Once and Again
Gardenia

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Niki: A | 1 USERS: A+
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Gardenia

Cut to Karen's place, later. Jessie creeps down the hall to Karen's room, where the door is ajar. Karen's huddled on the side of the bed, sobbing. Jessie takes a step back, unsure how to proceed. After a second, she moves into the doorway. "Mom, can I ask you something?" she says, averting her eyes. Karen scrambles for a tissue and shields her face from the door. "Yeah, sure, sweetie, I'm just doing some work," she says, trying to make her voice normal. Jessie apologetically says that she needs to go to Starbucks (nice plug) to work on a report with Katie. Karen says she can go, and tells her to be back by nine. She forces herself to turn and smile. She turns away again, and thinks that Jessie is gone. She's about to start crying again when Jessie asks if she can bring her anything when she's out. Karen jumps and spins around, assuring Jessie that she's fine. She tells her to have fun. "Okay," Jessie says uncertainly. She's reluctant to leave, but there's no reason to stand around the doorway. Karen watches her go and slowly turns from the door. Realizing what Jessie must have seen, she breaks down again and hopelessly holds her head in her hand.

After the break, we find Lily and Rick emerging from Manning Manor. It looks like the neighborhood got hit by a giant can of white Tremclad overnight. Rick's wondering how to handle the news that Karen kicked Eli out of the house. Lily points out that it is Karen's house. "Yeah, and her fridge is empty," Rick says, apropos of nothing. Lily asks what he means. He explains that she stops eating when she's depressed, and says, "I'm not supposed to worry about her problems anymore, right?" Lily gives him a sarcastic "Yeah, right." "So why do they upset me?" he demands. Lily claims that Jake's problems upset her "more now than when [they] were married." They clamber into Rick's truck. Rick stares out the windshield and mutters, "And I know she's down. She's on medication." Lily squints and wonders, "Should I know this? Would I want Karen to know this about me?" Rick doesn't seem to have heard, continuing, "It's just that Jessie needs her now, you know, and I worry how much Karen is able to be there for her. I know she wants to be, I just don't know how much she can be. So what do I do? Go, 'Karen you're depressed, and I'm you're ex-husband here to tell you to shape up.'" Gently, Lily says, "You give her time, Rick." She says that she was really down towards the end of things with Jake, and she knows first-hand that Karen "doesn't want to be where she is." Rick asks what "brought [Lily] back." "Time," Lily says simply. After a second, she thoughtfully adds, "And you." Hmm, you know, maybe a little Rick would bring Karen out of it, too. "Five cents, please," Lily jokes, managing to get half a smile out of Rick.

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Once and Again

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