In Laredo, looking toward the future isn’t easy,
but for the living, they must try.
In the Value Vision waiting room Hope crouches over the outline of Julian's body. She mourns Julian knowing he had so much more to give. She wonders how much Julian’s painting of her and Aiden might be worth, then makes a note to remind herself to keep it out of Aiden’s hands. A headache coming on, Hope takes an Advil from her bag and remarks how much she needs it now. Resting her hand where Julian's heart would be, Hope expresses how the town will remember Julian and his work. The crime scene photographer enters and takes a few last photos. They ponder the clock and the clock-like plate on the floor. Hope hypothesizes it to be a rejection of time for the establishment of a new system of space-based durational measurement. Hope peruses the receptionist’s notes about the No Judgement Zone and finds underneath them a television script for a program called Lifelong Longing and reads a few lines, one of them from a character named Gideon. She calls the script garbage. After the photographer has left to cover another murder across town, The Receptionist peaks in and says hello to Detective Brady. Hope asks him if he knew Julian well. The Receptionist mentions the emails, but that he knows Julian mostly from his sexy cat painting and also his poetic reading the night before about the overpowering whiteness. Hope pushes, wanting to learn more about Ernest Turrl, and the Receptionist recaps Ernest’s appearance last night. He describes the rivalry between Julian and Ernest from their time in school and later at ICareEyeCare where Ernest still works, Julian having left years ago to pursue painting. In every way, Julian was clearly more talented and composed than Ernest. When talking about the gun, the Receptionist says he was afraid earlier in the day because of the protests and found it in Dr. Charles office. When the Receptionist describes the gun and baby being on the table together Hope remarks that if they policed morals the Receptionist would be going downtown, but that they don't police morals and nobody is going downtown right now. Hope follows by asking the Receptionist when he last saw Dr. Charles. They both attempt to determine what day and time it is, but without conclusion. Hope reveals that Julian was at her house earlier last night to drop off Julian's painting which really touched her. The Receptionist expresses a wish to see it sometime. Hope says it's a different experience from an image online. Hope asks again about Dr. Charles, and the Receptionist offers that he may be doing home visits and he could send his address to her. Hope is surprised the office is open this morning, to which the Receptionist responds, "we never closed," then wonders if the detective is implying that if the office had closed at a normal eye-doctor’s-office-hour this whole mess could have been avoided. Hope confirms this implication. She says that Julian was a rising star and that his biography was inspirational. The Receptionist proclaims Julian's talent to be evident even from his emails. So much thought went into each idea and the words to express it. Hope guesses that Julian is with Jack now. The two geniuses together. Hope reveals that Jack trained her when she first joined the force and was a father figure to her. She thinks Jack and Julian would have been good friends. Hope packs her bag and says they might need to come back for more photos or DNA. The Receptionist sends Dr. Charles home address to Hope by email then asks if there is anything else he should know regarding vacuuming the office. Hope tells him to hold off on the vacuuming and says she needs to go because her program is almost on. She adds that the pieces don't add up and he should be careful around the doctor. Hope makes her exit. The Receptionist tries to remember why he came back today then sees the rubber stamps and remembers. He takes out his recorder and again ponders why he came back. He pulls the rubber stamps from his pocket and says of course. He pockets them again. He says he doesn't have any thoughts and pockets his recorder. He sits and reads Jack's book for a few minutes, stops and wonders what time it is. He sets up the TV because it may be later than he thinks, but he isn’t sure. He wonders if Detective Brady left to watch Days, and if that was the program she gave as her excuse for leaving. Days is already on and Ciara is back but due to the poor reception on the TV he doesn't know what she is saying. Hearing noises from elsewhere in the office the Receptionist turns down the TV to listen. The noises grow louder and he decides he can't be passive and must go look in the basement.
In the Value Vision basement the Receptionist finds a disoriented man moaning. He tries to calm the man who refuses to stay put and they together go up to the waiting room. The Receptionist asks where he came from and again tries to calm the man. He gives the man a pamplemousse water. The man wants to know where the Receptionist is. The man tells the Receptionist about working in the Value Vision office last night, which the Receptionist seriously doubts. He was making omelettes and there was a blackout. He went down some stairs. Everything was dark and someone or something touched him with a cold clammy scrambled eggs-like hand. The thing that touched him wasn't slimy but more clammy. They eventually determine that this man from the basement is Ian from Craft Services who was hired to make omelettes for the Grand Opening which was certainly more than a day ago. They decide to talk more at the commercial break. Ian turns down the sound and asks if there's someone else down there. The Receptionist apologizes for Jack's book being on the table given everything Ian has gone through. Ian insists there is someone else down there and the Receptionist attributes his condition and remembrance to trauma. The Receptionist gets the food Ian asked for. Ian checks his emails and says maybe later about the food so the Receptionist sets an apple, a banana, and gum on the table for when or if Ian should become interested. Ian tells Eduardo not to give up. They eat bananas and watch intently. Gabi begs Eduardo to stay. They both express offense at a Lay-Z-Boy soap opera parody commercial. Ian recounts the Grand Opening and the Receptionist recounts Ian's story from the blackout to present. Ian claims to have been prone and floating in a non-hostile black void the whole time he was gone. He still feels as if almost no time passed. Ian steps out to use the bathroom and the Receptionist cautions him not to use Dr. Charles personal soap which can be identified by its hand-carved likeness of the doctor. Ian returns and notices the tape outline on the floor. The Receptionist says that it's the last great work from an important artist. At commercial, Ian asks if his omelette-making equipment is still around. He finds it in the back. Doris makes an entrance from the back. Her visit is not to see Dr. Charles but to watch Days. The show nearly over, the Receptionist remarks she mostly missed it. Doris attributes her tardiness to the time difference between Brazil and Texas. The Receptionist recounts what she missed. They all agree that Ciara's acting has improved dramatically since she came on the show. Shooting every day is bound to yield progress. Days ends and Ian tells Doris his story. Bored with Ian's recap, the Receptionist roams, trying to find some reason for doing something. He peaks outside to check on the morning's much weaker protest, then puts the TV back under the desk. When Ian suggests paranormal or possibly extraterrestrial involvement with his time in the Value Vision basement, Doris sternly advises that Ian should keep this story close and not share it. When Ian mentions that Hope is his sister and she might have some useful advice, Doris offers that she could tell Hope and that Ian could talk more to her and otherwise he should just rest and get something to eat. She attributes Ian’s theories to hunger and fatigue and successfully convinces him to dismiss them. Doris and Ian both separately decide they should leave. The Receptionist verifies that neither of them needs to see the doctor and they depart. A minute later Ian returns to collect the apple he was offered earlier. He seems optimistic and looks ahead to the help Doris promised and exits. The Receptionist decides to bring the marker board out and wants to do something in commemoration of Julian the dead painter. Not finding the marker, he says goodbye to Julian and retreats.
The Receptionist finds himself in Minos Park at the spot he thinks is where the park bench was. He sits for a minute then decides that because there are no birds he'll look for another spot. Finding a similar spot but with birds, he sits and wonders why there is so much trash, and how you know where and when you are when in the park. He says this because there are no clocks or direct sunlight. He leaves Gideon a long voicemail. He hopes Gideon isn't mad because he's not supposed to call him directly. He wonders what it is to be a man and when too much is too much. He recounts the previous night's events when a mess of a man named Ernest shot dead local painter Julian Vendrell. Ernest is on the run and people are looking. The Receptionist makes clear that he can still work for Gideon because he lives so close to Berkeley Plaza and he took the Value Vision keys with him. He thinks it might even be just as fast since he lives on the backside of the plaza and that's the side Gideon is moving the stuff through. He describes his brief mentorship with Dr. Charles and expresses a need for that kind of person, and maybe Gideon is that kind of person now that he has left Dr. Charles. He wants to share some of the burden. He wonders when Gideon is going to call and says that some day has to be the day. It can't be put off forever. He tells Gideon he thinks he found the old park bench spot and that the park birds are back. The trash keeps piling up. He looks through the child's optical device he took from the office and wonders how astronauts deal with the time-space disconnection. He makes a voice memo to look at astronaut coping measures for this time-space vacuum. He doesn't agree with the people who say he's partially to blame since the gun Ernest used is the one he left on the table. If Gideon's not going to answer his phone call it doesn't mean he doesn't still need someone to talk to. He can't go home yet. Work is such a big part of one's identity and going home will mean admitting that he's lost his job. It's hard to spend so much time in a place with no water. He’s unsure if he should have left Dr. Charles a note. Dr. Charles had never been anything but tender and loving to the Receptionist. How could he not miss Dr. Charles? Going back to coffee barn and begging for his job might not be the worst thing. It might also work for Gideon since it's in the plaza. But he probably wouldn't get his own keys for at least six months. He really hopes tonight's the night. He doesn't want to wait too long because he knows his guard will go down at some point. Even a simple message to say "not today" would be pretty helpful. Then other things could be done. Or he could rest. Who could listen to such a long and slow message. He considers leaving a secret marker for where the park bench was. He says he'll be around and follows it with goodbye. He plays a voice recording made the previous morning on his walk to work. The recording puts words to his brief but complex relationship to Dr. Charles. He considers taking a step back since maybe they got too close too fast. He hates endings. Things aren't supposed to end but keep going. The viewing wheel doesn't stop. He wonders if Detective Brady might let him stop by some night. He thinks he needs closure regarding Julian who gave so much and will continue to do so through other people and his paintings. It's the simple things that make life worth living. He hopes she'll understand what he means. People come and go too fast. He wishes he'd been nicer to Ian and not doubted him. He decides to stop by Craft Services to pop in and say that he should have been nicer, sympathetic, caring, listened, and sent him away with more food but also reminded him again to eat slowly since he'd been without for so long. But Ian probably knows that. Food is his life.
A disguised Dr. Charles sneaks past protesters outside the Berkeley Plaza to get into Value Vision. He’s brought with him new new cases of water, and he’s glad he went back to the bigger cans. He makes a note for the Receptionist: It’s fun to slam a slim can, but you get more refreshment out of a wider body. Dropping his can, bubbly water pours over the desk. He sweeps the water onto the floor and for the first time notices Julian’s outline. He expresses his admiration for Julian’s hands and in Julian’s memory lays in the spot where Julian died. He remarks how similar Julian’s ending is to Jack’s. Both being extremely talented local men taken too early. He reads a passage from Jack’s book where Jack wonders if he’ll ever be free. Dr. Charles expresses his need for stories like Jack’s to get through tough times. He tests his vision on the eye chart to see if he still has it. He’s stressed because so many people are watching him and wonders if he should order a Lizard from the Barn. On seeing the sign-in sheet with Ernest Turrl’s name at the bottom, he calls Ernest twisted. He tries the eye chart again, this time from behind the reception desk, and vocalizes his hidden handicap of having only one good eye. He looks to see what’s on the computer and says there’s nothing here and again articulates his feelings on Julian’s parting. He regrets that Value Vision is coming to an end because he has so much work to do still. Optometry is about more than the eyes. Who will do that work if not Dr. Charles? Seeing the sexy cat painting tiled on the desktop and remembering Julian, he compares the ending of Value Vision to a kind of death of his own. He regrets there wasn’t more help for the whole person. It’s more than getting people to a pair of glasses. It’s about breaking through. He wonders if Doris is still mad at him for not showing up at Minos Park the other night. A knock on the door sends Dr. Charles out to investigate. Later, in the Value Vision basement the man in the sleeping bag sleeps. Dr. Charles enters and tells him repeatedly to wake up and come out of dreaming state. He snaps three times and the man sits up. The man is perturbed by the light and remembers little of his time in the basement. Dr. Charles tells him that will soon change. When the man asks about the casino gig he was promised Dr. Charles confirms that the job is still his, he just needs to get in there and show people that he’s somebody. The man is concerned about his state and that people will hate him. The doctor tells him that casinos are special places for special people. The man wants to know if he will toil in the all-you-can eat buffet, or security, or maybe one of the gift shops. Dr. Charles says that it won’t be security but somewhere. They need to first go upstairs, and then to the casino. The man is worried about his legs and worries that the doctor, being only experienced in the ocular arts, cannot help him. Dr. Charles offers to let him hold onto his coat so he can be led into the light. The man utters concern for Ian of Craft Services and hopes he is alright. Dr. Charles says that Ian is fine and leads the man into the waiting room.
Dr. Charles offers the man his choice of a large can or a smaller one and asks what he thought of Jack’s book. The man says he perused it in 15 seconds. Dr. Charles adds that even such a fast read can change you for a lifetime. The man thinks his hard times may be over now that he has a job lined up in a Texas casino. Dr. Charles informs him that there is a situation with the protesters, and that the plan is a little different. When asked how many protesters there are, Dr. Charles dismisses the idea of counting saying it’s more of a feeling and that it’s not safe to leave yet. The man offers that he can effect the crowd with his hands, but they both concede there are too many of them for what he is capable of. Dr. Charles is proud of the man and says that things will be different. They are waiting for Doris who will help them. In the meantime, Dr. Charles wants to conduct an eye test. The man reads the first line, but when asked to read the last line the man calls it arduous and says he cannot. They sit and Dr. Charles tells him he may have cancer, but that first he needs to do a battery of tests. He conducts a velocity test by snapping his fingers to each side of the man’s head. Then he yells in his face to confirm his reflexes. He tells the man the good news that he does not have cancer and that he most likely just needs reading glasses. The man wonders if this is because he misinterpreted the message of Jack’s book. Dr. Charles confirms that he did misinterpret Jack’s book. The man admits that though he can read books in 15 seconds that says nothing of comprehension and he may need to do a 15 second circuit to benefit from the message Jack intended. Dr. Charles calls the message a gift. He says the man has the potential that Jack describes, and that a pair of reading glasses and a job at a Texas casino will be its fulfillment. Dr. Charles tells him not to dwell on the big picture and not worry so much about his reading progress. Dr. Charles spills his water when drinking from the wide-mouth slim can and expresses frustration with its design. When the man tries the slim can for himself he confirms the design flaw as he spills water on himself too. They both voice frustration over the protesters and their continued presence both night and day. The man from the basement says he has lost track of time and no longer believes in yesterdays. Dr. Charles exclaims that if the coast is clear they should stop by the Coffee Barn one last time. He describes his drink, the Lizard. It is small, fast, and constantly eluding your grasp. It is 16 oz. whole milk, 1 oz. nonfat milk, steamed to 250 degrees. The man interrupts to ask how they get it past boiling and Dr. Charles laughs at the mystery of technique at the Barn. He reveals that Value Vision has existed in other locations. The man compares it to a vision that lives inside, like his of the Texas casino. 1 oz. of expresso, 3 ice cubes to bring the temperature down, then add the correct amount of water. The man remarks that it is an intuitive drink. Dr. Charles admits that he likes to order that way too. Sometimes he asks to have his order thrown in his face, which he says wakes him up just as much. The prisoner concludes that there are many ways of being awake, but wants to know about the in between states. The waiting. The escalator to the unknown. A stairway to heaven or a stairway to the desert, stepping off the craft he abandoned so long ago. Dr. Charles tells him he must stop talking like that and leave the past behind. They agree that the man’s clam hands are a problem, but not one Dr. Charles can cure. Dr. Charles is all or nothing. The man compares it to a switch. Dr. Charles concedes that the man gets him. The man sees that vision is larger than the eyes, and more than the yucks of a clown. Dr. Charles tells him that when he’s in the casino picking up lobster tails, sweeping Kit Kat wrappers off the table, taking a lot of glasses that only have a few ounces of liquid and pouring them into a bucket, and then putting the glasses in a different bucket, and taking the bucket of dump water to another location, that then the change is going to hit him. When asked if it will fill the gulf in his life, Dr. Charles says no and that he shouldn’t put so much pressure on it but it will keep him busy. The man asks if smoking tobacco is allowed. Dr. Charles says he doesn’t know but that Doris is a heavy-smoker and would know. The man exclaims that he is more awake than ever, in part due to Jack’s vision of captivity. Dr. Charles voices his need to tell the man more about Jack. Jack’s story ended because Jack was foolish. He wants the man to not be like Jack, but also be like Jack. The man struggles to control his limbs. Dr. Charles tries to get him to chant along with him, but it proves unhelpful to either of them. Jack was a hero, the most important person in town, like a father to Dr. Charles, but then he rode off a cliff like an idiot. The man asks if it was for a world record. Dr. Charles says it was for nothing. The man insists that he has just reread Jack’s book through the covers and Dr. Charles doubts him. Dr. Charles says he doesn't want him to talk like this when he’s working in the casino. The man spills more of his water. When he asks of a remedy, the doctor offers that it’s just a design flaw and there is no remedy. It’s a problem with the slim can. The man describes Dr. Charles teaching as that of entrepreneurial excellence through a vision of the soul. Dr. Charles clarifies that it is “life excellence.” The man asserts that he can see. He tells of a disturbance yesterday and asks about the doctor’s dagger, and about the outline of a body on the floor. He says it half of a body, and Dr. Charles takes the position of Julian’s final breath, to explain the shape on the floor. Dr. Charles explains it as a violent fight that started with a sexy cat painting. Julian was an amazing artist, an amazing talent. Julian didn’t even need the doctor’s services because he already had the vision. The man asks if his residency would have entailed Julian living in the basement. Dr. Charles says that the basement was just for him and that while down there his vision was developing. The man gets on the floor and the doctor refuses to help him up for fear of touching his clammy hands. While speaking empathy for the dead, the man cuddles up to Julian’s residues and feels Julian’s pains. When the man recounts the events leading up to the shooting of Julian, Dr. Charles is surprised by how much and how clearly the man could hear from in the basement. They both agree that Julian, as an artist, was also somewhere between abstract and figurative. The man asks of his place. Dr. Charles says it’s all set up and he’ll probably be in catering at the casino. Doris enters Value Vision complaining about the protesters, but then is more concerned with the man on the floor lying with Julian. The carbonation is a little much and he is burping. Neither wants to touch him. Doris details how many people are suspicious of Dr. Charles. They conclude they must get the man to the casino tonight, but that he’s not normal and they can’t take him out in his current state. Doris asks the man to not touch Jack’s book. They try to get him to put his hands in his lap. Doris reiterates her idea for a training program. Dr. Charles says that he’s been extra busy with home visits and hasn’t had time for anything of the sort. When Doris disagrees with his paradigm reversal, Dr. Charles clarifies that the customer wasn’t always right and he’s going back to that time. Doris concedes that he’s always been an innovator and this situation could use his innovation. The man expresses a desire to return to his basement room. Dr. Charles says he can’t go back, but must go forward, and that there are protesters out there so they can’t go forward just yet, but soon. Doris stops the man from leaving. She says they need to disguise him. Dr. Charles offers his hat and glasses disguise, and says he’ll find a new disguise for himself. The man wears the hat over his face. Dr. Charles and Doris switch coats. When Dr. Charles checks the storage closet, Doris puts the doctor’s knife out of the man’s reach. The man’s vision is obstructed by the hat and he asks if he should read the eye chart. Doris, wearing the doctor’s coat, conducts the vision test. When he can’t read the last line, Doris brings up the possibility of cancer. Dr. Charles returns wearing a blonde wig and is upset that Doris was doing an eye test and asks if she told him he may have cancer. Doris tries to refocus and says that they’re in a pickle and need a way out. Dr. Charles claims it’s more like a cuban sandwich. Doris refers to the man as the pickle, and herself as the mustard. Dr. Charles calls himself the ham and all of them together the bread. They debate who is what part of the sandwich and Dr. Charles makes himself the cheese too. The man says they are missing an element. Doris asserts that mustard is the same as cheese, to which Dr. Charles says no way, and takes offense. The man says they forgot the roast pork. They agree and Dr. Charles says there must be one you can get without the pork. The man says it is a Chilean. Doris says this is beside the point, but Dr. Charles is hung up on the cuban sandwich. They decide to go to the Coffee Barn, get a Lizard, then somewhere else for a cuban sandwich. Doris helps the man put the hat on properly and asks if the claminess is constant. They counsel the man on how to hold his mouth. With the hat on and his mouth relatively normal-looking they are feeling better. The man says that he hears what sound like protesters but that it may be the ancient one ringing in his ears. Dr. Charles whispers that he keeps talking like that and he doesn’t know how to stop it. Doris suggests they could teach him. Dr. Charles says he wants a favor. When the man asks if he has a catering test for him, Doris asks if he stole the caterer Ian’s soul. Dr. Charles says he can’t do that. They agree that someone should check on the protesters, and Dr. Charles volunteers. Doris gets the man to stand and tries to teach him to play it cool. Dr. Charles returns with an apple. Doris asks if they threw it at him and he says no they just gave it to him, it’s a protest apple. The man wants one and Dr. Charles cuts off a piece with his dagger. Dr. Charles says the disguise worked great. He went right up to the protesters and they didn’t even know who he was, and they offered him the protest apple. Doris says that now is the time for one of his great ideas. The man says he has need of something. He says his need is for solitude and he bolts out the door. Dr. Charles reminds Doris of how slippery he is and then goes after the man. Doris finds a pair of headphones and puts them on to complete her disguise. She heads to the back. Dr. Charles returns to the office wearing a Work Force tool belt he received from the protesters. The man seems to be gone for good. Dr. Charles removes his disguise and says he must leave town. He calls the whole operation a failure. Not having a plaza pass, Doris returns for validation. Dr. Charles says he has some. He looks in the filing cabinet as Doris criticises his casualness about the escaped man. Dr. Charles requests floss because he has a piece of apple in his tooth that he cannot remove. Doris asks why he doesn't just carry floss with him because this happens all the time to him. Dr. Charles can’t find the plaza passes because he doesn't know where the new receptionist keeps them. He says that the man blended in with the protesters and has joined them. Doris calls the man from the basement a prisoner and the doctor says he is not a prisoner. Doris suggests they call him the “employee.” Dr. Charles asks why she is wearing headphones and she says she was trying to blend in. Dr. Charles decides that if they’re leaving together they can just use his plaza pass. But first, he wants to talk about the “employee.” Doris suggests they follow his clammy slime trail. Perhaps sympathetically, Dr. Charles says that the man isn’t a slug. Dr. Charles offers to check Doris’s eyes because he knows how bad it would reflect on him if his own friends didn’t have glasses if they needed them. Doris suggests there are other things he could be worried about reflecting poorly on him, but the doctor can’t think of any. Doris says they should distance themselves from all of it. Dr. Charles confides how much he will miss the Barn. Doris asks again how they make the Lizard. They talk fondly of the Berkeley Plaza and Doris admits to its charm and sees why he chose it. The doctor can’t ignore the apple stuck in his teeth and Doris offers more advice on the matter which the doctor rejects. When Doris refers to their operation as crime, Dr. Charles says what they were doing was a gift and refers to himself as the Answer Man and Santa Claus. He tells of his dad going up to butter the chimney every year. Doris wonders if this annoyed Santa. Dr. Charles wonders about the waste of butter, but Doris says it was the 80s and food waste wasn’t an issue. Doris says they must get out immediately. Dr. Charles can’t let go. He says the plaza is like a second home and he’s not ready. Doris says that if he doesn’t get out now, he’s going down with the plaza. Dr. Charles is torn between taking the role of the captain or of the rat. Doris says it’s about vision, and what’s inside, and he needs to come with her. Dr. Charles agrees, but when he sees the keys are not in the Key Zone he begins looking for them out of consideration for the next tenant. While looking, he finds a pair of headphones and they decide that both of them should leave wearing headphones. Doris tells him to put the cord in his pocket. Trying to look cool, they rehearse their interactions with the protesters. Doris puts on the toolbelt and volunteers to drive and they make their exit together through the lobby.
Later, on her way to the airport Doris receives a call from a distressed Aiden, her client, who’s looking for new roles. Aiden questions what he’s even paying her for, since it’s her job to get him jobs and then help him keep the jobs she gets for him. Doris reminds him that acting is a precarious occupation, each part a new life, it’s end a death. Recounting all the people he’s played over the years, Aiden nearly has an identity crisis: Scott, Bill, Chris... He tells Doris that he loved Chris, that he could have been Chris forever, except for the death thing. Doris points out that he was the ninth actor to play Chris, but Aiden says it was different because he really was Chris. Doris reminds him that it was a different climate back in 2010, and any of those shows could have been the next to go, including All My Children. Aiden sarcastically asks if he should do hemorrhoid commercials like that Walter White guy. Hesitantly, Doris suggests that he could try being Daniel for a while. Aiden is having none of it. He hits his head on the ancient dagger sticking out of the wall next to the phone. He wonders who put it there and admits that he doesn’t even know what this house is like anymore. Doris asks if he’s checked his email for next week’s script. He quickly reads it through and facetiously celebrates the part on page five where Bo shoots him dead. Doris tries to reason with him that a death scene is a great opportunity, acting-wise, and that at least he gets to go on screen this time. Aiden is not buying it, saying that no matter what he’ll still be dead. Doris assures him that she’s not going to leave him high and dry. She says that she’s got a lot on her plate right now with her other business interests, but she never forgets about her #1 client, even though he’s actually #9. Doris tells Aiden that she has to run back to Brazil, but she will for sure find him work. Aiden is momentarily confused, the Brazil trip reminding him of a script he read the other day. He asks her if she was going to Hawaii before. Doris brushes him off and asks if he wants a job or not. Aiden gives in and thanks her for the help. Doris says that she’ll be sending him a new script, but he might not like it. She hangs up and walks in the wrong direction back to her car.
Aiden decides to take a walk through the park to clear his head. He works on memorizing his lines: “Now you know the truth... now you know the truth... now you know the truth... now you know the truth.” He runs into a fan who asks to take a picture together. Aiden shows her next week’s script (which he’s hiding in last week’s script), the one where Bo shoots him dead. They have a brief conversation about the mutability of time. The fan suggests that if Aiden is unhappy with the situation he still has time to take control before next week. Aiden thinks about it and supposes that he could maybe find a good writer by then. The fan thinks he should just do it himself - DIY. Aiden is struck by this idea and loses himself in thought for several minutes. He visualizes the situation: “DIY, maybe that’s the way, the new way… do it yourself, Aiden… maybe that’s the way, the only way… yeah… just like that… yeah, that’s good… I can see it all now… no more deaths… just rebirths… a new vision… maybe I can do it in Hawaii… or I could do it in Brazil, I’ve got people in Brazil… yeah, the guy who bought me that red thing, that red thing you can only wear in Brazil… that’d be relaxing… the same time-zone, more or less.” Aiden thanks the fan and heads home.
At Hope’s request, two Laredo Police Officers check in at Value Vision. They find the office unlocked and empty. Officer #2 notes that it looks about the same as last night, and wonders why Detective Brady sent them over here. They both crack open a water. Officer #1 spots Jack’s book sitting on the coffee table. Together they praise it and agree that it’s definitely worth re-reading every few years. Officer #2 reads from a script he finds sitting on the Receptionist’s desk: “Int. Eye Doctor’s Waiting Room - Day. The waiting room is empty. We hear some sounds of a Receptionist working. The Receptionist walks across the room to get a can of water, then returns.” Officer #1 says that it sounds kind of boring. Officer #2 sees a note about Julian bringing his own marker for the artist residency. Officer #1 shakes his head and says it’s a damn shame. Officer #2 spots Dr. Charles’s dagger lying on the Receptionist’s desk and notes that it’s nice that they’re always open and have water here. Officer #1 picks up the dagger and asks Officer #2 if he thinks anyone would mind if he kept it. Officer #2 says probably, but that’s no reason not to do it. Officer #1 doesn’t want to get in trouble, so he decides to take the dagger back so Hope can check it out. They decide to hit up the Barn on their way back to the station.
The Receptionists return to Value Vision, united and determined to put a stop to Dr. Charles’s operations. Receptionist #2 says that he never thought he’d be back. Receptionist #1 reports having déjà vu and makes some guttural noises in the back of his throat. Receptionist #2 wonders why he never heard from Gideon. Receptionist #1 says that maybe the job just fell through, and they’re better off not working with him anyway. They both agree that a clean slate is what’s best. Receptionist #2 forgets why they came to the office. Receptionist #1 suggests that they came to “end it” - a metaphorical total cleanse of sorts. Receptionist #1 asks about the “hands off” plate taped to the face of the clock. Receptionist #2 explains that when they went to the never-closed-schedule, it seemed superfluous to have clocks around and that a new system of space-based durational measurement made more sense. Receptionist #1 agrees with the decision. Receptionist #2 tells the story of Ian from Craft Services being trapped in the basement. It’s a relief to everyone that Ian is going to be alright. The Receptionists start to pack up the office, and Receptionist #1 notes that without the computer, security cameras, optical equipment and everything in between, Dr. Charles won’t be able to run the business - and if you can’t run the front, you can’t run the back. Receptionist #2 says he could get some use out of the office computer at home. Receptionist #1 suggests that they could divide the stuff up later, maybe flip a coin or develop some kind of lottery system. He recalls putting up all the wallpaper before the Grand Opening, and says that it only makes sense that he should take it all down. He looks to the “hands off” clock, and then throws it on the floor. Receptionist #2 asks that he keep clear the area where Julian died. Receptionist #1 recognizes Julian from the taped outline but claims to have never known him. Receptionist #2 guesses that the position in which he died must have been one of Julian’s favorites, if Receptionist #1 could recognize him that easily from the outline. At least he died comfortably. Receptionist #1 suggests that it almost looks like he’s skipping, or maybe marching. Receptionist #2 says that Julian was in good spirits when he died. The Receptionists continue looting the Value Vision waiting room. Receptionist #1 holds the omelette maker in his hands and says to himself, “We can dream…” Receptionist #2 comes back in from outside, noting that it’s nice that they let you pull right up to the curb with the plaza pass. Receptionist #2 says they shouldn’t be picky about what they take, so they agree to just take everything. They leave out the water and complimentary (cashews) while they work. Receptionist #1 picks up Jack’s book and wonders if it’s right to deprive someone of it, even if that person is Dr. Charles. Receptionist #2 makes a point to leave behind the television scripts. He recounts the experience of being tricked into giving feedback to an incognito Dr. Charles. Receptionist #1 says that he only ever pretended to read the scripts, and that Receptionist #2 should have known that Dr. Charles is a master of disguises. Receptionist #2 wonders why the filing cabinets are filled with trash. Receptionist #2 asks Receptionist #1 if he knew Jim Stamos or Barry Cline. Receptionist #1 recognizes Barry Cline’s name, thinking that he was some kind of landscaper, groundsman, outdoorsman-type. Receptionist #2 says that they mentioned his name on Days of Our Lives. Receptionist #1 is surprised that he’s working on Days now. They talk about the last week, agreeing that Monday’s episode was really good. Receptionist #2 thinks it was the best he’d seen since the 50th anniversary. Receptionist #1 adds that it doesn’t get much better than that (or at least the grand arc that lead up to that). Receptionist #2 talks about working on his bedroom at home and how the extra drywall and wallpaper could really come in handy. They start removing the wallpaper and drywall. Receptionist #1 holds up the eye chart, and Receptionist #2 says that he never understood it. He wonders what they’re gonna do without a front wall. “A front wall?” asks Receptionist #1. Hearing that she came back to Laredo, Receptionist #1 asks Receptionist #2 about Doris. Receptionist #2 says he was worried at first, since it seems like she was working with Dr. Charles on one of his shady side-businesses, but that his opinion really turned around after she came into the office to watch Days.
The Receptionists are surprised to find more wallpaper on the backside of the wall - also what looks to be an ancient dagger stabbed into it. Receptionist #1 steps through and picks up a framed “Home Sweet Home” sign. He places it on the Value Vision side of the wall and notes that it’s a little too late now. Receptionist #2 says that the whole dismantling of the office thing was more work than he expected, and that maybe they’ve done enough. Receptionist #1 covers up a sign on the wall reading “Floating Museum,” remarking that he still doesn’t know what it means. Despite his better judgement, Receptionist #1 decides to save Dr. Charles’s scripts, if only to have a record of them. He asks Receptionist #2 if his wife is at home with the new baby. Receptionist #2 says yeah and that he should probably get home soon. He thinks it’s late. Receptionist #1 says you never know. Receptionist #1 rolls up a green astro turf carpet, and Receptionist #2 is surprised that he never noticed it before. Receptionist #1 points out that he was walking on it the whole time. Receptionist #1 brings Jack’s book back into the room and sets it on top of the garbage can, thinking that they could just keep it around while they work. Receptionist #1 begins sweeping up the floor and admits that he finds sweeping so meditative that sometimes he’ll catch himself sweeping the same room over and over again well after it’s clean. Receptionist #2 wonders why there’s a cord running right through the middle of the room. Receptionist #1 apologizes to Julian as he sweeps up around the area. Receptionist #1 suggests that if they’re to move on, they need to follow in Jack’s footsteps and leave the past behind - also they should leave the book behind. Receptionist #2 decides that it wouldn’t be right to leave without a note. Struggling to come up with an adequate goodbye, Receptionist #2 looks to Jack’s book for inspiration: “No matter what comes, if there is time, I must tell the rest of the story.” Receptionist #1 says it’s a little wordy. Receptionist #2 agrees, noting that Jack never could keep it short. On the door, Receptionist #2 scrawls, “Thanks, Doc - The Receptionist.” He hands the marker to Receptionist #1 so he can sign his name too. He simply adds an “S” to the end of “The Receptionist.” Receptionist #2 asks Receptionist #1 what he’s going to do tomorrow. Receptionist #1 says he tries not to think about tomorrow. They leave.
Hope connects the dots.
Preparations are made for Julian’s funeral.