But there's a bonfire on the edge of town where they tossed the bodies, Yewll supervising. A Patti Smith cover ("Gone Again") makes it very hard-rocky, but that's probably best, because otherwise it would just be sadder, and worse. The song is a flagrant fuck-off to Death, a very Patti Smith undertaking in which even the sun, even God, are as much adversary as they are anything else: Always something bigger to rebel against. For Mappelthorpe and Cobain, for her husband who'd helped write it, even coincidentally for Jeff Buckley:
We shoot our flint into the sun
We bless our spoils and we're gone
Man's own kin
Grips the sky...
But that's not really what it's about, that's not why it's here. The song's here because of the title of the song, as Amanda kneels at Connor's side, to say goodbye. She keeps throwing her past in the fire and never seems to escape it; it's always there. She said she didn't have time to get rid of the flowers -- even now, they're up in her office, filling up the night with him -- but that wasn't it either. It's because her life, every part of her life, is a testament to the impermanence of endings. Hope's the last thing at the bottom of the box; it's cruel, but it is life.
And he's gone again.
Next day, Amanda sits in the Arch with the Tarrs, giving thanks to Joshua Nolan and tribute to Connor Lang. And to Datak Tarr, a face-saving opprobrium that very nearly twists the marusha of their takeover back on its head: Not, "Thanks for fucking things up only so bad after you stole the town for a night" so much as, "If I hadn't been shooting blood out of my eyeballs, I might have given my permission, and therefore I gave permission or else it wouldn't have happened -- shiro ksa yu re ya -- and therefore, I never lost control."
Except that as Datak responds, Alak Tarr quietly removes Amanda's mic wire from the transmitter, so that when she protests -- which she will, because this twist in the Tarr plan is as outlandish as it is implicit in the narrative -- nobody will hear her. Who's driving this bus? Stahma, obviously. She mouths the words along with him.
"If you were to ask people in this town, they might say I'm a scoundrel, selfish. I did not ask to lead you through this recent crisis. I had no interest taking on that burden. And quite frankly, I wished to be left alone. But my lovely wife wouldn't hear of it. She taught me that I could not ignore the pain I saw in the eyes of my fellow townspeople. My wife helped me understand community, that there is no greater honor than service. No greater honor than giving back... And for this reason, I am renouncing my former ways and throwing my hat into the ring as candidate for Mayor of Defiance."