Finally, we are in Al's office where E.B. has come to deliver the letter from Hearst. It was for Al, of course. I can't believe that, in what may be the last episode ever, they didn't show us Al until minute nineteen. That ain't right. It should have been Al from start to finish just walking around kicking people in the nuts. Even in the face of what could be a big disaster, Al finds time to rib E.B. "You don't expect me to believe," he jokes, "you didn't steam this open and reseal it for me to open again." E.B. sullenly says he didn't want to know what was in the letter. Al holds the magnifying glass up to read the thing before slamming it all down on the table and emphatically cursing Hearst: "This motherfucker!" Oh, it's Al at his most pure. Y'all, seriously, Al has had it with Hearst. He has HAD IT. Has he not endured enough at the hands of this blustering bastard? What with the finger-chopping and the Dan-fighting and the election-fixing and the Ellsworth-killing? I mean, come ON. Not surprisingly, though, E.B. thinks it's all about him. "For my complicity in his shooting," he says, thinking he's divined the note's contents, "he orders my death." Al delightfully sticks it to him again: "You did read it!" he says, smiling. E.B. practically swoons into a chair and, exposing his neck, asks that Al finish him off, quickly. "Your complicity's mostly in your noggin', E.B.," Al regrettably informs him. "It's the whore he wants dead." E.B. fans himself, both relieved and disgusted. "By what vile method then?" he asks, shaking his fists at the ceiling. "Is Trixie to be drawn and quartered and set aflame?"
Al dryly tells him to tell Hearst he'll have his answer in an hour, but E.B. is not done falling apart. "I can't, Al," he begs. "I can't engage him in further conversation. When I hear his voice, I see the inside of his skull! Phantoms grin out at me, oozing gruesome goo." During this panic attack, Al whips out a piece of paper and pencil, and writes a message for Hearst. "Slide this under his door then," he says to the histrionic E.B. who, seeing that Al has given him the easier option, decides to gird up his loins and take the hard road of delivering it in person. "Fear," he says, walking tall as he makes his exit, "is every man's portion." Ain't it the damn truth?
For whatever reason, Joanie has gone to the Bella Union to visit Cy. I hate to brush this off, I really do, because I love Joanie and honestly, I love Cy, as well. I feel like the whole Bella Union staff got the shaft this season (insert joke here re: Con's shaft ["And insert 'insert Con's shaft' joke right after that. And then throw up." -- Joe R]) and this scene does little to redeem the damage already done. The gist is, Joanie has come to, in spite of everything, thank Cy for keeping her alive all those years, not letting her kill herself, and trying to make her happy. She's found some happiness now, she says, and she wants to make peace with him. He's all drunk and ugly and when she tries to engage him in conversation about all the Hearst bidness, he makes a snide remark about her relationship with Jane. It's pitiful, really, how he's fallen to this state of self-loathing, and she sees it and leaves him to wallow, walking out with her head held high.