Behind The Music

Episode Report Card
Djb: C+ | Grade It Now!
Her boyfriend's back and he's gonna be in trouble

Hal really does have quite a bit of scruff for a seventeen-year-old, doesn't he? Outside the Crashdown, Maria is on one of those ex-boyfriend perma-breaks that are part and parcel of federal labor laws (I take those all the time at work), listening as Hal woos her with pick-up lines from The Humbert Humbert Guide To Dating: "Last time I saw you, you were thirteen going on thirty." She retorts accordingly, "And you were, like, ninety-eight pounds going on this." Translation: "You're fat! Perhaps you noticed inside that I have no problem with that. Here. Have another space cruller." Flirty flirty flirty. That Hal. So shallow. Maria turns the topic to how long Hal will be shallowing up her airspace, and he notes that it will be "just a couple of days." On his way to New York. From where, Roswell Heights? I've done the transcontinental thing many more times than I care to think about by plane and train and automobile, and I have never once gone through Roswell, New Mexico on my way there or back. Hal asks if it's "cool" with Maria's mom that he stay at the house, and Maria levels with him that "she's actually gonna be out of town." Hal's eyes widen and other parts of Hal do other things that I prefer never to reflect upon, and the awkwardly hormonal moment is diffused when Hal changes topics again, asking, "Well, I can't wait to hear what you've been working on." Maria is quizzical. Working on? You know, music and so forth. Hal remembers, "I can still remember some of the lyrics you wrote back in band camp." When she was thirteen. And her song "I Like Puppies And Joey Lawrence" left not a dry eye at the band camp talent show. Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like a song I wrote when I was thirteen, doesn't it? Except for the puppies part.

Max skulks skulkily into the Crashdown kitchen, eliciting a "what are you doing in here?" from a preoccupied Michael. Max tells Michael that "something came up" and to cancel his plans with Maria and Hal. Michael steps outside and introduces himself to Hal as "the boyfriend," and then makes up a convoluted excuse filled with "Steves" and "Cheryls" for why he can't come out with them. Hal dispenses his slacker wisdom: "You gotta do what you gotta do." Michael kisses Maria and goes back inside. Hal notes, "He seems nice," and Maria sardonically retorts, "Yeah, he's a peach." They laugh I-don't-get-the-joke-ily.

A new set! Somewhere on this boldly bland 7 1/2 x 11 expanse of soundstage, there's a note reading, "Dear Roswell: Merry Christmas. Ask for this present ever again and you'll be cancelled before you can say 'encore performance of Special Unit 2, this and every Tuesday at 9.' Peace on Earth, your friends at Paramount." Jesse "Attorney at Yawn" Ramirez carries numerous boxes through the door, labeled "linens" and "shower gifts" and what have you, and Isabel bosses him around the place, barking destinations for said boxes. Finally, he lets go of the boxes and drops them to the ground (this whole sequence would have been rendered far less romantic had he been carrying the other assortment of boxes labeled "Ming vases" and "Hitler's brain preserved in a jar of formaldehyde"), picking up his booty of Isabel and twirling her around the place. He tells her, "It's tradition." Breaking all the shower gifts the day you move in is "tradition"? Can I have my blender back? They smooch and smooch until a ringing telephone interrupts them and she picks it up to hear Max ask, "Did you find your healing stone?" Isabel tells Max he's "way overreacting," Max tells her that their father is "on the warpath," Isabel tells Max that their father is "not the enemy," and turns around to find the smiling maw of Philip Evans staring back at her at uncomfortably close range. Run! It's the Monopoly Nazi! And he's on the warpath! And he's got a frond! Monopoly Nazi tells her he just came by to see the new place, which he calls "cozy." Isabel tells Monopoly Nazi that he should have waited until the place was a little more settled, but he's all, "Don't be silly, I can hang an awkward conversational segue on even the barest of walls," continuing on, "You in your new house, Max with his new car." Yeah, and by the way: "I didn't even know Max was getting a new car. Do you even know when he got rid of the Jeep?" Convincing cross-examination, like Clarence Darrow in his prime.

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