It's morning in Ruth's Cossack-Cuddling Kitchen, and Lauren Ambrose enters wearing the delirious smile of a girl I'd like to…you know what, never mind. Besides, Nikolai's robe is (thankfully) covering up his body hair, so I can't tell how happy it might be. "Good morning, dear," says Ruth. "Apparently," replies Claire. Heh. She takes a seat at the table, and is quickly joined by David, who does quite the double-take when he spots Nikolai. "I see its Good Neighbor Day at the Fisher house," he announces, as Claire shares a meaningful look with her brother. Ruth, meanwhile, is upset that David didn't invite the Little White Sex Dork to join them. Heck, even Nikolai wanted to meet the guy. Ah, Nikolai. He's cute, cuddly, and not the least bit homophobic! What's not to love? Mommie Drearest announces that Nate is running late, but he'd like them all to be at dinner that night so he can make a big announcement. Claire shares another meaningful look with her brother, this time incorrectly assuming that the announcement has to do with Nate's anvilitis. Nikolai loves the idea, however, and grabs a great big handful of bacon to celebrate. Mmm. Bacon.
Emilio Estevez: Hey, Recap Boy! What the hell do you think you're doing?
Aaron: What do you mean?
Emilio Estevez: No Breakfast Club jokes? No cracks about Nikolai pushing maximum density? You're losing your touch.
Aaron: Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns.
Emilio Estevez: Yeah, whatever. Does Barry Manilow know you've been raiding his wardrobe?
Aaron: Hey, you're the one wearing tights.
Emilio Estevez: I don't wear tights. I wear the required uniform. Besides, this was the only way I could get work now that Daddy's giving all the good jobs to Charlie and Renee.
Kelly LeBrock: Okay, settle down, you two. And somebody go tell Lauren that if she ever gets the chance, she should shower with Aaron. It's a mind-scrambler.
Now the Ironic Segue Fairy cuts us to Das Sargzimmer, where the first words out of the Widow Du Jour's mouth are "Everyone had gotten off." Get it? "Gotten off"? Alan, Alan, Alan. What am I going to do with you? Turns out what she's talking about is people getting off the Andrea Boria, and how she discovered that her husband was dead. The Widow DJ is played this week by Harriet Sansom Harris, who's best known as either Frasier's agent or the Eves' mother, and she does a kick-ass job. In fact, don't let Mare hear me say this, but she's my favorite so far this season. She delivers a long monologue about how she met the DGDJ, which somehow manages to include the phrase "the sun was coming up, and I just sat there staring at this stupid pig carcass." Aww. How romantic. Then she pulls out a cigarette and lights up. Flick. Ahhh. David and Nate both go ballistic, citing California's draconian anti-smoking regulations, and pointing out that they could be fined if she doesn't put it out right away. And yet, they still have an ashtray right there on the table. That seems weird. David tries to get down some details for the funeral (which will be closed casket, due to the fact that the DGDJ was "dredged up from Long Beach Harbor with a propeller slice halfway down his body"), but Harriet only cares about the price. David quotes her a sum of $7,000, saying that it's average or slightly lower, and Nate uses his "gift" to promise that they'll take care of everything. When Harriet leaves without signing a contract, David complains quite bitterly that she's wasting their time by comparison-shopping for the best deal.
Cut to Ruth, watering her plants and meta-wondering when they got so dried out. Through the window, we can spy a mass of red hair coming up the driveway, and see Ruth's shocked reaction. Then we're in the kitchen, being introduced to Ruth's long-lost sister Sarah, played by Patricia Clarkson, of drug-addicted German lesbian fame. Oh, and she was also on Wonderland. All two episodes of it. Anyway, we know Sarah is a bad girl because she sits with her legs spread and plays with her crotch every now and then. Ah, so many disgusting Sars jokes, so little time. And so many chances to get fired. ["If I lose my temper, you're totaled, man." -- Sars] Ruth launches into a surprisingly constructobabble-free monologue about how she forgives Sarah and doesn't want to be estranged from the only sister she has. When Sarah discovers that Ruth did The Plan, she's ecstatic. In fact, Sarah herself did The Plan, "back in the seventies, when it was still called Transitional Focus. Before Ernst Volhoeffer was busted for tax evasion and sold it to the Canadians." Oddly enough, that's exactly the same story behind our own name change to TWoP. I just thought you should know. Further ladling on the bad-girl image, Sarah continues with, "I met Volhoeffer at a party once, and he came onto me. But I had just dropped acid for the first time, and I thought he was some Mayan death priest who wanted to cut out my heart and throw it into a pit. So I blew him off." Ruth looks shocked and dismayed by this, but Sarah just giggles and wanders away.