(I mean, preach to the liberal choir and all, but conservatives are rich and watch HBO, and they're not hearing you -- they're just getting their wee feelings hurt, which turns it into an elitist thing, which they've decided to say is bad because it helps get poor people to vote for their tax breaks and against their own interests. But I don't have to tell you that, Nan Flanagan.)
Sam comes in and turns off the TV, so Tommy thanks him for letting him crash and hopes Sam won't interrogate him about the Joe Lee incident. Sam has no intention of doing so, and commences grilling, but of course he thought the same thing we did, which makes Tommy laugh: "I ain't scared of him, I just hate him! He's a drunk, gambles away any money we ever get! Fuck him!" Okay, so it's not sex. Violence? "He the one scarred you up?" Tommy snorts again: "He wishes." So then what? "I ain't lying, he ain't never laid a hand on me. He knows better." Then what the fuck is it, because clearly it's not normal. (It is also not something you would ever guess, unless you saw a bunch of scars all over a pitbull's body, which you did, and that pitbull was referred to as "property," which... He was.)
Tommy says he'll talk about it when he's ready, and Sam says that's fine as long as that moment takes place today, and then Melinda shows up with a big batch of corn fritters and telling Sam to call her "mama." He points out that that's totally weird, and she admits they have "a lot of road to cover." Sam refuses to leave them alone until Tommy says it's okay -- there's a truly suspenseful moment of beautifully edited three-way intensity that makes this storyline all by itself -- but the second he's gone she's slapping Tommy all upside the head for being disrespectful. In moments we have discovered that: Melinda is a dogfighting dog, literally, who gets rid of her kids because they keep her off "the circuit." She would have aborted Tommy -- don't you ever tell your kid this, it's awful -- except Joe Lee was hoping he'd get the gene, and then they'd have two prizefighters in the family and she could rest her old-ass bones.
"My back's done shot from all the years I spent in the ring, I ain't able to work now," she admits. At which point a sane person would just reach out and tip her over and go have some corn fritters -- "Abort this, asshole" -- but of course she immediately starts into the scenarios where she will rot in an alley somewhere, because she needs him, and also now it's Tommy's turn to be a dogfighting dog, which is not how parents work but whatever, and Tommy points out that this is fucked on several levels, and she responds that the world itself is also fucked on several levels.