Tim pulls up to the crazy Ferret Man's house, and crazy Ferret Man yells at him through the door, and Tim flashes Mindy's name like a calling card of doom, and the ferrets' names are Roscoe and Coltrane, and the guy lets him in, and...it's bad, y'all. Without a paragraph break, because it's basically the same exact scene, substitute "Julie" for "Tim," "Noah From Cincinnati" for "Crazy Ferret Man," and "New York Times, which we'll be sharing every morning," for "ferrets Roscoe and Coltrane." And instead of "Mindy," you can say, "the only mistake Eric and Tami have ever made."
Eric, Buddy, and Tami muster up in Buddy's sad living room. I was like, "Strong Xandir, strong Xandir. I will not cry." But Buddy's so nervous and jumpy, and he's saying shit like, "This is good, this'll be masculine-looking," and I just lost it. Buddy Garrity, on pins and needles that Santiago -- a person who literally expects nothing but pain, which Buddy can't even imagine -- will be happy. Buddy, worried that he can provide more than sustenance for Santiago. That Buddy will be permitted to exist; that Buddy will be more than a trifling side note. That somebody will love him, and see him as a hero. Tami sends Eric to make Santiago's bed, as like this token attempt to be normal before they abandon him to Buddy's wild ways, and she marches Buddy into the kitchen to see how he's doing in the "feed the boy" area. "I see a lot of steak, a lot of sausage." Buddy's like, "Yeah! I did it!" She tells him, sweetly, that he needs some vegetables. He makes a mental note, desperately: "Okay, got it. Veggies." And Tami is so cool, because everything she says is actually three things. She's instructing him literally on how to be a person, she's reminding him of the horrible hugeness of this, but most of all, she's gentling him. Like when the equestrians go "shh, shh," and run their hands over the horse's skin, everything she says is this: "Shh, shh." She knows he can do it, which is bizarre even to her, but she knows it. And in his braver moments, in those moments of scintillating clarity and hope, Buddy knows he can do it. But this is not one of those moments. Everything she says, he shudders and nods and hopes, and all he can say is "Okay. All right." "You're a guardian now. Get me? Gotta be home when he's home. He's a kid." Okay, all right. She sends him in to the boy. "Shh, shh," she's saying. "Okay. All right."
Eric makes Santiago's bed for him, promising him with a laugh that this is the last improbable time he will ever do so. Buddy enters and Eric leaves with proper respect, slapping Santiago on the shoulder. And now they're alone: a family, happening right in front of your eyes. Buddy goes on and on about how the bed is stupid, how the desk is too small -- it was Buddy Jr.'s -- but he'll get him a bigger one, he will make everything so perfect, he will do anything to make Santiago happy, so that he'll stay, and make Buddy a successful father and a good man again.