Todd’s mother helps Ezra get a plea deal of eight months in a minimum-security prison. Rosemary visits him there, and finds him dejected. He tells her that there has still been no sign of Harlow. Harlow had told Rosemary that she had three brothers and two sisters, all from different fathers, and that they all lived together with minimal adult supervision. However, in reality it turns out that Harlow is an only child and that her parents are still together.
This passage highlights how easily people can become deluded, and how dangerous delusion can be. As a result of Ezra’s love for Harlow and his impulsive decision to break into the UC Primate Center, he is now in prison. Meanwhile, Rosemary is also a victim of Harlow’s manipulation, as she believed her friend’s lies about her family background.
Rosemary meets Harlow’s parents for coffee, and they tell her that they are worried Harlow has been kidnapped. Rosemary assures them that she’s certain Harlow is fine. She realizes that Harlow’s parents have a totally different impression of their daughter than what Rosemary knows to be the truth. Back at the prison, Rosemary feels a strong impulse to comfort Ezra. She asks him where he thought the monkeys would go after he freed them, and he replies: “Wherever the hell they wanted.”
Harlow’s parents are clearly more delusional than anyone. Their desire to see their daughter as law-abiding and normal has totally blinded them to Harlow’s true nature. Ezra’s final comment further elaborates on the seductive yet dangerous nature of delusion. Ezra’s naïve hope that the monkeys could go “wherever the hell they wanted” is certainly well meaning, but ignores the fact that humans have made most of the world inhospitable for wild animals.