Rafe knows immediately what the boys have found, on the edge of the Lake, but he keeps quiet and tells them just to seal it off: He'll deal with it himself.
Gordon stands at the edge, looking down, with a gun pointed at him, ready to jump. And when Rafe asks to sit down, he can't say no.
Rafe: "How do you like the view?"
Gordon: "When you showed it to me, it seemed worth seeing. Closest thing to space, before I go."
Rafe: "It is good, I think, to test your limits. You make better choices when you know what you are and are not capable of. It helps you change."
Gordon: "I'm a weapon. That's never gonna change. It's what I am."
Everything that follows, follows from this: From what Rafe saw. If he was right, and Gordon was seconds from stopping himself before killing Amanda, then he really did die -- for a third time -- in that cell. He came back new, capable of choice. No longer a weapon. But if Rafe was wrong, seeing what he wanted to see, then this is tenderness that leads to death.
Rafe: "Huh. You know why I don't like Indogenes? No feelings. They never change, they're machines. But humans change, all the time. You raged, like Jonah, against your fate."
Gordon: "So am I Jonah... or am I Ishmael? Either way the whale won. The world ended while I was away."
Rafe: "My wife died and my son. You're wearing his clothes. I'm not gonna jump."
Rafe's wife was named Pilar. Gordon's wife was Grace.
Gordon: "I didn't get that, sorry. And how come, exactly, you go on living?"
Rafe: "I love life. I put the moral authority in the hands of something outside myself, my higher power or whatever. But I'll tell you this, when you get a second chance you take it. I'm still changing shape every day, because I love life."
Gordon: "I am a dead soul in a stolen body. Or a dead man's body with a stolen soul. She won't want me after thirty years. Not like this."
Rafe: "You know she won't care."
Gordon: "I don't think I'm as strong as you."
Rafe: "Then go ahead. This is tenderness too. Jump."
Gordon: "Thank you for trying."
And Rafe looks at this man -- this hero, older than Rafe; this boy, Luke's age -- and he reaches forward and he reaches back. The last hero Rafe McCawley ever got to have. We don't see what happens next, but everything follows from it.