Sandy feeds a dollar to the vending machine, and Kerry catches her there. "I'm on my way out," Sandy says. Kerry small-talks that the kids Sandy brought in will be fine, then rushes right into her makeshift apology. "I'm not very good at this," she confesses. Sandy softens a bit and leans against the glass wall. "What, follow-up?" she grins. They're darkly lit against the bright translucent wall, which seems illustrative of Kerry's at-work closet. Kerry invites Sandy to lunch the next day. "No sushi," Sandy says. "I don't like sushi." Right on! For that, she gets a steaming bowl of Word Soup from me. ["And, from me, a fortune cookie. And the fortune within reads, 'Word.'" -- Wing Chun] The women smile. "Anything you want," Kerry says awkwardly. Sandy points flirtatiously at her, practically probing her nostril. "I'm gonna remember you said that," she says huskily.
Suddenly, Sandy hears a man singing, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." It's Susan's amnesiac, who Lopez jovially identifies as Stan the Dumpster Man from 57th and Dorchester. "He's homeless?" Susan gapes. "Unless you count the dumpster," Sandy points out crassly. Stan hightails it to his exam room, with Susan in hot pursuit. He hurriedly throws all his possessions into the crumbling brown suitcase lying open on a chair. "Whatever that lady told you out there is not true," he insists gently. Susan acts confused. He denies being Stan the Dumpster Man. Sherry Stringfield acts as though she's talking to a five-year-old. It's making me uncomfortable. No one's eyes need to be that bugged-out. "This 'Stan' character sounds rough," NotStan says softly. "Bet he's got a record." Susan says she wouldn't be surprised to hear that. He exposits, with her help, that "Stan" has no place to spend the holidays, and no family anywhere. "If Stan was smart, he'd clean himself up, get himself a suit at Goodwill..." NotStan begins. "And go to the airport!" Susan finishes. Her line delivery is so weird. I can tell Susan is playing along, but it's pretty badly executed by Sherry and it ends up sounding like she's reading a Dr. Seuss book while on a whole lot of pot. NotStan, who of course is Stan, smiles beatifically and asks to stick around awhile to absorb the holiday spirit. Which is good, because I'm anxious for a lesson about holiday kindness -- the kind of lesson only a homeless drifter with a great singing voice can teach.
Divorce Court of Roger Looks Like a Better Father. Benton growls into a pay phone that Romano can bloody well do the operation himself, if the alderman thinks he's so brilliant. He slams down the phone. He's ditched the big surgery. Jackie arrives with Reese. Oh, great. The freaky bitch is here. I'm starting to dread the sight of Khandi Alexander, which is sad, because it's not through her own doing. Peter explains to his sister that they're waiting for Roger and Eyebrows to arrive and present a deal. Peter takes Reese, then throws him back to Jackie the second Roger and Eyebrows appear. Wouldn't want to look like a loving father in front of the people who are trying to claim you're not a loving father. Roger, for his part, looks absolutely delighted to see Reese, reaching out and cupping the boy's chin affectionately. Jackie stiffens. Eyebrows lays it out: every other weekend, plus two weeks during the summer, for a sum total of thirty-eight days a year. Roma wants to bargain down to one summertime week. Benton flips. "No, no, I'm not doing this," he seethes. "I refuse to negotiate over my son." Peter grabs Reese and bolts down the hall. "You'd rather take your chances with the judge?" shouts Roger angrily. Benton ignores him. God, Benton is so unsympathetic. I love that he loves Reese, but Roger is a totally legitimate and caring father figure in Reese's life. Isn't it better for Reese to have two great parents, regardless of whether they're both dads? Roger doesn't seem like the type of guy to try to turn Reese against Peter. They're doing a good job of making Roger look sympathetic.