Next, there's this creepy scene where a terror-stricken Alma de-lints Orson with a lint roller. MAVO tells us that Alma knew she'd better not to say anything about her plans to make a break for it, because Orson thought she was still totally thrilled with the marriage, "and Orson Hodge did not like to be contradicted." Orson turns to let Alma get his front lint, and the abusive husband music swells!
Orson leaves for work. At noon? Who knew the hours were so flexible in the dentistry world? I need to talk to my career counselor about getting in on some of that action. Alma watches Orson's car pull away, and then she wind-sprints upstairs to pack up her stuff. Bags in tow, she grabs Baby's cage and makes a dash for the door, but somehow she trips and the cage tumbles away and the bird flies up to a second-story banister.
Orson pulls up at a stop sign, looks down, and notices Baby birdshit on his sleeve. His face hardens.
Back at home, Alma frantically tries to get Baby to come down: "Mama's in a hurry!" Baby: "Hurry, hurry." Evany: Run, Forrest, run!
Orson's car pulls up out front. Oblivious, Alma keeps on with the bird begging. Then Orson strolls in, and in one short second, he takes in the stricken expression on Alma's face and her packed bags. The bird flies back into its cage, clearly picking up on the sudden air of imminent danger that permeates the room. Orson cocks his head, gives Alma the "tsk" face, and slowly closes the door. And the violins go crazy! Someone, it seems, has been sleeping with the enemy.
The following day, Alma's best friend "Carolyn Bixby" (played by none other than Jackie from Roseanne, a woman with a truly awesome comedic face and timing) stops by the house. MAVO: "And like most nosy neighbors, she knew you learned more if you didn't knock."
On cue, Lakeview's version of Mrs. Huber opens the door and walks in to find Orson, wearing sinister black rubber gloves and mopping down the hardwood floors in the front room. The tableau he cuts is very crime-scene chic. You can see the cogs in Jackie from Roseanne's brain start to whir: why, when Alma does every last ounce of the housework in this home, would Orson ever, ever be mopping? She natters chattily that Alma missed their morning coffee date, and Orson glumly confesses that Alma up and left him last night. Jackie from Roseanne does an awesome job making one word -- "Left?" -- sound like a fully articulated accusation. Orson explains that he and Alma had a "bit of a row" (not the boat kind, but the kind that rhymes with "wow," because Orson is secretly now British). Jackie from Roseanne nods in agreement: she and her husband had indeed overheard some "raised voices" coming from Hodge House. Orson looks more than ready for the conversation to be over, but Jackie from Roseanne keeps prying, asking him where he thinks Alma may have gone. Orson: "I don't know, but I wouldn't worry about it, I'm sure she's fine!" Just then, Jackie from Roseanne notices Baby sitting quietly in the room. Hm, you can see her thinking, Alma would never leave her Baby behind.... On cue, Baby clucks, "Orson, no! Orson, NO!" And suddenly, I'm shivering all up and down my timbers. Do you recall that Baby is in the habit of repeating everything Alma says? Creep City! Jackie from Roseanne looks over at the bird, and for the first time her nosy bravado falters just a bit; maybe she's not entirely safe with this man? Orson uses her momentary faltering to hustle her out the door. Jackie from Roseanne nods a puzzled, prim goodbye through the crack of the shutting door.