After shooting it out with the Sleepers, Gus treats everyone’s wounds behind a gas station. He then drives them to a small hotel where they prepare to rest after a long week.
Jesse dreams about walking in on a surgery being performed on an automaton version of himself by another version of himself with an eyepatch. Both look directly at him and he remembers the desiccated creature he ran into with his car at the Crossroads. In one of its sockets was one of his eyes.
Damien remembers being the version of himself that didn’t know chaos magick and wonders if he was always this way or if he was changed/brought into being from the Crossroads.
Gus has everyone write their full names on a paper with Frank Gordon’s. The first ritual reveals that Sean and Frank’s full names are anagrams of one another. The blood ritual following this reveals that William is Sean’s ancestor and that Frank Gordon is Sean’s biological father.
In order to stop the proxy Frank affected them with they either have to become more like him, increasing their control of him or distance themselves from him, weakening his hold over them. The third option, of course, is what Gus has been trying to do for decades and put Frank Gordon in the ground.
Alex, overtired and traumatized from everything that’s happened, begins lashing out at Gus. She doesn’t trust what he says and physically pushes and slaps him, breaking down in tears. Gus is unsurprised and visually cues the rest not to interfere.
Gus: Are you finished?
Alex leaves the room to cool off.
Gus: She’ll be back.
The next day the cabal drives to an abandoned office building still under construction in New Hampshire. Waiting for them is a young Asian woman named Marsha and a door that leads to nowhere. When she opens the door, they see a lavish looking interiors of a grand mansion. Marsha is an agent for the House of Renunciation. Everyone steps inside.
Gus quotes Jesus of Nazareth: “Inside my father’s house are many mansions.”
Marsha cautions everyone not to wander the halls or to open any doors without her. Wondering if anything really matters anymore, knowing what he knows now, Lucius slips away to peek through one of the doors in the hallway.
His curiosity piqued, he enters into something called the Room of Rusted Things. Inside, he finds a cornucopia of conspiracy materials. Many of them confirm a lot of the theories he had before. But even when confronted with this truth, Lucius is unmoved. What does it all matter? What does anything matter if the world is just going to end and remake itself again? Why do anything anymore? Maybe it’s better to do nothing at all.
When he turns around, the door is gone and he is left inside for an indeterminable amount of time. Everytime he awakens, something is removed from the room. Eventually, he floats in a great dark emptiness. His eyes disappear and he experiences what nothing is really like. A voice from the void calls out to him at some point and drags him back into the House hallway. Now fully intact again, Lucius is a very different person from who he was. He has seen what true nothing really is and he never wants to see it again…
A very irate Marsha directs and watches him make the trip to her quarters.
In the meantime, Gus is pressed about why he does what he does. He gives a poignant and disturbing anecdote about a time when he ended up killing an entire family in Rio because they annoyed him, like a stone in a shoe, and the lesson he learned from a wise nun about trying to be a better person no matter what happens.
Jesse tells Gus and Marsha about his dream and is told about Mechanomancy. He is warned to stay away from it as it requires losing important memories to power its spells.
On a hunch, Gus asks Jesse to bleed for him. He can’t. Jesse has an existential moment where he grabs a letter opener and starts performing surgery on himself, discovering servos and things underneath his skin, creating a disturbing scene for the rest of the cabal. Is this the real Jesse or just someone’s magickally powered pinocchio.
Gus leaves to find ways to counter the proxy and leaves the group in Marsha’s hands. When he returns, he will need them to travel to a place called Fernwood, among other places who need reality mending.
Marsha needs help dealing with another agent of the House’s mark. Damien, Lucius and Jesse volunteer to help while the rest stay behind in Marsha’s room to rest.
The team work together to case a radio station and manipulate a racist talking head named Rudyard Limpdyke to go with them to the House for renunciation.
Jesse bribes one of his security entourage after being discovered delivering a note to Rudyard during lunch with one of his RC car bots. Damien and Lucius confront the shock jock in the men’s room where they try to convince him that his wild conspiracy theories are true and that he’s been infected by the lizard people.
Damien uses his magic to make Limpdyke appear to have snake-like eyes.
Limpdyke: Oh my god, it’s already started. I knew I shouldn’ta gone to Tijuana…!
With Marsha’s powers, they escape before the security team can pursue them and bring Limpdyke to the Room of Cold Reflection. Amid the frigid confines of the hedge maze, the Greek style columns and the perpetual night sky is a large pool of water. When he looks onto its surface, he sees all the harm he’s caused people through his words and actions. He inevitably relents and drinks from the pool, symbolically cleansing himself of the person he was. Like many others, Rudyard takes the House’s option to change and emerges as the inverse of the person he used to be. Most people take the deal and embrace their newfound change.
Jesse makes a deal with Marsha; he needs knowledge on how to become a Mechanomancer. Marsha warns him that magick, power and esoteric knowledge often come at a steep price.