Hey, speaking of crotches, we're now at Rico's house. A housing inspector announces that their walls are full of mold, and that repairs will run somewhere between three and seven thousand dollars. Vanessa whines. Rico yells. I snooze. Whatever.
Across town, Mitzi has just gotten pulled over for running a red light. She screeches into her hands-free cell phone that "we're living in a motherfucking police state," but she quickly forgets all about it (as does the director) when informed that the Fishers have stolen back the DGDJ's funeral by undercutting them by a thousand dollars. "I love this," she shouts. "They're cute, but they are such bad businessmen." She inquires about her schedule for the next day, and then cancels all her appointments so she can spend some quality time with the "fabulous Fisher boys." Then she drives off, apparently forgetting the unseen cop who's presumably writing her a ticket even as we speak. I guess this must be the same intersection where Gabe shot that guy, because the police don't seem to be too on the ball around here.
Formaldehyde Fortress. It's redhead central in the kitchen, as Ruth, Sarah, and Claire are preparing for Nate's very special dinner. Sarah wants to add some tarragon to the mix, despite the fact that Ruth repeatedly insists that there's no tarragon in Chicken Kiev. Hmm. Wouldn't Chicken Kiev be more appropriate for one of Nikolai's very special dinners? Although with all that red hair in the room, I guess they can probably toss in a few strands to make it right for Nate as well. Anyway, Sarah discovers that Ruth has no tarragon, so she immediately goes to her purse and pulls out a handful of spices in little plastic baggies. Knowing Alan Ball as we do, he's probably the only producer in the world that would use actual marijuana as a prop for oregano, instead of the other way around. Sarah flaunts her wild ways by suggesting that "cooking is alchemy, not a science," and offers a few tarragon leaves for Claire to smell. This prompts Claire to offer to help, and the look on Ruth's face is more than enough to let us know that she's certainly never offered before.
Later, Nikolai is pouring vodka in the kitchen. He announces that it's from Poland, and I have a hard time believing that any self-respecting Russian would drink Polish vodka. I've been to Poland, and let me just say that every joke you've ever heard is completely true. He's joined at the table by The Ultimate Anti-Ruth Cliché (better known around these parts as "Aunt Sarah"), who immediately launches into an old Russian drinking song. "Vare you learnink to speak da Russian?" inquires Nikolai, and Sarah simply replies that there was a man involved. Then she tells Claire (who's mixing something over at one of the counters) to form the butter into eight separate logs. "Ew," says Claire. "No, not at all," replies Sarah. "It's deliciously sensual." "Ew," says Aaron. "Wash your hands first," adds Ruth. Heh. Now Sarah walks over to her sister, presses herself against Ruth's back, and whispers, "Ruth, you wild woman. Nikolai is adorable, and hot. The sex must be spectacular. Good for you." Now, I like Nikolai just as much as the next guy who realizes that he's not Ed Begley Jr., but that was way too much information. Now David appears, and Sarah rushes up to hug him. "Oh my God!" she exclaims. "You're all grown up, but your face is still twelve years old." Hee! "David, you remember your Aunt Sarah?" asks Ruth. "I'm sure you couldn't forget her if you tried."
And now Nate and Brenda finally arrive, entering through the front door and bickering about how much Ruth hates Brenda. Then they head up the stairs to go to the kitchen, and suddenly I'm totally lost. Memo to whoever does The Wake over at HBO.com (which is excellent, by the way): Please put up blueprints of the Fisher house. I have no idea how that place is laid out. Incidentally, the high-angle camera placement here isn't doing Rachel Griffiths's cleavage any favors. "Look, just relax and enjoy yourself," says Nate. "You look gorgeous, everybody loves you, and all you have to do is sit back and be the center of attention." Ahh! At last we find something that Brenda is good at.