To his credit, he continues without prompting. "And I also served some time for armed robbery. And assault. But I got out early on the assault charge for good behavior, so..." There's an ironic twist; she bites her lip. "That's a plus..." she says, and he finally shrugs, too hurt by her expectations and his failures to remain: "Yeah, you wanted to know." It's sad to know that he would have accepted anything about her, anything at all, and that he knew somewhere he couldn't expect the same from her, but more so, it's almost unbearably sad watching the lights go out in her.
Sookie sits with her coffee all alone in the morning because all her friends are dead, and sees some bereaved parents of a kidnapped girl on TV. Guess whose? Her jaw drops open when they finally show the picture of Jessica, doing her best to appear happy once upon a time. "She's our first-born," Mom says. (I like Mom because she was fascinatingly off-kilter on Book Of Daniel, which of course I loved.) "And she's a goodhearted, smart girl ... We just want to see our baby again." And Sookie stares, and swallows, and thinks about loss. About the line between parent and child, past and present, and what it feels like when that line is cut. She's never had a daughter, but she's lost a mother: Adele.
She heads into Gran's room and feels her presence for a moment; she picks up a (weirdly Photoshopped) picture of herself with Adele, Tara on the other side. A family of women. The only thing that made everything okay. Wholeness, as the old spiritual music brings Gran into the room with us. Sookie closes her eyes, touches the picture, and makes two decisions in that second, faster than she knows: One, that she will provide the safe harbor to Jessica that nobody else, not even Bill, can or knows how to provide: She's never been a mother, but she knows how to mourn; and Two, that Tara is far, far too far away.
Jason stands with a circle of a hundred or so people, on the outside where the tall men go, next to his new friend Luke, watching Sarah Newlin welcome them to the Conference. She is lovely. She's blonde and icy, but with such a tenderness in her eyes and such width to her smile that you can believe in her, young as she is. A lush young beauty, Amanda Jane, approaches Jason, flirting, as she hands him his "honesty ring," which Sarah explains is a symbol of the promise to be "completely honest and open while here on this campus." Which is deft in the way that Maryann is deft: you can't have a cult if people think they have something to hide. You can't own someone completely unless you can see all of them, shadow and light, all their parts, and tell them it's okay. And if that sounds worryingly similar to love, well, there's a reason it works.