Let the music play.
Pete's first up; she's chosen a song I don't recognize, something about days like these. Looking solemn, earnest, and limber, she wears a sensible periwinkle twin set and eyeglasses on a chain, but the gray streaks in her hair speak to a wild side. Throaty, heartfelt delivery. Nice resonance. A few unsuccessful reaches.
Betty Buckley's backstage throwing a Mariah -- her contract specifically says that she is not to be upstaged by Latina singing sensations, and here's Rita Moreno opening the show. Betty's brandishing a length of pipe, planning a devious blow to the kneecap.
As Pete continues singing, Said puts his skullcap back on and -- after contemplating its roundness -- his necklace. If you play Pete's song backwards, there's a message about how these two threads work together. And about how suicide for the devil is cool. Said's leaving solitary; his reunion with Arif and the other Muslims looks like an ad for the new Dockers line of religious headgear -- matching slacks and belts, fun, sporty tops in a variety of soothing jewel tones, and caps knitted by three-year-olds in Saipan. Lots of hearty man-hugging and back-patting ensues.
Said's moment of happy ends when he returns to his pod and sees Omar's face. Omar's also studying music, but I know that it's his face that upsets Said, because Said says, "Your face." Apologies all around -- Omar knows he fucked up, Said knows he fucked up, the required shit-beating tension release has happened, so now they can bond. Omar fills Said in on the Redding angle, Said understands that he was too rigid to seek out for help, Omar confesses that he needed some "Ike Turner treatment," and then Said has to ratchet it up a few psycho-spiritual levels. He reveals his own addiction -- to power. Omar, justifiably confused, grunts. In full understatement mode, Said throbs, "My power trip. I was high 24-7, being the master of your recovery." Then he asks Omar to call him "Kareem." Omar, stifling a laugh, says thanks and clasps Said's outstretched hand as Arif looks on from outside, crestfallen and matronly.
Betty Buckley, out on bail and under heavy sedation, tells McManus that he'll be very happy with the upcoming variety show, and that Omar will be the grand finale -- he may suck, she says, but by performing he'll be a success. McManus beams with self-satisfaction and magnanimously asks if there's anything he can do to help, fully expecting the answer to be, "Oh, no, you've done so much already." But Betty Buckley needs an emcee. D'oh! McManus doesn't want to risk the humiliation of getting up in front of a bunch of men who think he's a pussy, and sends her off to bother Father Mukada, who does it for God.