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Angels In America

Episode Five Recap


Hannah tends to the depressed Harper while at the Mormon Visitor's Centre, where Hannah has begun to volunteer.  They are sitting by a display of the Mormon migration featuring a wife and husband dummy.  The husband dummy looks suspiciously like Joe.  Hannah confides in Harper about Joe's homosexuality.  "My minister said that he thinks its mothers too close to their sons that cause this," she ponders.  "I guess we disproved that theory."   

Louis, who is riddled with guilt for abandoning his sick boyfriend, tells Joe that he wants to see Prior again.  Louis is amazed how Joe can blossom after coming out of the closet and abandoning his wife. "I want to see Prior again, I miss him.  I have to see him, it's been a month, I'm worried." says Louis.  Joe is concerned that his short relationship with Louis is over.  "I want to be with you," proclaims Joe.  'You have to figure out what you need, be brave and then you 'll come back to me," he says.

Harper is at the visitors centre talking to the wife dummy.  "Bitter lady of the plains, talk to me, tell me what to do.  My hearts an anchor," she says.
The formerly silent Mormon mother comes to life and gives Harper painful but valuable advice on loss and change.

Louis calls Prior and tells him he wants to see him.  Prior reluctantly agrees to meet.
At the apartment, Hannah continues tending to Harper's mental well being.  "Life is disappointing, you have to accept it," she says.  "With faith, time, and hard work it doesn't hurt so much, it gets quite easy to live."  Harper replies: "I'm not like you, strange things happen to me all the time, I could be a witch.  Hannah scoffs at the idea.  "I could be a witch. Why not?  I married a fairy," she jokes.
Joe visits Roy in hospital. He reveals that he has left Harper for a man. Stunned and angry, Roy demands that Joe end his gay relationship at once.  Roy has a seizure.  Joe runs off hysterically upset.

When Louis and Prior meet, Louis begs Prior to take him back.  Prior does not respond well to Louis' request.  He is further frustrated when it is revealed that Louis has another lover.  "There are thousands of gay men in New York with Aids and nearly everyone of them has been taken care of by either friends or a lover who has stuck by them," says Prior. "Everybody got that, except me.  I got you.  Why?  What's wrong with me?"  Louis says he's hurting.  Prior coldly insists that Louis must present visible proof of his internal hurt before he takes him back.

As Roy's health rapidly deteriorates, he reflects on the possibility of being disbarred.  "Lawyers are the high priests of America," he ponders.  "The law is the only club I ever wanted to belong to, before they take that from me, I'm going to die."   The ghost of Ethel Rosenberg comes to observe him in his misery.  "Nobody with me now, but the dead," says a sick Roy.

Prior and Belize go to Joe's workplace, so Prior can check out his replacement.  When he barges into the office, Prior has a few stern words. "You better keep a file on the hearts you break," he tells Joe.  Belize hurries a ranting Prior away.

Louis arranges a meeting with Belize to try and convince Belize to help him win back Prior.  "I'm horribly unhappy," Louis says.  "I'm in love with Prior," Belize later tells Louis about Joe's relationship with Roy Cohn, whose politics and personal history Louis despises.  This news makes Louis even more depressed.

Joe finally visits his mother Hannah at the visitor's centre.  Prior has followed him.  "He's a Mormon?" a shocked Prior screams.  Meanwhile, Hannah updates Joe on Harper's progress and asks Joe what he is running from.  She tells Joe that being a woman is harder than being a man, and he should accept his responsibility as a husband.

After Joe leaves, Prior confronts Hannah and tells her about Joe and Louis.  Prior suddenly has an episode at the visitor's centre.  Despite her religious beliefs, Hannah takes him to the hospital and tends to him.
Joe returns to Harper, and they have sex.  "Why do you keep your eyes closed?" Harper asks.  Joe says he closes his eye so he can imagine men while having sex with her.  This revelation upsets Joe.  He reacts by wanting to abandon Harper again.  While Joe is dressing, Harper strips down naked and demands Joe to look at her.  "What do you see?" she screams.  "I see nothing," he replies.   Harper seems please with the response.  "Thank you.  Finally the truth," she says.


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