Fire + Water

Episode Report Card
Daniel: D+ | 2 USERS: C+
Baptism by liar
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!
We open on a shot of a massive oil painting. If it is a famous one, I'm afraid I am letting you down, as I didn't recognize it, but I never claimed to be an art expert. However, I have it on good authority (i.e. Professor Google) that it is "The Baptism of Christ" by Verrocchio). What I do know is that the dude there in the middle is Jesus, or perhaps Johnny Damon before the trade, so this painting dates back at least a couple of months. We pan over to bunny-slippered feet padding excitedly down carpeted stairs. It's a tow-headed little moppet in plaid pajamas, and he rushes into the living room. There's a Christmas tree surrounded by presents. After the painting, I wasn't exactly expecting to see a menorah, I have to admit.

There's an older boy there already excitedly opening presents, and the younger lad -- oh, let's just call him Charlie -- starts grabbing presents himself, only to find that they're all tagged for "Liam," who has ripped open one gift to find Voltron. Thing is, it's actually a G.I. Joe, but I guess in the U.K. they call G.I. Joe "Voltron." I didn't know that. "Where are MY presents?" whines Charlie. Selfish crybaby even then, hey?

But a bathrobed mommy has just entered to say, "Right over here, Charlie," like I guess she didn't want to leave the eight-ball under the tree. Actually, over to the side is something large covered in blankets and brown paper. Underneath is an upright piano, which Young Charlie is quite thrilled to have. I think I was about Young Charlie's age when we got a piano, and I have to say I wasn't nearly so thrilled as Charlie is. Guess the music and/or heroin bug hadn't bitten me. Yet. "Father Christmas must have known how talented you are!" says Mom. And he brought the piano anyway, you mean? Mommy calls Charlie "special," and I think by the time this series ends, every character will have been described this way. "Someday you'll get us out of here. All of us," she says, and I imagine that eventually we'll find out whatever became of Mommy. Hope Charlie helped you escaped your hellish existence wherein you, as an apparently single mother, can afford to give pianos for Christmas presents. "Yes, c'mon, baby brothah," we hear from over by the tree, and when Charlie turns, his brother Liam is his grown-up junkie rock star self, and apparently wearing a diaper. So we're doing the dream sequence, are we? Great. That's always a winner. Like Lost isn't incomprehensible enough on its own. "You can't save your family if you don't play," he says, and goes back to playing with his "Voltron." And now Young Charlie is Adult Charlie. Another exhortation from Mom to play. And now there is a butcher in the living room, and I mean complete with bloody meat on a butcher block and a huge cleaver. "Dad?" says Charlie. We don't see the butcher's face as he harangues Charlie about needing to learn a trade. How interesting that they're giving a character on this show some daddy issues. It's about time they explored this theme, don't you think? And Butcher Daddy then chops the head off a doll (some obscure Beatles reference?), so am I to take it that Daddy wasn't an actual butcher but more of a performance-artist butcher? Liam, who is by now lying down on the couch, sarcastically asks Charlie to save them, and his mother sincerely says it, and Charlie turns back from the piano, and I swear that if he starts plinking out "Heart and Soul" then I will take that cleaver myself and bury it in his skull.

And Charlie begins to tinkle out some chords, and he's playing it like when a hair band plays a ballad and so the drummer steps out from behind the kit to play some basic chord progression (I'm thinking like Tommy Lee and "Home Sweet Home," in that vein) and any fingers of his that aren't actually depressing keys are sticking straight out all rigid, which ought to earn him a slap across the knuckles by his piano teacher.

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