I mean, crackhead lady is a perfect example of somebody that works, and we've only seen her in two scenes and we'll never know her name or see her again, but she works as more than a plot device to get Celia out the door. Her scenes sparkle with wit and deep dark comedy, but mostly she's a person you could meet on the street, as insane and OTT as she is. Schlatter? Menaces Celia, has sex, lurks behind a tree, and then gets his face sanded off. So is it enough, like with Sanjay, that he's gay? Is that enough of a persona -- or enough of the kind of persona that we don't ask questions about, because we're predisposed since like Philadelphia to impute a certain amount of false sentiment and false tolerance and false sympathy and bathos -- that I'm supposed to care now?
He's just a guy I barely know, getting his face sanded off by a guy I barely know. His entire existence is predicated on being forced to say two words: "Nancy Botwin." And I can't help thinking that a stronger man wouldn't have given her up. And next week when it's Dark Willow Till versus Innocent Nancy, fighting over the case of the Dead Gay Lover & The Mob Boss Mayor, it'll still feel imbalanced. I mean, don't get me wrong: I love the show. I love everything about the show. This episode feels weak, and the Till storyline has been aimless all along, but I'm super excited about next week. And hey, now that once again 90% of the supporting characters have vanished, I wouldn't really have much to bitch about even if I were so inclined.
Anyway, a whole new kind of regaliz rojo for one Phil Schlatter: A disc sander whirls, covered in blood, as Cesar checks Schlatter's phone and lets it go to voicemail. He's obviously been torturing Schlatter for a while, asking again and again who "Informant" is in the transcript. The dude manning the sander points out that Schlatter's running out of skin to effectively sand, and Cesar tells him to switch to the other side of his face. Schlatter whispers a name, and Cesar tells him to repeat himself. "...Nancy Botwin." Schlatter shivers in pain as Cesar absorbs this information, and then shoots him in the head.
Next week: episode fifty and everything changes. Again.