I was diligent, last year, in monitoring Grandma Saracen's mental state, because last year literally all I did was worry about Matt Saracen every second, all week long. (How great is it that he's not in constant peril this year?) But anyway, she's really infantilized in this episode, and I don't know if that's a sign of something coming down the pike, or just this particular writer's deal, but MAN is she out of it this week. Matt and Carlotta are both totally solicitous (multiloquous?) with her, all, "I HEAR THERE'S A GREAT SHOW TONIGHT!" and she's like, "LET'S GO FOR A RIDE IN THE CAR!" and "CARLOTTA HELPED ME LEARN TO DANCE!" and "DANCING, MATTHEW? ARE YOU DOING THE WATUSI? ARE YOU WALTER CRONKITE?" And Matt and Carlotta are totally sweet and flirty without even looking at each other as he admits that she helped him learn the dance, and that she's a pretty good choreographer, and Grandma's going to have fun, and the whole time they're being adorable, Grandma's like, "CAN I PET CHECKERS?"
Getting Julie, Tami, Eric, the awful sister I can't stop referring to as Gina even though I first fell in love with her on Boston Public, is quite a thing these days. Especially with Intrepid Reporter Julie Taylor hectoring everybody about how Pantherama is the first social event of ugly old Grace's life, so they should start saving up for therapy right now. "Pantherama is tradition, and tradition is good, Sweetheart. Maybe you could use some of that positive tradition in the work that you're doing with your articles?" Julie rattles off how "Noah says" that you can't have preconceptions about your articles, and Eric's like, "Eff Noah," but Tami catches just a glimpse of the Batsignal in the setting sun and she's like, "Honey? Does everybody call him Noah?" (Tami was involved in Tyra's older man issues last year, right? She knows the signs? I can't remember. I mean, she'll obviously fix this, probably looking crazy in the process, but she's Tami. If you ever have a problem in your life, drive to Tami's house before you hit up Tyra, because Tyra is probably busy with a scheme of some kind.) "Um, that's his name? Noah?" Tami's vaguely like, "Mr. Barnett would be more usual..." in a vague way that tells you this is going to be horrific.* Eric asks, since Julie seems to feel, as usual, that her civil liberties are being impinged upon, that Julie try and get both sides of the story next time. Everybody rolls their eyes and loves him fiercely.