Claire's school. She and Mommie Drearest are sitting in the school shrink's office. He explains that because Claire is the youngest child, she feels that she missed out on a time when the family was happier. Claire delivers some adolescent whining about growing up in a house full of strangers who cry all the time, and Ruth responds with a hearty, "Oh, boo-hoo." Heh. "I grew up in a two-room apartment over a barbershop," she continues, "and I spent my teenage years taking care of my grandmother after one and then both of her legs were amputated. Life is hard." Heh, again. If the writers ever actually gave her something interesting to do (and Ed Begley Jr. is about as far from interesting as you can get), Frances Conroy might actually be pretty good. They bicker back and forth, with Ruth reminding her daughter that it's not like she had to "go begging for food in the streets of Calcutta," before the shrink and his practically pubescent cracking voice can interrupt. He suggests that they try to schedule more time for their relationship, and then declares it "an excellent session" before bolting for the door. "That's it?" wonders Ruth. He answers, "Well, that's really up to you, isn't it?" Since at this point it's actually up to me, I'll just move on to the next paragraph.
Das Sargzimmer im Fisherhaus. That's "The Coffin Room in The Fisher Home" for those of you who speak less German than sorkinhead. David is putting a sales pitch on a tearful friend of La Femme Morte. The friend explains that Cybill has to look her best for the funeral because she was a big star. David agrees, and even blithely admits to being a big fan of her work. Cut down to Rico's Body Shop, and now, thanks to Hermetic, I can once again give you an StC that's accurate to the eighth decimal point. It's an entirely respectable 641, so I feel quite good about giving this episode an A-. Cybill is lying topless on the table, and Nate comes in to find Federico ruminating over her breasts. "Feel these," he says. "They're rock hard." Nate declines, and Rico goes on to explain that they want her buried in some flimsy low-cut gown, and her breasts are stuck pointed in completely different directions. Nate asks where he can stow the big box of Living Splendor embalming fluid (as advertised on TV!), while Rico theorizes about the possibility of somehow taping the breasts together. At this point, David enters and mentions that this will be their most profitable funeral yet. When Nate can't get over how familiar La Femme Morte looks, David reveals that she was an actress named "Viveca St. John." Recognition washes over both Nate and Rico's faces, and Nate blurts out that she was a porn star. He's appalled to discover that David had no idea, especially since Viveca was apparently "huge in the mid-to-late eighties." I'm somewhat troubled by the specificity of his pornographic knowledge. It's not just "mid," but "mid-to-late." Hmm. Anyway, Federico and Nate proceed to get a little overzealous about sharing their remembrances of her greatest porno hits, and I think we all know that never works out well for anybody. Finally, David interrupts and drags Nate out into the hall for a stern talking to. "The woman on that table is just as deserving of dignity as anyone else we prepare," he says, without adding, "Which is to say, not at all." Instead, he continues, "I want you to remember that what we do here is serious. Because it really sucks for me, always having to be the spoilsport." You know, I feel almost exactly the same way about my role as this show's recapper. David then heads up the stairs just as Nate's phone starts ringing. It's Harvey and Bo, calling to invite him to dinner. Refusing to take no for an answer, they settle on the next night and promptly hang up, leaving a nonplussed Nate gaping at his cell phone.