Smash and his mother sit in the parlor with a Mr. Gordon, representing the historically black college Whitmore University. I'm sure this is going to go...well. (I was going to say "smashingly," right there, but I caught myself.) Smash explains that he's mostly only interested in football, and not the guy, and the guy's like, "Well, we don't offer athletic scholarships. But we do offer academic ones." Should Smash enroll, he could play football and get an awesome education. Of course, what he's really saying is that Smash could save their team, because every single recruiter has an angle, but at least his angle means well and would help Smash create an actual life. He jokes about how great it would be to end up on a team that was 2-9 last season, with zero drafted, and Mama's offended, but the guy's like, "You are going to get other offers," trying to work with him. Smash does his awful Smash thing about "you know that's right" and all that stuff, and the guy tries to explain that the next four years will determine his entire life, and Smash is like, "Exactly. I will go pro in three, so don't waste your time." The grownups are worried about him, but I'm kind of on his side this time, because he has the chance to be gigantic -- that's not a delusional opinion, it's a fact -- and hedging his bets would make him really resentful if it didn't come together.
Rally Girl asks the owner of the car, who has managed to grow a toupee with his own hair, all these car questions, impressing the dude and Matt wildly. "Smart girl, pretty girl, knows her cars!" She and Matt have a long, mumbly, hushed discussion about the car, and they are adorable together, and she gives him her knowledgeable opinion that it's worth it, then gets $200 off the price because Matt's QB. I realize that they are selling her hardcore because they need Matt to be in a perfect storm of ass, with Julie and Carlota and RG, so that he will lose his entire mind, but I don't mind. She's awesome in this scene. They grin at each other, and Matt's got wheels.
Eric brings Buddy into Tami's office, immediately setting off her bullshit detectors. Like, she actually says, "Oh, here we go." Eric heads into the breach about how he and Buddy have been discussing the Santiago situation, and then Buddy opens his mouth and words come out. Now, you should know that I have always loved Buddy Garrity. He's not a good man, but he's a pretty neat guy. He pushes all my Michael Scott buttons: he's the loneliest man in Dillon, and he always has been, and no matter how much he tries, he can't make it work with other humans. He loves his kids, he loves Panther football, and he loves Eric Taylor. These are all things we have in common. So my response to the speech, and the rest of this story, were probably markedly different from yours. Here's what he says: "Santiago has been working for me part-time, did you know that? And he's a great worker. And when Eric told me about his living situation, I was appalled. And so I came up with this...moment of scintillating clarity. He should move in with me. Easy. Simple." And the fear in his eyes...I realize most, if not all, of those words were lies. But he's scared for the kid, and scared of the kid, and scared of Tami, and he loves Panther football. Plus, like, Buddy Garrity totally just said "moment of scintillating clarity," which is awesome. Tami stares at him, this person who could fumble a trip down the hall so badly he'd alienate half of the town on the way, just stares and stares, and then asks to speak to Eric. Buddy backs out of the room, hilariously, with these like head-dipping bows and half-muttered words, like he's trying to get away from a bull in the heather, because he's scared of Tami, because he should be.