Control (2)

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Out of control

At Cal's party, Max is presenting his new "project" to a rapt audience -- it looks like each and every guest has gathered to listen attentively, which I'm sure is exactly what happens all the time at producer parties when some first-timer starts ranting about his latest idea. "An alien, stranded on Earth, tries to find his way back home," says Max, as the camera pans past a table littered with Emmys. Points for subliminal suggestiveness -- I'm sure Emmy voters will awake tomorrow with a strange compulsion to bestow awards on a scrappy little show called Roswell. "Like ET?" breathes Blonde Boobies. Sort of, except this one sucks. "Yes," replies Max, "but think Tom Cruise." Okay, this is about the twentieth reference to Tom Cruise since I started watching last week. What gives? If being in-the-know is the goal, why are the writers being so lame and obvious? Oh, I forgot. Because they're lame and obvious. Brian opines that it would be more like Starman, demonstrating his familiarity with the classics, and Cal says that Starman didn't open, leaning over to light a cigar in a candle. While doing this, he sticks his pinky finger into the flame (he's holding it out like some British matron drinking tea) and doesn't flinch or burn. Max stops pitching to watch Cal, which should inspire the other people in the room to follow his gaze toward Cal's miraculous finger. Even if Max knows why Cal isn't burning, you'd think someone else might point out the fact that a very powerful producer is risking injury by sticking his hand into the fire. But they don't, of course. Maybe Cal is such an asshole that everyone secretly hopes he'll burst into flames.

Max insists that the story gets better, and barrels ahead. Seems that our alien hero hunts down another alien, also trapped on Earth, who's the only one who can help our hero on his quest. "How?" asks a fellow named Scott; Max answers that there's a ship (Max flashes a big Tom Cruise smile here, and Cal giggles), and this alien might know where to find it. This other alien is a "big Hollywood producer," and suddenly everyone's eyes light up, because now Max is talking about them! Cal loves it but, heating up this polite, subtext-laden war of words, says he doesn't like "feel-good science fiction flicks" -- they're only interesting if somebody dies. Max makes a stymied face, and shuts up.

Isabel, wearing some darling blue PJs and brushing her hair, walks into her bedroom to find Michael sitting at her desk. She's annoyed that he didn't ring the doorbell (to her room?); he just says that he got her message, and optimistically asks if it's a joke. No way, José, says Isabel, I'm goin' to the chapel! Michael (is Brendan Fehr Canadian?) reminds her that they agreed not to bring anyone else into this, whatever that might be. Isabel says she doesn't want to put her life on hold (as if fifteen years of high school didn't do just that) and that this is her one chance to be happy, to love someone and have him love her back, without all the garbage that has made them miserable for their entire lives. Then she takes a breath. Get this girl a Prozac! Then, in her wise, knowing way, she says that, after much thought, she sees no reason that Jesse needs to know the truth, which is such a positive way to start your life as a wife. Michael replies, "Well, knowing what I know about alien sex, he's gonna have major questions after the honeymoon." A nice, deflating rejoinder that nonetheless conjures some very unpleasant images, mostly involving Isabel and Jesse as humans. Isabel tells Michael to get out; he rises, with much fanfare of hair, and asks what Max thinks of this whole debacle. Isabel says she'll tell him when he gets back, and then pleads with Michael to congratulate her. "On what?" he growls, and leaves the room.

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