A Constant Throb

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: A | 7 USERS: A
A Constant Throb

He turns and goes back inside where the HB is futilely reaching up for the gun. Al kicks him aside, and the man cries out. Maybe Hearst hears it on his roof, maybe he just senses what's going down, but whatever the case, it gives him a hankering to throw his weight around and he goes off in search of the easiest target he can find: E.B. He pounds on his door, scaring the hell out of E.B., who reluctantly comes and opens it. "Have you enjoyed yourself today, Farnum?" Hearst demands, apropos of nothing. E.B. thinks for a moment. "For reasons I find elusive," he says, "the day has quite displeased me." Hearst asks if it will help to find a name for his feelings, and suggests cutting open his belly in order to wrap his guts around a pole., what? E.B. is wigging. "You seem distraught," he says, nervously. Oh, but Hearst says he's not. "I await an outcome!" he yells. "And the readying for it wearies me." E.B. tries to sympathize: "Oh, dear." Hearst rages on, doing his Biblical foretelling of doom act he loves so much. "Have you smelt human flesh on the spit?" he asks E.B. who, despite the many pre-Aunt Lou meals he ate at the Grand Central, says no. "I know the smell," Hearst says, crazy intense like he's going to put E.B. on one right now. "You have been to and fro in the world," E.B. remarks, trying to participate in this conversation. Hearst says he just loved that whole human flesh burning thing. "Well then, fine," E.B. says, completely out of things to say. I guess Hearst is also finished talking, because, well, um, he hocks a quarter-sized loog onto E.B.'s face. Let me mention, here, that my gag reflex, when it comes to mucus, is set to eleven with the knob ripped off. So, this was difficult. (Apparently, it was also difficult for Gerald McRaney, who did not want to spit in anyone's face, even for the sake of the craft -- the spit is digital.) E.B. is frozen, not understanding what's going on. "Don't you want to wipe that off?" Hearst asks, mega evil. E.B.: "...No?" So, Hearst does it AGAIN. "You would regret my coming back," he bitches, "and finding that you had cleaned your face." And E.B., though he certainly does not, says he understands.

Al comes out of his office and calls for Dan and Johnny. "Wouldn't want you to dirty your hands," Dan teases at Adams, who doesn't really seem to mind being left out. Upstairs, Al is finishing up with the half-dead HB. He assures him that all that shouting before about how much he sucked for shooting at a woman and beating up Merrick was just for show. "Just trying to frighten you a little," he says, "encouraging you to chat." He goes on, commiserating with the HB's whole position. "Who amongst us hasn't wanted to shoot at women once or twice, hmm?" Good one, Al, but the guy can't quite talk right now. The HB wheezes as Al bends over him. "Anything you want to say else before I let you rest," Al asks, "knowing I don't sit upon you in judgment?" For that kind offer, he doesn't give him much time to answer before matter-of-factly slitting his throat, Al-style and leaving him to choke on his own blood and strolling out onto the balcony without a look back. Outside, he calls to Hearst who is back on his roof. "Did he come to you by a different path, Mr. Hearst?" he hollers. "Did he somehow circumnavigate to bring my reply to you without me seeing?" Hearst asks what he's talking about. Al says that well, the HB went out the back of his place "and I've been hoping against hope for reasons beyond my understanding that it was to return to you, unseen by me." Hearst is strangely disturbed. "He has not come back," he says, slowly. Al lays it on thick. Real thick. "Jesus Christ, maybe he was telling the truth!" he says, throwing up his hands. "That he was lighting out for fucking Bismarck. Jesus Christ Almighty!" Al rambles on and on, postulating that Hearst and the HB must have had some kind of fight, leading the hired goon to make a run for it. He's still yelling his mock outrage. "Well, then I say, Mr. Hearst, you are well the fuck rid of that cocksucker, that he'd show so little loyalty or sense of responsibility to the delivery of communications," he says. "Jesus Christ Almighty, were do we find good help?" The shit is beginning to dawn on Hearst, now. He is slowly backing into the hole in the wall, easing away from Al's voice when Al delivers the stinger. "Oh, and in reply to your letter, sir, my opinion only," Al says, "she don't need no escort or guarding, but it's the kind of generous inquiry I'd expect you to make." Hearst is freaked by Al's whole powerful demeanor and is trying to get away. "How's your back, Mr. Hearst?" Al calls, a little less loud, now, and more menacing. "How's the fucking back there, pal?" Al goes back inside to find Johnny and Dan wrapping the dead HB in the rug. He tells them to take the guy to Wu. "Longest a rug's lasted so far," Johnny notes as they head out, and I figure the way Al's feeling now, they ought to just keep rugs in stock for a weekly rotation.

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