Alright, pay attention now, kids, because this is where it gets a little confusing. Just remember: the bad guys are the ones twiddling their mustaches and snickering evilly at their own cunning.
After a brief POV shift to Kate Hogan, Marshall’s wife, in which we find out most of the whores in the jail cell are getting off with a night in jail, we find out our first hint that something is rotten in the state of [Insert State Here]. Police Chief Brummel, you see, is about to have his name dragged through the mud by our intrepid reporter! Later. First, Bernice has to hand in her story – scrawled on toilet paper, which makes a weird sort of sense when you figure how low-quality the toilet paper is likely to be in a small-town jail cell. Cheap toilet paper might as well be typewriter paper…
When Hulk Marshall Hogan mentions he’s going to track down Brummel – probably to ask him why Bernice is mad, since she hasn’t told him anything – Bernice decides to finally speak up instead of teasing us to drag out suspense. “I want you to know what I know,” she tells him.
“Besides the obvious?” We’re not left to wonder what’s ‘obvious’ about the chief of police we’ve yet to meet, as Bernice takes his leading question and jumps on it. She calls him a “crumb, a coward, and a cretin”, showing her journalistic skills – already far better than GIRAT Buck Williams of Left Behind. She then warns that her story is “pieces, disjointed observations”, mostly so we don’t get our hopes up thinking we’re going to actually be told anything.
The evidence, however, is overwhelming. Brummel, you see, was seen… talking to Pastor Young of the Ashton United Christian Church. Young, you see, is the ever so sinister “president of the local ministerial” who “endorses religious tolerance and condemns cruelty to animals” – a villain if ever I saw one. Brummel, you see, doesn’t even go to Marshall’s church, aka Ashton United.
Marshall, being the big-city man and thus unversed in the evils of small towns, remains unimpressed.
Bernice, in her haste, committed “a cardinal sin against them”: she takes a photo of the two together. Knowing they’ve been caught red-handed, Brummel stammers and stutters, while Young insists that this is a “private meeting” they’re having behind the dart-throwing booth in the middle of a crowd during the busiest night of the year. Three others are mentioned, including one wearing sunglasses at night. Furthermore, right after, some prostitutes approach Bernice, convincing her to go with them – contrary to her earlier story in which she was looking for a better scoop – and when Bernice is arrested, presumably not long after, Brummel is standing nearby.
Marshall, seeing a horror story in the making, wonders if the film is gone from her camera. Bernice replies cryptically that it’s still there, but that “means nothing”.
As if that weren’t enough juicy meat to pick through, Kate practically begs her husband to pick up “Sandy”. He replies he doesn’t know where to begin – and Kate’s obviously very invested in this “Marshall picks up Sandy” plan, as she misses the opportunity to suggest he begin by starting the car.
Marshall, always the voice of the audience, finally asks what the rest of us are all thinking: WTF is going on here? I, your guide, will attempt to pick through the mystery, so you don’t have to fret:
1. Brummel is Snidely Whiplash in disguise. His dastardly, dastardly deeds include associating with a liberal traitor – you see, “tolerance” is a fancy word for “enforcing the gay agenda” and “doesn’t believe in hell, the ultimate manifestation of God’s love for his children by setting them on fire”, meaning Pastor Young, while sounding like a decent man to us sinners, is obviously a false friend to Jesus and is probably our big bad. Marshall, belonging to his church, is obviously in need of a re-dedication to Jesus, so he can get on the One True Path and rescue the town.
2. Demons are invading the town. The angels won’t lift a finger to stop them. Instead they comfort Christians by telling them how special they are. That might have been Marshall.