Casa de Creepy. Iris feeds Balthus in the dining room. Does she know where Sofie is? Is she curious about it at all? Or is she busy with her monologue? Let's listen and find out. She asks Balthus, "What if you hadn't found us, that night on the road?" Well, that answers that question. Iris says that she thought she and Justin were children of God. She ruefully says, "I wish I had made better decisions." Hee. She mentions the orphans and Eleanor, and says that she is beyond redemption. She smiles and kisses Balthus chastely before announcing, "When I die, I'm going to hell. And if I am very, very fortunate, my brother will be waiting for me with an embrace." Excellent line. Excellent character moment. And that's what frustrates me so much. I feel like Iris has been one of the most interesting characters for a long time because everything she does is motivated by her love for her brother, and by her faith. And her problem is that those two things conflict. It's interesting, but it's simple. The only thing I know about Ben's feelings is that he likes Sofie, and I've got no idea why that is. I wouldn't mind so much if not for the fact that he's the main character. It's very weird when the secondary characters are more three-dimensional than the leads, you know?
Iris's meditations are interrupted by a knock at the door. She opens it to a delegation of carnies. Samson explains, "We come about the...'honorarium.'" Along with him are Sabina, Bert, and Rollo the Rubber Boy. So Sabina was around for Lila's rebellion last week, and just didn't feel like getting involved? Okay. Sabina is holding a leash attached to a collar around Rollo's neck, and he's walking around on all fours. Well, not all fours like you or I would; he bends his elbows backwards and I'd try to describe the rest of it but that part alone makes me dizzy. Iris smiles and invites everyone into the parlor. As they pass through the door, she smiles and greets each of them, and then closes the door, makes a "Oh my lord" face, and then puts her happy-hostess face back on. Heh.
The delegation sits in the parlor with Balthus. Glasses of lemonade sit on the table, along with a plate of cookies. Awkward silence ensues as they wait for Iris to return. Herb looks at Balthus and whispers, "Poor bastard." Iris comes into the room and hands Samson $250, which is apparently "the amount we agreed upon" in some scene that we didn't see. She starts to tell the carnies how excited everyone is about the show when Brother Justin marches in, calling for her. Upon entering the room, he halts and looks baffled. Iris introduces the carnies, and Samson says it's an honor to meet Justin. He claims that the carnies have all listened to his show and found it very inspiring: "In a way, you and me are in the same business." Justin says, "Is that a fact?" and tries to look charmed. Samson reaches out to shake Justin's hand, but then Varlyn enters with a rifle over his shoulder. Varlyn eyes the guests and chuckles, "I'll be damned." Samson grumps, "I believe we've met on the road." Justin and Iris look tense as Samson asks if Varlyn remembers Sabina, and pointedly mentions that the Daily Brothers circus is "recently defunct." Varlyn says that's a shame. Justin happily says that it's "an amazing coincidence" that Varlyn and Samson have met before. Samson agrees: "Small world." Justin says, "Getting smaller all the time." He crouches down to face Samson, and mentions that Samson might know their maid, too. He mentions Sofie's name, and Iris and Varlyn watch closely until Samson says, "It doesn't ring a bell." Samson says that they should get going. He thanks Iris again, and they all head for the door. Samson stops and gasps, "I almost forgot..." He puts some tickets into Rollo's mouth, and Rollo walks back toward Justin, still on all fours. Samson explains that he's giving them two free tickets to ride the ferris wheel. Iris immediately protests, and Justin chuckles, "It's just a child's ride." Justin explains to Samson that Iris is afraid of heights. She is? Justin adds, "Of course, I would --" but Samson is already calling Rollo back before Justin can grab the tickets. Samson takes the tickets back from Rollo and removes his hat before saying, "My apologies, Miss Iris. I did not mean to upset you." He says goodbye, and they all troop out.