Claws Prepares To Fake A Royal Wedding For A Real Queen
Going through the nuptial motions causes Desna to fall into a whole new scheme in our latest EPIC OLD-SCHOOL RECAP.
Previously: very recent events, plus a reminder that Polly has a twin sister, so...stand by for Polly's twin sister, we all know how Previouslies work.
Now: Desna's at a shooting range, shocking us all by not being a dead-eye shot. I realize this is sacrilege even to think, but perhaps it would help her grip if Desna had shorter nails? (Sorry. Im sorry. Im trying to remove it.) Anyway, Roller steps in to give Desna some advice about her stance and her breathing, and whereas her first two shots struck her paper target in its wrists, more or less, the third gets it right in the center of its chest. Desna is proud, excited, and horny; when Roller goes in to kiss her, she sort of rebuffs him the first couple of times, but can't deny her hot pants what they want, and almost immediately he's picking her up onto the little ledge in her booth. "Hurry up," she tells him. "I've got a fake wedding to plan."
And a real hog to ride, heeeeeeeey.
We cut from Desna getting railed to a buoy bobbing in the wet, wet ocean (hee hee) to Polly in bed, sleepily whining at Dr. Ken that he's grinding his teeth again. Except, he's not there, what with her dumping him and all, and possibly what she heard was Marnie sneaking out into the dawn, because when Polly gets up to wake her, all she finds in Marnie's room is a note: Marnie's so grateful to Polly for all she's done, but she knows her mother has changed, and is going to live with her. "To paraphrase the great Malcolm X," she writes, "it's time for this chicken to come home to roost." Thank you so much, every writer on this show, for not only getting rid of Marnie but closing out her time on the show forever (I hope) with one last reminder of how ill-conceived this character and storyline were. I also love that they were in such a hurry to get Marnie out of here that we just hear her narrate the letter in a voice-over; Morgan Lily doesn't appear on camera at all. Nothing against her personally, but: good, this had to happen, let's all forget this chapter was ever even attempted.
Naturally, Polly is not as psyched as I am that Marnie's peacing out, and immediately starts having a stress-induced asthma attack, as the season premiere established she is prone to. As she tears through the house looking for her inhaler, Polly also places a call to Marnie, but hangs up on her voicemail without leaving a message. Polly's just sucked down a restorative puff when she's startled by the doorbell. She hurries to get it, hopefully calling Marnie's name, but...
...it is, in fact, the famous Lillian, Polly's twin. Her suit and hair -- the former navy and unadorned; the latter wavy and orange -- are both rather dowdy for someone we've been given to understand is a marketing executive at Starbucks, though her voice is pitched a lot deeper than Polly's, the better to be taken seriously in meetings. "What do you call that shade of red -- cry for help?" snarks Lillian. Given that it's the shade Carrie Preston's been wearing in her regular life for years before the show: rude? Maybe an intervention???
After the title card, we're still with the twins, Polly guardedly asking what Lillian's doing there. "A little business, a little pleasure," Lillian winks, before saying she came to check up on Polly. Hey, Polly had told us she and Lillian weren't close; do we buy that she would have sent her a change of address card when she moved into Desna's? Hmm. Lillian tries to come inside, but Polly says she has a family situation to deal with. Lillian points out that she is a family situation, but Polly, while closing the door, just tells her to text with the name of her hotel; Polly will call her later. "I'm still here," says Lillian on the doorstep. When she knocks again, Polly quavers, "Another time, Lillian!" She knocks again, saying she came a really long way to see her, but Polly squeezes her eyes shut and waits for her to get tired of trying. Lillian does, soon enough, and we can see through the slats in the front door that she's turned around and walked off, but since we then switch to a wide shot of Polly, relieved in the front entryway, I was sure the gag was going to be that Lillian was just finding the right spot to stand so she could throw her suitcase through the living room picture window. However, that does not occur. Hmmmm.
Cut to a shitty motel. This is evidently not Virginia's first time staying in such an establishment, because she's asleep under her eye mask even as noise plagues them from every shared wall; Dean, next to her, covers his ears and rocks back and forth in distress until he wakes her up and tells her he doesn't like it. Virginia reaches down for her hot Cheetos, telling Dean her mother always used to give her some when she felt sad, but he doesn't want salty corn snacks: he wants "peace and tranquility." Virginia asks if he wants to have sex, and guess what, he does. At first, this seems like a good distraction, but when Virginia climbs on top of him, Dean looks up and sees a patch of black mold on the ceiling. Virginia coos at him to focus on her, which he tries to do, but which gets more difficult when he looks back up again and sees that the mold has been accessorized with a cockroach. And that's a wrap on the...morning delight.
Desna's leaving the shooting range when she gets a call from Zlata. After some small talk about the wedding planning Desna will be spending the day on, Zlata lists some of the means available to them to assassinate Gregory -- gun, drowning, poison. Exasperated, Desna picks the last one: "You poison him, I'll sign over the assets, open your clinics, and I'm done." You know, if I'm ever out on bail from federal charges that are still pending, I think I will probably make it a point not to discuss my MURDER FOR PROFIT scheme on my UNSECURED MOBILE PHONE which for all I know THE FBI IS MONITORING, particularly when "my" lawyer is actually being paid for by my co-conspirator who could very possibly be trying to entrap me for the sake of cutting a deal for herself, but hey: that's just me. Anyway, Zlata has a proposition for Desna: "What if we become partners? We run clinics together all over state." Desna likes the plan they've already made, but Zlata suggests that Desna think about it: "We'll be like Putin and Trump." I have a theory about these corny Trump jokes: the writers are putting them in as a reverse jinx, in the hope that they will all age very poorly, and do so a lot sooner than in [checks countdown clock] two years, five months, and...you get it.
So since Bryce helped take down a home invader less than twelve hours after lung surgery in the last episode, I guess it doesn't matter how much time has passed between then and now as we watch him, Jenn, and the girls depart the hospital, Bryce using a little four-footed Marty Crane-style cane to assist him as he walks. Jenn is pleased that he's "home free," and he asks whether she'd like to be home free in Tampa, once again floating the idea that he leave his life of crime. He gets out his phone to show her the house he's found them: it's in a great school district and features such neighbourhood amenities as an AA meeting and "no psychotic rabbis." He wants to move right after Desna's fake wedding. (Jenn and Bryce must really enjoy being parents to the only two children on earth who won't immediately repeat secret shit they aren't supposed to hear -- I mean, I assume that's the situation since they're openly discussing the fake wedding when the girls are RIGHT there.) Jenn looks overwhelmed as Bryce adds that he found a nearby nail salon that's hiring, and asks him in response whether they can even afford the house. Bryce says he's already made them an appointment with a loan officer. Jenn can't believe he means it, and asks if he'd really ditch Roller and Uncle Daddy. By way of answer, Bryce says they'd finally have to learn to use email. (Oh god, take just a moment to consider the kind of horrifying "Re: Re: Re: Re: Nancy Pelosi funds white genocide!!!" conspiracy rants Uncle Daddy will soon be forwarding.) Jenn and Bryce then get the girls hyped about Tampa by reminding them that's where Busch Gardens is. Yes, let's go see the imprisoned animals every weekend!!!
At the shop, Polly is spinning out, describing Marnie as having been "missing" for the past six hours despite her having, you know, informed Polly that she was choosing to return to the care of her custodial parent. "I want you to take a deep, white breath," Desna advises, in this week's line I am absolutely going to steal, before telling her pretty much exactly what I just wrote about Marnie and her safety. Instead of arguing with Polly about whether she was Marnie's mother, Desna just patiently lets Polly enumerate all the stuff she did for Marnie, including make Nation Of Islam bean pies. Blessedly, Dean enters before this nonsense can go on any longer; Desna greets him, but he ignores her, walking straight past her to Virginia to say he didn't want to wait at the motel for his next Hammer & Pickle show. Desna reminds him that they can always come back home, but Dean sternly says that, due to Desna's "horrible life choices," it's "no longer an option" for them, though Virginia looks like her convictions are not quite as strong as his. Desna clears her throat and says they're about to go look at wedding dresses next to an ice cream place he likes, but Dean says ice cream makes him look bloated in his g-string. Noticing that Polly is hugging Quiet Ann, he asks what's wrong: "Are you upset because my cherry pop was a little off last night?" "No," she says, adding, "but, I mean, how many times do I have to SHOW you that, Dean?!" As she stomps out back with the trash, Desna assures Dean that Polly's mood isn't about him and that she's going through something -- though that doesn't mean that, when he offers to show Desna his cherry pop, it's something she particularly cares to see.
In the alley, Polly is leaving Marnie a moderately hysterical message when she looks up to see Lillian parked in a 30-year-old brackish green grandpa car approximately half a football field long: in other words, the sort of vehicle no agency would offer for rent in the 21st century. Hmmmmmm. Polly can't believe Lillian came to her job, but Lillian says it's because she figured something out: "You're still holding a grudge over that boy! Frankly, it's very CW." Polly denies that "it" was about him, and shoves Lillian before turning back to the shop's back door. "Still pushing people," Lillian chuckles. "Well, I see not much has changed." "Go back to where you came from, Lillian!" squeals Polly, slamming the door on her.
As the Nail Artisans get ready to move out for bridal shopping, we get some brief exposition about Zlata's new offer to Desna, and that Desna has thus far left her hanging; Quiet Ann, predictably, advises Desna not to get sucked into Zlata's vortex. When Polly re-enters, she decides not to go with them, preferring to hold down the fort at the shop until Marnie calls. "Okay, bitches," sighs Desna. "Claws up. We got a wedding to fake." No sooner has the door jingled on Polly's colleagues' departing figures than Lillian is tapping on the glass. So none of them stopped on their way to their vehicles when they saw a woman with Polly's exact face? Hmmmmmmmm.
After a commercial, Polly is sweeping and asking what it'll take to get Lillian out of there. Lillian says she just wants to talk to Polly for five minutes; when Polly refuses, Lillian lies down on a waxing chaise to try to wait her out. Polly takes a break from stressing about Lillian to take an equally stressful call from Dr. Ken; he wants her back. Polly doesn't want to come back, and tells him they're done. "But we're not done," says Lillian. That is extremely true. Alas.
Cut to an elegant bridal salon. When a saleswoman approaches, Desna sighs that she's in a wedding she doesn't want to be in. The saleswoman assumes Desna's a bridesmaid, but Desna flashes her ring at her to set her straight. Now, if I were about to marry a guy whose murder I knew was imminent and would be for my personal gain, I might try harder to fake my excitement at such establishments as a WEDDING GOWN STORE with a thought to the future investigation that will definitely involve an interview with this very woman. Like, Desna is memorable even when she's just being her regular friendly, sassy self; there's zero chance this saleswoman isn't going to remember this conversation, the content of which, when Gregory is dead, is going to look VERY BAD for Desna! But never mind that right now, I guess. The saleswoman points Desna to the rack of knockoffs in the corner, advising against the "one-percenter room" in the back, where the gowns start at $5000. For that price, Jenn gasps, the dress "better slap your ass and play with your nips." I assume every garment Desna wears does that. As the saleswoman sidles off, Quiet Ann reminds Desna that Gregory gave her his black Amex. "You know that once we're done with all this Ruval shit, it's going to be back to Walmart," Jenn concurs, "so why don't we have fun while we can?" Desna pulls the card out of her bra, flashes it at the saleswoman, and announces that they want what's in the back, "and some champagne." They've barely started strutting toward their shopping spree when the door opens and Madame rolls in, calling Desna's name. Desna hasn't even had a chance to muster up a phony greeting before Madame declares that she wants to see Desna in the gown she bought her. That...will be a challenge -- although, to be honest, if there's a woman on earth who could look good in a dress even after it's been barbecued to a crisp, it's Desna.
The Uncle Daddy cartel has swiftly sold all its cocaine -- off-camera, thankfully, because that shit would have been very boring to watch -- and its members are celebrating back at the taxidermist's. Uncle Daddy lectures that they need to be smart about their finances, and have an expansion plan to put into motion after they take out the Russians and the Haitians. Jealously watching Uncle Daddy crow over how smart Clint is, Roller shares his idea: that they buy a Mexican food truck and deal out of it. Uncle Daddy squints that he's not going to mortgage the organization's future "on some goddamn amigo truck." "What about clinics?" says Clint. "We already got those, Warren Buffett," pouts Roller -- an impressively sick burn, given his mood. But Clint means rehab clinics: "Make money on both ends. Feed their addiction, and then we charge them to recover!" Leaving aside the fact that this country's entire health care system is essentially exactly as immoral and exploitative as this scheme -- which we surely all agree it is -- that's actually a pretty good idea. Though let's hope it's easier for them to recruit doctors to work there so they won't have to settle for ones who are as squirrelly as Dr. Ken. When you're clinging to sobriety with the last strength in your body, the face you want to help you through it is not...
...his. Anyway, Uncle Daddy says they'll need a location, and in another effort to displace Clint as Uncle Daddy's favourite, Roller says he knows a place.
Back to the bridal salon, where everyone is feeling herself.
Literally, in Desna's case, as she tries on a stunning rose gold sequined bridal jumpsuit with a keyhole cutout on the bodice. Quiet Ann has opted for an electric blue tuxedo with matching fedora. Jenn would legit fit right in on the red carpet at the Oscars in her draped forest green satin number; Jenn Lyon should seriously just commit to wearing this shade all the time in her daily life. Virginia's mini-dress echoes Desna's jumpsuit colour story, but with feathers and paillettes, and is actually a modest length relative to what we normally see her in. "ENOUGH," Madame finally snaps, bringing the fashion show to an abrupt halt. "This is all inappropriate. Inappropriate."
I never would have pegged Madame for an old-school Conan O'Brien fan, but here we are. Madame snits that what Desna's modeling isn't even a wedding look: "That is for the DragCon! For de-- de RuPaul!" "Booboo, that's a compliment?" says Jenn, CORRECTLY. (Madame is obviously a Drag Race viewer if she knows that the keyhole detail would accommodate a silicone breastplate.) Desna says she thought it was "a bold choice for a bold woman," which Madame would appreciate. "I appreciate tradition," growls Madame. She points to a rack and orders Desna, "Try on that gown....NOW." BITCH, JUST TRY ON WHATEVER GOWN SHE WANTS THAT YOU DIDN'T SET ON FIRE, ARE YOU TRYING TO SELL THIS FAKE WEDDING OR NOT?!
At the shop, Polly is completing Lillian's nail art. Lillian compliments her work and asks whether Polly was talking to her boyfriend before. Polly says it's her ex, and that he was the first guy she's been with since her "...time away." Lillian says the family figured out Polly was incarcerated without her telling them -- "We all knew you weren't in Monaco, it wasn't that hard to figure out, girl" -- and let her keep her secret, to be nice. Polly says she doesn't like to think about it, to which Lillian darkly replies that there's a lot Polly doesn't like to think about. She then lightens the mood again to ask whether Polly joined a gang and got a prison wife. "No...and yes," says Polly coyly. Lillian then asks when Polly last talked to their parents. Polly tells her not to go there, and Lillian duly retracts the question: "We'll just keep getting their bullshit dog portrait Christmas cards every year and keep pretending that we love each other." I refuse to accept that these cards are bullshit without knowing what breed of dog we're talking about. But this isn't about me: once again, the twins have ended up in dodgy conversational territory, and Polly gets up to usher Lillian to the door. Lillian protests that she wants to spend time with Polly, and is going on about how she works so much she barely sleeps when a customer comes to the door...
...which is when all our suspicions are confirmed and we see that Lillian isn't there and Polly is talking to no one, and seriously we can't get a cut back to Polly's station to see the drips of polish she absolutely was not putting on fingernails that don't exist?! The patron asks if the shop is open, and Polly turns back to the space where Lillian isn't to screech, "I can't do this right now, I have a client!" "Fine," says the customer. "The Koreans are cheaper anyway." Polly tries to get her back, but once she's gone, we can see Lillian again as she tells Polly, "I'm here because of what you did. You need to face it." Polly babbles that she doesn't want to face anything, she wants Lillian to leave her alone, and then takes the initiative by storming outside herself.
Jenn, Quiet Ann, and Virginia are goofing around in their wedding looks when Desna emerges from the dressing room in the gown and veil Madame picked out. "Why did I agree to this?" Desna demands, flapping her arms. "This shit ain't me!" Maybe not -- it has a lace bodice with three-quarter-length sleeves and a sweetheart neckline, with a sparkly silver belt and full white satin skirt -- but she looks amazing, UH DUH. Which is exactly what Virginia says, pretty much, adding, "And you only got a little bit of titty out!" Jenn and Quiet Ann also rush to Desna's side to compliment her, Jenn begging her just to turn around and look...
...and when she does, even Desna can't help gasping at how stunning she is. As she starts to get emotional, she orders Jenn, "Don't do it!," but of course it's too late and Jenn is already tearing up as she says, "Just 'cause it's not happening now doesn't mean it's not going to happen. Okay?" Virginia chirps that there are still plenty of men out there, but Desna's not thinking about men: "No man ain't gonna sa-- save us, y'all." "Could've told you that," murmurs Quiet Ann, on-brandfully. "We've got to save our damn selves," says Desna. "Starting now." The Nail Artisans all collect themselves as Desna gathers her skirts to go show Madame. "What do you think?" she asks, with a curtsy. "Perfect," says Madame.
Then it's over to a fancy hotel, where Desna is tasting cake and Gregory, apparently, is letting her. Desna says she can't decide. "Then don't!" says Gregory. "Have them all." She thinks he's kidding, but he says they could have a table full of dessert (fact check: true), but Desna says that would be too much -- and that, in fact, all this wedding stuff is too much: "And look how beautiful this hotel is! I can't believe it wasn't already booked." "I own this place," says Gregory quietly. Desna is shocked, but Gregory looks back at her steadily so she knows it's the truth. Desna comments that he's full of surprises. "You have no idea what I have in store for you," says Gregory, narrowing his eyes. "I bet," says Desna, giving her eyebrow the tiniest of pops. Gregory says he has to go to the hospital, giving Desna a kiss on his way out.
Polly, stressed, is walking on the beach, telling herself that Lillian is wrong and that she didn't do anything.
At Hammer & Pickle, a cowboy has just roller-skated into a back room to feed Zlata an olive when she gets a call from Desna: "Are Gregory's assets only commercial spaces for pain clinics?" Zlata says no: he also owns a race track, a convention center, and a waterfront restaurant. Desna checks that it's just those three, and Zlata confirms that it is. He doesn't own whatever building his medical practice is in, or his HOUSE, but he owns a CONVENTION CENTER? Sure. SURE. The properties Zlata just listed are, per on-screen graphics, collectively valued at $18,054,244.00. Make a note. Zlata asks whether Desna's ready to make their partnership official, but Desna still hasn't decided; she was just curious. "Curiosity first step to commitment," says Zlata. "Next step is anal. But we skip that." Yeah right. Desna's like, "Excuse me?" Zlata breezes past that, saying her partnership offer stands until tonight.
So the space Roller knew of for the possible rehab center was last occupied by a former downmarket grocery store. Except there's a playground right behind them, meaning a rehab center wouldn't be permitted. Clint's like, what if we put it right beside Suncoast Rejuvenation, aka Dr. Ken's clinic? Chalk up another win for Clint! "It's called vertical integration," says Clint smugly. "Vertically integrate my dick," says Roller. Hey man, that's Desna's job.
The next stop in Jenn's very eventful day is the meeting with Karen, the loan officer. She's so giddy that, before she and Bryce sit down, she suggests that they have another baby. You were about to get divorced earlier this week, but yes, for sure, do that. Bryce is interested but thinks they should concentrate on one thing at a time, and Jenn agrees that they should keep it professional. "Get it get it," they whisper to each other.
But will they get it get it? Bryce, as is his wont, stays positive even though they both think they've been waiting kind of a while, and when Karen comes back with their file, she informs them, "In a Bradenton Regional Bank first, we are going to have to deny a cute white young couple a home loan."
"Between your criminal record and your $12 an hour job, it's not going to happen. Lollipop?" Wow, even her desk candy is cheap! But...seriously, Bryce, what ever made you think you had good credit?!
Then Desna is letting herself in to Gregory's medical office -- where she is pretty sure he is not, since he'd said he was going to the hospital -- and introducing herself to his nurse, who greets her warmly, recognizing her from her picture. She says Gregory will be back from the hospital shortly, and Desna sweetly says she was hoping to hide a present in his office. She's holding the gift bag in her left hand, and the nurse takes it to compliment her ring. "Nice, right?" says Desna. "Girl, I'm just glad a sister caught him," the nurse replies. "That part," chuckles Desna. The nurse lets Desna into the office, where Desna drops the bag in the trash can and starts rifling through his cabinets. Finding one locked, she breaks in with, what else, a nail file, and opens the bottom drawer, pulling out an accordion file. "Damn, he owns all this shit?" she breathes. I'm not sure how she jumps to that -- it's a very slim folder and all she's looking at are names of properties on tabs -- but let's assume she has jumped to the correct conclusion, in which case: Gregory owns residential properties! Gregory owns a high-rise hotel or apartment building! Gregory owns condos! Gregory owns a golf course that, somehow, is valued at less than half his high-rise OR condos which seems unlikely? What we see brings the book value of his property holdings up to $68,110,925 -- not even including any of the properties that he's purchased to be pain clinics eventually. Or his medical building. Or his house. Desna pulls out her phone and starts taking photos of the documents, and given how excited she is I hope none of them says what would OBVIOUSLY be the case which is that he wouldn't hold any of these assets in his own name; he would have created at least one and probably several corporations, for liability reasons, probably making sure his own personal name isn't actually attached to any of them, and those could already be left to beneficiaries who, for example, officially and/or actually manage the properties. Or maybe establishing such legal protections to shield himself didn't seem important to Gregory, a CRIME BOSS. Sure. Sure! YES, SURE, FINE. SURE.
Back to the bank, where Jenn and Bryce are trying to argue Karen into pre-approving their mortgage by telling her all the points of their personal story -- his recent shooting; Hank's stalking; Bryce's adoption of Brienne -- that we already know. They end by each intensely telling the other what great spouses they are before Bryce turns back to Karen to say they've been through hell: "So no. No, thank you. We deserve more than a damn lollipop." Karen, moved to tears, says they do deserve more than a lollipop; she feels terrible about what they've been through. Bryce bravely says they're just trying to do their best, and Karen understands on a personal level: should her crippling student debt and youthful shoplifting prevent her from getting an apartment on the beach? "See, you get it, Karen, that is exactly what we're saying," says Jenn. Karen does get it: "This job can be so heartless." She takes a deep (white) breath and declares, "On behalf of Bradenton Regional Bank, your home loan application is once again denied." This time she stamps the documents thus, briskly adding, "Would you like a pen?" They're shaped like flamingos and extremely cute, so: no one's asking me, but I would. Sheepishly, Bryce takes one and puts it in his breast pocket. "You have lopsided tits, Karen," says Jenn, In A Dignified Way, before grabbing a huge handful of lollipops. As she stalks out, Bryce snatches the full cup's worth of pens and follows. In a few months, those will make extremely cute stocking stuffers.
Over to the Messianic Center, where I guess Hank is out on bail from his stalking charge and also totally permitted to be like thirty yards away from where his victim works? Yes, absolutely, that makes sense. And don't try to tell me "It's Florida," because...okay, actually, good point, maybe this sort of thing is fine there. Uncle Daddy enters with Clint and Roller, and Hank immediately starts backing up, assuming they've come to get revenge for Bryce, babbling that he's better now and was never really going to take Jenn and the girls to Israel. Clint sits Hank down and says they've come with a proposition: they want to buy the place. Hank chuckles at first, but quickly realizes they're serious. They've even brought over a handwritten transfer of deed, which looks extremely legit. Hank tells them he's not interested, but Roller's gun barrel under his jawline quickly shuts him up.
Polly is leaving Marnie yet another message and walking up the middle of her street when Lillian appears to say Polly's problem is that she keeps trying to recreate their relationship with other people: Dr. Ken, Marnie. Polly has to face the music -- their music, which was apparently Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Lillian's voice briefly sings it in Polly's head before telling Polly she'll never have a real relationship until she deals with Lillian and faces what happened.
At the Messianic Center, Hank looks over the terms of the transfer of deed, tries again to get himself out of this situation, and ends up with Roller's gun pressed to his cheek. It's this tableau that Bryce walks in on, and tries to defuse, to no avail: Clint orders Hank to sign, and Roller echoes, "Sign it or you're going to sign it in your cold blood." Hank reluctantly takes the pen and relents -- and, having signed, asks if he may go. "Not after all that shit you did to my brother," says Roller, still holding the gun to Hank's face. Anxiously, Bryce approaches, asking Roller to calm down; Uncle Daddy looks from one brother to another as Roller continues menacing Hank and Bryce continues trying to de-escalate. Finally, Roller pulls the gun away, bitterly laughing, and then lazily pointing it in the general direction of Hank's chest and joking, "Bang." "Thank you, Bryce," says Hank breathlessly. "I never thought you'd be so kind to me after I ate your wife's sweet pussy." Oh, HANK. Guess you never got a mouthful of how to behave In A Dignified Way. Bryce blinks. Various Dixie Mafiosi look at each other to see what's going to happen next.
Bryce blinks some more and then takes the flamingo pen out of his pocket, telling Hank it looks like there's a spot he didn't initial. When Hank leans down to look, Bryce jams the pen deep -- so very, very deep -- into Hank's neck. A LOT of blood sprays onto Clint's face as Roller encourages Bryce to "make it rain," and Uncle Daddy retrieves the paperwork before even more blood gets on it as the last life gurgles out of Hank. As Bryce seems to be in some kind of trance, the other Hussers are mostly concerned that their document is still okay, which it is, and that the next time Bryce does something like that, he could warn them, Clint in particular wishing for a Wet Nap.
Desna has just bought Big Shrimps, which she's eating, when Roller finds her. She can tell something's up, and he admits that Clint is getting on his nerves. Desna is amused to see Roller jealous, which he mopily denies, insisting he's just irritated. He then asks what Desna's working on, having clocked a "wild look" in her eyes: "Game recognize game, baby." "Mind your business," Desna advises. "Oh, I'm minding my business," Roller flirts. "What happened this morning don't make me your business," Desna snorts. "I'm just here to take back what's mine," says Roller. "Ditto," Desna replies.
Lord, this Polly storyline is a slog. She's made a round trip back to the shop, and just as Lillian reappears in her path, Dr. Ken hurries up to sing "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" to her, by way of apology, and just for future reference to you, dear reader: never do what Dr. Ken does here and try to embellish any apology by tootling a recorder. The moment quickly gets confusing for Dr. Ken, since Polly keeps trying to get rid of Lillian, but even as she's looking past him to address her, she's saying the same kinds of things to Lillian that she has to try to get rid of Dr. Ken. By this point, the Nail Artisans have returned, and oh how I wish we could wrap it up with Polly and instead find out ALL about Virginia's trip to The Container Store, bags of which she's currently getting out of her trunk. But no, Polly is yelling at Lillian that she took everything from Polly. Quiet Ann and Jenn come out of the shop and Desna approaches as Polly rages forward and shoves Lillian, and we don't see what it looks like to them as she shoves...nothing, but they can obviously tell something is badly wrong even before she starts sobbing, "I HATE YOU, LILLIAN, I HATE YOU!" Seeing herself surrounded by the Nail Artisans, Polly babbles that she needs help; when Desna asks if she wants her to take Polly home, she replies that she needs to go to the hospital: "It's happening again." That sounds fine to me, we'll just-- fourteen more minutes are left in this episode? NOOOOOOOOO.
In the hospital waiting room, everyone is anxious, but Dr. Ken particularly blames himself, first saying he thinks their breakup triggered Polly's breakdown, and then admitting he was the one who was wearing a wire. Obviously, everyone is horrified and furious, and when Dr. Ken protests that he did it under the mistaken belief that the target was Zlata, Desna screeches, "Then why didn't you say something, Kenneth?!" Fair question! For which he has no answer except to whimper, "Please don't fire me!" Uh, the authorities know you are employed by a corrupt enterprise -- the only reason it isn't certain to be seized by the authorities is that it would ruin storylines on this FICTIONAL TV SHOW if they did. Desna's beating Dr. Ken with her purse when Polly's doctor appears with an update: she had a psychotic break, and they want to put her on a 72-hour hold. "But after that she's going to be okay," says Jenn. Look, lady, not everyone heals on the same superhuman timeline as your husband. The doctor's basically like, we'll see, and asks if Polly has family nearby. "We're her family," says Quiet Ann simply. Desna asks if they may see Polly, and he allows it, though when Dr. Ken starts pulling up the rear, Desna turns on him.
At the taxidermist's, the Hussers and Clint celebrate Bryce being back in the fold. And I guess since this isn't Bryce's first murder, he's bouncing back from it even faster than he did from his gunshot wound and surgery. Uncle Daddy comments that the lesson for Hank was never to let a married woman lick your asshole, and when Clint asks what that's about, Roller takes the opportunity to keep him on the outside: "Family thing, Georgia. You wouldn't understand." Bryce, having enjoyed enough post-murder wings, gets up to leave, gravely telling Uncle Daddy that he and Jenn still intend to take the kids to Tampa -- though they don't know where they're going to live; he confesses that they crapped out at the bank. Uncle Daddy doesn't know what the bank's thinking: "I discriminate against a lot of people, but I never had no quarrel with the crackheads." He gets a brick of cellophane-wrapped cash and hands it over to Bryce: "That's your home loan. It's been approved by the Bank Of Uncle Daddy Big Bucks." This institution does offer a free gift when you open a chequing account, but you DO NOT want to know what it is. Bryce asks if he's sure about giving him this money, which Uncle Daddy is, saying it's what his brother would do if he were still with them. (My question would be, "Wait, are you being cute or is this a loan you intend for me to repay in the future?" All my The Fosters viewers know what I'm talking about!) Roller also hands Bryce a brick of cash from his own cut, and waves off Bryce's attempt to tell him he doesn't have to do it. Roller says he loves Bryce, giving him a quick kiss on the temple, at which Bryce breaks down weeping as he says how much he loves Roller too.
Uuuuuuuugh back to Polly's dumb story. When everyone comes in, she tells them who Lillian is, or rather was, because she's dead: when they were thirteen, they were obsessed with Debi Thomas (who has also had a very hard life and experienced mental illness, by the way). Polly and Lillian went out to skate, but the ice was too thin, and Lillian fell through and drowned. Polly doesn't like to think about it, but Marnie's leaving brought the memories back. The Nail Artisans all assure her that they have her back! Hooray, she can go back to being fun and goofy next week!
Except, no, it's not over, because after a commercial, Lillian storms in. As Desna starts from the armchair she's been sleeping in, Lillian tells Polly she didn't tell the truth about Lillian's death, so HERE IT IS, as Polly tells Desna: Lillian kissed David Wyatt, the boy Polly liked, so Polly pushed Lillian onto the ice, and watched as she fell through and drowned. Desna is entirely unfazed as she says Polly was just a kid, which, yes, but she's also KIND OF a murderer. Polly berates herself for failing to save Lillian, and as she hugs Desna, she looks around and notices that Lillian is gone. Desna very kindly spins that Polly tried to save Lillian as soon as she figured out what was happening (not sure that's what I heard) -- plus, Desna adds, if Polly had intervened, maybe more ice would have broken and they both would have drowned: "But what is for sure? That's your past, baby. You've got to leave that thing there. You've got to move forward, Pol!" Polly thinks she's wasted a lot of time trying to be anything but what she is: "I'm broken." "Polly Pol, we are all broken," laughs Desna. "I know, but I wanted to be great," says Polly. "I'm never going to be a Kennedy. You're never going to be married to the man of your dreams." UHHHH MAYBE NOT IN THIS LIFE, but certainly when she ascends to Mount Olympus with the rest of the gods! "I mean, we're never going to be anything but just ordinary," says Polly, "and what's worse than that?" Lady, I am going to HAVE to insist that you stop slotting yourself into the same category as Desna. Desna very sincerely says that Polly is anything but ordinary, and calls her the "heart and redheaded soul" of their crew, which, come on. Desna had to throw "redheaded" in there because clearly the heart and soul of the crew is Quiet Ann. Desna also points out how much Polly's Hammer & Pickle boys look up to her, and that the clientele for their sex work has tripled, and boy I sure hope Dean still isn't turning tricks on the side or this could all go very bad very fast for these two and their friendship. Desna says that Polly is an excellent madam, adding, "I tried to get out from underneath this bullshit too, Pol, but the truth is? We're good at it." Polly asks what happened to Desna wanting to get out of it, and Desna shakes her head: "We are criminals, Polly. And it's time we own it, and we take what belongs to us." "I like how you're thinking," says Polly. Desna should possibly be a little concerned that she is getting such firm support in this moment from Polly, who is probably on thorazine right now. But instead she hugs Polly and says they're going to be all right.
FINALLY, we get payoff for those Container Store bags!!! Virginia orders Dean to keep his eyes closed as she leads him into their motel room, then shows him that she's given the space a makeover, labeled all their snacks, cleaned the mold and the bathroom, and sorted all his clothes. (So wait, then why was she taking the bags OUT of her car at the shop? Never mind!) Dean is delighted and touched, and Virginia takes his hands to tell him, "We can't rely on anybody else, okay?...We have to rely on each other. Just me and you." Dean agrees. And right on cue, there's Desna at the door. Dean's not very welcoming, but she says he seemed mad at her earlier, so she thought they could talk. When Dean steps aside, we see that Desna's housewarming gift is a spray of yellow tulips in an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING vase, shaped like a butt.
Please, someone, tell me you have sourced this item, because I NEED IT. Desna makes small talk, and Dean assures her that he and Virginia are doing great. Desna very seriously tells Dean she wants him to know she loves him: "And no matter what, I just want you to know you're not broken." Since he wasn't privy to the conversation in Polly's room, he doesn't get the callback, and argues with Desna on literal grounds: "My vertebrae is 100% intact." Desna says she knows it may seem like she and her crew are messed up, but that Dean doesn't deserve that: "And I'm happy that you moved out. I'm proud of you, baby." Dean is moved and pleased to hear her say that, and then asks if she's really going to marry Gregory tomorrow. WAIT. THE WEDDING IS TOMORROW AND SHE WAS PICKING CAKE AND A GOWN TODAY?! Sure. Sure! Sure! Sure. SURRRRRRRRRE. Anyway, Desna says she is: "It's the only way to end this. So your sister will be putting on the performance of a lifetime." Dean asks, in that case, if he may give her away, since they don't have a dad. Desna's voice breaks as she said she'd love that, and starts to add that he's family before looking up and insisting that he's not going to make her cry. They hug on it and love each other and it's sweet.
And then, goddammit, we're back in Polly's hospital room -- where, by the way, we see that her long and dangerous nails have not been cut for safety reasons for her stay here on A PSYCH HOLD. Whatever: Lillian wakes her up. Polly sits up, saying she thought Lillian left. But Lillian wants to "do 'True Colors,' for old times' sake." Polly says they don't have skates, but Lillian says they don't need them, and then they're in the empty hospital hallway, in matching black leotards, doing a dance duet to "True Colors."
For a minute? And a half. It's well executed, and it was probably as much fun for Carrie Preston to do as it was for Harold Perrineau to strip a few episodes ago, and while I'm sure during next week's season finale I will wish there were a minute and a half of unrecappable self-indulgence during what will undoubtedly be a relentless barrage of whiplash-inducing plot twists...we're really ending the season's penultimate episode on some Hall of Fame white nonsense.