Sigh. Baseball season is still so far away. I wonder what Brian Wilson is doing right now. Something amazing, no doubt. Building a wondrous engine out of cats, or making up new hairstyles for his minipin Dubz. Making his gimp the Machine fight other gimps, in a gimp Fight Club. I wonder if he's thinking of me.
We are often paralyzed, are we not, by hope.
Blair tries to send Epperly off with Nate to get this deal done, but Epp's gotta deal with this Machine situation stat, so Blair just leaves Nate on the street corner, yelling "Was I really that selfish?" and wondering how he is going to find his way home.
Chuck greets everybody in the entire Empire restaurant by name and asks how their kids are doing -- their asthma, their leg-braces, their undiagnosed disorders -- until finally Raina's like, "Dude. I get it. They all have names and families and stories. Doesn't mean I'm not going to fire their asses. Give me some credit."
So Chuck starts doing the thing that Blair told him to do, which if you haven't been watching the show might be confusing, but once she invoked the burlesque you should have known what would happen, which is what always happens with Charles, which is that if you can fool him into being honest for even one second he turns into a real boy. So it's manipulation, with reality behind it, which is the key to all Valmonts but especially Chuck. Finding common ground, falling in love, works both ways. That's just physics.
And so you have Blair, who by the end will actually explain all of this to Raina and save the day, because she has just enough intimacy to know him better than anyone and just enough goodwill toward him to see it through. Not the needing, but the having. They have burnt each other, for the time being, into a state of uncertain grace. And that is beautiful. And, for a show in this demo, pretty fucking brave. Real -- and realistic -- relationships are a four-course meal, prepared for you by God. Everybody loves The Matrix, nobody loves the other two movies: Shippers are just sugar addicts that haven't learned to taste anything else yet.
So Raina also grew up in a hotel -- Mom left, Dad couldn't sleep at home -- and they have that in common, the concierges and busboys for her family, and they bond sincerely. "Nothing like being a guest in your own home," he says; that's how she's about to make him feel. He asks to take her out tonight, knowing the vote is coming, and she swears she can't stay. Struck out! Time for a little extra.