Buddy, Jr. has arrived back in Dillon shuffling around in his long shorts and flip flops, ogling Tami Taylor's breasts (the NERVE!), breaking into his father's bar and getting puke drunk, stealing his dad's car and credit card and just generally acting like trash.
Now that's how trash acts like trash. If you want to see trash act like solid gold, just take a look at Mindy "Ole Sis" Collette, who shunts her own insecurities about the coltish Becky to the side when she sees Becky's shitty home life with her dad and stepmom. She invites Becky to live at the Playgirl Ranch for the longer term. Things keep looking up for Becky when Luke -- puffed up a bit from being recruited by TMU -- approaches her at the school dance and, like Trip Fontaine telling Lux Lisbon that she's a "stone fox" in The Virgin Suicides, he leans in and tells her that he's gonna take her out and the whole scene is just seriously hot.
Vince's father is still around and Vince is still angry about it. Vince is suspicious that his father, a former drug dealer, is going to bring the stuff back into the house and into his mom, a former drug addict. His father -- whose name I have not yet caught but I guess I should since it seems like he'll be around a while -- swears on his life that he's done with all that, but none of us should be too sure about that.
Jess is holding her own in the boy's locker room and that is NOT a euphemism. Vince is annoyed that she's there, and the target of so many of his teammates lewd jokes, but she isn't bothered by that so much as she is by Vince's "chivalry." As demeaning as her job seems, I guess she understands how that whole culture works, because she makes a strategy suggestion to Billy Riggins, who brings it to Coach (of course, unattributed) who accepts it and Jess smiles to herself. I am frustrated, watching her fold laundry while simultaneously running the world -- like every woman in the history of the freaking universe has done -- but Jess seems like maybe she has a plan. At least I hope she has a plan.
And the saga of Head T.A. Derek Bishop continues, with Julie swerving wildly between treating him coldly when sober, then showing up drunk on his doorstep for more rolling around. Ah, Julie Taylor, you are treating your first semester of college like it's a big paint-by-numbers image of Shit We All Regret.
Vince and Jess canoodle youthfully and only partially-clothedly in bed at her house. Vince complains that he never sees her anymore and she reminds him that she sees him all the time, in the locker room, during fifth period, until her little brothers and friend show up at the bedroom window making googly eyes and noises at them. Vince runs outside to wrestle them to the ground.
At the Playgirl Ranch, Mindy goes for it while Kinect exercising when Becky comes in to ask a question. And, lord, this scene really punctures my own delusions of youthful appearance because the difference between Madison Burge's burnished buoyancy and Stacy Oristano's sad tiredness is just crazily apparent here. Mindy bends over, in pain from her workout, as Becky rattles on, asking permission to have some girls come over and talk about decorations for the upcoming dance. Mindy initially snarks, "When is your mom coming home from that casino boat?" but quickly comes around and tells Becky that it's fine, just no freakin' slumber parties. She gets back to her workout as Becky grins, tells her that she's looking good.
Buddy drives Buddy, Jr. from the airport. The kid is sullen and, frankly frightening. Buddy tries to bond over how crappy "chick flicks" are, then nudges him to come along to get something to eat. Buddy, Jr. speaks in grunts until he mentions "seitan," which he begs Buddy to not introduce into their diet. Buddy has no idea what seitan (he pronounces it "satan") is, and Buddy, Jr. explains that his stepdad, Rice Dream, thinks that it's "nature's meat." Buddy pauses a moment and notes quizzically, "Well nature already has meat. It's called a cow." For one brief half second, they bond. But then they drive past Buddy's former car dealership and Buddy, Jr. harshly notes that it's like "the saddest place in the world. You can't make anything in your life work, can you?"
Son Volt's "When the Wheels Don't Move" takes us over to the football field, where scouts have arrived and seem to have their eye on Luke in particular. Coach calls Luke over and introduces him to the coach from TMU, who praises him and asks if he'd like to come over to TMU and get a tour. Luke beams. Practice resumes and Coach notices a man in the stands watching Vince. He calls the kid over and asks who it is, and Vince tells him: it's his father. Coach asks to be introduced but Vince demurs, "How 'bout I don't, Coach?"
Credits. Buddy walks his son into East Dillon. Buddy, Jr., played by Jeff Rosick, is somewhat thick and quite squareheaded. He wears long jean shorts, shuffles around in flip-flops and has a baseball cap with a flat bill cocked on his head, earbuds firmly in his ears. Junior snarks about the school being "ghetto" when Tami comes up to greet them. The camera, following Junior's gaze, pans down to Tami's chest in a v-neck orange t-shirt. She greets him sweetly but quickly takes his number and holds the folders she has in her arms up against her chest. Buddy suggests his son take his hat off, which he does, but then he snarks to her about whether or not they do "shock treatments" there. Tami kind of laughs in response, but not very wholeheartedly, and Buddy asks his son to apologize to her, which he does. She asks to take him to the office and get him all set up with his schedule and such, but he just says he's got it and saunters off down the hallway. Tami, in mom code: "You must be thrilled." Buddy: "Yep, that's one word for it."