December 19. Divorce Court. Plaintiff: Roger. Accusation: Dr. Peter Benton is too self-involved to be the best parent for Reese. "He needs consistency," Roger says, back on the stand. "Reese, Carla, and I -- the three of us were a family. That's how we planned our lives....I've been with Reese through earaches, flus, almost every scrape he's ever gotten." He regurgitates everything we've heard about Roger being more dedicated, having more time, figuring out how to grow money on trees, curing world hunger and, most importantly, not being an emergency-room surgeon. Judge Alter looks impressed with all this, because Roger is winning the custody case. Winning. Roger. Not Benton. This all makes Benton want to think very hard.
Carter meets Stephen at Doc Magoo's for some lunch. "Diverse selection," Stephen says, dryly. Carter praises the burgers, then grins that it's really been far too long. "Since we had lunch together, or [spent] Christmas [together]?" Stephen asks, bored. "Both," Carter says. He then presses Stephen about Eleanor's absence, griping that no business should keep her in Costa Rica in December. Wuh? Sounds like damn fine business to me. "How's the chopped salad?" Stephen inquires, changing the subject. Carter pushes again, figuring Eleanor can't avoid Gamma for the whole month, and upset that she's not making more of an effort. "Mom isn't coming," blurts Stephen. The wind rushes out of Carter's lungs. "We're getting divorced," he says. "It's amicable." Carter cuts off the last word, completely floored. "Divorced? After thirty years?" he chokes, sucking major wind. "Is there someone else?" Stephen brushes him off. Carter's initial instinct is that it's Eleanor's fault, but Stephen confesses he's the one doing the leaving. "This can't surprise you," Stephen spits. "You saw it before I did. I was suffocating." Carter gulps, because there ain't nothing they can't love each other through. Woo-hoo. Carter orders a burger, medium-rare; Stephen wants the chopped salad. "What would she do, baby, without us?" Carter asks. "Sha-la-la-la," Stephen answers.