After brushing off this workplace harassment, Erica returns to visit Bea, who has moved to the “task-oriented” stage of grief. And since taking care of Debbie has been her life’s work, all she wants to do now is finish that work and plan her funeral. She asks if she’ll be allowed to attend the wake or just the actual services, and Erica grimaces. She’s like “Yeah, the problem with that is we have this pretty strict rule in prison that you’re not allowed to leave. It’s kind of our whole deal.” This verdict angers not only Bea, but Will. He offers to go and visit Debbie’s body for Bea, both out of a sense of decency, and as a way to assuage his guilt over not informing Bea of the Brayden situation. Bea asks him to tell all that her remains of her daughter that “mummy loves you to the moon in back.”
That night, Fletch whips up a gourmet meal for himself and Vera, but is distracted by the screaming in his head, which seems to point to some form of PTSD from his time in the army. And I know that these screams probably take the place of flashbacks for purely budgetary reasons (shooting Fletch’s army days would have required new locations, expensive props, costumes, and talent) but it’s a lot more effective for us to imagine the horror Fletch is hearing than to actually see it. Whatever is happening with him, it’s overwhelming, and we start to see the normally self-contained Fletch come unglued. He downs glass after glass of whiskey and cranks the volume on some dude-rock, neither of which are coping strategies that tend to have calming effect. When he gets a message from Vera canceling their dinner date, he packs his catastrophe in tupperware and heads to her house.
Once inside, he doesn’t even bother to feed Vera before putting the moves on her. And up until now, Fletch and Vera’s relationship has been adorable for its tenderness and patience, but all of that just goes right out the window now that Fletch is drunk. He somehow secures an invitation to her bedroom, and with virtually no foreplay and fully clothed(!) Fletch penetrates Vera in what is very likely her first time. She tells him to stop, and he does stop, but then he just jacks himself off and it is the worst sex in the history of the world. CAN’T YOU GIVE US ONE MOMENT OF HAPPINESS, EPISODE NINE?
In the morning, Will goes to Bea and tells her exactly what she needs to hear about his experience at the morgue. He tells her that Debbie looked peaceful and pretty, and that he held her hand and stroked her hair and repeated her mother’s words. He doesn’t mention her paleness or coldness or the fact that no one had bothered to clean the vomit off her face, because Will is winning this week’s round of Competitive Male Decency.