It's been a week since Amy up and vanished and things have hit rock bottom for Nick. They have so hit rock bottom that it's time to call in the big guns—specifically, New York lawyer Tanner Bolt, a good looking guy with a tan who specializes in getting off husbands who look like they did it. He's ridiculously expensive, but if anyone can rid Nick of this hell he's trapped in, it's Tanner Bolt.
Nick asks Boney if he can leave town, and she seems really entertained that he thinks this television cop show cliché is actually for real. On the way to the airport, he calls Marybeth, who is apparently giving him the silent treatment after the news of Amy's pregnancy. He explains that at Rand's suggestion (or not—we've got a feeling this is just something he made up) he's getting a lawyer, says he's horrible with leaving messages, and also that he hopes she'll call him back.
Tanner Bolt's office is not far away from Nick's old magazine, which is a nice trip down memory lane. Or, you know, not so much. His arrival is kind of disastrous, and while he's in the elevator a woman recognizes him as the wife-killing Lance Nicholas Dunne and looks at him like he's a leper, a clown, a politician, or someone else not particularly well-liked.
While he awaits his appointment with Tanner, Nick calls Go, who feels really badly for practically accusing him of murder the night before. He says that he's in such a tight spot that all he needed to get an appointment with Tanner was for his staff to have seen the news—and then their conversation is interrupted when Mr. Bolt himself comes into the waiting room and invites Nick into his office.
Tanner lays down some ground rules at their meeting in his posh office with a gas fireplace. Nick will no longer speak to his pals Boney and Gilpin without his lawyer present. Even more important, though, is public opinion. The media will probably get their grimy hands on every inch of Nick's personal life, and what they already know looks pretty bad. Staying in favor with Amy's parents—which the pregnancy news seems to have wrecked—is also crucial.
As a brainstorming exercise for Operation Make Nick Likeable Again, Tanner assigns Nick to make a list of every sweet, mushy, romantic thing he's done for Amy in the last year. Not surprisingly, Nick can't think of a single thing, which makes him feel like the creep he generally seems like these days.
The meeting with Tanner also inspires a strange trait in Nick: honesty. He tells Tanner about the affair with Andie, and Tanner orders him to immediately end it, even telling him that he'll coach Nick in How to Dump Your Adulterous Girlfriend 101.
Back in Missouri, Nick thinks about how losing Amy has actually made her a stronger presence in his mind. He realizes that her intelligence, wit, and creativity brought out the best him, and he also realizes that in the last year, he's convinced himself that Amy was blowing their marriage when really this was all his fault to begin with.
He still hasn't forgotten, though, that he has a mystery to solve: the fourth clue. He thinks he's figured out the gift: an old fashioned, wooden cradle. But the rest of the clue, the actual location of the gift, is still a mystery. Until, all of a sudden, it isn't.
Amy's clue says that the location of the gift is "where you store goodies for anniversary five." If the fifth anniversary gift is wood, it must be a woodshed… which is also where you take someone who "needs to be punished" and has "been very bad." There's a decrepit woodshed behind Go's house, which she and Nick always thought would be an awesome place to hide a body. In a panic, he drives across town to Go's and makes a run for the woodshed.
Nick opens the door, and whatever's inside is bad enough to inspire a reaction of pure horror.