A Roswell Christmas Carol

Episode Report Card
Djb: D+ | Grade It Now!
Fa la la la...not

Over at The House That Government Subsidy Built, Isabel enters with an armload of gifts and freezes in her path when Michael unearths a dirty-ass car bumper and informs Isabel, "It's a bumper." For a Jetta. She responds, "Yes, I see that." Thanks, so did we. She puts down her wrapped gifts and approaches, asking him how her speech to him the previous day resulted in this present. He fills in all of the criteria of it being a thoughtful, personal, original gift Maria would never buy for herself. Blee blah blook. Isabel takes a deep breath and pulls out her planner, promising, "I'm gonna take the Christmas Dog Show off my calendar and take you shopping and rectify this situation." Pity. How much fun would "Roswell 210: The Christmas Dog Show" have been for an episode? Paging Fred Willard. Much better than this, I'm telling you that. Whatever. This episode hasn't even started getting bad yet.

Michael snipes that he doesn't want this to become a big deal that makes everyone miserable, and Isabel takes it personally, accusing him, "Are you saying I make everyone around me miserable?" before launching into the woe-be-it-to-my-martyred-alien-self speech o' the week: "Is it too much to ask that one day a year I can be a normal human being with a normal life and have a merry Christmas?" Well, she's not human. So, no. Maybe that's the point of the speech. I'm too busy giving a CRAP to know for sure. Michael adds, "No, mein fuehrer." I guess I have no leg to stand on with the whole Nazi thing, so that's over. Drugstore sequence retread. She indicates the pile of gifts she put down on The End Table That Government Subsidy Built, imbuing them with a presently pointless level of importance in asking, "Is it all right if I leave some gifts here? I have more shopping to do." She leaves. Even before I watched this episode in its entirety, I knew we were paying a severe amount of attention to those packages, so clunky was the process of pointing them out. When the "I guess she bought foreshadowing for everyone this year" jokes are handed to you, there's not much you can do but step back and point out where they might have gone. Here, for instance.

Holy supermarket sweep! A new set! We're inside of -- no, really -- a supermarket. Porno is hurling TV dinners with pictures of turkey on them in Kyle's direction, repeatedly yelling the words "Meaty Man" in a way I never, ever want to hear him say ever again. He continues, "Meaty Man, in case the game runs late on Sunday," even though the clear intent is to consume those delicious morsels on Christmas day, which falls on a Monday. Would that have been so hard to check on? Tess stands next to Kyle, who catches the Meaty Man (dude, I can't even believe I have to write that nasty sentence) dinners Porno is throwing his way. From behind Porno approaches the cart of -- oh, man, it's Maria's ersatz Jewish mom, DeLucawitz. Hey, Nazis! Sic 'er! Just like a Nazi: there's never one around when you need one. Porno gets all flustered and greets her, his voice cracking like a jeopardized member of Menudo in wishing her a "Merry Christmas." She bids hello to Kyle and greets who she believes to be Tess, turning back to Porno and telling him that "this is what Christmas is all about. Opening your heart and creating new family." Porno tries to act the modest one, claiming "it's just a temporary thing," but she begs him to admit that "this is a very special year" for all of them. Porno looks back at his kids and finally, God help us, breaks into one of those big creepy smiles we haven't seen with any regularity since the long-forgotten days of Renee. He then repeats "very special" and breaks into a cackle that sounds less like a jubilant cry than a really sinister private joke that only he knows. He flashes the pearly yellows once more, the sheer stomach-turning impact of which causes all of the fresh meat in the desert southwest to spontaneously spoil. Thank goodness, then, for the copious frozen provisions of a certain Meaty Man I might take the time to mention here. DeLucawitz indicates some Christmas tree ornaments in her cart and product-places "the secular concept of holiday celebration" with the oddly Laura-Linney-in-The Truman Show line, "I always say: You can never have too many ornaments, right?" Tess grabs at some nearby ornaments and gleefully agrees that that's what they always say, too.

A butcher's hands appear out of nowhere just over the counter from DeLucawitz, and place a raw turkey from the planet "Whoa, Big-Ass Turkey" right in front of her. Tight close-up of raw meat. Um, gross. But not as bad as the laugh. Or the ass. DeLucawitz picks it up and places it in the cart, embarrassedly informing Porno on departure, "If you ever want to stop by, there'll always be a DeLuca Christmas pie waiting." He looks around, confused: "Is that sex? Does she mean sex? That means sex, right?" DeLucawitz wheels her cart off-camera and right back behind River Dog onto the aforementioned unemployment line, as Porno, Kyle, and Tess stand in silence for the length of a close-up on The Meaty Men Of Shame and the furrowing of brows all around.

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