When we left off a few weeks ago, Mary was begging her husband Hank to hold her after her terrifying ordeal at the grocery store. By contrast, today’s passage begins with Marshall treating his wife with far less consideration and kindness:
Kate knew what was coming; it had been happening a lot the last two weeks. “Marshall, I am cooking dinner and I am cooking enough for all four of us. . . ”
“Yeah, well. . .” Marshall had the tone of voice he always used when he was about to weasel out of something.
Marshall insists he’ll “only” be an hour late, not missing dinner altogether; he “tried to appease her” rather than actually giving a rat’s ass about Kate’s feelings as she tells him she barely feels married anymore. When Kate tries to confide her fears for Sandy’s future, he barely seems to notice or care, uninterested in his daughter’s life. He feels a small pang of regret for hanging up on Kate, but quickly buries the inconvenient remorse so he can get back to investigating Langstrat.
In a way this seems to be a deconstruction of the classic hero story in which the hero will stop at nothing to uncover the vast conspiracy and save the world. How many times do you see the intrepid adventurers jet across the world leaving their families behind with no care for their safety or wellbeing except as bait for a nefarious trap laid by the villain? I hope Kate divorces him and moves to Florida with Sandy.
Hogan finally reaches Langstrat, who is initially welcoming and open when Hogan mentions Sandy but closes down when he mentions a press interview about her extracurricular activities. She denies knowing anything about the names he drops, denies remembering throwing him out of class, and laughs incredulously at his implications that something more is going on.
Embarrassed, Hogan goes back to talk to Bernice, and they throw wads of paper at each other playfully. Hey. Wait. He’s spending long hours away from his wife with this other woman, who he can talk to about his work (that he doesn’t seem to confide in his wife) and enlist as an equal partner (unlike his wife) and generally be playful and friendly where his wife and he are arguing… good grief, now he’s having an emotional affair!
“But I think we’d better get out of here, my wife’s waiting.”
Bernice was not finished with the war yet, so they finished it and then had to clean up before they could leave.
Face. Meet palm. Seriously, can Kate divorce him now?