Eleanor sits on a pew in the chapel hall, giant sunglasses on her face, looking at nothing. Zoey creeps up to her, like a cat, speaking in that strangely reverent, weird way. "Hi, it's me, Zo... Angela?" She sits, to no response. "I was wondering if I could get the stetho..." Nothing. She stares, considering this woman. This doctor. She waves her hand in front of Eleanor's face. Nothing. Finally, on fire with her own daring, every nerve alive with transgression and fear, she slips it off Eleanor's neck. A big moment, Goonies-esque in its adventurous import. As it comes free, she gets into it, grinning toothily, and then it's free. She runs.
"Well done, Angela," Eleanor grins to herself, and reclines on the pew, resting on her elbows. If it were Jackie, Zoey would have pulled back a bloody stump. She would have held onto those things with a death grip until Zoey pulled it together enough to look her in the eye, squinting, and demanded them. Threatened to beat the shit out of her, maybe, or just grabbed it, like Grasshopper. Not referring to authority, not threatening to tattle, just looked her in the eye and said "Give me back my fucking stethoscope."
But this is Eleanor, and this is also training Zoey needs: You don't look a doctor in the eye and you don't threaten them with harm. Not unless it's somebody like Coop, or you're somebody like Jackie. A different kind of training: How to survive in a world where people punch you out of nowhere, or blame you for their own misdeeds, or use the hierarchy of power to fuck with you. You don't demand, you just take. Silently, and without disturbing the balance. You sneak, without leaving a ripple or a footprint, so that nothing changes. She did well. She learned a thing today.
Jackie hits a corner store on the way home for some chicken soup. Some Jewish penicillin. The irony didn't escape her: stare a woman in the eye and tell her that her addiction is killing the family she's only barely started. The woman from Ohio was allergic to penicillin, but had no problem shoving opiates into herself, just to forget ever having seen the Balkans. Jackie hits a corner store on the way home for some chicken soup, because back in ancient times, a Jewish mystic blessed the first pot, and to this day there's a little magic in every pot. Because she wants to believe.
Fiona and Kevin are asleep on the bed; Grace is on the floor, worrying at the screen with all her might. Grace carries her parents on her back, across the rocky cold landscape, and it's killing her. Crippling her, slowly. But she doesn't need Vicodin for this pain. She needs something better. It's about faith.
"Hey, sweetie," Jackie says, sitting on the floor with her, backs against the bed. Grace asks first whether the bubonic plague could ever happen again. No, Jackie explains: we have medicine, and sanitation, that they didn't have. But Gracie knows there's something wrong, something coming. An iceberg in the water; she writes it in her doomsday book. You have no idea how hard it is to watch your child falling, and you can't do anything to stop it.