Thank God, we're back at the hospital. Dr. Lifetime has gone home for the day (presumably because Gail O'Grady, Valerie Bertinelli, and Melissa Gilbert had other commitments), so another neurologist is there to update Nate's wife and siblings while Maggie and Lawyer Ted hang out in the doorway to his room. Replacement Doctor starts to explain about AVMs, and gets kind of flustered to hear that they already know about the phenomenon, let alone that Nate had one before. It takes a while to for him to get up to the current news, which is that Nate's vitals are stable and "everything looks good except for some weakness on your right side." Oh, and his complete lack of anything resembling a soul. Maybe the hemorrhage took that out. ["A hearty sneeze probably took that out decades ago. Dick." -- Sars] Replacement Doctor adds that Nate can start physical therapy whenever he's up to it, and that he can leave the hospital in a week or two if he continues to improve. Claire, being kind of clingy in the little-sister position right up next to Nate's head, forces Nate to say he's all right now. Replacement Doctor says everyone's proud of Nate for the fight he put up. "I have a lot to live for," Nate tells the doctor without looking at anyone else. Brenda smiles at him. Oh, poor, dumb Brenda. David signals Claire, and everyone leaves Nate and Brenda alone. They look at each other for a while, she nervously and he totally blankly. Finally she decides that neither of them is up for what comes next, so she announces that she'll go pick up Maya. "Thanks," Nate says. I would mention here that neither of them has said "I love you" like a normal married couple would have by now, but they also haven't said "Two plus two is pi" or "My lungs metabolize ammonia" either, for the same obvious reason.
Ruth walks along a wide dirt road in a park somewhere, looking tired and lost. She's using a loose branch as a walking stick, as one does. Suddenly, Hiram appears in her path, hat in hand, smirking, "Ruth, you came to me for a reason." Ruth agrees, "Yeah, this!" And she raises her walking stick, which has suddenly turned into a shotgun, and blows Hiram away. There's a little shooting-gallery sound effect and circus music as he bloodlessly flies backward, just so we know this is all in fun and not actually violent, here on HBO, the home of The Sopranos. Nikolai the Flower Guy appears in Hiram's place, growling, "Ruthie! Bring me my lunch!" The gun comes up again, and the Russian goes down, crutches and all. From behind a nearby tree, Arthur pops out. "I care for you," he smarms. "Let's rub heads." Heh. Ruth lets off a blast from the hip, and Arthur's down. She's still savoring that moment when George, looking disheveled and unshaven in a ski jacket, v-neck t-shirt, and track pants, claims, "It's perfectly normal to live in a bomb shelter." Blam! Down goes George, although Cromwell got to be in the credits for another week. Ruth continues down the path, only to run into Late Nate, wearing a gray tweed two-piece and black tie instead of the black three-piece we're used to seeing him in. The circus music stops at this emotional reunion. "I'm your first love, Ruth," he says. "The father of your children. I'm where it all began." Ruth looks thrilled to see him. He smiles back at her. And she blows him away as the circus music kicks in again. He probably should have left that last sentence off. Ruth continues jauntily down the path, her walking stick a stick again, like it's supposed to be. I imagine that Ruth Fisher owning a firearm would constitute some kind of violation of funeral industry antitrust regulations.