“Work Out” Recaps: Episode 207

Karen mentions she took a class recently where she learned stressful pregnancies cause "horrible hormonal changes" that can cause homosexual babies. Maybe that’s what happened? OK, they have nothing in common. And Vincent just rolled over.

With her next breath, Karen says sincerely: "He was crazy about you. He was. Why wouldn’t he be?" Mothers can be complicated, confusing creatures.

Jackie looks into her mother’s eyes and those years of numbness fall away — Jackie starts to cry. Her mother holds her and whispers, "He was a good man." Jackie wipes her nose on her sleeve.

Jackie: Thank you for bringing me.
Karen: Your daddy was a good man. He loved you.
Jackie: I know.
Karen: Every time I see you, I see him. Every time.

Good-bye — It snowed overnight: The yard is covered with a fresh blanket of white. Karen and Jackie sit awhile in the living room before Jackie has to leave for the airport. Karen tells her daughter she was out all night, driving around, looking for a newspaper. Finally, she found one, hot off the press, with Jackie right there on the front page.

"Celebrity Returns to Alma Mater," the headline blares. Jackie stares at the front page and says, "Wow." Karen is beaming with pride. She offers the paper to Jackie to bring home with her. Go on, take it, she has 50 more copies.

Jackie lugs her carry-on across the snow toward the waiting town car. Karen stands on the porch steps with a blanket over her shoulders like a shawl. She bids her a safe flight and smiles before turning and going back inside. Crazy, small-minded, religious nuts are people, too.

The call — The gym is empty and quiet. Brian is alone in Jackie’s office with the lights off, on the phone. He listens for several moments and hangs up without saying a word. He calls everyone into Jackie’s office. Zen and the others wander in, sit down and wait for another Skylab meeting to begin.

The trainers are chattering as usual until Zen sees that Brian has tears in his eyes. The room goes still as Brian tries to speak but starts to cry instead. Alarm and dread grow on the trainers’ faces with each passing, silent second. Finally, Brian manages to utter some words.

Brian: Doug is really sick, guys.
Rebecca and the others: What happened?
Brian: He fell back and he, uh, got another infection again. Nothing’s coming around. He’s in ICU again. He’s really, really bad.

Erika looks stunned. Jesse stares at the desk.

Brian: And they said in the next 24 hours, we’ll know whether we’re going to lose him or he’s going to … or he’s going to be with us. [voice cracking] He’s really that sick.

Brian holds his head in his hands and sobs, "He’s like a brother to me. I don’t want to lose him …" Her face twisted up, Erika starts to cry, too.

Sitting on a cabinet with her legs pulled up to her chest, Rebecca offers hopefully, "Doug is strong. He pulled out of it before …" A tear rolls down her cheek.

Brian says Doug’s kidneys have given out again. He wants desperately to take on some of Doug’s sickness himself, fight for him, but he can’t. All he can do is sit and cry, "Why does it have to happen to somebody so good?"

Fade up on Doug blowing out his birthday candles, the ones he told Cheo he wanted to be his last — he had already outlived everyone in his family. The candles fade to black.

The screen reads, "Doug Blasdell. December 14, 1962 – January 22, 2007."

Next Week on Work Out: It’s the season finale. The Skylabbers graduate. Jackie and her trainers pay tribute to Doug.

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