To Moscow, and Quickly

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
So Many Vibes
this whole other voice inside your head saying, "Some things are black and white. Some objects are immovable no matter how irresistible you are." Human voices wake you, and you drown.

And now it's this doctor -- this "stupid old-man doctor" -- not criticizing her but just pointing out in theoretical terms that Nancy is terrible in every way. To her credit, she knows it's bullshit to be mad about this almost seconds after she gets mad about it, but there's not a lot of time to be pissed off about the oppression of gravity (very Shane, this, also) because they have to run like hell. But her broken heart isn't going anywhere, even as a cute little Downs kid starts screaming at her, grinning wildly and pointing at the TV screen, where she has reappeared. Andy pops a lollipop in his mouth and pats him on the head like a blessing, and they take off.

Silas tortures Shane at length, sending him into a garbage bin and taunting him with beer. Shane offers him a garbage panini and Silas is like, "Maybe the money's under that dead bird!" Shane threatens to tell Nancy about Silas's college plans -- which Batkid has deduced based on the fact that Silas, of all people, is reading "Huck Finn." Silas defends himself that it's just a contingency, "in case mom decides to drive us in circles for the rest of our lives," and asks if Shane himself hasn't thought about a backup plan for the rest of their lives. If Clark Kent really is just a lie, for all of them.

"The road is my school now," Shane says, quoting Nance directly at this point. "This dumpster's my classroom. I'm learning from this wasted Panini!" Irresistible force. "You follow your path, I'll follow mine," Silas says, finally showing a little compassion, but then they still need gas, that was the point today, the "Soviet Beast" Awesome Love Shane's driving gets 4 MPG, and that's not Mark-Paul Gosselaar's, so now Shane's going to have to find some gas some other way. Same as the Seattle thing, essentially: When you're working so hard to live that it's work that starts killing you, check out how the other half lives. The ones who aren't so superspecial that dealing drugs is not even their fallback.

Like the thing that always drove me nuts -- with anxiety, not irritation -- about stuff like Amazing Race is how they made do in other countries. Dancing for pennies or whatever. And like, the whole reason I'm scared to travel is because what happens if something happens? I certainly couldn't put out a hat and do a little jig, I'd die of embarrassment. Just roll over and die rather than helping myself to succeed, because it's too weird. But if you're on a TV show and you know that secretly the hand of TV is going to catch you when you fall, it's okay to do those things you'd rather die usually than do. She would never be a hotel maid for money, but if Hotel Maid were just a costume she was putting on, over her drug dealer costume, then she could do anything. Because really nobody could see her at all.

Nobody can see Nancy at all, at the payphone, calling the Missing Persons number. Not from the paper that Andy wrote it down on, but a piece of paper she herself wrote it down on, because I think they both wrote down the number in secret. Because they didn't want to tell each other their contingency plans, or admit they might not be able to do this. That the moment back there in the waiting room didn't feel a whole lot like Wile E. Coyote standing on nothing, knowing he won't fall unless he looks down and admits it.

"Hi. Uh...I'm calling in response to one of your, uh, posts? I think I... I saw someone, maybe. Botwin? Nancy? Uh... Long hair, brownish, I forget the other one's name. It was, um... It was a baby?" The lady transfers Nancy to the FBI, immediately, and she hangs up immediately. Our FBI guy knows it was her, even though she hung up immediately. It could have been simple and anonymous, she could have left the kid at a fire station or something, but the voice of the man saying FBI, a man she recognizes: Way too real. Good instinct, first, and then good instinct hanging up, too. Because with that guy on the phone it stops being about Stevie and starts being about Pilar, Esteban -- Shane -- and that's when gravity really does win.

Nancy lies back in the SS Awesome Love and stares at the ceiling and admits this plan is over with. Andy agrees -- "Love the road, no place for a baby" -- but then what, settle down and play house? Not an option "because oops, I've got a fucking Amber Alert out on me." She links today's advice to the "everybody" up her ass: "Now I got this fucking doctor telling me Stevie needs check-ups and shots and I just... I'm so done with this country." It was the next idea, it was the next thing that could happen. She listens to him thinking this out, and they negotiate.

Nancy loves the idea of going somewhere the opposite of America, and maybe that means Capri but Andy knows it's Copenhagen: "Either you can hitch your wagon to the Andy-and-Famke train, or, uh, you can raise Stevie alone, on the run." This sounds suspiciously like an ultimatum, but that's not really exactly what it is. They've hit the next juncture, which means they all have to make decisions -- "your path, I'll take mine" -- and after the Audra time, that means for Andy Copenhagen. Sounds like she's agreeing, and he hasn't stopped thinking of it since the doctor's office, which is when it became the thing he always wanted.

"Hear me out. Nordic people: Very peaceful. Extremely low crime rate. High quality of life. Universal healthcare. Open-faced sandwiches. Bikes everywhere. I've done Google Street View, it's like Santa's Village. I even got a neighborhood picked out. I don't know how to pronounce it, it starts with an R. Their core value -- get this -- hygge. It means coziness. As in relaxed, sedate, stress-free."

Even with that last thing, which on the one hand sounds like no fun and on the other hand sounds infinitely frangible, his words work their magic. She stops rolling her eyes and stops getting ready for disappointment, and lets him pull her into the village, just a little bit. His wonderful wonderful. The last time he said all this she couldn't hear it, because she still loved Esteban enough -- Remember? She lied and made Andy think she was going to leave Reyes a note but the note ended up being for Andy instead -- but now she can't hear anything else. It starts to sound good for everybody at once, in the love-circle overlap.

Into planning mode: Passports, money. Not selling lots of drugs -- Stevie -- but doing one big amazing sale of drugs, and then they go. He asks, they hate that he has to ask, if she's even serious. She responds with all the words that add up to it. "Moscow. Elsa, Famke, whatever. It's a wonderful wonderful."

When you say "romance" it gets complicated fast because that word means almost anything but I like it best when it describes a state of mind in which anything can happen, where wishes are closer to the reality than usual. Not like romance novels, not that (500) Days Of Summer bullshit substitution for the real thing; romance like King Arthur, romance like The Red Pony, Paulina and Perdita, Our Town, romance like a personal magical realism where sometimes magic can actually happen and for just one little grin of a moment your feet come off the floor and you don't need more than that.

There's a little bit of romance in her voice, a little hint about the truth -- that without Andy there is no hope because what keeps him alive is hope and what keeps her alive is him -- but he pretends he doesn't remember saying it. And they smile at each other. Andy doesn't turn around or anything, and Nancy doesn't look at him in the mirror or anything, but separately, they are smiling together. Each to each. It is a greatest moment among greatest moments

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