Sweet Beth pulls him into bed and says nice things: "Stop being so hard on yourself. You're a decent man. You just need to focus on what's good in your life." Like her, which he's not sure about as yet. "From the first moment I met you, all I wanted was for you to love me," he says, and she (I still believe honestly) says that mission's been accomplished, and a heck of a job done. He's like, "Cool, baby. So here's my plan for tomorrow: We go to a cabin in the woods where nobody can hear you scream, and then I bury you there so nobody can ever find the body. Sound good?" She's like, "Um."
McCluskey comes by to have a casual convo with Carlos about his nutsack wife -- she's pretty sweet about it -- and so by dinnertime he's got the baby doll sitting in a high-backed chair in the living room so he can watch her talk to it in secret. For once this season, his look of concern actually looks like concern and not incipient spousal abuse, and you start remembering how he's great sometimes. She reminds him that her doll thing is no weirder than his collectibles -- "Steroid freak hits a baseball over a fence, and you paid thousands of dollars for it?" -- and he says the best thing: "Yeah, but I don't carry it around with me or take it to tea..."
And once again, Eva LongPo somehow manages to spin gold out of straw, making this whole godforsaken abortion of an idea into something nearly real. She only gets to do this by inches, but she takes her chances where she gets them. So as long as you stick with Gaby -- which has always been my policy -- the rest of it makes sense. But because it's so fucked-up and has only her acting (and that of Ricardo Antonio Chavira, to be fair, even if Carlos-the-character is [re-]approaching Scavo levels of shitty lately) to prop it up, those Manolos are an even tighter fit than usual.
"First of all, McCluskey has a big mouth. Second, the doll makes me happy." She runs away so he won't say it but he says it anyway, how this is obviously a thing about Grace, and she just rips her face open screaming. "NO! NO! NO! We're not supposed to talk about her! That was your rule!"
Brutal. If you didn't totally identify with Gabrielle from the jump, I don't know how any of this would be watchable, except by waiting for Eva's big moments. Which is kinda sucky, too, because even if it's the best acting on the show lately, it's still in the context of a storyline that will never be recognized or even discussed in a hush in years to come. And she's doing this phenomenal work when it's not even required, given the mountain lion-quality storyline here. And so I guess it balances out, in terms of viewing pleasure, to have her walk us through it.