From the news agent, Pinkie watches Ida stride down the street. Dallow points her out and tells Pinkie he’s had a narrow escape with his mother-in-law. Pinkie does not correct him. He heads back to Frank’s, finding a plastic violet on the stairs. It smells of California Poppy perfume. He picks the flower up and goes to see Rose, asking how it went with her mother. Rose tells him it was fine; she wasn’t in a mood. The flower’s wire stem digs into his palm. Pinkie leaves and finds Dallow again, saying they need to talk. In the basement, Pinkie tells Dallow that people are starting to close in on him.
The fake flower, plastic, tacky, and redolent of Ida’s scent, represents Pinkie’s inability to trust Rose for any extended period of time. It also symbolizes Ida’s constant presence in Pinkie and Rose’s fragile relationship. The stem digs into Pinkie’s palm in the same way fear and mistrust press on his mind.
Pinkie realizes he dropped the fake flower outside his room. He curses his carelessness and tells Dallow that the woman who’d come to see Rose wasn’t her mother but the buer who was with Hale in the taxi the day he died. He wonders why Rose would lie to him, and whether she’s started talking. Dallow doesn’t think she would. Pinkie says they need to do something soon or the whole world will know they killed Hale.
Pinkie is getting sloppy. His carelessness contrasts with Ida’s methodical approach. She is tireless. Pinkie, it seems, is weary of cover-ups and subterfuge. And he’s becoming paranoid and increasingly suspicious.
Pinkie tells Dallow they have to find some way of shutting Rose up. Dallow says he needs to stop thinking that way, but Pinkie feels like he’s set events in motion and he has to keep going, that there is no stopping. Dallow reminds Pinkie that Rose is devoted to him, and Pinkie says that will simply make everything easier. Dallow tells Pinkie he will not stand for any more killing, and Pinkie suggests the possibility that Rose will kill herself. The thought gives him a spurt of pride.
Pinkie is proud of the idea that Rose might be driven to suicide. This depraved reaction to what would, in fact, be a tragedy, reveals Pinkie’s growing desperation. He thinks he has everything figured out, but, in reality, he is plagued by feelings of guilt and anxiety.
Pinkie heads back up to his room and finds Rose waiting for him on the landing at the top of the stairs. She confesses that she lied earlier. It wasn’t her mother she met with; it was Ida. Pinkie feels a momentary sensation of comfort. Maybe he doesn’t have to make a plan for Rose’s death after all. Then he sees the fake flower on the landing to his room and supposes she’s only telling him about Ida now because she realized he knew all along. He doesn’t know if he can trust Rose, but he’s also convinced it doesn’t matter. He’ll take care of things, one way or an other. He reminds Rose of the note she wrote to him about sticking to him no matter what and she tells him she meant it.
Rose is incapable of lying to Pinkie. Pinkie, given his background and his work in organized crime, is incapable of trusting anyone. Pinkie’s vow to take care of things has an ominous tone. It harkens back to his conversation with Dallow about the possibility of Rose committing suicide.
Pinkie says he’s not worried; as long as Ida doesn’t find out about Spicer, he’s fine. Rose recoils the slightest bit at this, saying she thought Pinkie was guiltless in Spicer’s death. Pinkie lies and tells her he just doesn’t want Ida to find out he was at Frank’s when it happened. That’s all. He tells Rose not to worry, either. They’ll just keep going on as they are and everything will be fine.
Rose always knew that Pinkie was involved in Hale’s death. She did not realize, though, that Pinkie killed Spicer, and she is disturbed by the thought that he would kill one of his own men. Going on as they are is not a happy prospect for Rose, who is being dogged by Ida at every turn.