to wake up to get on the road without her noticing?"
In the Lions' locker room, the coaches are challenging Vince to a sit-ups drill of whatever the hell, when the principal shows up with a pair of cops. They stride into Coach's office and say they need to speak to Vince Howard. There was a report that he had a gun on school property, and they need to search his locker. Coach starts to make with the questions -- like, for instance, who made this accusation and on what grounds? -- but the principal cuts him off, like "Hey, man, it's the police. They say, we do." Coach directs them to Vince's locker but pointedly stays across the room. He feels weird enough letting this happen, much less participating in it. At this point, Vince is up on his feet, watching with interest but not saying a word. The cops rustle through his shit -- at this point the whole team is up and staring at this ... violation? Depends on who you ask. Don't ask me and don't ask Coach Taylor. The cops come up empty and pronounce Vince's locker "clean." Vince and Coach share a look, and if Coach's hair weren't constricted by a ball cap, it would be shuffling its roots all uncomfortable-like.
After the break, we return to the Cafferty ranch, where Pa and Luke are pounding in fence-posts, possibly with their bare fists, because it seems increasingly likely that the Caffertys would find modern tools to be Of the Devil. When Luke grabs his coat and starts heading off, his dad is dismayed to hear that Luke is going to school. Luke gets very aggressively-pleading, which is like his trademark (see his attempts to bargain with Tami over redistricting). He says he'll work 'til midnight on the fence, he'll wake up at dawn, but he cannot miss practice. He stomps off, and his dad calls after him, no doubt wondering why they didn't just home school him after all.