Grace drives the Camaro across the desert while lies unconscious next to her. They approach the Scar and then the GPS goes out. Grace brakes to a halt and gets out, and discovers that the Camaro is a few feet from the edge of the Scar. Nearby is a Chinese restaurant, Tasty Dragon. Grace helps Arthur over and when they get inside, Grace asks for help. The hostess Pearl says that they can stitch Arthur up, but they have to order food. When Grace asks for the special, Pearl starts feeding Arthur some soup. He falls into the soup bowl face first...
... and finds himself in an empty restaurant. He goes into the next room and sees himself lying on a table unconscious. Arthur wonders if he's dead, and Aki appears and says that it's up to him. She explains that Arthur is dreaming, and says that Chris is fine. Aki's cursing is beeped out, and she points out that it's his dream. Since she's a creation of Arthur's brain, she doesn't know what happened to Chris because Arthur doesn't. Arthur isn't interested, figuring he can't trust her, and Aki asks if he can't trust himself. Aki tells Arthur to follow her and drops into a pot. After a moment, he climbs down.
Grace tells Pearl to help her with Arthur, and Pearl takes offensive and complains about white people coming and expecting a show. She warns that Arthur will die before she gets anywhere else, and agrees to help. Pearl sends Grace to get towels from the dining room, and Grace goes there and discovers that all of the customers are frozen. She returns to the back room and finds Arthur's eyes whited over. Pearl insists that she's trying to help him, but Grace grabs a knife and tells Pearl to fix her or she'll put the blade in Pearl's throat. Pearl says that it won't, picks up a knife, and tells Grace that isn't who she is anymore. She easily blocks Grace's attack and puts her knife to Grace's throat, and Grace shoves her away and renews her attack. Pearl throws her knife at her, tells Grace that it would be easier if she listened, and goes to Arthur.
Arthur and Aki emerge from a cellar onto a suburban street. Aki says that it's the first level of his subconscious, and explains that it's her job to find the key for him to get out of the dream. As they walk down the street, Grace comes out of a house to get the mail. She backs into the house and closes the door, and Arthur goes after her despite Aki saying that it isn't where they need to go. He knocks on the door, and Grace answers it and asks if he forgot his keys. Aki runs up to the door just as Grace closes it behind Arthur when he goes in.
Inside the house, Arthur finds himself wearing a suit. Grace explains that it's their house and checks on their baby. Aki peers in the window while Grace shows Arthur their child. Grace suggests that she wants to name the baby Rib Bone, and Aki appears in the house. She tells Arthur that they need to go because of him, and points out the window. Leon is outside on a horse, and Arthur wonders who it is. Grace asks Arthur to put the baby in the garbage disposal so they can fuel the house, and explains that everything runs on blood. Arthur refuses to hand it over, and Grace pulls the baby out of his arms. It falls apart, and Aki says that Arthur doesn't think he deserves the future so it's falling apart. Grace grabs Arthur and starts having sex with him on the counter, and Aki gets a beer and says that Arthur objectives women. She tells him that they have to go, and Leon comes in and shoots Grace in the head. Aki yells at Arthur to come with her, and Leon shoots Arthur in the arm. She warns that if Arthur dies in the dream then he dies in real life, and Arthur jumps through the door and escapes just in time. Aki warns that Leon won't stop until he destroys Arthur from the inside out.
As they go down the hallway past Arthur's subconscious, Arthur points out that the number on the mailbox was 1031. Aki figures that it's important, and then runs back and hugs Arthur. She thanks him for taking the bullet for her, and Arthur says that he didn't take it for her. He opens another door with his goldfish inside, and Aki says that one of the rooms holds the key to his getting out. Behind the next door, Arthur finds the Gentleman holding the Scholar's body and crying. He then smiles as he looks at Arthur.
Pearl ties up Grace and says that she didn't come there by accident. As Grace works at her bonds, Pearl explains that she provides a sacred space for travelers to find their path. Grace wonders how many of them get happy endings, and Pearl admits that they all don't. There are jars with remains on the shelf, and Pearl says that they're travelers who didn't survive their quest. When Grace says that they're prisoners, Pearl says that Grace isn't her prisoner and the ropes fall off of Grace's wrists.
Arthur and Aki emerge onto a desert, and Aki explains that it's the second level of Arthur's subconscious. She gives him a pair of binoculars, and Arthur sees Pixie Swallow in the distance. Arthur and Aki head toward it, and Aki says that they have to get past the sleeping people from Arthur's memories in a tableau of the Last Supper. Aki warns that if Arthur wakes them up, they'll attack him, and Leon's horse neighs in the distance.
Pearl tells Grace that Arthur has to find his own way. She explains when the Scar came it opened up her entire world including her daughter and her cat. Pearl explains that she's bound to the restaurant, and she can't create a dream for herself because the Scar likes things a certain way. She warns that she can't give all of the bone fragments out and Grace should say goodbye to him. Grace refuses to lose Arthur and goes to work herself.
Aki and Arthur enter the diner and go past the tableau. Arthur stops, wondering if something on the table is the key. When he looks away, he hears someone move. Arthur approaches the table and reaches for a plate with a key, and the Rib Bone figure turns and looks at him. He and the others chase Arthur, who runs into the kitchen and barricades the door. Aki is tied to a pillar, and all of the knives are dull. Aki thanks him for trying and says that he has to leave her, but Arthur insists that he'll save her. The lights flicker and Aki laughs. She turns into Chris, and Arthur hugs his friend. Chris tells him that he's there to grant Arthur's wish and make him suffer, and Julian comes in dressed as a cook, sharpening a cleaver.
Chris strings Arthur up and reaches into Arthur's chest to twist the bullet with a pair of tongs. When that doesn't work, he sticks his hand in. Julian says that it's the version of Chris in Arthur's head, and figures that Arthur feels guilty for leaving Chris behind. Arthur tells Chris that he did what he had to to survive, but Chris isn't convinced. Julian hands Chris an extendible clamp and digs into Arthur's bullet wound.
Grace takes out the bone fragments and Pearl sprinkles powder on the wound. She explains that she did it once before for her daughter... Aki. Grace offers her condolences and thanks Pearl for helping them. She sees her photo of her and Karma on the wall, and Pearl says that Arthur isn't the only one on a quest. She tells Grace that she knows everything about Grace, tosses the photo into the brazier, and watches it burn. Pearl then says that first Grace tried pretending that she didn't care, and now she cares too much. She says that sometimes it doesn't matter how much she cares, and she has to let go.
The guests try to break through the door, and Julian tells Chris that they'd better serve the first course before the guests eat Arthur raw. He tells Arthur that they're going to butcher and eat him, and then they'll do it day after day after day for an eternity. Chris admits that the key was real and holds it up, and the horse whinnies. Julian runs out and Chris says that he didn't expect him that quick. Arthur kicks Chris back and breaks free, and knocks a bottle of sauce over Chris' arm. It breaks, and Chris starts eating his own arm. Arthur grabs the key from his belt and goes out.
Arthur backs outside and finds Leon and Julian facing off. Julian flips a coin for Arthur's soul, Leon shoots Julian in the head, killing him, and takes off his sunglasses to reveal the dark pits of his eyes. He says that there's no place he can't find Arthur, and Arthur starts to run but Leon fires a shot into the dirt at Arthur's feet. Arthur walks over and tells Leon to say what he has to say. Leon nails him to a cross and says that it's time for Arthur to listen.
In the restaurant, Arthur jerks as the nails go in. The Camaro appears with Arthur's journal on the hood, and all of the pages say that Arthur is a failure. Arthur tells Leon that he'll be good, and Leon takes the key from his pocket and jabs it into Arthur's wound. He says that there are no good guys, and a TV turns on to show aa scene from Arthur's life before he became a policeman, when he broke into a storage unit.
Arthur goes through the storage unit taking supplies. A cop comes in and Arthur shoots at him and takes cover. The cop, Sutherland, says that Arthur isn't in control, and tells him to throw the gun out. Arthur does so, and the cop wonders if he's a demo. Sutherland asks what color Arthur bleeds, and Arthur tries to run. The cop slams him against the wall and asks who sent him. Sutherland checks and confirms that Arthur was stealing supplies, and realizes that Arthur is just a dumb human burglar. HQ calls to ask if Sutherland needs backup, and Arthur says that he was just trying to eat. Sutherland tells HQ that it was a false alarm, and then tells Arthur that he's letting him go. He reminds Arthur to take his bag, and says that the world is going to get a whole lot worse so Arthur needs to stop being selfish and care about something bigger than himself.
Sutherland tells Arthur to get the hell out, and then collapses from a wound in his side. Arthur runs over and says that he won't let Sutherland die. He tells Sutherland to call for an ambulance, and Sutherland says that ContraCrime took over the hospitals years ago and he can't afford an ambulance. He gives Arthur his journal and there's somebody behind everything. Everything he does know is in the journal, and if Arthur believes it then he shouldn't ignore it. HQ calls to say that backup is on the way, and Sutherland tells Arthur to go because they'll never believe that it was an accident... and the world still needs heroes.
Sutherland pulls the nails out of Arthur's wrists, and Arthur says that he tried his best. He drops down to the ground, and Sutherland draws his gun and tells him that there's only one cop left to kill. He kneels and gives Arthur the gun, and says that Arthur is the only one who can make it right. Arthur takes the gun and then stands up and shoots himself.
Arthur jerks and Pearl warns that Grace can't change fate. She says that she doesn't believe in fate, and jabs a transfusion tube into her arm and then Arthur's. Grace gives him her blood... and wakes up lone in the back room. There's a bill and a takeout package next to her. Grace goes out to the dining room. There's no one there and a blood trail leads out the door. Grace follows it and calls to Arthur, but gets no answer. She finds a fortune cookie with the bill and opens it, and finds her lucky number 1031 written on it, and a message saying that they hope to see Grace again soon. Alone, Grace yells again to Arthur.
Written by Gadfly on Aug 10, 2017