Fiona's voice is breaking. Jude runs. "Our Father, Who are in Heaven." The children shut their eyes up tight. "Hallowed be Thy name." And Judy runs. "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven." She reaches their street, curves around a corner. "Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses...." Jude pounds upon the door. "...As we forgive those who trespass against us." She throws fists at the glass. "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Jude screams into the mail slot, her voice going ragged, falling in and out. It's a nightmare. "For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory." Jude comes around the house to the parlor window, sees Fiona kneeling at the coffee table, children either side, their eyes still screwed tight. "...For ever and ever." She pounds on the glass, Fiona flicks a look her way. There's an empty spot where the "Amen" goes. There's no "amen." I wasn't raised Christian, but I think if anything it's more glaring if you were. "Fiona!" Jude screams, and Fiona looks at the table, looks at death on a tea tray. Things get very slow and very...all you hear is Jude pounding on the parlor glass, as Fiona weeps. And she pushes the tray to the floor; and all you hear is the crash of glass. No tea today.
Grace is coincidental; it's the push that helps you save yourself. That's all. Religion hangs so much crap on it that it starts looking like the ugliest Christmas tree in existence, but when it comes down to it, you wanna be the kind of man that God can respect. And in the middle of the storm, when the boats come and the helicopters and the superheroes, you have to realize that God is giving you everything he can, and you can't spit on it. What happens if Fiona's not "loved"? Not a fucking thing. Same thing as any other day. The difference is: even if you take away everybody, Dave and Steve and Christ -- even the world, come Judgment Day -- what's left? Who's left to love Fiona? Fiona. That's what. It's not about Jude providing proof that she's not completely forgotten, it's not about some American writer realizing they fucked up by hating her; it's Jude giving her a moment to consider whether she's strong enough to love Fiona in the absence of all that. That's grace. It's incidental; it's central too. The sign of maturity in the sophisticated atheist is realizing that it's a physical fact, independent of God and religious claptrap: it shows up. It always shows up. So you might as well jump. And that's hardly fucking comforting; it's terrifying.
Again with the "grace" and the speeches! I know! But as far as I'm concerned, this is the end of the movie, so I grant myself a paragraph. The rest is just a fractal reflection of that moment: the moment Jude knocks on the door, and Fiona realizes she was already saved, before Steve entered the picture. Before fucking Dave entered the picture. The cops escort Fiona's kids away, as Jude's asking after Dave. Fiona stares. Staring right into the face of the infinite love of God is always hell on your complexion, for some reason. "We've got the kids, they'll be all right. We'll take then to your mom's...." Jude's talking to Fiona's back; there's nobody home. She just stares. "I'll be..." Jude turns to leave; speaks to another kindly copper. They talk about how Fiona's going to the hospital, which should be interesting considering the End of the World and how most of the hospital workers are at home. Tiny apocalypses in the middle of the big one. Jude's aghast with him, all "her own children!" and the like. Something about "despair." (You're never closer to both than at either extremity; that's the thing people keep forgetting to explain. Salvation and Damnation are locations on an Einsteinian plane in extradimensional space that curves around and touches itself -- that's how the Devil can use even faith to get in. Look at Fiona: an all-out Satanic assault would have made her steadfast, unassailable. Belief is the key ingredient to her Fall, and Jude's too. The only ones who get it at all are the addicts, with their "rock bottom" talk.) "That's the word," he says. And apparently Fiona's not the only one: "People trying to escape Judgment by getting into Paradise first." He tells her, with the shaky chuckle of somebody talking to a celebrity, that they've only got a few hours to go, according to "your friend Baxter." He says he's "rather looking forward to it," and laughs that he's having a barbecue with his friends. "You don't believe it, then?" She dimly remembers like a half hour ago in this movie when she thought it was a laugh, and he tells her back to herself, how he keeps saying no, logically, but ... I mean, this movie's confusing, he says basically. "What's it all about? It's all a bit cryptic." She offers that maybe next time, they'll get a Daughter of God, and maybe she'll give us a straight answer for once. It's a good line -- good enough that he laughs. But he's like, "Even still." Even still, remember the Third Testament? What happened with that? And Judgment Day too? It's all cryptic and confusing and self-annihilating and contradictory. How are we supposed to know if it's going to be one or the other? What do you plan for? "Or both? How can both these things happen?" Good question. She thinks, and drags her fingers through the powdered poison. She's very clever.