The Highest Stakes, Part 1
The show opens to a scene with Carson McKay paying off a rather large debt to a shady-sounding character named Wilson, and they make veiled references to his having a gambling problem. Carson declares he's going to try to get his family back.
Grady, along with Sam, meets up with Wooton, where Grady makes various excuses about not going to church and Sunday School. The real reason (see #624: “Wooing Wooton”), is because he doesn't want to fight with his mother.
When Wooton leaves, Carson shows up, sounding rather nervous.
While Sam is delighted to see her father again, Grady is a bit more guarded, and when they usher him into the apartment, after a very brief conversation Mrs. McKay ushers him back out and tells him he is most certainly not welcome in their apartment. Dejected, he gives her his cell number and leaves. Sam runs crying into her room, and Grady heads out after his dad, to find out some answers.
When he reaches his dad's motel, his dad promises to explain what he can on the way home. He tells Grady about his gambling addiction, and how he thought he was doing more harm than good staying with them. Carson gives Grady an envelope to give to Kristi and lets him out at his apartment. Grady gives his mom the envelope, which is full of money.
The next day, Grady gets sick in school and the nurse can't get a hold of his mom or neighbor, so Grady gives her his dad's cell phone number. Carson drives Grady home, obviously struggling with trying to be a father. He opts to stay outside and wait in the parking lot until Kristi comes home instead of going inside.
When Kristi returns home, she finds him under her car, fixing the alternator. To her surprise, the car now runs. Carson informs her that he made all the money he gave her fixing cars. Though still not trusting him, she's a bit more tolerant now.
Carson shows up at Grady's soccer game, and Mrs. McKay grudgingly invites him to go get burgers with them after the game.
At Burger World, they run into Wooton, who invites them over his house, and they agree to go the next day.
Just as everyone seems to be getting along, Carson gets a cell phone call from Wilson, who confronts Carson with his attempting to con them by borrowing money in two names. He demands all the money back - by Friday.
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Heard in episode
|Carson McKay||Dave Bitran|
|Mr. Blaylock||Bob Hoose|
|Grady McKay||Jordan Orr|
|Samantha McKay||Mary Mouser|
|Wooton Bassett||Jess Harnell|
|Kristi McKay||Julianne Buescher|
Mentioned in episode
|John Whittaker||Grady McKay|
|Winston Bassett||Grady McKay|
|Mrs. Hogan||Grady McKay|
- This is Marshal Younger's 100th episode directing.
- Gambling addiction was previously addressed in The Day Ambrosia Stood Still, also written by Marshal Younger.
- Grady's concerns about fighting with his mother over Christianity were first referenced in #624: “Wooing Wooton”.
- The McKay family orders a Maxi Deluxe Burger at Burger World - a burger previously referenced in #372: “For Whom the Wedding Bells Toll, Part 1”.
- Samantha and Grady briefly discuss the father-son laser tag tournament that Wooton and Grady entered in #604: “Like Father, Like Wooton”.
- Wooton's comments about an "ACME Mailman Eliminator" and the "wall painted to look like a tunnel" are references to the Road Runner cartoons.
Wooton Bassett: They're gonna have a bouncy house—with no age or weight restrictions! Woo-hoo!
Grady McKay: He says he hasn't gambled in six months.
Kristi McKay: So he says. But you don't know your father. If it isn't gambling, it'll be something else. And he's always sorry for what he's done, over and over...after a while, you don't want to hear how sorry he is.
Kristi McKay: I'm gonna be a hard sell. You know that, don't you?
Carson McKay: Sure, sure. I-I do. But—but I'm not trying to sell you anything. I just want to make things right.
Kristi McKay: We'll see about that. ...Thanks for fixing my car.
Carson McKay: You got it.
Waitress: And for you, ma'am?
Samantha McKay: Uh, a Maxi Deluxe cheeseburger with extra cheese, and cheesy fries, and a milk, please!
Grady McKay: Why don't they just bring out the whole cow, Sam?
Carson McKay: You know what? That sounds good! Bring me a cow, too!