285 South (1)

Episode Report Card
Hit The Road, Max

Fade in on the UFO Center, exterior, under the cover of late-night darkness. Suddenly inside, renegade alien Michael Gerrin slides down a long chute in an apparently successful attempt to sneak into said museum. Following this highly charged entrance via an unconventional method (to get back out, will Michael have to use the converse "ladders?"), Michael stands and surveys his surroundings. He comes eye-to-eye with a life-size plastic replica of a camouflaged law-enforcement official enacting vengeance on some plastic-replica-of-an-alien ass. Predictably accessorized in the typical accouterments of any self-respecting New Mexican lawkeeper, even the plastic government agent wears giant, mirrored seventies sunglasses. Michael offers his best bad-ass glare to what is really nothing more than a giant hunk of plastic ("I spit at your law-enforcing ways, Officer Animatronic Porno," Michael’s look seems to say), and moves on. After surveying the space, Michael climbs a nearby flight of metal steps and approaches a door adorned with two signs probably purchased at this museum's own gift shop: "District Headquarters" and "Certified UFOlogists Only." I fixate just a bit too long (okay, fine, three hours) on the latter sign, pronouncing aloud the word "UFOlogists" which has more potential ways to say it than many other words with disputed pronunciations such as "dour" or "Nabokov." I finally sacrifice the "O" and pronounce the "U" and the "F" separately, thus maintaining the integrity of the suffix "ologist." So the official definition of the word on that sign, then, is "one who studies UF." What the hell does THAT mean?

Through the forbidden door with the migraine-inducing signs (whatever happened to a simple "KEEP OUT?"), Michael enters a room containing a lot of books and a computer. Lucky for him, the computer screen conveniently shows the UFO Center’s "Site Search Index," all loaded up and ready for use. Deciding that he can wait just a little while longer before clicking to the witty and insightful description of this scene over at Mighty Big TV ("UFOlogists! How droll!" Michael might chuckle aloud), Michael types the name "James Atherton" into the search field. Oh, for those of you who surfed over to fill the deepening void in your lives since Get Real went on, uh, vacation, you don’t know that James Atherton is the author of an alien conspiracy book that Max (you’ll meet him later. Some believe he is "adorable," though I am wont to disagree) read in last week’s ep. Nice job, Michael, sneaking your paranoid alien self into a museum dedicated to alien paranoia and looking for a whole lotta information about somebody who spent a lot of time thinking about aliens. Interestingly enough, there are other places filled with information about authors and their writing. They’re called public libraries, entry into them is free, legal, and encouraged, and I’ll bet your town probably has one. But I’m not really complaining. On Roswell, any action must be considered good action. So Michael prints out two pages. I know this because the continually accommodating computer informs us in seventy-two-point blinking lights that it is "Printing Two Pages." As Michael retrieves his two pages, however, his eye catches a sleeping Bania the Curator, sound asleep in a nearby chair. Uh. Oh. Michael backpedals in a hurry and is almost out, but at the critical moment, the printer begins to malfunction (the computer shakes its goody-two-shoes head in abject disgust), and Bania is roused. Furious at the intrusion, he chases Michael with a model spaceship which, in defense of his chosen weapon, looks really pointy. Michael backs away, searching for an exit, repeating, "It’s all a mistake. It’s all a big mistake." He makes it to the steps and turns to run, but is stopped suddenly by Porno’s gun-wielding second-in-command, Native American (oh, I’m sorry. Is that name a little offensive? Well, it wouldn’t have to be if someone would get around to giving this character a name already). "You’re right about that," he quips (about it all being a big mistake, I think), and Michael is trapped. Omigod. He got caught. CAUGHT! We are truly on the brink of something different and wonderful here. No more "Lights, Camera, Inaction" this week. No sir. Well, okay, maybe a little.

Opening credits -- the only time they’re not whining is when thirty seconds of theme song are drowning them out.

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