In Al's room, visiting hours are in full effect. Jewel is giving him a blow-by-blow of how they had all rallied around to save him. "And THEN, I yelled, 'Break the fuckin' door down, Dan!'" Al rolls his eyes, such as he can, seeing as they're all messed up, but looks more amused than annoyed. Johnny bursts in, admitting that he's not supposed to disturb Al, but that he believes "Merrick might be in the fuckin' soup." Dan busts on Johnny for having a big mouth, but Johnny goes on. He explains about the county commissioner giving Merrick the statement to post, and how "that hooplehead, Steve, is about to punch Merrick for postin' the notice, and I know that you got a liking for Merrick." Dan gives Johnny a sarcastic thumbs-up for doing the exact thing the Doc told them not to do, because now Al's riled. He makes Johnny shut up and tells him to answer only the question he's about to ask. "Where is the commissioner, now?" Johnny tells him -- Jarry's over at the Bella Union. Not skipping a beat, Al tells Dan to get Bullock. Dan's surprised, but Al insists. Dan heads out, leaving Johnny to act like he understands what's going on, which he totally doesn't. He does, however, help Al get himself situated for his meeting with Bullock.
Over at Merrick's, the hoopleheads are still in a boil. Cy gives the statement a glance and says that the thing seems to him to be "inclinin' towards the present titleholders." Steve: "Yeah, but then they start to fuckin' MITIGATE!" Cy seems at a loss. He turns back to the statement, mumbling, "Yeah...they do get to...mitigatin' this last part, here." He starts going all Branch Davidian about how isn't this just typical of the damn government, and that no one should be surprised they're about to get screwed. He reminds them that he'll buy up any claim they want to sell, and that Jarry doesn't seem to be such a bad sort, considering what he is, and agent of the government.
The rusty wheels in Steve's brain click into gear on that last one. He asks Cy if that means Jarry's over at his joint. Cy gets defensive, saying he never said the guy wasn't there, and that if Steve doesn't watch his tone, his next question might land him a broken jaw. But Steve doesn't need another question, now that he's found out where Jarry is, and he leads the Hoople Rebellion in the direction of the Bella Union, out for blood.
Al's having tea in his room when Bullock comes in. "You've got gall," he tells Bullock, "coming before me prettier than ever." Bullock asks if Al's all right, and Al says he's on the fuckin' mend and that's all he's got to say about it. He asks Bullock what he knows about the commissioner, and Bullock confirms that the notice on the claims has got people in a snit. "I wouldn't want the cocksucker harmed," Al says. "I don't intend him any," Bullock clenches quietly. Bullock's being real quiet, as a matter of fact, I suppose feeling a bit guilty about what a state he put Al in. Al tells him not to be fucking clever, and asks Bullock if he's aware that the commissioner is allied with Cy. Bullock didn't know that. "Bedridden," Al says, "I know more'n you." The point is, he goes on, that if the commissioner is allied with Cy, and harm comes to him, Yankton will blame Al for the crime. "Do they understand," Al says, "how most of what happens is people being drunk and stupid and trying to find something else to blame besides that that makes their lives totally fucked?" He goes on to say that no, Yankton doesn't understand that, because they're too busy stealing to understand human nature. Ah, yes. Al understands human nature. I suppose he does. Freud...Jung...Al...the holy trinity of the study of the individual.