“Big pipe’s easy. Dry land’s hard.” –Mitch Yost (Bruce Greenwood)
Concurrent with the moment in John from Cincinnati’s ninth episode (“His Visit: Day Eight”) when Mitch Yost makes contact, on the U.S./Mexico border, with his old friend and shaman Erlemeyer (Howard Hesseman), the inevitable happens: Mitch’s wife Cissy (Rebecca De Mornay) awakes back in Imperial Beach to find their grandson Shaun (Greyson Fletcher) vanished without a trace.
This sets off a viral chain reaction, with Cissy’s fear and paranoia infecting everyone in her path, a surge of emotion that reaches its apex when drug dealer Steady Freddy Lopez (Dayton Callie) goes all Death of a Rat on a leather-jacketed teddy bear belatedly gifted to him by his knockaround sidekick Palaka (Paul Ben Victor). “You do not buy a gift and not give it. That’s the oldest bad luck in the world,” says Palaka before Freddy callously tosses the bear into the Snug Harbor Motel parking lot. Palaka immediately retrieves the gift and timidly pleads with his boss to take it. “For the boy,” he finishes.