Luke refuses to sit down when Coach asks him to because he knows the news isn't good. Coach finally tells Luke the truth that Luke has been a bit too drunk to fully comprehend: that TMU was never recruiting him, but rather just using him to get to Vince. A montage set to a sad song plays in my mind of Luke getting swaggering around at the dance, with the confidence of a recruited man, Luke walking across the field at TMU like he owned it. Sad face. Also: I am developing an unhealthy crush on Luke Cafferty. LIke to the extent of pausing the television to gaze a bit more at the contours of the back of his neck. Frustrated, Luke gets drunk in the middle of the day and drives on over to the Playgirl Ranch to see Becky. Becky isn't home, but Billy tells him he won't allow him to get back in his truck to drive around in that state. Instead, he invites him to come hang out in the backyard and drink some more. Can't beat 'em, join 'em! The empty swimming pool at the Playgirl Ranch has apparently disappeared and been replaced by a decorative toilet. Yep. They hang out back and Billy encourages Luke to reclaim his confidence by sounding some barbaric yawps into the air, which Luke wisely (er, Miller LIte-ly?) decides to do into the phone, on a message left for the TMU coach. This is probably not exactly the best advice an adult ever gave a kid, but at least nobody committed suicide while dramatically wearing a crown of thorns, huh, Mr. Keating???
Meanwhile, Becky is not as interested as I am in the incredible hotness of the back of Luke's neck, and okay, okay, they do have a sort of traumatic past together. Mindy, trying to distract Becky from thoughts of Tim Riggins -- and please do your best, Ms. Collette, because I really am not interested in Tim and Becky being together at the end of the series; I need to end with Tim Riggins, alone, shot from a low angle, surveying his land -- so Mindy really is trying to get Luke and Becky together, to the extent that she suggests they sleep together, using protection of course, and has no idea how wildly inappropriate she is being to the couple who have completely been there, done that, and also done a whole other thing in result of doing that.
Vince's past catches back up to him, as Kenard comes out of the woodwork, demanding the five thousand dollars he laid out to pay for Vince's mother's rehab in order to keep Vince involved in the car theft ring of last season. Jess naively suggests they go to the police or to Coach, but Vince tries to deal with the situation on his own. But the partial payment he makes to Kenard only enrages the guy further, who begins threatening Jess. Vince finds himself on Coach's doorstep one night, only to realize that, though there are many, many things a kid like himself gets from Coach, practical tips on how to manage a street thug are not really one of them. So he goes to his father instead, who, even though he knows that this will probably end up sending him back to jail, plays the hand he's dealt with (not "inspirational" father figure -- that's Coach -- but, rather "score-evening" father figure) and comes through for his son by beating the shit out of Kenard
Julie's short weekend away from all the drama at school comes to an end and so she does the only thing she can think of to lengthen it: crashes her car into one of those crazy brick mailbox things that are all over the Texas suburbs, claiming to her parents that a rogue dog made her "swerve." When that plan doesn't even work -- Tami quickly offers to drive her back to school so she doesn't miss any classes -- Julie finally comes clean and tells her mom what went down with the TA and his wife. Tami is shocked, but initially wants only to provide compassion to her humiliated daughter. Coach wants to beat the shit out of Head T.A. Derek Bishop ("How old is this guy anyway?" he asks incredulously). But when they both gradually realize that Julie purposefully crashed herself and her car into the mailbox, and that she kind of knowingly got into a relationship with a married man, and that now she is talking about leaving school and "traveling" for a few months, they realize that things with Julie are slightly more problematic than simple "compassion" will solve. Coach tries the old-fashioned way -- literally attempting to DRAG his daughter out to the car to force her to return to school. But that doesn't end up working so great. Coach is at a loss, retreating to Gracie Bell's bedside, clearly longing for a time when his child was physically exhausting but slightly less emotionally complex.
Opening church montage. The Caffertys are at their Bible Church. The Taylors at their mainline Protestant church (Buddy, Sr. is a reader while Buddy, Jr. is a pew snoozer). Vince and family and Jess are at the rollicking African American church. Luke and his parents talk TMU out front after church. Luke asks his dad not to mention it to anyone else, but his parents steamroll him and ask him to fix his tie so he can go get a picture with the pastor. "The football star," his father calls him. Luke's shoulders bend just a bit more under the weight. Cut over to the Taylors -- who, by the way, cut a bunch of nice figures in their church clothes. Buddy tells Tami that Eric is on the cover of the Texas High School Football Magazine, and not only that but has been deemed "Kingmaker" by that very same rag. I'm wondering about the subscription lists to that magazine -- what percentage fanatics, what percentage pedophiles do you think? Tami is surprised and Eric demurs at the sound of all this hullabaloo. Buddy turns his attention to Julie only to quickly squick everyone out by suggesting that Julie and Buddy, Jr. make a "good-lookin' couple" together, which: NO. Vince plays with Jess's brothers while Vince's mom and dad talk to Jess's aunt. Jess's aunt talks about how hard it's been on the boys with their father gone on his apparently epic barbeque journey. Ornette mumbles something about boys needing their daddies, and Vince's mom practically melts. Jess's aunt invites them all over for dinner and pie and they all wax gustatory about pie for a minute. Mmmm, pie. Vince's dad is looking entirely too upstanding, so we know some shit is going to go down soon. Vince and Jess spar lovingly as they say goodbye for the day.
Over at the Playgirl Ranch, Billy watches football when the phone rings. The connection is bad or something and Billy goes and takes the call in another room, while Becky begs like a puppy to talk to Tim. Billy assures Tim that he's been making the payments on the land Tim bought, and then asks if he got the money he sent over the other day. Prisoners can receive money? The connection cuts out (or Tim hangs up on his brother) and Billy sighs. Doesn't feel too good to make your brother the fall guy for your weird schemes.
Vince leaves his house only to run into Kenard, the bad guy from last season who sucked Vince into the car theft ring, ensured Vince's loyalty by paying for Vince's mom's rehab, and then vowing retribution when Vince refused to go kill a guy with him. Okay, caught up? So, there he is, grabbing Vince, laughing, making fun of Vince and his attempts to be a "new man." He tells Vince that he owes him five thousand dollars, then describes how he "put two holes in that son of a bitch's guts, watched him die." He threatens that he doesn't know what will happen if Vince doesn't get him the money in two days.