We get a shot of Mitch luxuriating in the hotel armchair and ottoman. On the bed are a stack of clothes, so new they're still in the wrappers or with tags on. As Cass comes in, he explains to her, "The alternative apothecary has a lending library. Light reading." And it hits me why I detest Mitch as a character so much. It's because I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and this is ground zero for the type of vapid, smug dilettante who's confused self-involved navel-gazing with spiritual development, dietary choices with religious discipline, and a scattershot reading list with genuine scholarship. Mitch tells Cassie he's reading Levitation For The Illuminated and it is so, so obvious that he thinks he's reached some sort of apotheosis. Cass decides that now is the time to tell his Serene Holy Ersatzness that he's not staying in the hotel room. Mitch strains to hang on to his serene and holy demeanor as he asks why. Cass shows instead of tells: John will be staying with her now. Cass leaves for a moment, and Mitch muses, "The joker in the deck." John points to his healed side and quips, "I better have a good health plan." Heh. Mitch begins packing up and asks, "Do you need to stand aside as I pass, or are you just going to part like the Red Sea?" John rolls his eyes like he's actually thinking about it, and then nimbly steps to the side. Mitch heads out.
We then transition to Kai leading Butchie into her place. She kneels down on her futon and futzes with a CD, saying, "I'll spare you the candles, but you can't say the music blows. And no fuckin' laughing, Butchie." Butchie indicates that he's not exactly in a giggly mood. Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" comes on. Butchie is trying to figure out what's going on here, and asks, "Was this playing the first time I threw up on you?" Kai tells him, "It was playing at our junior prom." "I missed our junior prom," Butchie tells her. "I know," she replies. Oh, lord, just stab us all in the side, Milch -- it's obvious Kai's fantasized about this since this song first came out, and she's determined to make this happen like she imagined. Kai breaks the tiny, awkward silence by warning, "And no freaking out about my piercings." Butchie points the cranial hardware hidden beneath his lank and unwashed hair. Kai continues, "Knowing about 'em is one thing. Seeing 'em is different. No freaking out." Butchie dives on the bed, wraps an arm around Kai's shoulders and says, "All my ladies set off the airport's metal detectors, or they're not my ladies long." He's a real silver-tongued devil, isn't he? Kai snuggles on his chest, and Butchie adds, "And let me say this: with the compact metal detector right here in my tongue, I will find everywhere your metal may be hidden." Oh, okay -- silver-tongued devil with a few upgrades. Kai looks up and teases, "Barry White is in the house." Butchie kisses the top of Kai's head with surprising tenderness. I hope they have "In Your Eyes" on loop, because otherwise, "Mercy Street" could be a bringdown.