Art school. One person in the entire school plays the violin, and that's Ethan. Since he's the only one, he's allowed to play as loudly as he'd like in a rehearsal room while the other three students in the school lean against walls like they're so bored with school. Oh, that one girl's holding an instrument like she's bored with the violin, but she's not playing, nor does she have a case to put the instrument in. Justin follows the sound of Ethan and walks into the rehearsal room. He watches Ethan play. I love the dialogue-free scenes so much. Ethan stops playing when he sees Justin. Does he only have the one black turtleneck? Because I'm starting to understand why he's so greasy all the time. He tells Justin that there's no heat in the room and that he's waiting for the maintenance guy. Say it with me now: "Maybe things'll warm up now that you're here." Justin says he heard someone playing, so he knew it must be the one guy who plays music. Ethan asks if Justin would like some tea. He moans about how difficult it is to play in that cold. They somehow skip the "ice forming on your bow" joke. Justin thanks Ethan for the CD. He says he listened to it six times. "You're incredible," Justin says. "I know," Ethan replies. Ethan asks Justin how his birthday went. Justin says he didn't really have a good time, since his boyfriend doesn't think being born is reason to celebrate. Ethan says he's disappointed to hear that Justin has a boyfriend, and swears that if he were Justin's boyfriend, he'd give Justin a total birthday celebration. Justin asks what that would be. "Like, first...I'd bring you breakfast in bed. And then I'd play for you." Get out of there now, Justin. It's just another boy who loves himself more than he could ever love you. "And then we'd make love a couple hundred times," he continues. Justin, he's also a liar. Get out now! Justin laughs and asks if that's all before lunch. "Yes," Ethan says without a hint of understanding humor. "But I'm not your boyfriend." Justin stammers that he has to leave, and walks off. The metronome kicks in, showing us how boringly paced and dramatically predictable that scene just was. Ethan begins playing his violin. It takes a long time before he does, and we watch an out-of-focus Ethan play for a little while.
There's a knock at Michael's set door. Pittsburgh must be really safe, because doors only need a deadbolt, and Michael doesn't even have that one locked. Ben's at the door. Michael would have known that if his door were equipped with a peephole. Alas, it isn't. Michael just walks away, and Ben has to let himself in. Ben swallows (heh) and walks in. He shuts the door without locking it. He says he's missed Michael the past few nights. Michael says he thought it'd be best if he slept alone. He says he might as well start sleeping alone from now on. Hear, hear. Ben says he knows he got a little upset at the party. Michael interrupts, "A little upset? You were a fucking monster!" You know, next episode, I'm doing a curse count. Michael says that Ben humiliated everyone there, after all the work Michael did for him, and Michael's not going to do something like that again because he, he, him, him, he, him, him. Ben finally interrupts Michael's ninth rendition of "Pity Party Polka" to tell him that his T-cells went down. He was at the doctor before the party (And then he went to yoga, remember? He still went to yoga?), and he found out. He says that's why he was so grumpy when he came home. His viral load is back up. 125,000. He says the cocktail isn't working and the virus has become resistant. They've already changed the drugs. Ben lights a cigarette in the most exaggerated, drawn-out gesture. Michael asks since when he smokes. He doesn't, as you can tell from the way the actor is smoking. And who just lights up in someone else's house, particularly if that person isn't a smoker? Is he just going to ash on Michael's floor? Ben doesn't really give a shit about anything anymore. He pointedly says, "I am not perfect, you know?" Wait! But just half an hour ago Michael told us that you were! Does that mean that perhaps in life...nobody's perfect? Gosh, this show just teaches me a bit about life and the human condition each and every week. The caring and always delicate Michael says, "Yeah, I'm beginning to find that out." I love that Michael's pissed that Ben's smoking when he just told Michael that he got the worst news of his life: "Fuck all that, I don't want to have to kiss an ashtray!" Ben says he's so mad at himself for trying to buy into that Buddha/yoga/chakra bullshit. Michael has a terrifying Teletubbies baby-god head on his wall. He tells Ben that it's not all bullshit. Ben says he hurt the one person who means more to him than anyone else, and that there's no excuse for it at all. "You're human," Ben says, slamming the anvil all the way home. All is forgiven. Everything's fine. Michael can't look at just one of Ben's eyes in this close-up and has to dart his eyes back and forth faster than Kirsten Dunst at the end of Spider-Man. Michael wipes Ben's face, and we fade to white.