wow, that was sure an unexpected twist. a perfectly modulated scene, building with dangerous quiet intensity to it's horrifying climax.. this was a tough episode - the setup for the finale. still brilliant, but clearly a bridge. all the stuff with nate was fantastic - and it's really great to see the characters get deeply philosophical again. when brenda and billy talk about how as they get older there are fewer people around them, and fewer people who 'get them,' because they become so honed by experience that fewer people can relate or understand. this episode also found a way to get political in ways that tie into the storyline, and have been developing logically - the opening death was one of the most harrowing. also, we learn that maggie actually does have a personality. that actress must have been so excited to actually get to drive the scene for once. can't wait to see what the final 75 minutes, written by alan ball, will hold.