It's time for Gracie to go to daycare, and Tami isn't taking it too easy. She tries to drop the baby off three times, and hightails it out of there three times, bringing the baby to work with her instead. Which, thank the Lord, gives us at least one Glen sighting to help ease the pain inflicted by this otherwise blunt instrument of an episode. Eric is frustrated and wishes he could tell Tami that he thinks she should stay home with Gracie, but when he hears Mac say as much, he realizes that Mac is not only a racist but a sexist, too, and decides to not be that guy himself. He turns to the internet for support and, crazily (because, don't listen to internet parenting advice, fool!), Tami is comforted by what he tells her -- that daycare is good for children and separation anxiety is natural. The Taylors continue to be the most charming people on the face of the earth.
Santiago gets a visit from Weevil -- his loco friend from back in the dia. Weevil appears to have aged about thirty-three years since he was in Veronica Mars. Weevil and the boyz are trying to get Santiago back into the gangsta lean. Buddy doesn't want to appear racist, so he goes out of his way to invite all of them over to the house, then carefully places all of his "prized possessions" (his words) on the mantel, then leaves the house. Brilliant. A thuggish house party ensues, a gold watch gets stolen, Santiago has to go fight Weevil to get it back. Santiago is sad.
GO BACK TO GUATEMALA, CARLOTTA.
(See the power I have? She did! Hooray! Matt is sad.)
Noelle and Smash apparently have been doing most of their dating in a parallel universe, because all of a sudden they are beset by racists objecting to their relationship. And not that we've seen this relationship developed or anything, but context clues tell us that it's serious enough for enough for Noelle's parents to invite Smash's family over for dinner, and serious enough for Noelle's parents and Corinna to have concerns over the interracial couple, so one wonders where the community's outrage was before Smash conveniently needed this story line, which I'm sure we would all trade in a heartbeat if they would just let any of the boys interact with each other anymore. Anyway: Smash is sad.
Lyla starts co-hosting a Christian Teen Radio Show with a real cute rough-hewn-cross, Bible-camp type. You know I had my first kiss at church camp, so I am SO THERE. Lyla must find it difficult work, though, to be so winsome every second of the day. Tim prank-calls her show and she gives him a talking-to about it; Riggins keeps listening and his smitten-ness is reactivated by all her hot "This Little Light of Mine" talk. He shows up to her church with a bouquet of flowers, only to find her getting some of that sweet Bible Camp action. Tim is sad.
And! Jason Street sighting! For only two seconds, but still! I bet Jason is sad. About something.
Morning at the Taylors'. Tami's on the phone saying that they can have Gracie "there by seven." There's a last-minute opening at day care, "the good one, the one with the waiting list." Coach is suspicious about why they have an opening all of a sudden; Tami is busy thanking the woman on the phone for taking the baby on short notice. Julie is whining in the background, demanding to know where her homework is. Coach talks at his wife while she's on the phone (most annoying habit ever!), asking her to consider if the place has an opening because it's on such a busy street with a lot of traffic. Tami explains that they have a gate, with a security code, et cetera et cetera. Tami gets off the phone and tells Coach to calm down, and then tells him that she'll take Grace to daycare while he takes Julie to school because he's clearly too worked up about the daycare issue to bring Gracie in himself. Julie is continuing being both annoying and ignored until Coach tells her that her homework is under the newspapers. Totally, God, Dad. Tami heads out the door with the baby, exclaiming, "Say goodbye to Gracie Belle! She's going to daycare, woo hoo!"
Grandma Saracen is making Matt pancakes. He's moping around wondering where his wonderful characterization went. Grandma tosses about a quarter cup of baking soda into the mix, and Matt exclaims about it. She tells him she's been making pancakes for forty years, she knows how to do it. Matt mopes his way into Carlotta's room, where we find that the reason he's moping is that she's packing her things up. She tells him that she has to go to Guatemala. He is stunned, and wonders if she's going for vacation. She vaguely tells him that her "family needs" her. I think we can name this the "Guatemala Clause," part of the fine print in the show's narrative contract with its viewers: When someone needs to go back to Guatemala, no questions about said person's presence in the story need ever be answered. Grandma, batty and oblivious as ever, comes cheerfully in and invites Carlotta to come and have some pancakes. Matt mopes some more.
Tami arrives at the daycare center, which looks perfectly fine. She mutters to herself about the cute neighborhood and the nice playground, and then overhearing a child's cough, her muttering turns suspicious. A childcare worker comes out with a toddler in her arms and tells Tami she'll be right with her. Tami plasters a smile on her face as she tells Gracie what a big day she's about to have, that she'll eat, and play, and nap, "do all those things you love to do." But the smile doesn't cover her rising guilt, and Tami continues talking to the baby: "And I bet you're never going to wonder why we left you here with strangers." Her eyes start darting around, Gracie lets out a squeak, and Tami says, "I think you're absolutely right," and then hightails it back out that nice, secure gate she was telling Coach about. She puts Gracie in the car, telling her that maybe they'll try again tomorrow.