We go to a twelve-step meeting and Dr. Sara's busy telling the group, "I've been clean for 18 months now. I'll tell you, I've never been happier. Actually, that might be the wrong word. I'll be honest, there were times when I was using that I felt pretty darn happy. But what I feel is different now." We see her pulling her sleeves down over her fingers, then sitting on her hands before adding, "I feel joy. So here I am. I know that all I can do every day is the next right thing. And I think for me right now, that means going back to work." And continuing to wash your hair, I hope. She is now in the pink of health, looking like the Dr. Sara we all know. Sara gropes around for what her next career move is going to be, concluding, "I want to help people get from where I've been to where I am."
As she's getting coffee a little later, she's approached by none other than Bellick. Speaking in a much less belligerent tone than we're used to, he says, "You used to be a doctor, right?" "I still am," she says somewhat distantly. But it's offset when she smiles and asks, "Why?" "I was just thinking, I might know a job opening where I work," Bellick says. We quickly establish that it's at Fox River, and Bellick says, "I know it seems like a strange idea, but maybe you and I could, uh...maybe we could, uh...talk about it over dinner. I got a gift card to the Red Lobster over off the Interstate." And...oh, gosh, do y'all have any idea how hard it is to type this scene out while trying to watch it through my fingers?
Dr. Sara utters, "Oh, my God," without thinking, then quickly realizes it, so she warmly thanks Bellick, then tries to let him down gently with "tonight's a night to work on my résumé." This is so awkward. Bellick tries to recover gamely with, "Oh. Of course." And as Sara continues to thank him, we see something in his face just sort of flicker out, and a mask slips into place. It's a tremendous credit to Wade Williams that he makes Bellick appear so sympathetic: your average, socially-retarded lunkhead and not the walking casserole of venality we all know and loathe today. It makes the character so much more opaque. I can't help but wonder if Bellick made an active turn for evil after Pretty Doctor Lady turned him down, or if it's been there all along and simply lay dormant during N.A. meetings. I sort of love how the performance leaves it open to interpretation.
(What I unequivocally love: how we have all been indoctrinated to hate him so thoroughly that the minute the episode was over, people on the forums were like, "I bet he is just the kind of disgusting pig who would hit 12-step meetings to pick up girls.")