Control (2)

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Out of control

In Cal's kitchen, Max enjoys a snack (a jar of Tabasco sitting tellingly on the counter) when, of course, his cell phone rings. This confuses him since he's still entranced by the Nokia device, but he quickly emerges from the fog and answers. It's Eunice, excited as if she's about to order an 80-piece Hummel figurine set from QVC. She wants to know how and where Max is. Good, and in California (to get rich and famous, so I can buy you and Daddy a house and a new Cadillac!). Discouraged by the sorry state of her family, Eunice asks if Max knows that his sister is about to tie the knot with Jesse Ramirez. Max does indeed go a little ballistic upon hearing the news, and asks if she's okay with this; Eunice says no one gives a crap what she thinks, but that Isabel values his opinion. She asks Max to talk some sense into Isabel's mile-thick skull, which he will (oh yes, he will), and if he needs anything. No, says Max; Eunice says she wanted to hear her son's voice (Max, I presume, can relate, but maintains stoic, alien-king composure) and that she loves him very much. "Me too," says Max, and it's obvious that he really does love himself. He hangs up. By this time, Cal has wandered in, wearing a very silly-looking distressed sweater (long vertical gashes revealing different-colored fabric, like a Cliff Huxtable monstrosity made even worse), and asks, "How's Mommy?"

Max doesn't answer; he's too busy concentrating on the gift phone, again, and asks why Cal gave it to him. "I'm huge, I can get another one," says Cal, munching on a lemon, but Max ain't buying. "Langley, stop," says Max; he does. Ominous music: "Look at me." He does. Max asks if he likes ice cream; Cal reveals that he's on The Zone (his topless appearance leads me to believe that The Zone is failing, so I say indulge, Cal, indulge!), and Max asks if Cal would like to give him some ice cream. No, says Cal, smiling. "Langley, get me some ice cream," orders Max, which works; Langley pulls some Ben & Jerry's from the freezer, confirming Max's hypothesis that Langley must obey him. Max says he wishes he knew these rules sooner, since they could have saved a lot of time (me, too, Max. Imagine my excitement at the idea of excising minutes from the show). Then he goes all commando, telling Langley that they're gonna find that ship. Langley looks displeased but resigned. That whole ice-cream scene was really disturbing, as it possessed some very creepy master/servant, inverted daddy/boy sexual overtones; they will haunt my dreams and scar my waking moments if I struggle to unravel them any further.

A big black Mercedes, vanity plates "U I OWN," pulls up to the cardboard security booth at the United States Air Force Wm. Norton Research Center, American flag a-flying. The guard waves Langley and Max through, and they drive on to the lot. Max follows Langley up a flight of stairs, discussing the "plan" loud enough for the entire Air Force to overhear -- Langley will meet with General Chambers, "the military consultant I have used on many Cal Langley productions" (Hollywood and our Armed Forces: working together to brainwash the world), find out where this super-duper-extra-top-secret spaceship is located, and get permission to examine it (insert anal probe joke here), because he strives for reality and accuracy in all things. Especially on his new project, Saturn Skies. Sure, that's bound to work smoothly. Max and Cal both sport head-to-toe Hollywood black; the latter is wearing a thoroughly ridiculous crumply black leather porkpie hat, which should get him beaten up very shortly. Suddenly the expert, Max advises Langley to play it cool, to act like it doesn't really matter if he gets to see the ship. Langley, with good reason, bristles, tells Max to lay off the direction, and asks Max how many Academy Awards he's won, while making it painfully obvious that he knows the answer. Cal, ya see, has won four.

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