Branching Out (2024) Movie Script

City streets that
I don't recognize
Unfamiliar skyline
Strangers who don't
look me in the eye
I'm lost inside I'm blind
But I know wherever I go
I'm never far from home
No matter where I roam
When I think of you
I'm never far from home
No matter where I roam
When I think of you
I'm never far from home
I'm never far from home
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
I'm never far from home
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
I'm never far from home
Good morning.
It's time to wake up.
Oh, no!
My daughter's turned
into a stuffed dog!
Got you!
You did get me.
- You're so predictable.
- Yeah.
Can you predict what
I'm gonna say next?
We're late.
Did you brush your teeth?
Your hair looks a little ratty.
Go run and get
your hair brushed.
What is your brush doing
in the silverware drawer?
We're always in the kitchen when
you tell me to go get my brush.
Also gross.
It's not gross.
It's my word of the day.
Well, at least keep
it in the junk drawer.
I forgot something!
Me, too.
Let's go, let's go, let's go.
- I'm coming.
Come on. Come on.
Come on.
Do you really need
to bring your guitar?
I love you.
Remember to help somebody.
I know.
Bye, baby Taylor.
Bye, Mommy.
I love you, too.
You know the drill?
All right, here we go.
All right, TJ.
Ready to rock?
Sorry, Doug.
Hey, you, uh, you
all right in there?
I shouldn't audition
before noon.
I'm not a morning person.
That's all right, man.
Let's just... we'll take
it back from the top.
Do you want me to
play a riff in the opener,
or should I play it straight?
Let's do one as it's
written, and then, that's it.
We're in the kitchen.
I know.
So how did it go?
I'm sure you did great.
I was wooden, and I blew it.
Lead guitar on
John Tyler's tour.
That would have been huge.
- You'll get the next one, Mijo.
- Yes.
- Yes.
- Ah, I don't think so.
So what have you been up to?
Ma's planning Mateo's birthday.
We're going to have it
here in the greenhouse.
Of course.
And she's not letting
me do anything at all.
Of course.
I still wanna be involved.
So I can keep it contained.
Who wants a party contained?
Maybe your daughter?
It'll be contained.
Just la familia.
And 200 of her closest friends.
Do you need a nap?
He's a grown man.
He doesn't need a nap.
I think I do need a nap.
I was practicing till 2:00 AM.
You're always up
until 2:00 AM, TJ.
- That's my most creative time.
- Mm.
Well, it's a good thing
you don't have kids.
I'm on the farm stand
today, so, mwah.
Hey, Mijo, fresh
out of the oven.
New recipe.
Thank you, Dad.
I'll cut out the bouncy house.
Hey, thank you, Mommy.
More self-help.
It was self-help in the '80s.
It's self-care now.
- So sorry.
- No.
And this book is
actually really good.
It's all about challenging
our self-imposed limitations.
So it suggests, instead
of saying no to ourselves,
we say, not yet.
Can I send you a
copy of the book?
Not yet.
Oh, what'd I get?
A juice box today, or
just a quarter for milk?
Just be glad that your
business partner cares
about you as much as I do.
I appreciate the TLC. I do.
I do.
I just... I would like it
if we could actually go
out to lunch one of these days.
And that's why I
handle the books.
I'm excited to announce
our next big-term project.
We'll be exploring our heritage.
Who knows what heritage means?
Like, where our
families come from?
Somewhat, yes.
But heritage also
means what's been
passed down from our ancestors.
Culture, tradition stories.
And to explore this, we'll
each be making a family tree.
My tree is gonna be so big.
I have like 14 aunts and uncles.
But I only have Auntie Maura.
She's not even really my aunt.
Well, there are all
different types of families.
So as you map out the
generations of your family,
I'd like you to talk to your
relatives about your heritage.
Learn where you come from, and
how that makes you who you are.
You'll have two months to
complete it, so take your time.
We'll also have
in-class activities,
like bringing your family
in to discuss heritage.
You can talk to your
grandparents, aunts and uncles,
anyone in your family.
Bye, kids.
Um, Miss Weaver?
I was just wondering if I could
do a different term project.
Because I don't really
have any heritage.
My family tree would kind
of just look like a weed.
What do you mean?
Do you know what IVF is?
Yes, I do.
So my only family is my mom.
Well, does your
mom have any family?
Not really.
She's an only child, and her dad
went away when she was little.
My Nana passed
away when I was two.
That's who I'm named after.
So it's really just
my mom and me.
A family tree can
look like anything.
Remember, some weeds turn
into the most beautiful flowers.
A minor?
Tough day?
What happened?
Miss Weaver assigned
our next big project.
And it's a family tree.
But I can't really be a family
tree because it's just and me.
And Nana.
Yeah, that's one branch.
That's not a tree.
It's like a log.
Sweetie, we're a family.
I know.
But also, I was thinking,
what about my biological dad?
Your donor?
Sweetie, he wanted
to be anonymous.
You know that.
But you said when I
got older, you'd show
me some sheet you have on him.
Ah, love, we're a family.
We're enough.
I know, and I love our family.
It's just, I'm curious, is all.
What's even on the sheet?
Mm... oh!
There you are.
Did he touch this paper?
I don't think so.
It's just a printout.
It's just some
basic information.
There's a baby picture.
And he looks just like me.
He does, doesn't he?
Height, age, eye and hair color.
Is this all the information?
Is this how you picked him?
Well... somewhat.
But I... I also picked
him because of his laugh.
Wait, you know what?
I think I have an old recording
of his voice from an email.
See if I can...
You've had a recording for
nine years and never told me?
I was a little
preoccupied raising
a well-adjusted young woman
in an ever-changing world.
Oh, wait.
Here it is.
So this is an interview
he did with the agency.
It's just audio only.
I'm sorry.
I'm a little nervous.
It's fine.
You can say whatever you want.
Well, um, I laugh when
I'm nervous, obviously.
And, uh, I live for
music, to make music.
And I hate mushrooms.
Love olives.
I love anything pickled. And...
Me, too
- I - love all desserts.
Me, too. Me, too.
I am bad at describing myself.
You know... yeah, that's it.
His laugh, oh my gosh.
I know.
That's why I picked him.
He sounded kind.
Maybe there's a way to find him.
When you're 18, you
can request contact.
But 18 is a million years away.
I guess you're gonna be
super old when you're 18.
That's Auntie Maura.
She's coming for dinner.
You do your reading, OK?
And now she wants
to find her donor.
Yeah, of course she does.
Ruby's approaching
an age where she's
gonna wanna explore who she
is and where she comes from.
She comes from here.
She comes from me.
Yeah, well, she's also
genetically half him,
and that still means something.
But who knows what he's like?
And do we even wanna
roll the dice on that?
And even if we wanted to
find him, it's not like we could.
Mm, that's not necessarily true.
Now, see, I've read
articles about this.
Donor-conceived children
who use genetic registry to track
down their biological parents.
What's a "genelli rhetory?"
What Aunt Maura
said, what is it?
It is genotyping,
to test your DNA.
You send a saliva
sample to a company,
and they test it to
learn about everything
from your physical traits, to
your health predispositions,
to your biological relatives.
So we could do that to find him?
Maybe, but it is
highly unlikely.
But we could still try.
Ruby, I wanna put a pin in this.
Can you go finish your homework?
Dinner's almost ready.
Thank you.
I am so sorry.
Can you just put
this on the table?
Thank you very much.
Good morning.
I made you coffee.
Go on.
Try it.
You just put the black
stuff in some water, right?
Ah, yeah, something like that.
Ah, OK.
What is... what
is going on here?
Ruby's 10-point presentation
on why I should be able to do
the genetic registry thingy.
Point one, I am not a baby.
This should be our
decision together.
Point two, school project.
You're always saying
how important learning is.
And this school project is
about learning who I am...
like, um, is my
donor clumsy like me?
Is he always
crashing into stuff?
Love, these are great points,
but he wanted to be anonymous.
He might not wanna be found.
But what if he does?
What if he's just
waiting for us to find him?
You're always telling
me to help someone.
What if this helps all of us?
I wanna know where I come from.
Come here.
I always knew this
day would come.
I just... I didn't expect it to
come so soon, so you're gonna
have to be patient with me.
I am open to looking
into this, but it's gonna
have to be on my timetable.
I am still your mother, and
I can prove that very easily.
Can we agree to that?
Maybe we can pick up
a test after school today?
Or before school.
What did I just say
about my timetable?
Yeah, your timetable.
It's just I already
ate breakfast,
and I made our lunches.
It's a spaghetti burrito.
You put spaghetti
inside a burrito?
With ranch dressing.
Oh ho ho ho.
How's it going?
How'd it go with Ruby?
She bring the idea back up?
Actually, I know Ruby
well enough to know
that she is driving that train.
And I know you
well enough to know
that you're pumping the brakes.
Actually, we picked up a
genetic registry test on the way
to school today.
Oh... what?
I'm proud of you.
We probably won't
find anything anyway.
And even if we do, it's not
like we have to contact him.
And even if we
do contact him, he
probably won't wanna
have anything to do with her,
you know. And...
and even if he does...
you know, it's not his choice.
So I'm not worried about it.
Yeah, no.
I... I can tell.
You seem super chill about it.
It's just always been
just the two of us.
And I've worked really
hard to make her feel like...
like that's OK.
Like we're enough.
What if she suddenly
decides that we're not?
Just make sure that
it's nice and snug.
So that's it?
Mail it in, and they
email us his information?
If there's any information,
which is a big if.
Plus, it takes time.
It could take several weeks.
Has it been several weeks yet?
OK, I got to do a
word of the day for you.
I'm gonna go put
it in the mailbox.
Did the genetic
registry email come?
Hi, Mommy.
How was your day?
That was all implied.
So, did it come?
Um, honey, it's only
been two weeks.
It's gonna take a
little bit longer, OK?
I guess I'll just have to
write another future hit
while I wait.
All I need, all I want
Is to keep the things that I got
Because it took
some time to find
I have dreams just like you
For the skies of
tomorrow to be blue
Do we need to close our eyes
Can't change the world
Oh oh it's not long
If we took it in turn
Oh oh, I think we
could, you know
'Cause we're in this together
Ooh ooh ooh
You're not alone
Are we in this together?
Love will show us where to start
Moving mountains with our hearts
All we need is to be here
Uh, excuse me?
Yeah, we're... we're
not open today.
May I help you?
Is this you?
What is this about?
You know, never mind. Sorry.
I'm sorry.
- Wait.
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
Is there something
I should know?
Um... you kind of
have a daughter.
Thank you for telling me.
What's she like?
She's on her own little planet,
in the absolute best way.
She's hilarious and kind.
She's bright.
She's so precocious.
She, uh, she plays guitar.
I'm a guitarist.
It means it's genetic.
That's wild.
So are you a
professional musician?
Is it good work?
Yeah, it is.
If you can get it,
which lately, I can't.
Um, that's why I work here.
It's a family business.
My parents bought
the land 40 years ago.
Started small, but
then it grew to all this.
And, uh, I read online that
you started the whole farmers
market co-op thing, too?
It's pretty cool.
It's a great community
between artisans and farmers.
So... what now?
Maybe we just let
it marinate for a bit?
Amelia, I'd really
like to meet her.
He seems nice,
like I thought he'd be.
He also seems like a
brooding, bad-boy musician type.
Oh, Daddy was a Rolling Stone.
It's like, smoldering
and bacchanalian.
He's probably a total
commitment phobe.
And how long did
you talk to him for?
I don't know, like
10 or 15 minutes?
Mm. Mm-hmm.
I don't know.
It just sounds like you
really got this guy pegged.
And now he wants to meet her.
Yeah, of course!
And she's gonna
wanna meet him, too.
But he's a total stranger.
OK, so vet him.
I mean, look.
Of all the genetic
possibilities in the world,
you chose him, and now's
your opportunity to find out why.
I guess I could just
like get a cup of coffee.
It's just coffee... with your
long-lost bad boy baby daddy.
That is not helpful.
It's fun to say.
To go with you?
Mijo, what's wrong?
Did you take a
genetic registry test?
So other relatives
could find us.
Turns out, uh, a relative
of sorts did find us.
I kind of have a daughter.
As... it's not... it's
not what you think.
Do you remember when I came
back to the States, and I was...
Mijo, it doesn't matter.
You have a daughter.
It's wonderful.
I came out here for
my master's, and then I
love it here. Just stayed.
So your family's in California?
No... no family.
Like none?
Um, well, I was very
close with my mom,
but she passed a while back.
And she was estranged
from her family,
so it was always
just the two of us.
So, yes.
And your dad?
Left when I was little.
Do you have a partner?
No partner.
So you're raising
Ruby by yourself?
That must be tough.
Well, I guess I'm tough.
Yeah, I can see that.
So have you given any more
thought to me meeting Ruby?
Only every waking minute.
No peace.
I guess I'm just concerned
that she's gonna meet
you, and then get attached?
I guess that could be a problem.
I mean, especially since you
got your whole life thing going on.
What thing is that?
I mean, you know,
you's like... your whole,
like, rock-and-roll thing.
The gigs and the...
Hang on.
Hang on.
How many working
musicians do you know?
I do not...
I do not know any
working musicians.
So I don't think
it's fair for you
to make assumptions
about my lifestyle.
You don't even know me.
OK, that's the problem, though.
Because I don't know you.
I don't know you at all.
And I'm supposed to decide
whether I want my daughter to?
Amelia, you reached out to me.
I assume you'd... you imagine
that I would like to meet Ruby.
But I'd hate to
make assumptions.
Yeah, that would be very unfair.
I'm sorry.
I'm a little nervous.
It's fine.
You can say whatever you want.
Well, um, I laugh when
I'm nervous, obviously.
And, uh, I live for
music, to make music.
And I hate mushrooms.
Love olives.
I love anything pickled,
and I love all desserts.
And I'm bad at
describing myself.
I'm sorry.
I'm a little nervous.
It's fine.
You can say whatever you want.
Well, um, I laugh when
I'm nervous, obviously.
And, uh, I live for music
Oh, I'm... I'm...
I'm... I'm sorry.
I... I wasn't, like
looking at your...
I'm not mad. I just...
- email or anything.
- It's OK.
It was just already
downloaded, and I...
I'm not mad.
I'm not mad.
I just have
something to tell you.
Did it come?
It did come.
And I found him.
You found him?
Like, in person?
- Mm-hmm.
- I wanna meet him.
Can I?
So before I say yes, I just...
I need you to listen
to me, sweetie, OK?
I know you have a
lot of really big ideas
about what you want this to be,
about who you want him to be.
And I know...
I know it's easy to
get lost in those ideas.
If you can, honey, I'd really
like for you to remain measured.
Do you know what I mean by that?
Like, only a certain
amount of something?
Yeah, exactly.
So I get to meet him?
Ah... that is so not measured.
I'm TJ.
Hi, TJ.
I'm Ruby.
Lovely to meet you.
And you sneeze when
you look at the sun?
I don't think so.
Do you?
But are you allergic
to cantaloupe?
Oh, yeah, yeah.
It makes my mouth all itchy.
Me, too!
Are you a morning person?
Nights are my creative time.
That's what I tell my mom,
but she still gives me a bedtime.
And when you eat asparagus...
Let's just... let's
give TJ a break here.
It's OK.
I like questions.
But I have a question for you.
Is it true that you play guitar?
I mean, I'm not a savant or
anything, but I will be someday.
I like the word savant.
It's my word of the day.
I'm learning a new
word every day
so I'll be a better songwriter.
I'm gonna be just
like Taylor Swift.
I even have her same guitar.
Baby Taylor.
You like Taylor Swift?
I've been known to
dabble, yeah, yeah.
I play the guitar, too.
What kind of guitar do you play?
I play different ones for
different moods, different eras.
You have to try out the
instrument, you know.
You have to see if you're
interconnected with your guitar.
What's that mean?
It means you're connected,
but you're also independent.
Like panda?
- Ah.
- What's that?
We learned about it in science.
It's this whole Aspen
forest here in Utah
made of over 47,000
trees, but they all
come from the same root system.
It's called "Panda, the Tree."
You never learned about it?
- Hm?
I think I just did.
I have a surprise for you.
Cinnamon churros,
cinnamon buuelos,
cinnamon cookie,
because your mom
told me that you like cinnamon.
What do you think?
This is like heaven in a stick.
Um, I got to make
a quick phone call.
Are you OK?
- Yeah.
You all right?
No, that sounds great.
Um, yeah, I'll just check in
with you when I'm leaving, OK?
Thank you.
Oh, wait.
Are you Amelia?
I'm Sofia.
TJ's mom.
Oh, forgive me.
I get emotional.
But this is just
such a blessing.
And... and this is
TJ's dad, Tomas.
TJ stands for Tomas, Jr.
It's nice to meet you.
It's nice to meet you, too.
I'm gonna get back
to my daughter.
Oh, yeah.
But... but before you
do, I was wondering if you
and I could get
together one day?
You know, have a cafecito.
Well, that is so nice.
That's such a nice offer.
Thank you.
Um... I... this just... it
feels like a lot, so, um,
can I get back to you?
Of course.
- OK.
- Yeah.
What did I miss?
I just asked TJ to come
speak at my school
for Heritage Day on Monday.
You did?
Uh, honey, you already
asked me to present.
Oh, but some kids have
two parents presenting.
Or... or... or even people that
aren't, like, actually parents,
but kind of technically, are.
It's OK.
It's... it's a
complicated situation.
- It is.
- Yeah.
It's complicated.
It's a real conundrum.
Oh, is that a new
word of the day?
So will you come to my school?
OK, honey, I...
You could talk
about your family,
and traditions and stuff.
Uh, you know, what it's like
to be a famous musician?
Honey, I just...
I don't wanna put too much
pressure on TJ right now, OK?
I can check my schedule.
Oh, my turn now.
One second.
How you doing, honey?
You OK?
Are you kidding?
I'm crushing it.
Well, yeah.
She's hilarious.
And not just for a kid.
She's only 10 and
knows her guitars.
It's so impressive.
So when do we get to meet her?
Can we come to
the school with you?
No, no, no.
I don't even know if I'm going.
Why wouldn't you go?
Because she wants me to talk
about being a famous musician.
What am I supposed to say?
I don't want to disappoint her.
Mijo, we never feel like
the people we wanna be,
especially as parents.
Yeah, but...
I'm not a parent.
I used to drive all night
Countless stars
till the sun came up
Just praying for our side
Why it doesn't make me wanna run
I was just a rolling stone
Wandering this whole world alone
Till you gave me somewhere to go
You saved my soul when
you made my heart a home.
Hey, Dad.
Need some help?
Why are you here?
Shouldn't you be
at Ruby's school?
I'm not going.
What's going on?
It's just, I always wanted
to be a dad, but I didn't think
this is how it was gonna happen.
And I'm not even a dad.
I mean, I'm a donor.
And I don't know if I
should get attached.
Imagine how Ruby feels.
Yeah, I know.
Mijo, even in the
simplest of circumstances,
parenting is never
what we think it will be.
And every parent worries
if they can give enough.
If they aren't, the kids
don't see it like that.
They just want to be loved.
I don't even know if
Amelia is gonna let
me see her again after this?
You better make the
most of it while you have it.
Thank you, Dad.
Ah, voicemail.
Hi, Amelia.
It's TJ.
Plans changed.
Listen, I'm coming.
I'm coming.
Let's give a big round of
applause to the Solomon family.
And let's welcome up,
Mr. And Mrs. Fisher.
And last but not
least, Ruby's mom.
Sorry for the grand entrance.
I'm here with Ruby.
Did I miss my turn?
You're actually right on time.
But I'm... I'm just a little
confused because I only had Ms.
Weber down to present.
He'll be going first.
Uh, I'm TJ Cruz.
I'm Ruby's friend.
And I'm here to talk about
heritage, which, I think,
it's not just a big word.
It's a big responsibility.
Because it's not just about
where you're from or who
you are, but it's about
connection, and integrity,
and values.
And it doesn't matter what
country you were born in,
but if you pass those three
things to the ones you love,
you can create a family
history that you can be proud of.
So make your families proud.
You can't do that again, TJ.
Do what?
Flip-flop on her.
You can't.
But I called you.
I left a message, and it
went to... to voicemail.
Because I had my
phone turned off
because I was here already
setting up for the presentation.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
Ruby was devastated when
you decided not to come.
You can't just say you're
gonna do one thing,
and then change your
mind at the last second.
You cannot.
- I don't know what else to say.
I messed up.
And I do that a lot, and I
probably sounded like an idiot.
You didn't sound like an idiot.
You sounded great.
It... what you said, it was
moving and it was poignant.
But words aren't enough.
Kids need consistency
and reliability.
And they need
to know if they can
count on us or if they can't.
So if you wanna
be in Ruby's life,
you just... you need to ask
yourself, can she count on you?
You're making me nervous.
What are we doing?
Davey Hill
Development just bought
this land for a subdivision.
50 or so houses, all green,
and I wanna pitch for it.
Ah, no.
I don't think we're
ready for that.
Imagine what it could
mean for our firm.
It could mean more staff
and resources, financing
that we don't have, and time.
We don't have to
figure any of it out.
So we hire a consultant.
It's fine.
We do whatever it takes.
What we have right now is good.
Yeah, but expanding
could be better.
What is wrong with what we have?
Are you unhappy?
Why is everyone always
wanna expand all the time?
What is wrong with staying
as we are when it works?
I kind of feel like we're not
talking about the deal anymore.
Amelia, is this about
Ruby and the rock star?
Her expanding family
tree, it's killing me.
Are you sure this
isn't good expansion?
Can you just be on my side?
I am on your side.
I want what's best
for you and us.
And I want us to pitch,
so grow or stagnate.
I can make either choice?
Can you trust me on this?
Perfect. I love it.
Thank you.
Also, I wanted to
ask about the tour.
Are you auditioning
for lead guitar, maybe?
You know we love
you, TJ, but Romer
always plays lead for Sadie.
Of course.
Well, uh, would you bounce
me a copy once it's mixed?
I wanna show it to my, uh...
a young artist I know.
Of course.
So Amelia.
These are TJ's sisters.
His older sister, Bianca,
and his two younger
sisters, Camila and Elena.
Nice to meet you.
Thank you for coming.
I hope mom didn't
pressure you into.
Oh, no, no, no,
no, it's my pleasure.
So tell us all about you.
We heard you don't
have any family.
- Mom!
- Boundaries.
Boundaries aren't for family.
Please forgive our mother.
No, it's fine.
But I do have family.
Ruby and I are a family.
Of course.
So Amelia, you are an architect?
Yeah, yeah.
It's the only thing I
ever wanted to do.
Other little girls had
Barbies, I had a spirograph.
And what do you like about it?
I like feeling like I'm giving
people a sense of home.
I think we all just wanna
find our place in the world,
you know?
You should tell that to TJ.
You know, he spent most
of his youth in Mexico.
But then with the band
and the traveling, I mean,
you just never know
where he's going.
Mommy, OK.
That's enough.
Let her breathe.
Amelia, my grandson,
Mateo, turns nine next week.
That's my son.
And we are going
to have a little fiesta.
We would so love if you
and Ruby would join us.
Oh, Mateo would love that.
- There's gonna be so much food.
- And so many other kids.
And music!
- So, it's a yes?
- Yes.
It's going to be so fun.
We'll all be there.
Boo-ooh Something about you
That caught your eye
And got a glimpse
Of what heaven must be like
You got me in a spin
I can't help wonder
where you've been
It's never been with me
I wanna be with you, girl.
So are you better at music
or artisanal southwest cuisine?
Ah, you can be
the judge of that.
Just one second.
Ah, I brought this in today.
Roasted squash blossoms
with ricotta cheese and poblanos.
You made this?
Tell me what you think.
You know, it's really good.
No, this is... this is too
hard because you are
an incredible guitarist,
but I actually think this
might be your true calling.
- Do you like to cook?
- I don't know.
Sort... no.
I... I'm usually too exhausted
by the end of the day
to do anything fancy.
Yeah, it must be hard
being a single parent.
It's hard being
any kind of parent.
What about you?
Do you want kids?
Yeah, in theory.
Um, but with my career, I
could be on tour for six months
a year, so it's hard to
reconcile that with kids.
But, as an uncle, I
get the general idea.
I teach them a little guitar.
I make waffles for them.
Tell them jokes.
- Yeah.
That's all there
is to parenting.
Just waffle-making
and joke-telling.
- What else?
- Yeah.
Nothing else.
That's it.
Yeah, I know.
Ah, when I
envisioned my life, I...
I always thought, make it as a
musician, and kids and marriage,
May I ask you...
why did you do IVF?
And you can tell me
it's none of my business.
It's none of your business.
Got it.
That's all right.
Why did you donate?
I was young.
And I had been living
in Mexico with my uncle.
So when I came back
to the States, I was broke.
I didn't want to
rely on my parents.
So that's it.
Simple as that.
I actually wanted to talk
to you about something.
Yeah, what is it?
I wanted to explain why I
was so intense and sensitive
the other day at Ruby's school.
My dad just wasn't there for me.
He made a lot of
promises he couldn't keep.
It was just... it was hard.
So we'll just leave it at that.
Um, I just don't want
Ruby to ever have to go
through anything like that.
- Yeah.
- Understood.
OK, yeah.
And I think you should
take this to Ruby so you
don't have to cook tonight.
Um, do I have to share?
Because you know
what, I could just
like make her some
mac and cheese,
and then this could
be our little secret.
You can do whatever you want.
It is up to me
because I'm the mama.
Can I... can I show
you something,
a song I've been working on?
Oh, yeah. No.
- Yeah?
Sure. I would love to.
It's, um, you know, it
came to me late last night.
And I want a fresh set of ears.
- OK.
- First impression.
Hit me.
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Something about you
that caught your eye
And got a glimpse of
what heaven must be like
You got me in a spin
I can't help wonder
where you've been
It's never been with me
I wanna be with you, girl.
Here she goes.
- How are you?
- Good.
That's TJ.
I mean, you said
he was smoldering,
but he is smoldering.
Did you mean to tell me
that there is not a shred
of romantic fantasy here?
My deep romantic fantasy is
someone to do the dishes with.
You know, ordinarily, I
would say that's really sad.
But I would gladly do
the dishes with that man.
OK, settle down.
I am so happy you came.
And you must be Ruby.
I am your...
Call me Tia Sofia.
Nice to meet you, Tia Sofia.
Nice to meet you.
My mom says that
whenever you return a dish,
you should put something in it.
So I cooked you my favorite.
Ants on a log!
I hope they're
made with real ants.
I'm Tomas.
I'm TJ's father.
Nice to meet you.
And this is my best friend
and business partner, Maura.
And my Auntie.
Hi, are you Ruby?
I'm Mateo, your cousin.
I've never had a cousin before.
Hey, you wanna hit the piata?
Can I?
Yeah, sure.
Just stay where I can see you.
You better count me in.
Please, make yourself at home.
Can I help you with that?
Uh... uh, sorry.
No, I have a strict "open my
own bottles and jars" philosophy.
My mama always said
learn to do everything yourself
in case you don't
have money or a man.
- That's a big thought.
- Yeah, well...
Uh, it's actually...
It's a twist up.
Of course it is.
OK, I'm gonna go do a lap.
See if I can find my girls.
I don't know why
I said it like that.
See you later.
- I hope so.
OK, bye.
Strange, huh?
You have a kid, and
your heart goes walking
around outside of your chest.
There's nowhere
else you'd rather be.
I've heard that said
before, but only now
I'm beginning to understand.
TJ was so moody
as a kid, especially
when he was playing music.
Well, he's a creative.
But, anyway,
let's give these two
a chance to eat before
the tias descend on them.
You know, I have been
warned about them.
No warning could
possibly suffice, but suerte.
Come on.
I'm so glad you guys are here.
Thank you.
They seem so sweet.
They're so sweet.
They're so... so kind and so
friendly, and nice, and warm,
and chatty, like so so chatty.
I feel like I'm sweating.
Am I sweating?
I think it's the
salsa, actually.
Did you know this
is the mild one?
It's the mild one.
I think you could
use a breather, OK?
Don't worry, I'll keep
an eye on Ruby, all right?
Thank you very much. OK.
You're welcome.
Don't mind if I do.
Sorry to interrupt.
I just wanted to check on you.
My family can be a lot.
No, no, no, they're so great.
I... I'm just not used to it.
My family situation was,
and is, entirely the opposite.
It's me and my mom,
and then me and Ruby.
But they are a lot.
It's a lot.
It's... sorry.
Do you mind if I join you?
I need a party break.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
What were you doing?
Cloud gazing?
Guess we are now.
That one looks like
a dog with a banjo.
A banjo?
You see that level
of detail right there?
It's not like a
guitar or a ukulele.
Nah, it's definitely a banjo.
Banjo? OK.
All right.
You asked me why I did IVF.
Yeah, you told me to
mind my own business.
Yes, I did.
But I'm now ready
to tell you why.
Would you like to hear it?
Because more than anything,
I wanted to be a mom.
And I got to a certain age
and hadn't met anyone yet, so I
didn't wanna wait any longer.
I could feel Ruby.
I was like waiting
for my life to start.
You can honestly see an
elephant playing a banjo right there?
No, it's a dog playing a banjo.
A dog... that's a dog?
Right there, that's...
No, that's a dog.
That's a... That's a dog.
Shall we get back to the...
do you wanna go?
- Yep.
Let's do that.
Name of my... what made it.
There are so many people you
need to meet, and some of them
ask really personal questions.
Yeah, they do.
Would you like to accompany
me on guitar for happy birthday?
I'll go grab Baby Taylor.
Oh, and I made you this.
So if you ever get worried
about how you're gonna play,
it'll remind you to
just do your version.
I love it.
Thank you.
So not a shred of fantasy?
We love the renderings.
Love your pitch.
Love your firm.
But a subdivision is a big
jump from single-family builds.
And we have concerns
about potential growing pains.
We recognize and
understand those concerns,
but we know that we are uniquely
equipped to handle this step up.
We have no doubts.
No doubts at all.
That wasn't quite the convincing
sell from you back there.
Sorry, but I do have doubts.
Well, I don't.
And I asked you to trust me,
which is maybe something
you're having trouble doing.
I do trust you with
my life, but I'm just still
happy with the way things are.
Oh, come here.
Look, I know that
you are worried
about what's going
on with Ruby, but that's
not what this is about here.
OK, who is blowing you off?
Oh, Sofia added me to
the Cruz family text thread.
It literally never stops.
I get 400 texts a day.
- Oh boy.
Tomas wants to know
where the paper towels are.
Sofia says they're
under the kitchen sink.
Oh, actually, update.
No, it's under the garage sink.
No wonder you're
a ball of nerves.
That is no excuse.
You're right about the
company, about everything.
I'm gonna have your back now.
OK, as long as you don't
mind bearing the brunt
while I figure this out.
I've got you.
And I'm gonna start by
silencing these notifications
on this thread.
You can do that?
Wait... what's this
text from TJ about
picking Ruby up from school?
Yeah, he's, um, taking
her to a music store
to check out guitars.
All right.
Yeah, it's moving a little fast.
I get it.
Are you ready?
Hold onto my hand.
Come on, come on.
Holy moly, is this a...
Gibson Les Paul 57.
This is what Taylor plays.
Give it a try.
Well, you have
to really play it.
It's too big.
You try.
OK, picking a guitar,
yeah, it's a big step.
You got to jam
out on it, you know.
Gotta find out if
you're interconnected.
Like the panda tree.
You remembered.
How could I forget?
It felt like I would wash away
Get pulled under the waves
Lose myself and never be found
A hundred bricks on my back
Waiting for the crash
What goes up always
comes back down
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
I might be crazy
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
We all need saving.
Wow, you're so good.
I wanna be as good
as you someday.
But when I play, do I have
to make weird faces like you?
That's called shred face,
and it's a requirement.
Shred face.
Your dad's got some talent.
My dad does got some talent.
That's where I get it from.
I see the Zager.
Can I try it?
But you got to do shred face.
Pinky swear.
Pinky swear.
Cute kid.
Thank you for talking
me up in front of her.
Oh, no.
You got style.
And obviously, you have
good taste 'bout a song choice.
Can't go wrong with Trey Stasio.
I take it you're fan, too?
I have to be.
I'm his manager.
- You play professionally?
- Yeah.
Yeah, yeah.
I, uh... I did all the
strings for Sadie Adams,
all the albums, and some tracks
for Antheneum and Mike Fishman.
A bunch of others.
But I also do gigs.
Well, we're always
looking for talented backup.
I'll be at the studio
off and on this week.
Could you swing by a session?
Yes, of course.
All right.
Give me a call.
We'll find a time.
Thank you.
Mommy, it was so cool!
I got to try a Fender
Johnny Marr and a Taylor G5.
I don't know what
any of those words are,
but it sounds awesome.
And I learned what
shred face means.
Um, say thank you to TJ.
Go do your reading, OK?
Thank you so much, TJ.
You're welcome.
Also, in two weeks,
I'm presenting my family
tree project at school.
Can you come?
And invite Tia Sofia and Tio
Tomas, and everyone, actually?
Sounds like you
guys had fun today.
We did.
I mean, just so I know,
you don't have to do this.
You don't have
to do any of this.
But I like it.
Maybe I'm being selfish.
What do you mean by that?
Around her, I feel like the
man I always wanted to be.
No, I... I get that.
Um, right, I gotta...
I'm gonna get my dinner going.
And I got to get back to
my rock-and-roll lifestyle.
There was a little bit of
a jealousy mixed in there
when I said that.
And actually, a lot of remorse.
Jealousy and remorse?
That was the name of
my band in high school.
Yeah, I think I
heard of you guys.
Yeah, we wore black.
We were very intense.
Maybe you can burn me a
mix tape of your greatest hits.
OK, bye.
What... what is that smile for?
We got it.
- What?
- Yeah.
I just got off the phone
with the developer.
They are signing the
contract as we speak.
That is incredible!
I know.
I'm coming over, and
I'm bringing champagne.
I'll be right there.
So what's on the agenda today?
You wanna know the real deal?
Yeah, of course.
Trey's planning a
kickoff show in town
before heading out on his tour.
And he wants local musicians.
There's no one
more local than me.
Let's hear it.
Uh, I'm I'm digging what
you're doing, but it's a little dry.
Where's the guy I
heard at the guitar shop?
You got it.
Are you here for the
samples or the company?
Can it be both?
Roasted root vegetables?
Yes, please.
I'm telling you, if the
music doesn't work out,
you got a real future here.
Music is totally gonna
work out, though.
That... what?
That is the perfect thing
to say to a struggling
artist in a gig economy.
I'm... I'm saying is that,
you know, whatever you do,
it's gonna be great stuff.
I am gonna be great.
Hey, how are you doing?
Are we gonna go there
several times over?
You don't have to.
Well, um, I think
you're wonderful.
Ruby obviously loves you.
And why do I get
the sense that you
can stop this at any minute?
I told you about my dad
leaving when I was little.
Well, then, he spent my
childhood popping in and out.
And I remember
what that felt like,
the waiting and
the hoping, and then
the crushing disappointment.
And I don't want
Ruby to ever feel that,
and I'm still just
trying to figure out
if she can really count on you.
Let me cook for you...
Yeah, I can...
I can teach Ruby my
mom's favorite recipe.
Unless you're too
busy with your new gig.
No, I'm not... I just...
this would be good.
That would be nice.
4:00 PM.
That is not a
normal dinner time.
I'm cooking birria.
It takes a long time.
What can I pick up?
Just go, go.
OK, I got you.
I'll go.
And stop eating.
Excuse me?
You need to be
hungry for tonight.
See how they've softened?
Now, put them here.
But also, we're gonna
blend them with some broth.
That smells so good.
I could do it!
No, no, no.
She need the top first, Riffs.
And I'm not done yet.
Like on the guitar?
It's TJ's nickname for me.
He's workshopping it.
How about Riff Van Winkle?
No, let's keep brainstorming.
Do you make food
like this every night?
Yeah, I like cooking.
It's a way for me to take
care of the people I love.
And myself, of course.
Hey, Mom.
Hey, TJ, can teach
you how to cook.
Excuse me?
I make a mean mac and
cheese, thank you very much.
Don't tell me it's from a box.
All right, Riffie
Longstocking, go for it.
Riffie Longstocking,
I like that.
That's... that's good.
All right, are you ready?
My goodness.
I hope you like it.
This looks so succulent.
Word of the day?
Did I use it right?
Oh, yeah.
Then yes.
OK, this is the perfect way
to celebrate my big news.
I got a gig playing lead guitar
for Trey Stasio next Thursday.
Trey Stasio?
I love Trey Stasio!
And you probably know
his music better than I do.
Anyway, it's a
small venue for Trey,
but it's a friends and family
kickoff night before the tour.
And it's all thanks to Ruby
because I was with Ruby
when I met Trey's
manager at the guitar store.
That is so exciting.
Thank you.
And if you're free that night,
I have a couple of VIP tickets
with your names on them.
Trey Stasio knows my name?
That's not exactly
how that works, honey.
But there are
backstage passes, so I
might be able to introduce you.
Can we, Mom?
We're VIPs.
We have to.
- Yes!
I always like to give
Thanks before I eat.
Is that OK?
Thank you for our
food, our safety,
and thank you for bringing
Amelia and Ruby into my life.
OK, this is how
you eat a birria taco.
You open it up, and you
put just a little bit of meat.
We don't wanna
overflow it, right?
The leftover birria should
last you a week, easy.
As you can see, I go
all out when I cook.
As you can see, I
go all out when I eat.
So that works out.
Hey, I got a question for you.
Hit me.
So you know, the whole Heritage
Day debacle, you know, you
weren't gonna come, and then...
and then you did.
What changed?
Some great advice
my dad gave me.
Which was?
I shouldn't worry if Ruby's
not in my life long-term.
But if I only get one day
with her, I should take it.
So I did.
I really hope we
can keep this going,
even if it's one day at a time.
I'm pretty good at a
few things like playing
the guitar, cooking,
my family, but I know
I could be great as a father.
And of course, you and I
could spend more time together.
Wouldn't that make
this a little complicated?
Some would call it conundrum.
One day at a time?
That's all I'm asking.
Trey, how are you, man?
Good to meet you, TJ.
Home sweet home.
It still smells the same.
All right, so we'll do a quick
sound check at 4:00 PM.
Doors open at 7:00 PM.
Show starts at 8:00.
We'll have an hour set,
half-hour intermission,
another hour set, and
then a 15-minute encore.
I think that's it.
Any questions?
No, I got it.
Really glad you're here, TJ.
I don't wanna fan boy too much,
but I think it's impressive
what you're doing as an artist.
It's special.
Well, remember, the reason
why you are in this room right now
is because you've got
something special yourself.
We're gonna have a
great show. Thanks.
You, too.
We're with him.
That was so easy.
I know, right?
Are you nervous?
Maybe a little.
I can tell.
Because I wiggle my
fingers, too, when I'm nervous.
But you don't have
to be, because I think
you're a famous musician now.
Oh, well, not quite.
But I don't have to be
famous because you're
the only fan I need.
Who's ready for some
backstage passes?
Ta ta ta ta.
This is for you.
During intermission, downstairs,
come meet me down there,
and I can introduce you to Trey.
Thank you.
I see Mateo!
Oh, I got her.
Thank you.
You look beautiful.
Thank you.
Is there a special saying
you say to a guitarist,
like break a string?
Don't say that? No?
Not that one.
- Don't ever do that again?
- No.
Great. OK.
Oh, that's my cue.
Break a string.
All I got would wash away
Get pulled under the waves
Lose myself and never be found
A hundred breaks on my back
Waiting for the crash
What goes up
Always comes back down
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Somehow you found me
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
To walk around me
Thank God, I'm note alone
We can walk this world together
I'm ready for the
heartbreak you broke through
I'm ready because you
did when you didn't have to
I'm ready for loving you
Thank God, I'm not alone
We can walk this road together
I could get by on my own
But with you, I'm better
I might survive on my own
But with you, I'm better
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This is the best day of my life!
That baseline slashed.
It was so cool.
Dude, great job yourself, man.
Oh, I'm just
following your lead.
Listen, man.
I didn't mention it
before, just in case,
but this gig is
actually an audition.
My usual lead guitarist
just went solo, so I'm looking
for someone for my tour.
Four months in the
States and two in Europe.
Six months?
So, what do you think?
You game?
I mean...
You sure?
Yeah, I wanted this forever.
So, yes.
When... when do we start?
Two weeks.
I know it's a quick turnaround,
but can you make it work?
Yeah. OK.
- Awesome, man.
- Thank you.
- Looking forward to it, man.
- Thank you so much.
- Of course.
Thanks, man.
- Yeah
Is that the rock star?
You guys were almost
as good as Taylor.
Thank you, Ruby, for that.
Means a lot coming from you.
Do you want some snacks?
There's a whole table
full of snacks over there.
I'll introduce you
to Trey afterwards.
It's so good.
You are so good.
Thank you.
Uh, so I have some news.
Trey just offered me
lead guitar on the tour.
Oh, my... that is so amazing!
I know.
Thank you.
Thank you, thank you.
But, um, I, uh...
I'm leaving in two weeks.
And it's for six months.
Ah... you're... you're
leaving for half a year.
Yeah, but I'll
FaceTime, and I'll text,
and I'll get some breaks.
Uh, TJ...
I know.
I know.
It's the worst time.
And I don't know what to do.
So maybe, I should just not go.
No, you have to take the gig.
Are you kidding me?
This is everything you've
ever wanted, you know.
It's just... it...
It is what it is.
And I'll FaceTime.
And, um, I'll get some...
some... some breaks.
Yeah, you said that.
Yeah, you know just, um...
you just do what you need to do,
and... and it'll be fine.
I'm fine.
She's fine.
You know, we're...
we've always been fine.
Hey, hey.
I'm not fine about it.
You know what?
I'm... um, we
actually have to go.
Because it's late, and
it's a school night, and...
Don't do this.
You know what?
It's just... it's absolutely
no hard feelings.
- Amelia.
- Just...
This is not fair.
I'm actually really
happy for you.
I mean it.
Hey, Ruby?
We got to go.
We can't stay for
the second set?
No, baby. It's super late.
We got to go.
- But I haven't met Trey yet.
Yeah, maybe, another time.
Just say goodbye to TJ.
Bye, Rubes.
Bye, Shredder.
Come on.
Let's go.
Great job tonight.
Come on.
Bye, baby.
We're back on in five.
I still don't understand
why you made us leave.
We're missing
all the best songs.
And you made TJ really sad.
Yeah, well, we're not gonna
be seeing TJ for a while.
He got a job on tour,
and he's going away.
But we'll see when
he gets back, right?
I, um...
I don't know.
He doesn't wanna see me anymore?
No, honey.
You listen to me.
That is not it.
So he's not coming to my
family tree presentation?
I just... I don't think
it's a good idea.
I think it's gonna
make it more painful.
This is all my fault.
Come here, baby, it is not
your fault. You listen to me.
It is not your fault. You
didn't do anything wrong.
You hear me?
I thought things
were going really well.
I'm very disappointed, too.
Hey, how are you doing?
And I can't even
write a song about it.
And I'm not gonna
present my family tree.
Well, maybe, let's give
that a little more thought.
I'm so sorry.
I know this hurts.
But I also know that
it's gonna be OK.
How do you know?
Well, because I have felt
the same way that you feel,
and I was OK.
How's it going over there?
I'm just rethinking
this whole subdivision.
Oh, yeah?
Well, there's not much to
rethink because it's happening.
And let's stop with the
waffling and self-doubt.
Honestly, it's getting boring.
And don't think that
I don't know that all
this moping is about TJ.
Amelia, I love you.
But you messed up, babe.
Your knee-jerk
reaction shut down.
It's hurting Ruby.
TJ didn't break her heart.
Please, you would never
even let him get close
enough to have the chance.
I have to protect her!
Stop with the
protecting Ruby spiel.
I have heard that as an excuse
at every phase of your life,
and I have never bought it.
And I still don't.
If you wanna live a guarded
life, that's your choice.
But Ruby shouldn't have
to pay the price for that.
Hey, man.
Yeah, good, good.
I wanted to discuss
the tour schedule.
Yeah, of course.
I really wanna make it work,
but I have a few caveats.
Ruby, honey, dinner.
Hey, what are you doing?
I think I'm sick.
I probably shouldn't
go to school tomorrow.
And does this have anything
to do with tomorrow being
the family tree presentation?
Oh, that's tomorrow?
I'm so glad you're
a terrible liar.
It's gonna make your teenage
years a lot easier for me.
Honey, you wanted to
meet TJ because you wanted
to know who you are, right?
Well, who you are isn't defined
by your genes, or your parents.
Only you get to
decide who you are.
But are the Cruzes
our relatives?
And they're always
gonna be our relatives.
And I hope they'll
always be our family, too.
And maybe our family tree
doesn't look exactly the way
you hoped or wanted it
to, but honey, that doesn't
make us any less of a family.
Do we have any
more poster board?
Ah, yeah, I think we do.
Because I'm gonna
remake my family tree.
And you better make me
some coffee, because I might
have to pull an all-nighter.
That is a hard no.
Come on.
How are you feeling, honey?
A little bit scared,
but super-excited.
Oh you're gonna do great.
I can't wait to see what
all the other kids have.
I wonder what Oliver is doing.
I wonder if there's any single
daddies for Auntie Maura.
I'll be right in.
Because we're from
Iceland and Cuba,
my dad says we're ice cubes.
My mom hates it
when he says that,
not because she's
offended or anything,
just because it's not funny.
She hates dad jokes,
and he's full of them.
He brings an extra
pair of socks with him
when he goes golfing because
he says, I might get a hole-in-one.
Not good.
It's bad, I know.
Ah, well, that's my family tree.
A round of applause for Oliver.
That was, um, informative.
You finally used
the family text thread.
I was waiting for
something important.
Oh, this counts.
And up next, we have Ruby Weber.
Before anything, I want
to say that this project
was really a doozy.
So I definitely deserve an A.
But also, I learned a lot.
I learned that like
every tree, every family
and heritage is different.
When Miss Weaver taught us
about the panda tree in science,
I had no idea how much it would
help me with this assignment.
As I connected with those
who share my heritage,
I realized how
much our family roots
were interconnected,
like that special miracle
of nature, the panda.
And that's my word
for my family tree...
It means separate, but
also joined, part of something
bigger together.
These are the people that
are a part of my family tree.
And here are the roots.
All tangled and beautiful.
And honestly, I didn't
wanna to do this project.
But now, I am so, so
glad I did because I
went looking for my
relatives, but I found my family.
Hey, that was great.
Your presentation was riveting.
I thought you were
gonna say terrific.
Ooh, terrific.
I deserve a treat.
Sure, yeah.
Go ahead.
Thanks for coming.
And thanks for texting.
Uh, I also wanted to tell you
that I spoke to John and Trey,
and they said that
they're gonna fly
me back home every two weeks.
So maybe, I can see Ruby
on a more regular schedule,
if that's OK with you.
Um, can we just go
into the hallway and talk?
Last time this
happened, I got an earful.
Well, this time, I'm
the one that's in trouble.
It wasn't fair of me to
shut down on you like that.
I got scared, and I went
into protection mode.
And I say that it's
for Ruby, but it's not.
It's for me.
But she doesn't
need my protection.
She trusts you.
And that is enough for me.
And thank you so much
for making the effort
to come back and visit
Ruby during your tour.
It just... it means...
it means a lot to
me, and I know it's
going to mean the world to her.
I cannot wait to tell her.
That's beyond wonderful.
Thank you.
OK, well now that
we've got Ruby all sorted,
I would like to say that, I...
I would also like to spend
some more time with you.
- Oh.
- Yeah.
And if you're...
if you're interested, if...
if you wouldn't mind...
OMG, get a classroom, people!
I don't care.