Nighttime in the festive streets of So-Called Town. An old Christmas song plays on the soundtrack. "Oh, there's no place like hooome for the holidays," sings Hedda Hankysniffle of Sentimental Heartwrench Orchestra. My tear ducts go on standby. Rickie is hanging out in front of a supermarket when Jordan Catalano walks out with a pack of cigarettes. "Hey " he calls out to Jordan. Jordan walks towards his car (Red!), but he turns back and offers Rickie a ride. Rickie gets in the car, but he doesn't know where to tell Jordan he's going: "Let me think uh " Jordan gets it: "Look, if you need someplace to crash, I know a place." "Thanks," says Rickie. Jordan looks at him. "My old man used to knock me around, too," he says. Rickie's surprised: "He did?" Jordan says his dad's too scared to try it now. "'Cause the last time I threw a chair at him," he admits. Rickie smiles a little. "Well, I'm going to light a candle for you on Christmas Eve." "Yeah?" says Jordan. "You think that changes anything?" "Uh-huh," says Rickie, but he doesn't look so sure. Red drives off (the wrong way down a one-way alley, ya know). The camera pans across the dark street. Once again, the Raggedy Girl Who Looks Remarkably Like Juliana Hatfield watches from afar. The soundtrack cranks up again: "At the hol-i-days you can't beat home, sweet home." Or Jordan Catalano.
Chase house. Patty has that constipated look of conscience. "Were we wrong about Rickie?" she asks Graham. Graham says no. Lots of rationalizing blather. "We've never met his family," says Patty. "I mean, how on earth are we supposed to know, you know, what the situation is?" They're talking in front of the TV, which is showing It's a Wonderful Life with the sound turned down. George Bailey is on that bridge where he meets his guardian angel. Put that in your Subtext By Way Of Cultural Reference Pipe and smoke it. Graham points out that Rickie makes Patty uncomfortable. "What do you mean -- because he wears make-up?" Patty stammers. Graham: "No, I'm just saying -- what if that was Brian Krakow with that bruise on his face?" Patty refuses to make the comparison: "I mean -- I've known Brian Krakow since he was five years old." "I know, so have I," says Graham. "Now all I'm asking is, should that make a difference?" "Well, maybe not. But it does," says Patty. "I know," says Graham. The wind sound effect kicks in again. Or maybe it's the sound of Patty's hollow, hollow soul. Whoooshhhhh