in this episode the beginning, where someone dies, shows ruth's sister sarah walking up a mountain with another woman, her best friend fiona. fiona somehow stumbles after commenting she didn't think she would make it to the top, and falls off the cliff and dies.
it turns out she was the woman who at 32, when nate was 15, took his virginity. as he said sadly about half way through the episode, he wrote her silly poetry and at an age when he was fumbling around in the dark, trying to get his hands down the pants of girls his own age, she showed him her whole body, and (it remained unsaid) allowed him to explore it.
the way the writers managed this piece of history was so well done. at the beginning of the show, there was an almost-missed comment by ruth about what "fiona had done to nate." it was left there, subtle, so you almost didn't give it another thought, as there was so much else going on.
then slightly later it was revealed fiona had been his first lover. but nate said she was his first love, and there was an excruciating moment when she is on the slab, breasts bare, being tended to by rico when rico insensitively asks nate how she has held up physically, since the time he first saw her naked. nate gets pissed off, covers her with a sheet, and this is the moment when he said she was his first love.
also in this episode we realise that ruth has left george. it snuck up on me. i must be as naive as george is, for when it became clear that she had moved him into a new apartment, by lying to him that they were both moving in, yet she only took one change of clothes, i felt as sad for him as he looked. he kept his dignity at the end, as he closed the door in her face, and left her standing there. i thought of the opening scene a few episodes ago when we saw the young george holding his mother's hand as she slowly goes to sleep after overdosing on pills and alcohol. and there he was, a woman he loved leaving him again. cruelly.
billy is shitting nate and brenda with his hanging around.
maggie asked nate not to ever lie to her, and that she would promise to do the same. what kind of oath is this? what kind of person requires this sort of promise from an acquaintance?
claire looked gorgeous in her pastel shades of office wear; the riding pantyhose, the stultifying workmates. and then not getting her art grant. what is going to happen there? but at least she and ruth had a hug, though i was unsatisfied that ruth didn't apologise after treating claire appallingly.
keith and david! oh no, they are being tested. but this is life, this is how it happens. keith wants to give up on dorel and his little brother after two weeks. david rightly senses they are just right at the beginning. it could take years for them to establish a trusting relationship. i hope they stick it but keith "overparented" by getting physical and angry with the boys, and as david said, turned into his father. who he detests. is this what happens to us all? we turn into our parents? why can't we break the cycle? because we only know one way?
some good news (i think) was that vanessa asked rico to move back in, which was all he really wanted. to be with his boys again. i hope this works out. but it might not. who the fuck knows anymore? this show is just so unpredictable, which is one reason why i love it so much. you know billy could either kill himself, do a massacre-type job on everyone, or turn up in the next episode with a new girlfriend.
i had an awful thought that everything will just blow up and everything will go bad. that there will be no happy endings. please don't make any comments about what you might know about this show, if you do know what happens. but you're welcome to make comments about what you think might happen. i'm happy to read supposition, i'll just be heartbroken if anyone spoils it for me. i have access to the episode guide but am not going to look.