It's Claire's first day at work in a high-rise cube farm. Not that there's a window even visible from where she's sitting. She's got on her periwinkle suit over a pink blouse with a sort of built-in cravat like your mom used to wear, and her hair's in an oh-so-professional ponytail. And yes, it turns out that it is funny to stick Claire in pastels. The perky woman sitting across from her passes a birthday card over the low cube wall, insisting that Claire sign it, even though Claire doesn't know the birthday girl. "She won't even read it," offers another drone. "Last year I signed it Hitler? She never said a word." Other Drone then asks the approaching sweater-vested nerd if he's met Claire yet. "Yeah, baby," the Nerd Drone says. "Whassaaap?" I smell workplace violence. Claire answers that she's trying to sign the card, but the Other Drone tells Claire, "He has Tourette's. You just have to say it back to him." Claire does, embarrassed for everyone in the room. Then Perky Cubemate hisses at Claire to give back the card, since the birthday girl's coming. "You can sign it later," Perky Cubemate whispers. Claire is just a big periwinkle-and-pink mass of "whatever."
Ruth is on the phone with George, saying she won't be "home" for a few days and making sure he has enough food in the house. As she finishes up, Sarah comes down the stairs and asks, "Was I frothing like an idiot last night?" Well, yeah. She blames the red wine, and says she doesn't even remember what she said. "You were blaming yourself," says Ruth. Now Sarah remembers. "I don't know why I do that. It's so narcissistic, you know." Ruth smirks a little at that. You can totally tell she's thinking, Asked and answered. Sarah continues, "I am the asshole at the center of the universe," and continues on a philosophical little close-talk about the vastness of the universe until a bunch of Sarah's and Fiona's friends come in. One of them is a woman who I think ended up getting a bunch of Bettina's lines because Kathy Bates was sick during the filming of this episode. So I'm just going to call her Bet-two-na. She introduces everyone, including Susie Bright, "the feminist sex writer." Who is of course being played by feminist sex writer Susie Bright. "You don't have to introduce me that way," says Susie Bright. Nate comes in, and Ruth says, "Nate, honey, come meet Susie Bright." They shake hands. "She's a sex writer," adds Ruth. Heh. While the other ladies unpack hippie groceries, Sarah says Bettina will be there after she finishes up at Costco, "Buying hummus by the metric ton." Bet-two-na asks for the whole story, mentioning that she heard that Fiona didn't even want to go on the hike: "Someone pushed her into it?" Sarah's philosophical armor seems to weaken a little at this.