In a valiant and much appreciated effort to keep my scene segues on a roll, the show next cuts from Governor Itsy-Bitsy Spider to Sister Pete, who has become merely the latest victim to be trapped in the metaphorical web of McManus's meditative maze. That thing is a menace, I tell you. Leo finds her there, standing alone in the dark in the middle of a maximum security prison (as elderly nuns are wont to do), and asks if she's feeling okay. "Uh, no," replies Sister Pete, before explaining that she's being forced into allowing Cyril's ECT treatment. She goes on to regret that everything she's tried to help Cyril thus far has failed, and therefore she's got no other choice at this point but to accept the inevitable. This scene really reminded me of how much I like Rita Moreno, and how she usually gets taken for granted in these recaps because she's been there since the beginning. Well, no more. You go, girl! Work that sweatshirt! And incidentally, for those of you keeping score at home, it was exactly at the moment when I first considered (and then wisely rejected) yet another running gag for this recap that would have featured Rita Moreno making Patti LuPone her prag that I realized that yes, I definitely am crazy.
With the decision for ECT made, Sister Pete calls in Ryan and Betty Buckley to discuss their next steps. After explaining why she can't return Jericho, Pete goes on to describe the treatment as "an ordinary household current applied to the brain for half a second, ten to fifteen times within a period of two to three weeks." Well, that doesn't sound so bad. Hell, I've gotten worse shocks off shag carpet. Ryan, however, doesn't like the idea all that much, and he likes it even less when he finds out that it was his father who okayed it. Strangely enough, though, he appears to have already known that Governor Small of America is the one behind the whole thing. This guy really is Lord of the Fucking Dance. Or maybe the writers just got lazy. The fact that they felt the need to insert a line rubbing our faces in the irony of a guy who's going to the electric chair getting electroshock treatments would seem to suggest the latter.
Augustus Hill: "Music is the brandy of the damned." -- George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
Aaron: "Shoot me in the chest!" -- Benito Mussolini. Firing squad, April 28, 1945.
Dobbins continues playing a serene melody over a long, well-executed scene of Cyril being prepped for and then receiving his electroshock treatment. It's not as good as the one in Requiem for a Dream, but in this case that's a compliment, because trying to rip off Darren Aronofsky is a quintessential first-year-of-film-school mistake. On the other hand, why the hell hasn't this show cast Ellen Burstyn yet? With all The Exorcist references and Tom Fontana's diva fetish, she seems like she'd be a natural. Maybe she could play George Michael's mother.