Maxine is on the phone in the DCF office, bitching someone out, when Marlee Matlin (in the form of one Eliza Spears, deaf activist) marches in and tells her, via her American Sign Language interpreter, to "get off [her] butt regarding the Dexter case." Woo hoo, somebody stands up to Maxine and we're less than a minute into the episode! Exposition, exposition, exposition: The Dexter case involves two orphan brothers, the eldest of whom is the court-appointed guardian of the younger, who happens to be deaf. In the last few months, the younger has started missing school, and stopped signing. Eliza is concerned, and thinks Maxine ought to pull the kid out of his brother's care and into a foster home. She demands that Maxine accompany her to assess the situation. Maxine attempts to wriggle her way out of it, but Eliza won't hear of it (no pun intended). It's nice to see that someone can boss Maxine, even if it takes an Academy-Award™-winning actress desperate for rent money actually to do it.
Sidebar: What is different about Marlee Matlin's face? Did she get plastic surgery? Or is she just getting older, or what? Because she looks...different, and I can't put my finger on why.
Anyway, back at the ranch, Vincent is digging through a pile of junk in the basement as he tells Amy that he's been given a position teaching writing at the university. In the midst of vacillating between being pleased and excited about having "a real job" and being concerned that he's going to hate the "overeducated, arrogant graduate" students, he comes across both Amy's old trumpet (which prompts a rather clever embouchure entendre from Vincent), and a letter of acceptance from Yale Medical school for their long dead, insurance-salesman father. Shock. Confusion. Decidedly unmusical thwapping from Amy's trumpet.
Vincent wonders aloud to Amy why their father would choose insurance over medicine. Amy sort of listens to him whine as she gives Lauren a quarter to buy lunch. A quarter? Where does this kid go to school? ["Or, perhaps, 'when?' 1953?" -- Wing Chun] Amy explains to Vincent that their father was a math/science whiz, so she isn't surprised that he was accepted to medical school. She tells Vincent that their father wasn't always quiet, and withdrawn. Vincent complains that he missed "the good part," and looks pensive. I have to say that I find it hard to believe that Vincent is that much younger than Amy. Dan Futterman and Amy Brenneman are basically the same age. I don't buy that they could have had such disparate family experiences. Also, Dear Vincent: Wash. Your. Hair. Thank you. Love, I.