Cut to Karen's place. She comes into the house, trailed by Jessie, who's begging to live at Karen's place full-time. Karen advises her just to be patient, but Jessie doesn't understand what the problem is. "You're lonely anyway," she says. Karen hugs Jessie and reminds her that she and Rick have a legal agreement, "and short of an emergency, [she] just can't change that." Guitar music wafts from the basement, and she looks up like a hound that's caught the scent of its prey. The ass-pole suits up for a confrontation.
Karen stops halfway down the basement steps and says, "Eli, I thought we had an agreement." She's got an odd definition of "agreement." Eli thinks so, too. "No music until you have a job," Karen says yet again. She should get herself a parrot and save the wear on her vocal chords. Eli says he has a job. She asks, "What do you mean? You found a job?" Eli grits his teeth and forces himself to look at her before answering, "No. I already have a job. I told you." The ass-pole cannot believe this insubordination. "Eli, we talked about this," Karen grates. Again, she has an unusual concept of "talking." Eli thinks so, too. He says he has his own opinion about the situation. She flies down the rest of the stairs, demanding, "Can you even possibly understand that the decisions you make now will have an effect on your future?" Yeah, he gets it. We get it. Everybody gets it! He points out that when Rick was twenty, he joined the Merchant Marines. "For a month! And he hated it," Karen cries. "Yes, but that was his decision," Eli says. He adds that Lily left school to hitchhike around Europe. Karen takes a deep breath and patronizingly says that Lily was "very nice to help [him] get this job, but she had no idea" what Karen and Rick had talked about. "Well, she knows now," Eli says defiantly, and adds, "And she thinks I'm right." Karen is rendered speechless. She just stands there and blinks a lot. Eli adds a parting shot, "I'll try not to succumb to the evil influences of the world of music," before slipping out the basement door. Karen's still standing there, agape. The ass-pole wants to know what the hell just happened. Karen sets her jaw, turns abruptly, and races up the stairs.