The party in the surgical waiting room, meanwhile, just keeps getting smaller. It's only Maggie, Claire, and Lawyer Ted now, as Brenda raids the vending machine in the hallway. David comes up to her and offers to make a cafeteria run for her. She declines, apparently because a bag of chips is all the Mommy Chow she needs. Speaking of which, David asks how she's feeling on that front. Brenda says the morning sickness is gone and "she's kicking like a horse." David is happy to hear that it's a girl, and Brenda seems mildly disappointed (though not surprised) that Nate didn't tell him. David asks after the name, and Brenda says the only one Nate and she can agree on is Willa. That makes sense; Brenda is probably a Willa Cather fan, and Nate has probably sat through a few Willa Ford videos. David says that's a pretty name. "A little sister for Maya," he moons. He starts talking about Anthony and Durrell's bond. Brenda says she admires their not going for the perfect little infant. "Well, we went for it, we just didn't get it," David says. "And I'm totally glad we didn't because these kids need us. And I love them to death. And then there are days I want to kill them." "Well, that's part of the fun," Brenda agrees, thinking that with Nate, wanting to kill him is pretty much all of the fun.
Ruth sits outside the tent and stares at the fire while Hiram snores inside. What a gentleman. I hope he wakes up on that rock.
The Fishers doze in the waiting room, while Ted and Maggie sit quietly awake. Dr. Lifetime comes in, still in her scrubs, and explains that Nate did in fact develop a new AVM that ruptured. They stopped the cranial bleeding, but Nate is now in a coma, and there may end up being long-term effects which they won't know about until Nate wakes up, and they don't know when that's going to be; it could be days or weeks. "Jesus," Claire moans. Brenda asks what kind of effects she's talking about. Dr. Lifetime lists off a few possible symptoms: "Loss of vision, memory, impairment of speech and movement." Ted says his grandfather had a stroke and learned to speak and walk again. Dr. Lifetime agrees that that's possible, but they won't know until Nate's awake. For the umpteenth time, David asks to see his brother, and Dr. Lifetime tells them to wait until Nate's out of recovery. "Let's just get him through the night, okay? Hold good thoughts." As she leaves, David thanks her, and Claire elaborates, "Thank you for the worst fucking news I ever heard." She sits down to have herself a good cry, and Ted comforts her. David walks out without another word, presumably to call Keith again. "He's alive," Maggie says. "That's something." Brenda sighs.
Nate lies in a dark room, hooked up to any number of machines with a bandage over his head. And what's going on under that bandage? Besides the sideburns poking out from it, I mean? Well, Nate's having another starkly-shot vision, this one of a confession to Brenda that hasn't actually happened. He's wearing the clothes he wore to Maggie's house, and Brenda's all dressed up for her breakup in a stunning full-length, blue silk brocade gown. "You're so fucking predictable," she tells Nate. Nate claims it wasn't about the sex. "Oh, right," Brenda says, "you fucked her because of silence and meaning and God -- not because we're having a hard time and you needed an illusion to stick your dick in." Wow, even Dream Brenda has Nate's number. Nate says they're always having a hard time. "I used to think it was passion, but you know, it's just drama." Thanks for catching up with the rest of us, Nate, five years later. Maybe you could have had that little epiphany before impregnating her. Brenda reminds Nate, "You came to me. I had my own fucking life before you turned up on my doorstep, bleeding and crazy." Nate remembers that too, but he says, "We weren't meant to be." Brenda, amazed (despite having suggested something similar at Nate's birthday party), says, "What Quaker bullshit! You think you and Maggie are meant to be after you slept with her, what, once? What are you, fifteen?" I'd say that's nondenominational bullshit, actually. Nate: "No, I'm forty years old. I see that there can be peace between a man and a woman and that's what I want." But what happens when you stop being polite and start being real? Brenda says, "I'm certainly not going to beg you to stay." But she suggests that he ask himself, "What kind of man betrays his pregnant wife and leaves her?" Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen. Nate tells her it's better this way. And then the vision ends before he can choke on my vomit. You'd think that as long as the surgeons were tinkering around in his melon, they could have figured out some way to make him less of an asshole. Fade to white/Nate ain't right.