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We Are The Table

Shane's playing piano when Andy and Silas come in bearing boxes of headcheese sandwiches; Andy says they'll store them in the Botwin freezer and take them to Doug's later, whenever he decides to pick up the phone. Shane wishes his brother a happy birthday, shaming Andy, who has forgotten. Eighteen? Silas says it's not a big deal, and when Andy pushes him about it, he barks at Shane to stop playing the fucking piano. Shane finishes up with a resentful flourish just as Nancy's entering. I cannot believe -- I mean literally cannot believe -- how much I've come to love Silas Botwin. The boy who poked a hole in a deaf girl's condom so she couldn't go to college. Happy birthday. I love how he's still stuck in that in-between place, and he really just wants a birthday cake. I love how without Judah he decided to become a man on his own, and actually seems to have managed it. I love how, in an episode all about telling our fears and heartbreaks and most of all our shame, he does it better than anybody, and without saying a word.

"Look who's not in jail," Andy jokes, and Nancy assures them there's no reason she would be, since she's just a sales girl. She kisses Silas a happy birthday and tells him -- with only a tiny smack of defeat in her voice -- to have fun with Lisa at his birthday dinner date. He tells them they've broken up, once again, and he won't be having a nner date tonight: "Happy birthday to me." Nancy's sad for him and offers to take everybody out, to an Italian place, at seven. She heads upstairs to take a bath and get the DEA spittle off her face and the smell of guilt and blood and being trapped out of her clothes; Silas follows her to the stairwell. He says that a firm answer on the "small business loan" they've been discussing would make a great birthday gift, and asks point blank if she's going to back him or not. She tells him twice that this is a bad time to talk about it, and like a disappointed but professional man, he ducks his head and thanks her for giving it some thought.

Before the bath, she calls Esteban to tell him she's been questioned and released. "And?" And, um, she had pancakes for breakfast. "What kind?" There's something off here, and she can feel it. This isn't a boyfriend and girlfriend being inane, this isn't romantic interest in breakfast, this is a blank spot where you fill in the question after you've given the answer. This is a man who keeps lions, who kills men; who cut off Schlatter's face and left him on the fence. This is a man who got who knows what information out of that face before it died. "...Blueberry," she says guardedly. "You?" His response seals it: this is not what it looks like. "Yogurt, coffee and toast." She sails his words and his moods like a tiny little boat, she knows the wind and the direction of the sun on her face; she knows the lion just showed up. "Sounds like a nice breakfast..."

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