Back at the Fortress, Nate is meeting with a HITG because the DGDJ is being buried somewhere else. The actor's name is Lenny Wolpe, and he's most memorable to me (and most of our forum denizens) as the Tourette's Syndrome sufferer from that one episode of L.A. Law. Oh, boy! Here, however, he's just a tearful guy trying to buy a casket for his dead wife. I have to admit that I really liked this scene the first time around, but I'm finding that it doesn't really hold up well under repeat viewings. It's just so blatant in its All-About-Nateness. The little details are all great (like the slow-to-illuminate fluorescent bulbs in the Coffin Wall), but the rest of it just seems like we're working down a checklist of Nate Fisher characterizations. You see, unlike the greedy and sanctimonious David, Nate has a "gift," which is why he tries to stop Mr. Wolpe from spending money on an extravagant casket that he doesn't really need. And you probably don't even need me to tell you that Mr. Wolpe's marital status mirrors Nate's own turbulent relationship. It seems Lenny took his wife for granted for many years, and even went so far as to cheat on her. But then one day he contracted anvilitis…er, "cancer," and finally wised up and realized that he really did love her. And then she died. Crushed by the massive Anvil of Foreshadowing, I suppose, only there's no body, so we'll never really know (StC is now at an incredible 5,987 and STILL counting). The scene ends with Lenny collapsing to his knees and shouting, "Oh, God! Oh, God! I loved her!" Oh, come on. Two "Oh, Gods" and not a single "Oh, boy" shout-out? Although I guess this season's obvious move away from all those wacky dream sequences would also preclude making such an obvious David E. Kelley reference. It's still a shame, though.
Cut to the kitchen, where Nate shuffles in and gets a drink out of the refrigerator. He sits down at the table, and an unfortunately framed close-up confirms my suspicion that Peter Krause has been getting consistently hairier as the season progresses. The pointy sideburns are back, and he's almost regained that tousled "I Just Walked Through Three Hurricanes And A Tornado And Don't I Look Fabulous?" hairstyle that served him so well for the first two seasons. Ruth starts babbling about something or other in the background, but Nate isn't listening. Instead, he's bawling like a little baby. There's been much speculation in the forums as to the reasons behind this, so I won't go into that here, but I will mention that Ruth doesn't seem fazed in the slightest by this somewhat odd behavior. She just walks up behind him and starts to massage his shoulders (StM = 462), saying, "I used to do this for your father all the time. His shoulders would get so full of knots. It's such a stressful job." The crying and massaging goes on for so long that Lisa actually has to tag in for Ruth and take over, yet none of them ever even think to ask Nate what's gotten him so upset. I was going to argue that it would have been more in character for Lisa to freak out and wonder what was wrong, but then I remembered that she reacted pretty much exactly the same way when Nate broke down in Seattle, so I guess that's not really true. In any case, this little Nate-centric segment of the show was very weird, and really the only unenjoyable part of an otherwise stellar episode.