Hail, citizens! I'd apologize for my belated return to the gates of this great city, but because Al Lowe did such a splendid job filling in for me while I was being beaten vigorously about the head and shoulders by the Fox network, I don't feel any guilt at all. Well, except towards Al.
Back from a long day of family-avenging, Vorenus stomps back into his empty house, followed by Pullo and still carrying the pale, severed head of Erastes Fulmen. Once inside, he carelessly tosses it on the floor, then sits on the bed. He dismisses Pullo with a look, then flops onto his back and closes his eyes, his face still spattered with other people's blood. This is how he will spend the next month or so. At least until the blood crusts off and the scabby little particles get all mixed up in the blankets. After writing four recaps in a week, I'm actually kind of jealous.
An indeterminate amount of time later, a gang of disreputable-looking men flee through the narrow, crowded streets. One of them has a long knife protruding from his back, so I assume his friends are rushing him to the hospital. And you think 911 is a joke in your town? We lose track of them when the stabbed man finally falls. Satisfied for now, the pursuing gang gives up the chase as one of its members reclaims the knife from the victim's back. The blood streams out obligingly onto the cobblestones. The whole scene is witnessed by some old woman waving around candles and incense, who marks the spot as evil. She's startled by Pullo, because of course the murder happened right outside the entrance to Vorenus's courtyard. Pullo shoos the old woman away and empties a bucket of filthy water out into the street. I'm thinking he did her a favor by shooing her first. Or maybe she could have used the bath. It's always hard to tell on this show. Pullo returns to the courtyard, giving us a close look at the little shrunken-head totems hanging from the doorway as he goes. Cheery.
Inside the courtyard, Pullo tries to get a kiss from his bride Eirene (formerly J. No in these pages), but she's not in the mood to snog him in his current bearded state. She hands him a bowl of gruel, but he can't even eat his breakfast in peace without Eirene pressuring him to talk to Vorenus about something: if the mood around there doesn't improve soon, she wants to leave. "This place is a house of death," she complains. Pullo already knows this, having caused some of it and then married the victim's fiancÃ©e. She's worried about what will happen if they get pregnant while there; the baby would be a monster. Uh, have you met this hypothetical child's father? That's kind of a no-brainer regardless of location. "I said I'd talk to him," Pullo says wearily, and heads upstairs to bring Vorenus his breakfast. Honeymoon's over.