Lazarus: 11:25, actually.
Alan Ball: Hey, I'm just glad it's not 10:13.
Lazarus: No, that one's "The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep."
Alan Ball: Yep. That sounds like Duchovny, all right.
The never subtle strains of PJ Harvey send us skittering off to Brenda's Brotherfucking Boudoir, where our hostess is engaged in a thorough (and thoroughly metaphorical) spring-cleaning of her soul. In other words, she's wandering around her house, going through all her possessions and throwing most of them away. She's also smoking a lot of pot, dancing about wildly, and remorsefully reading Nathaniel & Isabel In Outer-Space. And then as this week's director (Rodrigo Garcia) hits a nice music cue, we get one final shot of Brenda posed spread-eagled on her bed, looking exactly as if she'd been crucified, while Mommie Drearest voices over, "We thank you Heavenly Father for this and all thy blessings." Nicely done. Even us Jewish viewers caught that one.
As we join the voiced-over scene, already in progress, we find the Fisher family gathered around the dinner table. Ruth casually mentions that she's invited Nikolai over for dinner later in the week, and she'd like all the kids to be there. And then it happens. The single greatest moment in SFU history. Sweet, beautiful Lauren Ambrose looks right into the camera and says, "Nikolai The Flower Guy?" Aww, yeah. Now, THAT'S a shout-out. ["Then said the Jews, 'Behold how he loved [her]!'" -- John 11:36] And I can totally picture Lauren on the set that day, being all, "You actually want me to acknowledge this guy? You are going to pay for extra security, right?" But it's sweet nonetheless, and on the off chance that they didn't mean it as a shout-out, I'd really prefer to be alone over here with my delusions. So anyway, Ruth explains that she and Nikolai "are having a sexual relationship now," and even though she's not sure how long it's going to last, she wants the kids to see them together. "We're all adults," she adds. "We're all sexual beings, and we should acknowledge that." And you know what? She's right. So, okay, here's my big hiatus confession: Lauren and I are having a sexual relationship now. See, the whole "stalker" thing is just a cover, because we didn't want the forums going crazy, but…what's that? You don't believe me? She's married, you say? Well, all right. Fine. I lied. A little. It's actually Sars I've been having a affair with. See, with all those long nights of her berating me over my grammar and threatening to fire me, one thing just led to…what? Again you don't believe me? She's out of my league, you say? Jeez, you people are tough. Hmm. Would you believe I was sleeping with Strega? Jessica? Mike Binder? Anyone? Come on, help me out here.
Ruth then drops the final bombshell, which is that Nate should bring Brenda to dinner, Claire should bring Gabe, and David should bring his "special friend." "Why is my friend 'special'?" asks an over-sensitive David, and Mommie Drearest amends her request: "All right. If you're having sex with anyone, I'd like to meet him. Is that better?" "Not really," replies David, sending both Nate and Claire into fits of hysterics. There's some more cute familial interaction, and then Foreshadowing reminds Nate to take an aspirin because he heard it helps "keep the blood thin." After a crack about that from David, Ruth returns to her roots by asking, "What is that supposed to mean? Is that some sort of insult? That we're thin-blooded?" David apologizes, and then is rewarded for that by having Mom ask if he's seeing anyone. When he says no, she probes even further. "Well, why not? Sex is a important and healthy part of life, and nothing to be ashamed of." "Yes, I know," he answers. "Unfortunately, I'm not having any right now." Mommie Drearest asks after Keith, or as she likes to put it, "That cop. The black man." Say it with me now, everyone: "That Big Black Sex Man." David confides that Keith has met someone else, and all his siblings look sad for him.