Another location, another chance for Nate to be surprised by Dad's wacky pre-death doings. This time it's an Indian restaurant, where The Late Nate was renting the back room. The restaurant owner runs through the familiar spiel. His wife died, blah blah blah, The Late Nate took the room in trade, blee blee blee, no, he doesn't know what the guy did there. The room itself is pretty bare, with a worn couch, a folding table and chairs, and newspapers and magazines stacked in every corner. The owner leaves, and Nate looks around, finding an incomplete solitaire game and an extensive 60s-era record collection. He also finds an empty glass that's been smeared with lipstick, and also painted with a big sign that says, "I will be important in a future episode. Remember me." As the music swells and he stares around the room, we watch The Late Nate fade in and out of various poses. He's seen playing cards at the table, waving his lighter all "Freebird!"-style on the couch, dancing, hanging out with bikers, receiving just the latest example of this show's deeply held obsession with televised oral sex, and, in the single funniest shot of the entire season, gleefully firing a sniper rifle out the back window. Ha! Our final, pre-fade-to-white shot is of Dad, tenderly watching his son from the corner.
Over at the Formaldehyde Fortress, Ruth, if I may be permitted some Pittsburghese, is neatening up the front porch. She's interrupted by the arrival of Nikolai The Flower Guy, whom she thanks profusely for sticking with them in spite of Kroehner's pressure. Hey, remember that plotline? Yeah. That was, like, back when dinosaurs ruled the Earth or something. Nikolai uses his handkerchief to wipe the sweat from her brow, and then compliments her thusly: "Such delicate skin. You have Russian color." His expression seems to suggest that he's attempting to mentally change her nickname from Mommie Drearest to Mommie Leerest, and Ruth gets all flustered and tells him to put the flowers inside.
Brenda's. She and Claire struggle to get the chest in place, and then Claire notices her copy of Charlotte: Light and Dark on the table. This, despite the fact that Nate can clearly be seen carrying it OUT of the house the last time he was there. Oops. Anyway, they chat about the book, with much eye-rolling and evasiveness from Brenda, and then Claire admits that her favorite part is when the little girl "stops speaking for a month and just barks at them." Cut to flashback footage of Young Brenda barking up a storm, and then, in the second-funniest shot of the entire season, shaking the doll back and forth in her mouth. Finally she spits it back out onto the table, and calmly growls once more. Claire tells Brenda she'd love to go to one of her school-mandated therapy sessions and just bark. I sometimes feel the same way about these recaps, especially for the really bad scenes. Irony scrawls a quick note on the script and passes it to Lauren, who asks, "So do you totally identify with this book too?" Enter Billy "Creepy Jesus" Chenoweth (tm fuzzbox), who quickly reveals what Brenda has been trying to cover up, answering, "Of course she does. It's about her...she's Charlotte." Claire starts freaking out, but Brenda gets pissed and stalks off to the kitchen for a beer. Claire can't believe what she's hearing. "God! It's like meeting Gandhi, or Jesus!" she exclaims, but technically, it was meeting Billy that was like meeting Jesus. Creepy Jesus, but Jesus nonetheless. "Have you been to the website?" asks Billy, "There's a fan club." Shout-out? Brenda replies, "Yeah. Those lonely little girls desperate for something to emulate because apparently they're not original enough to come up with something on their own." Well that's definitely not a shout-out. I may be a lonely little girl, but I'm nothing if not original. Well, except for that whole part where I make my living by writing about other people's work, that is. Brenda heads to the back for a minute, leaving Billy and Claire alone. He ascertains her identity, and then swoops in to flirt. "Do you surf?" he asks, giving Claire a sip of his beer. "Do I look like I surf?" she replies. Now Brenda returns, and upon seeing Billy putting on the moves, she offers to take Claire home. Billy quickly agrees to do it himself, and Claire makes it clear that she'd rather go with him. "I just have to shower first," he says, handing her the beer. As he leaves, he strips off his wet suit, and we watch Claire's eyes follow his butt off-screen. Brenda, on the other hand, just rolls hers.