We start immediately with Cesar treating Shane in the back of Esteban's car while the driver takes them away from the scene. Nancy's pretty much completely useless, which is paradoxically really comforting to see after so much flaking out, even though what she's doing is flaking out, but it's like authentic flaking out as opposed to going crazy. Interestingly, the credits are displayed on a lucha mask, with a second mask beneath it. Keep digging. Shane's as dissociated as his mom has been this year -- "Look at all my blood, mom!" -- and the fact that, as he reports, he can't even feel it just means she finally can. Cesar deals with everything efficiently, and Esteban's freaking out -- "shoot at my family, you shoot at me," et cetera -- but we, and I think Nancy maybe, already knows the truth.
Shane compares it to a slap: "He slapped me, with a bullet. Mom, isn't that weird?" She agrees: it's weird, and fucked up, and scary. She starts screaming, screaming like she hasn't screamed since we met her, for the hospital, and Cesar reminds her that gunshots are automatically reported to the police. She doesn't care, she screams, distracting even Esteban from his usual cool. Cesar asks for the towncar's vodka bottle and she asks him if he's a doctor. "A nurse. In the Army." Like Hot Lips Houlihan, she grins, and Shane giggles ("Caliente Lips") before Cesar pours it on. "AHH! Fuck you! Fuck your mom! In the ass! With a screwdriver!" Even Esteban's impressed as Shane follows this by taking the bottle from Cesar's hand, and downing a healthy slug. Nancy follows soon after. I hope she pumped.
Actually, no I don't. I don't anything having to do with Nancy's lactation. I don't ever want to think about breastfeeding again, either in the general or the practical. I have had enough and refuse to associate further with Nancy's breasts in any capacity. Yes, it'll mean I don't get to watch those amazing/creepy bedtime story videos she did for Esquire, but that is a small price to pay. Not to mention disturbing in their own right.
Doug's selling You're Pretty outside the ridiculously named Girth Gym, or at least attempting to. He's got signs and banners and a long table, and he's squinting, which is basically a recipe for success right there. "I found a high-volume area, followed the script... What am I doing wrong?" Because what woman wouldn't want to talk to Doug Wilson, the skeeviest motherfucker in the universe, outside something called the "Girth Gym," about her skin imperfections? He practically has NO FAT CHICKS tattooed on his face as it is, just by the Retarded White Male look on his face. Not that the awesome girls at the next table selling Girl Scout cookies have any better reason for having chosen this venue, although come to think of it, a little self-hatred and reward/punish probably is good for business.
The tall girl to his left tells him to get lost and he threatens to flick the "God-nipple" on her forehead, which she explains is a bindi, and he spits, "Everyone knows it's bindi," which is so nonsensical and random it shows his real level of frustration. The Association was my favorite band for awhile when I was a kid. "Cherish" and "Along Comes Mary" and of course "Never My Love." I never liked "Windy" too much; turns out I actually do have a twee threshold. Who knew? I liked the ballads, but there was something about "Mary" that I still find sort of Zen to contemplate. Very Nancy: "When we met I was sure out to lunch/ Now my empty cup is as sweet as the punch./ Sweet! As the punch!" Now, what does that even mean? I don't know, but I love it. I bet Alanis knows.
Some perfectly fine-looking soccer referee lady comes up gushing about You're Pretty and asks if he knows Celia. He's like, "I love that woman! This is the same stuff!" Which he doesn't know is code for drugs, so she sort of winks at him about how she already bought two eye shadows and needs two more now. He sticks his tongue out at the girl, who flips him off, and the woman says more quietly that her husband would kill her if he knew how much she was spending on weed. Doug's eyes cross until the little girl explains the situation: "She thinks you're selling pot like your friend, you fucking idiot." See, if Shane and Isabelle would hang out with this little girl instead of those two skanks, they'd probably be okay.
But Shane is not. Okay, I mean. There's a fun scene in which he's the unmoving point at the center of the whirl, and the whole cast comes to visit him. Audra fixes his arm up, explaining that "if you're going to get shot it's good to get shot the way you shot," straight through the meat without hitting bone, and Andy worries about Nancy finding out he sent Shane into the yard before going off about how great Audra is. She gives Shane a big bottle of Percocet and tells him to take it easy on them, they're not Mentos, and then back to Andy, who giggles over the amount before downing three of them and passing out in the back of the remaining tableaux.
Ignacio brings him that DVD player he loves so much ("You take this! You watch movies! You feel better! About your arm, life, everything!") and Nancy puts down a plate of food before skittering off again. Silas explains that every time he thinks shit can't get more fucked up, shit gets way more fucked up, and Nancy reappears with ice cream, standing there totally fucked up, and runs away crying. It's fun in a writerly way, but also as a basically successful experiment in showing Shane's subjective experience.
I've broken bones lots of times, and one time in particular it was exactly like this: people appearing and disappearing, time curving in strange ways. Shane's continuing dissociation becomes centered on his injury -- his pain -- and everything else revolves around that. Which is pretty much straight from the Book of Nancy, insofar as she treats this as the same coping strategy as he's learning to, but usually by shooting herself in the arm instead of having it done to her. It's a sly diagnosis, anyway, that means never having to enter the actual scary braincase of scary Nancy to explain, once again, why she is this way.
"I'm going to go float in Lake Esteban," Andy finally says vaguely: "That pool's got a tide, and ... Me... Floating in it like... A leaf to a filter. Or a bug..." Then Cesar's staring down at Shane, begging him not to tell anybody he was an army nurse. Esteban sits in the chair opposite, promising in his taciturn way that nobody will get inside the house, nobody will get near him. The terms defined several weeks ago about Esteban's house v. Bubbeh's house, safety v. no safety, have to become the working definition now. At a loss, Esteban offers Shane his watch. Cesar tells Shane to say only that he was a medic, or else the others will tease him. Shane stares at all of this equally, unwilling to take part.
"I'm sorry," Nancy says, sitting in the chair and staring at him, ashamed and scared. When he asks why, she reminds him that he got shot. "It was bound to happen sooner or later," he says, but she rebuts this one. In fact, she explains, assuming that at some point your child will get shot with a gun is not something you do when you're pretending to be the tooth fairy. But what he's saying is that life is what you deal with, and what has kept Nancy alive for five years is thinking there's a better life, on hold, that she can reach after this latest thing is done. That same grief/addict stuff all over again: that what he sees correctly as the state of things is for her only a temporary bump in the road.
Not that there's a statutory limit on that stuff, but that every day you look at the shape of your life and see it as part of the whole: you read the topography and see the choices you've made. Addicts are incapable of doing that, because their lives are heading toward something better, the whole time, so they divide it up into pieces of now. Right now I need a fix. Tomorrow I can go into rehab or quit cold turkey or get my kids back, but