Next up we get Beecher meeting with that one FBI guy who's always after Keller. Agent Melonilust offers Toby a pretty straightforward deal: Toby testifies against Keller (while lying if necessary), and his parole will be reinstated so that he can go free again. Of course, the agent also throws in a bunch of vaguely threatening remarks about Toby's daughter Holly, but that's just to provide window dressing. And speaking of the window, Agent Kellerisdreamy opens the Venetian blinds at precisely the right moment for Keller himself -- who just so happens to be passing by -- to see Beecher in there meeting with the FBI. Toby seems unnecessarily freaked out by this, especially considering the overly dramatic lengths Keller went to last week just to prove his love. Before he leaves, however, he does promise to consider taking the deal.
Cut to Unit B, where Keller and Schillinger ["Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death." -- Macbeth (Act V. Scene v.)] are waking up on the morning of the big performance. "Tonight's your big premiere," says Keller. "And Beecher's big finale." Well, I'd definitely agree that the finale was big, but it does seem a little narrow-minded to say it was just Beecher's. I mean, I've written eighteen pages so far, for God's sake. Keller then explains his nefarious plan, which is to replace Schillinger's prop knife with a real one just before Vern and Toby's big fight scene. Um, excuse me? THAT'S the plan? I thought Keller was supposed to be some bad-ass serial killer or something? I've seen better plans for violence on The Itchy & Scratchy Show. Schillinger, however, loves the idea, and the scene ends with him smiling that evil smile I've missed all season.
Meanwhile, Toby is meeting with Sister Pete to decide whether or not he should accept the offer he's been given. They engage in a lengthy debate about whether or not it would be morally right to commit perjury in order to ensure that a guilty man is punished, but it seems pretty clear that Toby has already made up his mind. "I want to be with my children," he sighs, although Sister Pete refuses to condone his plans. After giving us one of those patented puppy-dog-eyed, lost-boy looks that Lee Tergesen is so famous for, Beecher leaves to go get ready for the big play.
Showtime. No, not the network, thank God. We're in the cafeteria, and Betty Buckley peeks through the closed curtains to check out the audience. It looks like just about the entire cast is there, with the Italians looking bored, Ryan chatting up a friend, and Torquemada getting his temples massaged by one of the prison's more flamboyant inmates. Hee! Betty gathers the cast together for a pre-show pep talk, and while Alvarez is clearly high as a kite on Destiny, everyone else seems pretty stoked. Hell, Stanton is practically peeing in his pants, he's so excited. Even Schillinger and Beecher seem to be getting into the spirit of things, as Vern extends his hand to wish Toby a "good show." They shake on it, and Miguel dims the house lights, and then Betty steps out onstage to make a few announcements. After naming all the understudies who'll be taking over for inmates who are either in the hospital or solitary (Guerra, Busmalis, and Redding), she goes on to dedicate the performance to the memory of both Leo Glynn and Cyril O'Reily. That gets big applause from the crowd, with even Claire joining in.
The play itself opens with Stanton, Reggie, and Poet doing a fairly credible job as the Weird Sisters. The real highlight, however, is Lady Buttercup, who's totally working the sequined red evening gown he's got on. I swear to God, if you gave that guy a nose job, he'd be better looking than most of my recent girlfriends. He's not a half-bad actor, either. Meanwhile, the machinations backstage are only getting wilder. Keller pulls Toby aside and tries to tell him about a plan to get rid of Schillinger. Toby doesn't want to hear it, however, and demands that Keller just shut up and hand over his prop. Ah, the perils of the backstage romance. One day you're duct-taping your lover to a chair, and the next you're reduced to merely passing out cardboard shanks. Ain't that always the way? Keller hands over the shank (Is it real? Is it fake? Who knows?), and Toby goes out onstage for the big final scene. After some more anvil-worthy exchanges of Shakespearean subtext ["Nothing is but what is not." -- Macbeth (Act I. Scene iii.)], Macbeth and Macduff begin their dramatic fight to the death. Schillinger grabs Beecher in a chokehold and whispers, "You're dead, sweetpea," as he prepares to deliver the killing blow. Heh. That Vern, witty to the very end. But then Beecher makes a desperate strike with his own shank, and we finally discover once and for all who Keller really loves. It's Tobias, and Vern is already sinking to his knees with blood spilling down the front of his uniform. "That cocksucker!" he mutters, and never have I heard last words that were so fittingly appropriate. Incidentally, the background shot of Keller nonchalantly stabbing himself in the head with the fake shank has made me giggle each and every time I've seen it. Beecher screams for Dr. Nathan, and then Keneniah breaks character and hilariously declares, "That motherfucker is dead!" to the entire audience. Touchdown! The crowd goes wild!