Mrs. Rising is ecstatic. We're back in town now, the three walking together and Mrs. Rising explaining that this joyous event calls for a celebration with ice cream. Mrs. Rising, who has known Max for nine minutes, puts Max and Samuel at an outdoor table and goes in to get "the ice cream" without asking what flavor Max wants. Just like when people on TV just order "a beer, please." Samuel stares at a Christmas ornament, but Max is soon to turn the talk back to all things him, talking out the dreidl picture and letting Samuel know, "I wanted to talk to you about something. About this." Samuel smiles. "This might sound a little crazy, but did something tell you to draw this?" Max is out of ideas. Time to get physical. Max lays a hand on Samuel's arm and, just as I would do in a similar situation, the kid freaks out. Mayhem, as he screams and tries to run away. Mrs. Rising comes out and tells Max to stay away. Now that right there is what I call mothering. Bad touch, Max. Always a very bad touch.
End. END! We're back at the House Of The Rising Risings, Mrs. Rising pulling her son out of a minivan as Mr. Rising trails behind and Max stands awkwardly in the background with no basketball-playing youth to stare creepily at. Mrs. Rising ushers Samuel into the house, leaving Mr. Rising sitting all pathetically on the stoop with no one to cry his problems to, except this weird guy who is mysteriously not hanging around because he wants to bang the mom. Mr. Rising is ready for a heart-to-heart. "I've been there. Many times. Max, I know what this must look like to you. Like I've abandoned my family or something. You've gotta understand. What you've been doing for two days, I did for seven years." Well, I have no fucking comment about that one. Shall we continue the straight and unbiased transcription? Very well, then: "He has spoken before. Rebecca, she probably didn't tell you that. When he was four, he said, 'Baskin Robbins.' You know, for the ice-cream store." Oh, man, that's a great line. I wish all TV was just that one line, repeated over and over again into infinity. He goes on that he knows what Max is trying to do for his son, but "whatever it is you're looking for. It isn't there." Totally. This guy didn't abandon anybody.
Crashdown. Max sits at the end of his rope, as Liz sits close by, asking, "So, do you think the father is right? That what he said doesn't mean anything?" Thanks for the reminder of what we're talking about at the beginning of every single scene, y'all. Max opines (I know! Again!), "He drew this ship. It must mean something." But Liz indicates the wall behind Max, where there is a drawing of a spaceship on the wall. Max opines (well, now he's just treading water here), "He was just drawing the mural." Or, having spent the whole of his seven years living in a tourist trap with exactly one attraction, pretty much every wall of every tacky restaurant or museum or 7-Eleven in town. Seriously. That one was a no-brainer. Liz plays conscience again, reminding us about how we can't just ditch autistic interplanetary-channeling children as soon as they've served their purpose to us. Well, I know I've learned something this Christmas. Max tells her, "I don't know what to do. I've already hurt him once." Liz thinks that Max can still be of help, that Samuel's "trying to say something and he's looking for help to say it." Max looks hopeful. Does that involve more touching?