Control (2)

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Out of control

As the ship lifts off the ground, lights blazing, Max opens the hangar door. His phone rings -- Liz has finally taken Maria's advice (Max's phone says "Liz calling" but doesn't sport the Nokia brand name, which shocks me), but Max chooses not to answer. The beckoning beam of light shoots down from the ship, and, as Max walks over to board, it suddenly sputters and comes crashing down, narrowly and unfortunately missing Max's swollen head. I'm so loving the fact that all of his work has come to nothing, in a terribly unceremonious way. What an anti-climactic anti-climax. After the ship settles, it spits out Cal, who tumbles into a little unconscious pile on the floor. Max closes the door and runs to help Cal, who mutters about "too much damage from the initial crash."

Back in the Evans kitchen, scene of so much recent familial discord, Isabel walks in to find Eunice, paragon of housewifely duties, unloading the dishwasher. Again, feigned happiness from Eunice; Isabel informs her that a spot has opened up at the wedding pavilion at Summerhaven Park -- Eunice summons avoidance by bitching about her husband's dishwasher loading -- where she and Jesse are getting married. In two weeks. This shocks Eunice out of her task; she looks at Isabel with disbelief, and says, "You're what?" Isabel repeats her vastly accelerated timeline, and Eunice surmises that she's doing this out of anger at her, that they've been playing this little push-pull game for years. No, says Isabel, it's not about Eunice, but she would very much like to have her support on the rapidly-approaching big day, which she believes will be the best thing that ever happened to her. "I'm sorry," says Eunice, "but I can't do that." A knock at the door -- it's Michael, with the aforementioned casserole dish, supremely crusted with gunk. Now that's classy -- he's had this thing for weeks and didn't bother to wash it? Boys will be boys, even if they're really aliens. Isabel stands frozen through an exchange of pleasantries, looking stricken, and then excuses herself with a whisper.

Cal's Mercedes pulls up in front of his mansion, and Max races around to help Cal out of the passenger seat. As he pulls Cal across the driveway and drops him on the ground in front of the door, the beleaguered producer (still wearing his dumb hat) tells Max, "I destroyed my life for you tonight." He says that this is how Max -- "Your Majesty" -- has always been. Selfish and ungrateful. Being Max's protector might have been encoded in his genes, says Cal, but after tonight, he'll never stop hating him. Ouch. Max, instead of bothering with a "thank you," stays true to type and makes it all about him, telling Cal that he did indeed sleep with the enemy and then send his son back, but that he has to suffer by living with the biggest mistake of his life every single day. Oh, boo hoo. Give it a rest, you tiresome bore. At least he's taking responsibility. He tells Cal that he shouldn't have dragged him into this, but he didn't know what else to do. Cal, in a completely unnecessary burst of magnanimity, advises Max to think about the people he almost left behind -- sister, girlfriend, mother (the ladies, the ladies). Max wonders how Cal knows about all of them; he replies, "It's my job," before telling Max never to return. A final word of advice from Cal: "The more you embrace your alien side, the more you're gonna lose." Cal drags himself up the stairs, leaving Max to ponder the incredible level of self-involvement he has displayed for…the past several decades.

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