At night, having apparently donated one thought to his sister's plight, Peter strolls casually toward her garage. Jackie is clearing the whole thing out and donating to the Salvation Army; the whole process has the distinct air of a forced distraction from deeper problems. Benton makes a lame stab at excusing his visit. "I came by for...a snow shovel," he offers, then shakes his head at the silly falsehood and confesses that he's checking up on her because he knows she's unemployed. "We'll just have to wait to extend that porch," she non-sequiturs. Peter is confused. "Thought it was time for a change," explains his sister. "Walt took some pictures of the back yard that we could draw on, make plans...When I went to pick up the prints, I found three pictures of Jesse left on the roll. Fell apart right in the store." She weeps for the cruel loss of a young life, and for a son frozen in time at age fifteen, unable to grow and change and mature. Sitting dejectedly on the hood of her car, Jackie whispers, "You think every day you're getting a little better, getting through it. And then you're right back to the day it happened." Peter listens intently, sensing her desperate need to speak unchecked. "He's still my baby, Peter," she finishes. "I'm supposed to take care of him. I feel like somewhere, sometime, he's going to be sad or cold or scared. Who's taking care of him? Who's being his mother?" During her final speech, Benton sits beside her and wraps his arm around her neck, letting her lean on him.
Carter begins his story inside a car. Rolling down his limousine window, Carter gazes at the passing graveyard, clearly headed there for a funeral. There's been rather a lot of gazing and staring in this episode, which is taxing my mental thesaurus. Perched beside Carter is his mother, clad in a black suit and wide-brimmed matching hat, sitting stiff as a double bourbon and ice-princess pale. We see the coffin come out of the hearse, Carter in position as a pallbearer, then move to a snippet of the ceremony. During the priest's oration Carter's mobile phone rings, a repulsive sign of our era. What could be that important during a funeral? Does Abby have a hangnail? He switches off the ringer and gently clasps the hand of his emotional grandmother, Gamma. Yay! She's alive!
Ice Queen and Carter return to the limo, an appropriately frosty silence in place. "Dad did a nice job with the eulogy," Carter offers. Ice Queen boredly says he worked on it for ages, and when Carter expresses his certainty that Grandpa Carter would've loved it, she offers only an uninterested "Yes." Trying another tactic, Carter says, "Gamma seems to be holding up," but he gets a snotty "Yes, I expect she would" in return. Ah, saved by the cell phone this time: Abby calls to alert him about a problem with little Holly Evans, who hasn't been admitted to the ER despite already having spent a night at the hospital. Carter presses her for Holly's stats and then orders the limo driver to stop at County General so that he can impress Abby with strong language and manly assertiveness. He promises his mother it won't take long, but she's too chilly to answer. She might actually be frozen in place.