Kevin wheels into the kitchen and says he can't wait anymore: "I'm starving. Burned some serious calories during physio today." Everyone's there except for Joan. Luke points out that Kevin's already had three mini-pizzas and a grilled cheese sandwich: "I could live off that for weeks." Joan suddenly walks in the door, accompanied by a man. What was that Luke was saying about pantheons and bad ideas? Oy. Such a bad idea. Perhaps worse than all her bad ideas put together. Like she hasn't upset this particular apple cart enough. She calls out that she's home, and everyone heads for the dining room to eat. As Will walks toward the table, he's the first to see Richard, but everyone else is right behind him. They're all speechless. Richard has what is probably slightly too chipper a grin for the situation. But he definitely looks like he could be Will's half-brother. ["This actor has played a stalker on Law & Order. Twice, actually, if I recall correctly. Interesting casting choice." -- Sars] He says, "Will." Will says, "You shouldn't have done this." Joan looks annoyed, and Richard says, "I'm sorry, Will, I talked to Joan and we thought it would…" Will says she's a kid: "You used a kid…?" Joan insists that's not how it was. Helen suggests softly, "Will…maybe it's time…" Will doesn't respond. Everyone stands around awkwardly until Richard says he should go. Will thinks that's a good idea. Joan starts to argue, but Will cuts her off. Richard pulls something out of his pocket for Will: it's their father's police badge, which Richard promised their dad he would give to Will in person. Will doesn't move, so Richard finally hands it to Joan. He walks toward the door, and Joan gives her family a pleading look. Richard leaves. Joan looks at the badge. She and her father walk slowly toward each other, and she hands it to him. Will tries not to cry, but once again he's 0 for 2. Geez, Joan, you made Fat Tony cry. Twice. You really are a human wrecking ball. But I love you anyway. Then she pulls out the "daddy" stuff and says quietly how sorry she is. They hug each other and cry softly while the other family members look grim and hang their heads. Joan whispers, "Should I call him back?" Will: "Not yet." You know what? I'm not normally as bothered by the police storylines as some people, but I'm realizing in this episode that I really am not missing it here, and I think there should be more episodes where they're nonexistent. Just dial them down a little.
It's dark. Joan's outside on the porch alone, wrapped in this blanket, sniffling to herself. Suddenly a little white dog runs up out of nowhere, dragging a leash. She pets him: "Hey, little guy, where'd you come from?" I think it's hilarious that a dog is the harbinger of God's presence, but I'm overly invested in paranomastic pursuits. Pretty soon he's there with the other half-dozen or whatever dogs, apologizing for the escapee. He beams at her with fatherly warmth, and I have to admit, he's a pretty good choice for God. That's probably my Judeo-Christian upbringing showing, since it's been a real long time since I conceived of God as paternal -- or male, for that matter. Joan says weakly, "Guess I didn't do such a good job today." Dog Walker God: "What are you talking about? You raised your grade from a D to a C." Joan: "C-plus. It's just my dad…what happened…he couldn't handle it." Dog Walker God assures her, "Well, he has his missing note. He'll play it when the time is right." Joan nods, but I don't think she's convinced. He adds, "It's a long song, Joan." I get all choked up by the way he says this. "So many variations. And, you never know what the next phrase is going to be." So life is like something by Erik Satie, or John Cage, or Iannis Xenakis? I can probably deal with that. So long as it's not like a Broadway show. He beckons his dogs and walks off.