Man. I didn't even want to think about this scene again, much less describe it. A man and girl walk down the road, only the man is bent over with some kind of back injury, and leaning on a crutch so he's actually shorter than the girl, who appears to be mentally...um, ready for American Idol, if you know what I mean. Ben drives up and asks the man if he's heard of someone called "The Crone." Good lord. He's been doing that for a week? Okay, does Management tell him to do this stuff, or is he totally on his own? I think I had more patience the first season, when Ben didn't have a clue what was going on. But now, I'm left wondering if he is willing to just accept the bits and pieces Management provides, and if so, why. Some guy behind a curtain says, "You've gotta save the world. From something. Can't say what. Or how. Or anything. Now we're going to Texas. Good luck!" Wouldn't you demand a little more explanation?
Anyway. The crook-backed man gives Ben directions to a house on Old Cherry Blossom Road. Ben gets ready to move on, but the man asks him to step out for a second, saying, "I need to show you something." Ben finally does, and is led around the car to the little girl. Who is, I don't know, twelve? I'm awful at guessing ages. She's young. The man tells her, "Go on, show him." She lifts up her skirt. Ben recoils and says, "What the hell did you do that for?" The girl starts idly tracing the triangles on the car as the man nervously explains, "She's abnormal. A retard. But she don't complain. Won't tell nobody. Back of your truck for two dollars. She's tight." I need to spend a week bathing. I mean, we're supposed to be horrified, I don't think the show is being, I don't know, exploitative or anything, but GAH. Ben grabs the man by his collar, and then the man looks up, sad and scared, and I'll just distract myself by noting that Ben does look kind of attractive here if you ignore the context. I think it's the stubble. Makes him look older. After a moment of plaintive plinking on the soundtrack, Ben releases the old man, who's starting to tear up. He moans, "I'm sorry," and it's kind of...well, it's impressive that they found a guy who could look that sympathetic, because five seconds ago I was mad that we weren't going to get to see him beaten to death. But yeah, he looks pathetic, and Ben looks a little bit sad himself as he finally shoves some money in the guy's coat pocket and mutters, "Don't do that no more." The old man sniffs, "No! I won't. Ever again." He cries to himself as Ben goes back to the truck. So I assume that Ben did some mojo there. I'm not sure that Ben did it intentionally, but I feel that way about most of the things Ben does.