You know, Freddy was the second character this episode to use the word "mope" -- the other was Bill. Also both Freddy and Bill have had their little repetitive exchanges with John ("I ain't afraid of you" vs. "I've got my eye on you.") I mention this partly to show you that it's not all about the failed bon mots and forced jokes but that I'm also paying attention; I also mention it because we're back in Bill's house, where he's passed out on the floor in front of the TV. He awakens to the news report of an injured surfer being airlifted to the hospital. Bill immediately concludes that it's Shaun and starts dialing up the police station on his rotary phone. "Don't yell at me, don't yell at me, don't yell at me," he repeats, waiting for Anderson to pick up. Anderson doesn't yell at him. Or hang up. Bill asks him to help find out what hospital Shaun is at.
He's at the one where Kai is sitting in the waiting room watching Cass offer her assistance for anything the Yosts need to an understanding nurse. While this is going on, Linc walks in; he and Cass look everywhere but at each other. In another part of the hospital, a sad-eyed doctor is delivering some terrible news to Mitch and Cissy: the vertebrae at the base of Shaun's skull was crushed by the fall, and he's paralyzed. He also can't breathe, not without the help of a machine anyhow, and all that time he was without oxygen did a number on his brain. Essentially, he's brain dead. From his couch in Tennessee, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist sits up and says, "I dunno -- the kid looks pretty healthy to me." The doctor wants to run some more tests in the morning to confirm Shaun's grim prognosis. Mitch is against it -- why prolong his grandson's suffering if his condition isn't going to improve any? Because there are protocols, the doctor says. And it'd be a really short series if we pull the plug now.
Besides, Cissy appears not ready to let go. "You take Shaunie off that machine, Mitch, you better never get in our bed again," she says. Mitch wonders if she heard the doctor's diagnosis clearly, specifically the parts about "brain" and "dead." "He needs it to breathe, he stays on that machine," Cissy insists. "I will murder you in my sleep…he's breathing, and I can hold him." "Get a dog," Mitch snaps. I anticipate that sentiment not appearing on an upcoming line of Hallmark condolence cards. Cissy reacts about as well as you might expect -- there's a lot of screaming and blue language -- and Mitch strides out of the room, just as Butchie and John get out of the elevator. "Did he die?" Butchie asks without looking up. "Your mother will explain," Mitch says. Just don't tell her to get a pet.