The Road-Trip Express arrives in Castroville; Kitty is in the front seat, texting furiously and wearing big old sunglasses and an even bigger duck pout. Kitty and Sarah get out of the giant black campaignmobile, and Sarah observes that "there's something odd about this, this town." Kitty wonders sarcastically if the huge manmade artichoke in the square was Sarah's "first clue," but Sarah says no, that's not it. While the Hooting Piccolos of Small-Town Hijinks tootle, another staff member informs them that all the stores in town are closed for the Artichoke Festival. Kitty bitches at Sarah for not knowing the spa would be closed, and Sarah bitches back about why does she have to do/know/handle everything, but before they can really get into it, the staffer hands Kitty a list of interview subjects. She looks it over, and wants to know who "Alice Webb" is. Sarah says that it sounds like McCallister's ancient first-grade teacher. Kitty spots a notation next to Alice Webb and asks, "'HSSH,' what's that?" "High-school sweetheart," the staffer says.
Picnic. Barf. Coyote is explaining that his wife passed away five years ago, and I feel a little bit bad for that "can't imagine why not" comment. Nora says she knows how hard that is, and Coyote says in a "let me tell you about the world, Grasshopper" tone that "it's the second year that's hard. The second year is a little bit of hell, and don't believe anyone who tells you that it isn't," and then I don't feel bad anymore, because that just sounds... canned, like it's hardly the first time he's used the pity angle to pull tail. ... Wow, I didn't realize how much I loathed this character, but on second viewing, damn. Hate!
Anyway, moving on. Nora says that, for her, she thinks the hard part has come and gone. Coyote doesn't say anything; she asks if he's dating at all. "Women?" he asks. "Not really." Interesting semantic distinction, as we'll see. He claims that he's not finding connections, then says rather pointedly that he's "turned out to be a man of really particular tastes" in his old age. "I like bein' around the kids." It's a little surprising to me that Nora doesn't catch the snap here; he's awfully obvious, even when I didn't know for sure what would be revealed later. Coyote asks, "What about you?" and Nora talks about how she can do whatever the hell she wants, how she can afford to travel or to stay home, "I don't scare easy, I'm not afraid of a fight, and I... I've learned some lessons. I'd like to use them." "God," Coyote says, "I should be taking class from you." Um, what? That whole little speech sounded like she copied it from the online personals. Weird writing here. Coyote goes on to say that he has to give a little cocktails shindig for some professors at his house that night, and he asks if she'd like to be his date -- and he does so just as awkwardly and haltingly as she tried to ask him for coffee earlier, so shut up, Coyote, you cheesy hypocrite. "Sure, I'd love to," Nora says, and smiles. Stop that, Nora, stop it right now.