Joe Valery, Kate’s henchman, grows more curious about Kate’s obsession with Ethyl. He wonders what information Ethyl has that’s making Kate so nervous. He begins to put the pieces together. When he discovers that Ethyl has been found drowned in the ocean a few towns over, he decides not to tell Kate—he thinks he can use Ethyl to wield some power for the first time in his life. He lies to Kate, and tells her Ethyl has been spotted in Salinas.
Joe has spotted Kate’s weakness. Once again we see Kate’s strength being challenged; and once again, we become increasingly convinced that she is not invincible. Though she is a force to be reckoned with, she will not prevail.